No Party for Old White Men

No Party for Old White Men

By Patrick J. Buchanan

For Nancy Pelosi, 78, Steny Hoyer, 79, and Joe Biden, 75, the primary results from New York’s 14th congressional district are a fire bell in the night.

All may be swept away in the coming revolution. That is the message of the crushing defeat of 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley, who had aspired to succeed Pelosi and become speaker of the House.

The No. 4 House Democrat, Crowley, 56, had not faced primary opposition since 2004. He outspent his opponent, 28-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was tending bar a year ago, by 10 to one.

The son of an Irish immigrant, Crowley was leader of the Queens Democratic Club. He had the unions’ support. So confident was he that he skipped a debate and sent a Latina politician to stand in for him.

First comes Hubris, the god of arrogance. Then comes Nemesis, the goddess of retribution.

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Tossing Crowley’s credentials back in his face, Ocasio-Cortez ran as a Latina, a person of color, a millennial and militant socialist who lived in her district, and painted Crowley as a white male with lots of PAC money who had moved to D.C. and sent his kids to school in Virginia.

“The Democratic Party takes working-class communities for granted; they take people of color for granted,” railed Ocasio-Cortez. The party assumes “that we’re going to turn out no matter how bland or half-stepping (their) proposals are.”

“Bland or half-stepping” are not words her agenda calls to mind.

A Democratic Socialist, endorsed by MoveOn, Black Lives Matter and People for Bernie, Ocasio-Cortez favors Medicare for all, a $15 minimum wage, 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, free tuition at public colleges, federal jobs for all who want them, and abolishing an Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency that runs “black sites” on the Mexican border where “human rights abuses are happening.”

When tear gas was used in Puerto Rico, whence her family came, Ocasio-Cortez laid it at Crowley’s feet: “You are responsible for this.”

Crowley tried gamely to keep up, declaring that ICE, for which thousands of Americans work to protect our borders, is a “fascist” organization, presumably something like Ernst Rohm’s Brown Shirts.

While the victory of Ocasio-Cortez is bad news for Pelosi and Hoyer, it may also be a harbinger of what is to come. For the Democratic Party appears about to unleash its radical left, its Maxine Waters wing, and give its ideology another run in the yard.

When the party has done this before, however, it did not end well.

After Hubert Humphrey lost narrowly in 1968, an enraged left seized the nomination for George McGovern, who went on to lose 49 states to Richard Nixon.

After Hillary Clinton’s defeat, the left, whose champion, Bernie Sanders, they believe, was robbed by the establishment, seems to be looking to settle scores and seize the nomination for one of its own.

But if an apertura a sinistra, an opening to the left, is what lies ahead for the Democratic Party, then that is better news for the party of Trump than for the party of Pelosi.

Just as Crowley’s congressional district had changed, so, too, has his party in Congress. Columnist Dana Milbank, who sees it as progress, writes, “A majority of House Democrats are … women, people of color or gay.”

These rising forces in the Democratic coalition are looking to bury the Democratic Party of yesterday, where white males and older ethnic groups — Irish, Italians, Poles and Jews — were dominant.

It seems certain now that the summer of 2020 will see a woman, a person of color, or both, on the Democratic ticket. Two whites would likely offend the rising base. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Tim Kaine may have been the last of the all-white Democratic tickets.

However, inside this emerging Democratic majority of peoples of color, fractures and fissures are already visible.

In New York City, the Asian community, which votes Democratic in presidential elections, is in an uproar over efforts by leftist Mayor Bill de Blasio to eliminate the entrance exams that have enabled Asian kids to capture most of the seats in the city’s elite public schools.

De Blasio and his allies want the Asian numbers in these select schools reduced, so the schools mirror the city’s demography, no matter how well the Asian kids are doing on the competitive admissions tests.

Also, the hard left in the Democratic Party, oriented more toward the Third World than the West, is increasingly anti-Israel. And while the Jewish vote is small and largely concentrated in blue states, among donors to the Democratic Party the Jewish contingent looms large.

The new demography of the Democratic Party brought about the defeat of Crowley. A majority white district when he first ran, the Bronx-Queens district he now represents is only one-sixth white.

