I you haven’t been paying much attention to the protests going on in Madison, you just might want to.  Coming soon to a municipality near you.

I have a love-hate relationship with unions.  My parents were both life long union members and have stories to illuminate both sides of the equation.  The union worked to secure my mothers’ benefits when she became poisoned at work.  My father became anti-union when he crossed over to the dark “management” side and had to try to get things accomplished through union workers who were too busy extending the job.  My personal limited exposure to unions have left a bitter taste in my mouth too, threats and bullying by people I had to hire, expecting them to get things done on time, on budget.  Sorry to upset all of you union supporters, it didn’t wok out well for me.  Oh, and let me get ahead of you: “Whaaa, you’re painting everyone with a large brush.”

So here’s what I’ve observed about the events in Madison:

If you lose an election, you are expected to take your lumps and act as the minority party. That’s the lesson that Obama taught the republicans after he was elected.  Well apparently that’s what only republicans are expected to do.  Now there’s a new republican governor in Wisconsin.  Democrats are expected to take the high road when they lose.  In this instance, the high road apparently led the democratic senators into hiding out of state.  Why the taxpayers of Wisconsin would pay for this impromptu vacation is beyond me.  Why is this not illegal, a dereliction of duty or at least grounds for dismissal? Because no one in the group has that little “r” after their name.  It would appear that some parties have more privilege than others.  Get used to it.  This is how we will be governed from now on.

Democrats and their friends (or masters, depends upon your viewpoint) the union faithful, are the loudest to complain about fairness, you know, everyone paying his or her fair share.  Except when the union is asked to help relieve bloated budgets by paying less than half of what the private sector already pays for their healthcare benefits.  Then it’s no longer about fairness.  They get to become the victim of those radical conservative budget cutters trying to get people to live within the states’ means.  Sweet.  Oh and by the way, I get that it’s about collective bargaining.  But no one has ever rationally explained to me why government workers should be allowed to unionize in the first place.

If you’re a parent in Wisconsin, why are you allowing your children to be bussed into Madison as props for the unions?  Is it because they’re doing such a great job of educating your children that they deserve paid time off to mingle on the steps of the capitol with the kids they love?  Hardly.  It’s hard to force the kids to attend school when the educators are getting fraudulent doctor’s slips so they can get paid to protest on the state dime.  And neither of these issues seems to offend those parents who are standing side by side with the teachers and their children, some of who can barely read the protest signs handed out to them.  Okay, tax me more, I’ll pay for my own health care, a larger share of yours plus your pension, which we don’t have in the private sector, you can use my kids for photo ops and I’ll meet you at the corner of Bizarro street and Dysfunction junction where the doctors are handing out monopoly-game sick passes.  Sounds about right.

Surely the press will do its job and give us all the facts on the ground.  Wasn’t it the democrats and the press implicating anyone who even walked by a tea party for the inflammatory rhetoric they swore was rampant?  Is the discourse in Madison civil enough? Is there none of that going on in Wisconsin or have the evil tea-baggers all stayed home? That type of behavior is certainly beneath democrats or union workers.  And if it were happening, you could bet old CNN or MSNBC would splash it all over the tube for the world to see.  Nothing gets by the unbiased media.

If you think this is remote, it’s not.  It won’t be long before this creeps into every small town in America.  As this economy continues to falter, more and more towns and states wrestle with runaway spending and governments who don’t get what the taxpayers already know:  The well is dry.  If these towns, cities and states go into bankruptcy, you’ll get to bail these unions out everywhere.  (Watch for the next federal legislation allowing states to declare bankruptcy) The time has come to make the tough choices and face the facts that we can no longer afford the types of agreements or contracts that created these bloated entitlements.

School is in session.  Case study on Wisconsin and their budget woes.  Due tomorrow.