The battle over who defines the work and institutions that make a nation thrive and grow.
by Daniel Henninger at the WSJ , this is great food for thought
Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts will not endure unless Republicans clearly understand the meaning of "the machine" that he ran against and defeated.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy planted the seeds that grew the modern Democratic Party.
That year, JFK signed executive order 10988 allowing the unionization of the federal work force. This changed everything in the American political system. Kennedy's order swung open the door for the inexorable rise of a unionized public work force in many states and cities.
This in turn led to the fantastic growth in membership of the public employee unions—The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the teachers' National Education Association.
They broke the public's bank. More than that, they entrenched a system of taking money from members' dues and spending it on political campaigns. Over time, this transformed the Democratic Party into a public-sector dependency.
What an irony it is that in the same week the Kennedy labor legacy hit the wall in Massachusetts, the NEA approved a $1 million donation from the union's contingency fund to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. It is this Kennedy legacy, the public union tax and spend machine, that drove blue Massachusetts into revolt Tuesday.
There's no way out for these Democrats. They made a Faustian bargain 40 years ago with the public unions. For the outlays alone, they'll get some version of the Obama health-care bill. They'll also go to the same old "populist anger" well.
Scott Brown's victory has given the GOP a rare, narrow chance to align itself with an electorate that understands its anger. Now the GOP has to find a way to disconnect from a political legacy that smothered governments at all levels and is now smothering the Democratic Party.
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