The Irish and Italians have moved out or passed on. And Archie Bunker? He rests in peace in Calvary Cemetery. Like his party.

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The Fall of the House of Labor

Union Workers

By Patrick J. Buchanan

In 1958, Senate Minority Leader William Knowland, his eye on the 1960 GOP nomination coveted by fellow Californian Richard Nixon, went home and declared for governor.

Knowland’s plan: Ride to victory on the back of Proposition 18, the initiative to make right-to-work the law in the Golden Land. Prop. 18 was rejected 2 to 1. Knowland’s career was over, and the Republicans were decimated nationally for backing right-to-work.

Badly burned, the party for years ran away from the issue.

This history makes what happened in Michigan, cradle of the United Auto Workers, astonishing. A GOP legislature passed and Gov. Rick Snyder signed a right-to-work law as libertarian as any in Red State America.

The closed shop, where a worker must belong to the union before being hired, is dead. The union shop, where an individual must join the union once hired, is dead. The agency shop, where a worker cannot be made to join a union but can be required to pay dues if the union is the agent negotiating the contract for all workers, is dead.

Michigan just legislated the open shop.

And behind the blue-collar bellicosity in Lansing is this new reality. Non-union workers can now “free ride” on union contracts. This is close to a non-survivable wound for labor.

Workers who do not belong to unions will cease paying dues, and union members will begin quietly to quit and pocket their dues money.

Why pay dues if you don’t have to? Why contribute a dime to a union PAC if you don’t have to, or don’t like labor’s candidates?

Michigan workers are not going to suffer. They have simply been given the freedom to join or not join a union, to pay or not pay dues. And while wages in right-to-work states such as Virginia, Tennessee, Texas and Florida are slightly below those of other states, employment in right-to-work states is higher.

For these are the states where domestic and foreign investors look to site new plants. The BMW assembly plant is in Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C., the Mercedes plant in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the Volkswagen and Nissan plants in Tennessee. As Gov. Rick Perry boasts, Texas has been the biggest job creator in the Obama recession.

But union power is going to be circumscribed as non-union workers elect to free-ride and union members start resigning. And just as Michigan saw Indiana creating jobs after passing right-to-work, other states may observe Michigan and go forth and do likewise.

There are now 24 right-to-work states. But while these laws arrested the rise of the house of labor, there was an inevitability to its fall. Who are the collective killers? Like the murder on the Orient Express, just about everyone on the train.

First came automation. A third of U.S. workers were unionized in the 1950s. But with new technologies, we discovered we did not need so many men to dig coal, make steel or print newspapers. We did not need firemen riding in the cabs of diesel locomotives.

A second blow came with the postwar rise of Germany and Japan. Their plants and equipment were all newer than ours. Their wages were far lower, as they did not carry the burden of defending the Free World. Under our defense umbrella, they began to invade and capture our markets.

And Uncle Sam let them do it.

A third blow to Big Labor, concentrated in the Frost Belt, came from the Sun Belt. With air conditioning making summers tolerable, the South offered less expensive and more reliable labor than a North where union demands were constant and strikes common.

But the mortal blow to American unions came from globalization.

With the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, the Soviet Union and China propelling hundreds of millions of new workers into the global hiring hall, U.S. multinationals saw historic opportunity.

If they could move factories out of the U.S.A., they would be free of union demands, wage-and-hour laws, occupational health and safety laws, environmental laws and civil rights law. By outsourcing, they could produce for a fraction of the cost of doing so in the U.S.A.

And if they could get the U.S. political class, in return for corporate generosity at election time, to let them bring their foreign-made goods back to the U.S.A., tax and tariff free, profits would explode, and salaries and bonuses with them.

The corporate establishment and political establishment shook hands, the deed was done, and the fate of U.S. industrial unions sealed. So came NAFTA, GATT, the World Trade Organization, MFN for China, free trade with all.

And with globalization came trade deficits unlike any the world had ever seen, a loss of one-third of U.S. manufacturing jobs in the last decade, a U.S. dependence on foreign-made goods almost as great as in colonial days, the enrichment of our corporate and financial elites beyond the dreams of avarice, and the decline and fall of the house of labor.

