cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
Have you ever had the experience of getting into something and ultimately wishing you hadn’t given in to the urge to do so? I certainly have had that experience, and more often than I’d like to admit.
I wonder if there was ever a point when those who lead the state Democratic Party had this thought, this feeling that they had gone a mile too far down a road that was destined to lead to a bad place?
If they haven’t had that experience, then they lost an opportunity for some judgment adjustments that might preclude similar decisions in the future. If they did have the experience, then maybe they were able to extract some kernel of learning from it.
In their defense, there may not have been any way to avoid the decision that was taken to move ahead on an aggressive recall effort. The labor leaders who provide their members’ dues as funding for the Party were in full fury given the changes made in bargaining rules for the public sector unions. Those unions had just been hit with a big, big problem; those organizations had just been handed the defeat that might very well end their practical existence even if they survived in name only.
WEAC has already lost some 20,000 of the 90,000 members it had before this action. AFSCME has lost some two-thirds of its members, down to some 28,000 members, since this change was made. These are among the two most powerful public sector unions in Wisconsin, and the action that resulted in today’s membership changes was a huge set-back for each.
It is very possible that Mary Bell (WEAC) and Marty Biel (AFSCME) may still be absorbing what just happened in this recall election. To have suffered an unimaginable defeat of this magnitude takes time to assess while keeping that famed ‘stiff upper lip’ when in public to maintain the tough image. WEAC has stated that it was “all in” since it didn’t see that it had any other options. To be "all in" and to have suffered defeat usually means you are out of the poker game.
The political defeat is but one part of what these organizations are now faced with overcoming. WEAC and AFSCME may lose even more members as the result of the recall election results. Members may very well ask themselves if their continuing contributions are likely to make enough difference any more.
The Democratic Party has to step back and look at where it is today in terms of its ‘bench strength’ as well as where it is in terms of the two most visible party leaders.
I suspect that each of these people may well have had that moment where they stopped and wished to themselves that they had made different decisions, but they will, if my supposition is true, be most unlikely to ever admit that they had this “aha” moment.
I know how they must feel since I’ve had more than my share of such moments, so I earnestly hope that they will have benefitted from their “moments”. If they cannot accept the lesson, they’ll be destined to repeat it. That is not a good place to be for any of us. I frankly would prefer not having to be on either end of what we’ve just experienced again in my lifetime.