The PJ Tatler

Unions backing down in Massachusetts

Interesting. When Scott Walker or John Kasich cut government union bargaining privileges and benefits, they’re eeevil henchmen of big business out to destroy the entire American middle class. But when Democrats in Massachusetts do the same thing, the unions fight at first but end up going out with a whimper.

Today, the Senate is to open debate on a state budget that includes a proposal, long sought by mayors and other local officials, to allow them to shift workers into less expensive health plans, even if unions oppose the changes.

A month ago, before the House overwhelmingly approved a similar measure, labor leaders ran dramatic radio ads, held protests at the State House, and threatened to oust lawmakers. The standoff, they said, was a historic effort to ensure Massachusetts did not slide toward the tougher measures imposed in Wisconsin, Ohio, and elsewhere.

But now, as the Senate prepares to debate its bill, unions have issued a conciliatory press release, and tried to put a positive spin on the developments.

The changed tactics reflect shifting political ground and a tacit acknowledgement that their earlier hardball tactics did not work in an economy that has hit city and town budgets hard.

Unions recognizing that their thuggery isn’t working? I never thought I’d see the day. Instead of issuing threats and running a constant stream of negative ads, the unions have found a new tactic:

The union proudly declared that the 700 letters its members sent to state senators had won the day.

Declare victory and go back to assaulting Republicans.