Morning Joe this morning spent most of the show discussing the Wisconsin situation and taking both sides several times -- it was like a ping pong match going back and forth from Gov Walker's position to the union's position, with the union position winning in the end. This is the trick of centrism. Centrism isn't a position -- it's a political tactic, and until that's understood, the false impression that centrism is intelligent and nuanced will prevail. When watching Morning Joe, which is influenced by Joe Scarborough's lead, you have to look for the side that's fed the most to determine their stance on any givern issue. Joe S. will quickly defend his style by stating that he's interviewing his guests and trying to bring out all sides of a current issue, yet he and Mika and Mike Barnicle and other regulars, while sometimes disagreeing, usually come out on the left side of most political issues -- when I say "left" I mean the current modern liberal position that the role of government should be gradually expanded when necessary to help guide society to fairness and justice and to guide the economy to "fair" progress, that government regulation and oversight is vital to social justice, whatever that means to different individuals. It sounds good until you consider what government actually does and what results from government's involvement, then it's inexplicable, and one wonders why they don't promote innovative private sector solutions to social and economic problems.
The conclusion this morning was that the unions have made good moves in Wisconsin by agreeing to contributions to pensions and healthcare, and that the Republicans are now over-reaching and trying to break the union. This would be described as a centrist position because it recognizes the need to deal with budget issues, but it respects the right of unions to negotiate for their interests. This is what passes for nuance and thoughtfulness in the phony centrist game. They came to this conclusion after a discussion which acknowledged how the current public union system has "negotiated" such sweet heart deals at municipal and state levels that they can't be paid for. It's the system of public workers being forced into unions, forced to pay dues and then building a voting bloc which elects government officials beholden to the unions who then agree to sweet-heart benefit deals, all at the tax-payer expense, that's the fundamental problem. However, this nuance was ignored in the final conclusion, which basically says it's okay now for the unions to give back some of the money they've squeezed from tax-payers but leave the sytem untouched. If the system is left untouched, then as soon as the union can squeeze again, they will -- so the fundamental problem isn't solved, and as soon as the bandaid comes off, it's back to raiding the State treasury. The Wisconsin voters got tired of the squeeze and they elected Walker to solve fundmental problems, not cow-tow to unions with bandaid solutions.
Centrists always lean toward modern liberalism, and they always wind up supporting, for the most part, incremental moves that increase the power of the State at the expense of the private sector. Where are the centrists who support a limited government and a free market?
Joe S. deserves credit for bringing up the signs used by the unions depicting Gov Walker as Hitler and Mubarak and also using an image of Walker in crosshairs. If this was the Tea Party, these signs would be running non-stop on the major news outlets with every pundit in DC warning of violent rhetoric and referring back to Gabby Giffords. But centrist can't leave it at that -- right after Joe's mini-rant about the signs, they played a clip of Rick Santelli on Meet the Press saying that the country should come together over budget issues which are threatening the nation's financial stability like they came together after 9/11 -- Joe S. then made the ridiculous statement that Santelli was comparing 9/11 to what's going in Wisconsin. This is balance, see? Joe S. is saying that the Republicans are just as bad -- however, I watched Meet the Press, and Santelli was not comparing 9/11 to Wisconsin, he was saying the nation should come together on one threat to national security like they did another threat -- he had no intention of comparing non-violent protests to thousands of deaths. Joe S. was out of line with this, but it's what centrists do to give the impression of balance.
Carl Bernstein was on, and if there is a better example of Democrat partisanship which butchers reality, I don't know of it. Bernstein grudgingly admiited that the signs held by protesters in Wisconsin were inappropriate, but then made a statement that no one followed up on -- he said he thinks Ron Paul started the Mubarak comparison. WTF? My God, why is this man still in front of a camera?