Make no mistake that this was a war that the unions were pining for. They may have screwed up and misjudged the outcome, but they were hankerin' for a fight. Now they want a do over.
They looked at Michigan's Gov. Rick Snyder and they believed the picture that his moderate to centrist portrait portrayed--he simply wanted all this arguing over Michigan's right-to-work nonsense to go away. He told more conservative leaning members of his own party to back off right to work and they obliged. He did not want any such legislation to reach his desk and it did not.
But Snyder also made his position known to the unions. In trade for his stance on r-t-w, the union machine would not push for an amendment enshrining a closed shop mentality into the state's constitution. Michigan certainly did not need that in an age where job providers must seek business friendly climates in which to eke out a profit.
While Snyder stayed his course during his first two years (disappointing me and many others,) the unions predictably saw blood in the water and reneged on their portion of the understanding. Unions loudly placed the ill-advised Proposition 2 onto the ballot while also putting their cumulative weights behind two other propositions.
Sadly for the unions, this all occurred under a well focused spotlight.
The voters of Michigan had tired of seeing an adversarial union work force attack the foundation of Michigan's competitiveness in the national and global marketplaces. Bleeding jobs, potential workers, and the family members that must tag along when Mommy and Daddy move elsewhere to collect a paycheck, Michigan saw its population drop over the decade past. The unemployed, underemployed and the newly moved flooded residential curbs with colorful for sale signs as school hallway traffic thinned.
GM stayed afloat but by an ill advised government bailout. Chrysler was gift wrapped and presented to the Italians by the benevolent hand of the US government. The union dominated Detroit Public Schools racked up hundreds of millions of dollars in debt while graduating about a quarter of its students. The union dominated city of Detroit, while fearing an emergency manager, riffled through so much cash that its city council members today are begging for a bailout of their own. Let's not forget union dominated Wayne County where democrat elected cronies toss around taxpayer graft like twist wrapped candies from the back of a parade float.
In front of this disturbing backdrop a disgusted voting population saw a union that was, to borrow a contemporary campaign phrase, moving forward. They maneuvered themselves into a position, with the help of Jennifer Granholm, where they could collect millions of dollars in union dues from people for whom they neither negotiated for nor from whom they had received the nod of representation. I'm certain yet how that didn't amount to theft.
They hinted at illegal strikes in school districts, picketed at universities where tuition levels are so high that many college age citizens can no longer afford to enroll, and put all their weight behind a divisive occupy movement that mocked productive citizens as heartily as it did personal hygiene.
Amid loud raucous chants, bullying, obstruction, and the more than occasional expletive, the unions made their never slaked rage and never satisfied demands known! Too bad for them, it appears that along with the disgusted voters watching the slow to convince Governor had also pulled up a chair.
The union championed Proposition 2 went down in flames and not without consequences.
The unions wanted this fight. They nurtured it by stoking the flames of covetousness among their members, and then turning them loose on a public that was tired of being victimized by the actions of goons.
They made the bed after washing the sheets and pressing the comforter. They patted out all the wrinkles, aligned all the seams, and fluffed the pillows. Now they just don't want to lay down.