Before anyone gets out the balloons and starts celebrating the Harris vs. Quinn decision too much, step back, sober up, and reflect on the scope of what happened, and where it puts us in this war. To use a WWII analogy, we just won the Battle of Britain. The Luftwaffe no longer dominates the skies over London. That’s significant. This is, perhaps, as Churchill once said, “the end of the beginning.” But from Al Alamein to Stalingrad to the Beaches of Normandy, our ultimate destiny still hangs in the balance.

To carry this metaphor further, California today might be compared to Nazi occupied Europe in 1941, where the possibility of liberation was years in the future, if ever. While across America the forces of freedom celebrate what is indeed a strategic victory, in California, an occupying army continues to build their own 21st century version of Fortress Europa.

To appreciate the undiminished political supremacy public employee unions still have in Sacramento, the State Senate Public Employment and Retirement Committee hearing on June 23 provides a good example. From an anonymous source, we have learned that in this hearing, opponents of seven labor-sponsored bills never had a chance of stopping even one of them. The recent addition of two new pro-union Committee members (President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and incoming pro Tem Kevin De Leon) all but guaranteed the outcome in advance. These bills advance public employee union goals at the significant expense of local governments, their budgets and taxpayers statewide. Examples:

Comparing any political movement we don’t like to the bad guys in WWII is a cheap trick. Sorry. But the reality of unions infiltrating government and enabling its drift towards authoritarianism is not a frivolous comparison. Public sector unions run California. They control the outcome of all significant legislation. Their agenda is inherently oriented towards bigger, more expensive, more expansive government, with the interests of government workers inevitably prioritized over the interests of private citizens.

Moreover, government unions are the enablers of cronyism and corporatism. Nearly all of California’s major corporate interests cooperate as junior partners with these unions. And through their pension funds and through their insatiable need to spend beyond their means, California’s government unions partner with powerful and very opportunistic financial interests.

Most tragically, government unions create a privileged class of government workers, granting them levels of compensation and job security that are far beyond our capacity to provide all citizens, and far beyond the ability of taxpayers to subsidize. Within our ranks of public servants, these unions corrupt and embitter the impressionable with poisonous adversarial rhetoric, while protecting the inept and alienating the finest.

Government unions cannot be “bargained” with. Unlike private sector unions, there is no legitimate argument whatsoever for the existence of government unions. At the state and local level, especially in California, they are the primary force behind the erosion of our freedoms and the ebb of our prosperity. They must be eliminated.

Harris vs. Quinn has slowed the advance of government unions. Nothing more. Put away the balloons. Hunker down. There’s going to be a lot more blood, toil, tears and sweat before this is over.

Ed Ring is the executive director of the California Policy Center