Liberals Have a Tea Party, Too: See Wisconsin

WSJ columnist: Democrats' reaction is 'over the top'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2011 11:48 AM CST
The Rev. Jesse Jackson, near right center of photo, takes the stage amid tens of thousands of protesters gathered at the State Capitol in Madison, Wis., Friday, Feb. 18, 2011.   (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, Michael P. King)
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(Newser) – Democrats love to poke fun at the Tea Party, but they've actually organized "a more aggressive version" of their own in Wisconsin, writes John Fund in the Wall Street Journal. Aided by President Obama's Organizing for America group, Democrats have gone "over the top" in their rhetoric and protests in response to Gov. Scott Walker's proposals. What the governor wants is "hardly revolutionary," Fund writes. He wants to curb collective-bargaining rights, which other states have already done, and he's asking public employees to contribute more toward pensions and health insurance, bringing them more in line with what most Americans pay.

Wisconsin's symbolic role as a champion of workers' rights helps explain the vitriol, but times have changed. "The labor laws that Wisconsin unions are so bitterly defending were popular during an era of industrialization and centralization," writes Fund. "But the labor organizations they protect have become much less popular," as seen in declining membership. "Moreover, it's become abundantly clear that too many government workers enjoy wages, benefits and pensions that are out of line with the rest of the economy." Click for more coverage.

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