Unions are dying because, in America, economic patriotism is dead.

Salad Days of the Public Sector Are Over

By Patrick J. Buchanan

San Bernardino, Calif., has now followed Stockton into bankruptcy.

Harrisburg and Scranton, Pa., and Jefferson County, Ala., home to Birmingham, are already there to welcome them.

Detroit has been taken into receivership by Michigan. A plan under discussion is to level a fourth of the city and reconvert it into the pasture and farmland it used to be a century ago.

On the Web, one may find a pictorial tale of two cities: Hiroshima, a smoking flattened ruin in 1945, now a beautiful gleaming metropolis. And Detroit, forge and furnace of democracy in 1945, today resembling Dresden after Bomber Command paid its visit.

Other American cities are exploring bankruptcy to escape from under the mountain of debt they have amassed or to get out of contracts that an earlier generation of politicians negotiated.

No longer shameful, bankruptcy is now seen as an option for U.S. cities. The crisis of the public sector has come to River City.

What happened to us?

In the Reagan-Clinton prosperity, officials earned popularity by making commitments that could be met only if the good times lasted forever. They added new beneficiaries to old programs and launched new ones. They hired more bureaucrats, aides, teachers, firemen, cops.

Government’s share of the labor force soared to 22.5 million. This is almost three times the number in the public sector when JFK took the oath of office. These employees were guaranteed job security and high salaries, given subsidized health care, and promised early retirement and pensions that the private sector could not match.

The balance between the private and public sectors shifted. As a share of the U.S. population, the number of taxpayers fell, as tax consumers — the beneficiaries of government programs and government employees who run those programs — rose.

The top 1 percent now pays 40 percent of the income tax. The top 10 percent pays 70 percent. The bottom half, scores of millions of workers, pay nothing. They ride free.

This could not go on forever. And when something cannot go on forever it will, by Stein’s Law, stop. The Great Recession brought it to a stop. We have come to the end of the line.

U.S. cities depend on property and sales taxes. But property tax revenue has fallen with the collapse of the housing market. Sales tax revenue has fallen as a result of the recession that has kept the consumers out of the malls.

Revenues down, cities and counties face a choice. Raise taxes, or cut payrolls and services. But if taxes rise or workers are laid off and services decline, Americans in our mobile society move across city and state lines, as they are moving from California to Colorado, Nevada and Arizona.

This does not end the crisis, it exacerbates it.

Bankruptcy not only offers cities relief from paying interest to bondholders, it enables mayors to break contracts with public service unions. Since the recession began, 650,000 government workers, almost all city, county or state employees, have lost their jobs. Millions have seen pay and benefits cut.

The salad days of the public sector are over. From San Joaquin Valley to Spain, its numbers have begun to shrink and its benefits to be cut.

A declaration of bankruptcy by a few cities, however, has an impact upon all — for it usually involves a default on debts. This terrifies investors, who then demand a higher rate of interest for the increased risk they take when they buy the new municipal bonds that fund the educational and infrastructure projects of the solvent cities.

Cities and counties have no way out of the vicious cycle. Rising deficits and debts force new tax hikes and new cuts in schools, cops and firemen. Residents see the town going down, and pack and leave.

This further reduces the tax base and further enlarges the deficit.

Then the process begins anew.

This is what is happening in Spain and Greece, which have reached the early 1930s stage of rioting and the rise of radical parties.

Since the New Deal, Keynesianism has been our answer to recession. As the private sector shrinks, the public sector expands to fill the void until the private sector returns to health. Only Keynesianism is not working.

Obama gave us an $800 billion stimulus and four deficits totaling $5 trillion. The Fed tripled the money supply and put interest rates at near zero. The banks are flush with cash. But the engine will not turn over.

What about supply-side tax cuts? But with the Bush tax cuts still in place, taxes are generating the smallest share of gross domestic product in decades.

How much bigger a deficit should we run?

Liberal economists are saying, deficits be damned, print money and spend. With Republicans blocking tax hikes and Democrats resisting cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, all eyes turn to the Fed.

As Milton Friedman said, “Inflation is the one form of taxation that can be imposed without legislation.”

