Meet the Press with David Greogory put on a good show this morning, and Gregory did a fairly good job of asking some tough questions, although in his interview with Scott Walker he fell into a liberal habit of asking the same question over and over to obfuscate the answer. Gregory asked Walker at least four times why Walker didn't just accept the union's agreement to contribute to their benefits and drop the restrictions on collective bargaining -- Walker answered each time that the system needs to change or the contributions will be temporary and the same budget problems will return. Gregory either couldn't fathom this reply or had no reasonable objection to it, so he just kept asking the question. Walker came off as calm and reasonable and determined to get the public union problem in his state under control so that lay-offs won't be necessary.
Gregory interviewed John McCain, who is in Cairo, Egypt, regarding the Egyptian situation, Libya and the Mid-East unrest. McCain was cautious when he talked about the progress in Egypt toward elections -- McCain gave the impression that the situation is up in the air, which probably means forces un-friendly to America are making progress in their attempt to gain political power. McCain proposed more US military involvement in Libya through a no-fly zone and military support for an alternative government, but stopping short of sending in American troops. McCain was asked about Secretary Gates comments that no president going forward should be advised to maintain military presence in Asia or the Mid-east. McCain, of course, said there are times we have to act and then justified Adghanistan, but the question unasked is if we have to stay there for a decade, and if so, why? What has been accomplished after the first two years?
The roundtable discussion was stacked to the Left, with Richard Trumka, Lawrence O'Donnell and Emanuel Cleaver, the representative who heads the Black Caucus, were there on the Left, and Kim Strassel, a WSJ person was there from the middle, and Haley Barbour, Governor of Miss., was there on the Right. The conversation surrounded Wisconsin, and Trumka repeated the charge of Walker attempting to destroy the union, as did O'Donnel. Gregory asked about the public unions' rigged game of negotiating with officials the union got elected, but Trumka ignored any questions which could put unions in a bad light and turned it on Walker, the evil Republican governor.
Haley Barbour was the only one who talked about the fundamental solution of fixing the system by restricting collective bargaining. Gregory failed to bring up the underlying reason unions are so active across the country, and that is because their money flow is being threatened. If states give freedom to public workers to join unions and pay dues or not, then this could threaten the union's money supply and lessen their power to affect legislation and benefit increases. The bottom line, and what Trumka didn't have an answer for, is the broken system which needs to change. Trumka knows that unions can give back some of their benefit gains temporarily then come back strong later when the clouds blow over.
Emanuel Cleaver accused Republicans in general of wanting to cut too much, which means he's a staunch supporter of tax and spend policies, a progressive who favors the government "investment" position. O'Donnel wants to tax the top earners. Liberals and progressives have no new answers -- they are protecting the status quo and the system in place. Trumka, of course, wants only what increases union power regardless of the consequences. Strassel just piddled around the center of the issues. It's amazing that Haley Barbour, a politician with which I have many problems, was the only one addressing an unsustainable public union system which is helping to bankrupt states across the country.