People Like Public Employees

It’s always been my understanding that public sector unions’ true source of power in political conflicts was not so much their unions as the fact that teachers, cops, firefighters, etc. are held in much higher esteem by the public than politicians or journalists. Given the GOP’s newfound enthusiasm for tackling the interests of service providers head on, I thought maybe something had changed about this dynamic, but if it has it doesn’t show up in the polling:

Americans oppose weakening the bargaining rights of public employee unions by a margin of nearly two to one: 60 percent to 33 percent. While a slim majority of Republicans favored taking away some bargaining rights, they were outnumbered by large majorities of Democrats and independents who said they opposed weakening them.

Those surveyed said they opposed, 56 percent to 37 percent, cutting the pay or benefits of public employees to reduce deficits, breaking down along similar party lines. A majority of respondents who have no union members living in their households opposed both cuts in pay or benefits and taking away the collective bargaining rights of public employees.

Smells like overreach.