The Bell Tolls for the Government Unions

By Patrick J. Buchanan

In 1919, after Boston police went on strike to protest the city’s refusal to recognize their new union, Gov. Calvin Coolidge ordered the National Guard into the streets.

Sam Gompers, the legendary father of American labor, wrote the governor that the Boston police had been denied their rights.

Coolidge’s terse reply put him in our history books:

“Your assertion that the Commissioner was wrong cannot justify the wrong of leaving the city unguarded. … There is no right to strike against the public safety by anyone, anywhere, any time.”

Ronald Reagan’s firing of the striking air traffic controllers, whose union had been among the few to endorse him, marked him as a leader willing to act against a powerful union if the public interest commands it.

Gov. Scott Walker is now in that tradition. He has just routed a recall campaign that began with state senators disgracefully fleeing to Illinois rather than provide a quorum and mobs occupying his capitol.

Walker’s victory is a fire bell in the night for the public-sector unions. It reflects a rising realization among all Western peoples that to continue accommodating the demands of government unions is to risk our survival as free and prosperous nations.

The Badger State rout of Big Labor was total.

The public-employee unions first capitulated to the governor’s demand that they contribute more to their pensions and health care benefits. But they drew the line at Walker’s determination to curtail collective bargaining and to cease deducting union dues from the paychecks of state workers.

Collect your dues yourself, the governor was telling the unions.

With their union dues no longer taken out of their paychecks, tens of thousands of Wisconsin public employees refused to pony up those dues and quit their union, instead. What does this tell us?

Many union members do not believe they get their money’s worth from unions that claim to represent them, and would prefer to get out of the union and keep the dues money themselves.

This desertion by their members represents a massive vote of no confidence in unions like the America Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of Teachers. AFSCME in Wisconsin lost 34,000 of its 62,000 members last year alone.

From the Wisconsin experience, if right-to-work laws were enacted in every state, giving employees freedom to join or leave a union, public-employee unions would be abandoned, reduced to shadows of what they are today. What does it say about a union if its members would prefer not to belong, if they were free to leave?

The curtailment of collective bargaining is the issue on which Walker appeared to be on the weakest ground, as school kids are taught that collective bargaining is a sacrosanct right.

Yet here, too, the governor has a compelling argument.

When union leaders put piles of cash into political campaigns, and union bosses then sit down to bargain with the people they have just put into office, who represents the public?

Is there not an inherent conflict of interest when unions literally purchase with campaign contributions the election of officials with whom they are to negotiate the new contracts for their members?

There are other reasons public-employee unions are losing public support. The pay and benefits of federal employees are twice that of the average private-sector worker, while the pay and benefits of state employees are half again as high. And government workers enjoy a job security few private-sector workers ever know.

Unionized government workers are seen by almost no one as victims. Yet their numbers are huge.

Where there were twice as many Americans working in manufacturing as in government in 1960, today the reverse is true. We have 22 million workers in government and 11 million in manufacturing.

This is an immense and costly army for taxpayers to sustain.

Even Democrats, though they howl that we must milk the rich more, are starting to concede that the government sector, now at a peacetime record 37 percent of the gross domestic product, must be pared back.

The salad days of the government employee are coming to an end, as they have already in Greece, Italy and Spain.

As Europe went farther down that “road to socialism” than did we, the pain there will be greater. But it is coming here, too.

Already, states and cities have begun cutting their labor force. And the states that were most indulgent in providing pay and benefits their taxpayers could not afford are the states being hit hardest, like Barack Obama’s Illinois and Jerry Brown’s California.

The anger and accusations of union leaders, directed at Gov. Walker, testify to their shocked awareness of the new political realities.

And Obama’s conspicuous absence from the battlefield — he sent a tweet and did a flyover — testifies to his recognition that while government unions may be his loyal political allies, they are also an albatross hanging around his neck this November.

Vulture Capitalism or Populist Demagoguery?

By Patrick J. Buchanan

“They’re vultures that are sitting out there on the tree limb, waiting for a company to get sick, and then they swoop in … eat the carcass … and … leave the skeleton.”

