Just a short post to note an important point of rhetoric. Often dismissed, rhetoric, or “spin’ as we now call it, is critical in political persuasion.
The point is the distressing number of conservative commentators who have compared the scene in Madison to the scenes of the protests in Cairo. The resemblance is only superficial and making it is dangerous. While I am aware that there is a more complex story behind the Egyptian protests than the happy-face pro-democracy image portrayed in the lamestream media, nonetheless the Egyptian protesters were objecting to a regime which fundamentally violated human rights. There is no comparison between the Egyptians’ situation and the protests in Madison against a freely, properly and duly elected representative government.
The more accurate comparison for the scenes in Madison is to the violent protests in Athens last year, where government workers went berserk over an insolvent government’s efforts to ask them to share in the pain of resolving the financial crisis brought on by their nation’s unsupportable welfare state. Although, given our modern 24 hour news media induced attention span, it is difficult to recall the Greek protests of a few months ago, it is worth the effort. Comparing selfish public unions to those Egyptians who really were bravely seeking more political freedom is both an insult to the Egyptians and to give undue political credence to the welfare statist power-grabbers in Wisconsin.