As my esteemed co-blogger noted below, Michigan's Democrats have taken their pro-union street theater to the next level and now want to amend the state Constitution to guaranteed union privilages for perpetuity.
While Michigan is more pro-union than most other states, its electorate is not completely insane. Back in 2006, when the one-state recession was only a couple of years old, Democrats and their teacher union allies introduced a ballot initiative to guarantee permanent increases in education funding. It went down to resounding defeat.
This is why I believe that by throwing their lot in with public sector unions, Michigan Democrats are ultimately digging their own graves. After a decade of job losses and collapsing home prices coupled with rising taxes, Michigan residents are more than happy to have their public sector workers share their pain. Indeed, the campaign against such a proposal is laughably easy: simply point out that taxpayers in well-run townships and counties will be subsidizing the most bloated, corrupt and inefficient governments in the state.
This is why even the reliably liberal Detroit Free Press editorial board supports the supposedly anti-union legislation for emergency financial managers. In a moment of rare lucidity, they note that the mere existence of the law will force municipal governments and public sector unions to be realistic about their budgeting as there is now a clear price for failure.
In the short run, the infusion of cash and enthusiasm may be reasurring for the paleoliberals. In the long run, however, it brands them as unserious and unworthy of the responsibility of governing.