So Rick Perry colorfully characterized the private equity firm Bain Capital, once run by Mitt Romney.

How did Bain prosper? Says Perry:

“These companies … come in and loot the people’s jobs, loot their pensions (and) loot their ability to take care of their families.”

Behind this depiction is a 28-minute documentary, “King of Bain,” being aired in South Carolina by a super political action committee that supports Newt Gingrich and is financed by Vegas-Macau casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson.

The truth, however, turns out to be less colorful, as The Washington Post has awarded the documentary four Pinocchios for “manipulative interviews” and a “highly misleading portrayal of Romney’s years at Bain Capital.”

Seems that two of the companies Bain allegedly looted were not acquired until after Mitt left the firm, and the closure of a third plant in Gaffney, S.C., was no communal disaster.

No one in Gaffney, writes The New York Times, seems to recall the company, and the local paper did not even report its demise.

“King of Bain” is a hit piece, a malicious libel full of so many errors and lies that even Newt said it must be corrected or pulled down.

Yet if Romney is nominated, we will see this avenue of attack pursued by the Democrats. For populist assaults on capitalists and capitalism, dating back to William Jennings Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” speech to the 1896 Democratic National Convention, have a long and venerable history.

Moreover, the hysteria of Beltway Republicans and their Chamber of Commerce allies over the Newt-Perry attacks on Mitt “the predator” and Mitt “the vulture capitalist” testifies to the power of the narrative and Republicans’ fear of it. And they would do well to be fearful.

To many Americans, the period from the Civil War to World War I, when U.S. production grew from half of what Britain produced to twice what Britain produced, was a legendary era of growth and prosperity.

To others, however, this was the Gilded Age of Jim Fisk and James Gould, of robber barons and the Pullman strike, of the Haymarket Massacre and the Homestead strike at Carnegie Steel, where armed Pinkertons came up the river in barges to break the strike, only to be shot, disarmed and beaten by strikers and their families.

In 1904, Ida Tarbell wrote “The History of the Standard Oil Company,” painting oil magnate John D. Rockefeller as a capitalist without conscience, a “money-mad … hypocrite.” “Our national life is on every side distinctly poorer, uglier, meaner, for the kind of influence he exercises.”

In 1906, Upton Sinclair penned “The Jungle,” a novel depicting the horrors of the stockyards and meat-packing plants of Chicago.

Teddy Roosevelt said of these reformers, “The men with the muck rakes are often indispensable to the well-being of society, but only if they know when to stop raking the muck.”

Yet T.R. himself took up the role of trustbuster. When J.P. Morgan wrote to him to protest Justice Department moves against one of his trusts — “Just send your man to my man and we can fix it up” — T.R.’s man at Justice retorted, “We don’t want to fix it up; we want to stop it.”

Teddy Roosevelt savaged the “malefactors of great wealth,” and his cousin Franklin would echo him on taking office, denouncing “the money changers … in the temple of our civilization.”

They hate me, exulted FDR, “and I welcome their hatred!” He went on to crush and almost wipe out the Republican Party in 1936.

At the end of the Reagan era, which the left had decried, “Barbarians at the Gate” was published, portraying the leveraged buyout of RJR Nabisco by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts as a manifestation of colossal greed.

Michael Lewis — author of “Liar’s Poker,” about the fall of Salomon Brothers, and “The Big Short” — has built a successful career describing the amorality at the apex of corporate America.

Today, President Barack Obama, with his Osawatomie, Kan., attack on “breathtaking greed,” channeling T.R., seeks to insert himself in that populist tradition.

Undeniably, Americans cherish their economic freedom and respect the men who helped make America great, inventors such as Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison and industrialists such as Henry Ford.

But they do not revere the men who make millions and billions at the big casinos of capitalism. They do not admire a George Soros for winning his billion-dollar bet shorting the British pound.

They believe that a man’s professional, as well as private, life should be guided by a conscience. And because they recoil from the teachings of Karl Marx does not mean they embrace the values of Ayn Rand.

Let-the-devil-take-the-hindmost capitalism, economic Darwinism, is neither conservatism nor Americanism.

