Amy Sancetta, Associated Press
The repeal of a bill limiting collective bargaining rights of public workers in Ohio was the big news in the off year elections held yesterday across the country.
It was significant because the voters overturned it by a 62% to 38% margin of victory; a landslide.
Well so much for the Republican tide that swept into the state houses of numerous states including Ohio. That tide was just a repudiation of inept Democrats in 2010 rather than anything Republicans were advocating.
The whole issue of limiting collective bargaining for public unions was most pronounced in Wisconsin last winter when a newly elected reactionary Governor Scott Walker believed his victory in November, 2010 was a mandate to go after his states public employee unions. His actions caused a groundswell of protests by thousands in Madison, the capitol, and brought other protests in solidarity across the country, including people in Ohio. Though Walker eventually succeeded in rolling back collective bargaining in Wisconsin, a recall effort is underway that could see him ousted next year.
Meanwhile in Ohio, Governor John Kasich, along with a compliant state legislature, pushed through his own version of limiting collective bargaining in his state, which was repealed in yesterday's vote.
Now limiting collective bargaining is also one of the issues that's been raised in the occupy movements across the country. Coincidentally, most unions, public and private have recently begun casting their lot with the occupy movement, realizing they too are part of the 99% that the occupiers represent.
Yesterday's vote to repeal limits to collective bargaining law in Ohio may have been limited to the voters in that state, but it wouldn't be a stretch to conclude a majority of people in other states agree with the Ohio voters.
What is unknown at this time is whether the general population in the U.S. makes the connection that limiting collective bargaining is synonymous with and interconnected to the larger class war depicted and represented by the occupy movement that has the 99% opposed to the 1%. If not, that's the leap of consciousness that needs to occur in the general population.
Needless to say it's the 1% and their propagandized adherents on the far right which opposes collective bargaining, is also opposed to tax hikes for the rich, oppose a single payer, Medicare type health care system (which the majority of people in polls say they want) and want to retain the privatized health care system, want the deregulation of the financial industry so they can continue selling suspect derivatives and other financial instruments that require a public bailout when these toxic instruments become worthless (as happened in 2008) and which is interconnected with a bloated defense industry, endless unnecessary wars, the war on terror"on and on.
It's all intertwined and interconnected. Those in the occupy movement see it and why they're out there in the streets. Again, it's the broader population that needs to make that leap. The question is, will they?