Should Mitt Romney be nominated, he will need to make a national address defending his career at Bain Capital with the same conviction and passion with which he defended his faith in the campaign of 2008.

Why Scott Walker Must Win

By Patrick J. Buchanan

The anti-democratic methods President Obama’s union allies are using in Wisconsin testify to the crucial character of the battle being fought.

Teachers have walked off in wildcat strikes, taking pupils with them. Doctors have issued lying affidavits saying the teachers were sick, a good example of ethical conduct for the school kids.

Thousands of demonstrators have daily invaded the Capitol, chanting, hooting, banging drums. Hundreds have camped out there and refused to leave so the Capitol building can be cleaned.

Is this democracy in action? Is this what 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green went out to see that Saturday morning in Tucson?

Picketers have carried placards with the face of Gov. Scott Walker in the cross hairs of a gun sight. He has been compared to Hitler, Mussolini, Mubarak. Democrats have fled the state to deny the elected Wisconsin Senate a quorum to vote.

Such tactics cannot be allowed to triumph in a republic.

Why is the left behaving with desperation? Because it senses what this battle is all about. Not just about pay, but about power.

The Republicans are not only resolved to guarantee government workers pay a fair share of the cost of their pensions and health care. They are in a purposeful drive to disarm and demobilize the tax-subsidized armies of the Democratic Party and end sweetheart deals between unions and the poodle politicians they put into office.

“Walker wants to end collective bargaining,” is the wail.

Actually, what the governor wants to end is the scandalous practice of powerful unions raising millions and running phone banks and get-out-the-vote operations for politicians who thank them with wages, benefits and job security no private employer can match.

Since the 1960s, government unions have been able to sit behind closed doors with the politicians they put in office and write contracts, the cost of which is borne by taxpayers who have no one at the table.

They call this collective bargaining. A more accurate term is collusive bargaining. And Walker means put an end to the racket.

When Ford sits down with the UAW, Ford negotiators represent the executives, directors and shareholders. Should they give away the store and Ford have to raise prices, and be undercut by Honda, all Ford workers, shareholders and executives suffer.

This is a healthy adversary procedure where Ford and the UAW each represents the interests of those who sent them, and both share a stake in keeping Ford prosperous.

When government unions sit down with the politicians they put into office, the relationship is not adversarial. It is not healthy. It is incestuous. And taxpayers must pay the cost of their cohabitation.

Gov. Walker also seeks to end the practice of having the state government collect union dues from state workers.

Indeed, why should a Republican administration collect dues for the benefit of union bosses who constantly labor to see to it those Republicans are not re-elected? Let the unions collect their own dues.

Walker would also require public service employee unions to hold annual elections by secret ballot to determine if state workers want the union to represent them, or if they would prefer to have their deducted union dues put back in their paychecks.

Legislators submit to voters every two years.

Why ought not unions to do the same?

In Wisconsin, the die is cast and Walker cannot yield.

For if he yields, the state and its 3,000 cities, counties, towns and school districts will be forever at the mercy of these unions.

If he yields, it will be a triumph for the tactics of intimidation, wildcat strikes and mass demonstrations to block legislative action.

The senators who fled will come home heroes, and Walker will have broken the hearts of the people who put their faith in him.

If Walker yields, governors and legislators across America will read the tea leaves and back away from taking on government unions. That means higher and higher taxes, as in Illinois, and eventual sinking of the states into unpayable debt and default.

The correlation of forces is in Walker’s favor. Time is on his side. When you are holding a winning hand, you do not offer to split the pot.

After his opponents invaded the Capitol, called him Hitler, fled the state, and tried to shout down and shut down the legislature with raucous demonstrations, what other cards do they have left to play?

Walker has recalled Ronald Reagan’s firing of the air traffic controllers as an example of how a strong leader must stand up even to a popular union when it is wrong.

There is an earlier example. When the Boston police went on strike and criminals ran amuck, and Sam Gompers came to the defense of the cops, Gov. Calvin Coolidge sent a telegram to that founding father of the American labor movement, “There is no right to strike against the public safety by anybody, anywhere, any time.”

Scott Walker cannot lose this fight, because his country cannot afford to have him lose it.

Barack Hussein Alinsky

By Patrick J. Buchanan

As a large and furious demonstration was under way outside and inside the Capitol in Madison last week, Barack Obama invited in a TV camera crew from Milwaukee and proceeded to fan the flames.

Dropping the mask of The Great Compromiser, Obama reverted to his role as South Chicago community organizer, charging Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin legislature with an “assault on unions.”

As the late Saul Alinsky admonished in his “Rules for Radicals,” “the community organizer … must first rub raw the resentments of the people; fan the latent hostilities to the point of overt expression.”

After Obama goaded the demonstrators, the protests swelled. All 14 Democratic state senators fled to Illinois to paralyze the upper chamber by denying it a quorum. Teachers went on strike, left kids in the classroom and came to Madison. Schools shut down.

Jesse Jackson arrived. The White House political machine went into overdrive to sustain the crowds in Madison and other capitals and use street pressure to break governments seeking to peel back the pay, perks, privileges and power of public employee unions that are the taxpayer-subsidized armies of the Democratic Party.

Marin County millionairess Nancy Pelosi, doing a poor imitation of Emma Goldman, announced, “I stand in solidarity with the Wisconsin workers fighting for their rights, especially for all the students and young people leading the charge.”

Is this not the same lady who called Tea Partiers “un-American” for “drowning out opposing views”? Is not drowning out opposing views exactly what those scores of thousands are doing in Madison, banging drums inside the state Capitol?

Some carried signs comparing Walker to Hitler, Mussolini and Mubarak. One had a placard with the face of Walker in the cross hairs of a rifle sight. Major media seemed uninterested. These signs didn’t comport with their script.

In related street action, protesters, outraged over Congress’ oversight of the D.C. budget, showed up at John Boehner’s residence on Capitol Hill to abuse the speaker at his home.

And so the great battle of this generation is engaged.

Between now and 2013, the states are facing a total budget shortfall of $175 billion. To solve it, they are taking separate paths.

Illinois voted to raise taxes by two-thirds and borrow $12 billion more, $8.5 billion of it to pay overdue bills. The Republican minority fought this approach, but was outvoted and accepted defeat.

Wisconsin, however, where Republicans captured both houses and the governor’s office in November, and which is facing a deficit of $3.6 billion over the next two years, has chosen to cut spending.

Walker and the legislature want to require state employees, except police, firemen and troopers, to contribute half of their future pension benefits and up to 12.6 percent of health care premiums.

Wisconsin state workers and teachers enjoy the most generous benefits of state employees anywhere in America. According to the MacIver Institute, the average teacher in the Milwaukee public schools earns $100,000 a year — $56,000 in pay, $44,000 in benefits — and enjoys job security.

More controversially, Walker would end collective bargaining for benefits while retaining it for salaries and wage hikes up to annual inflation. This would ease the burden on local governments and school districts faced with the same budget crisis but less able to stand up to large and powerful government unions.

Other new governors like John Kasich of Ohio are looking at the Wisconsin approach to save their states from bankruptcy. They, too, are now facing massive street protests instigated by Obama and orchestrated by his agents operating out of the DNC.

The Battle of Madison, where Obama, Pelosi, the AFL-CIO, Jackson, the teachers unions and the Alinskyite left are refusing to accept the results of the 2010 election and taking to the streets to break state governments, is shaping up as the first engagement in the Battle for America. What will be decided?

Can the states, with new governments elected by the people, roll back government to prevent a default? Or will the states be forced by street protests, work stoppages by legislators, and strikes by state employees and teachers to betray the people who elected them? Will they be forced to raise taxes ad infinitum to feed the government’s insatiable appetite for tax dollars?

In short, does democracy work anymore in America?

What Obama has done will come back to haunt him. He has encouraged if not incited an angry and alienated left that lost the country in a free election to overturn the results of that election by street protests and invasions of state capitols.

As the huge antiwar demonstrations in the 1960s broke the presidency of Lyndon Johnson and sought to break the presidency of Richard Nixon, Obama and his cohorts are out to break Wisconsin.

One hopes the people of Wisconsin will stand up to this extortion being carried on with the blessing of their own president.