With the passage of the budget repair bill including related collective bargaining limitations applicable to public employees, Governor Walker and the supporting band of Republican legislators stuck together and won the battle of Wisconsin.
This is the signal fact of the almost unbelievable scene that has played itself out in Wisconsin over the past month. In the zero sum world of political advantage, Walker won and the Democrats lost, at least for the moment. After the ordeal, defeat would have been ignominious.
And the Democrats didn’t just lose, they disgraced themselves. Having lost the 2010 elections in a big way, they chose not to stand and fight. They fled the state like bank robbers on the lam. From a local perspective, I am thankful that the fleebag Democratic senators made the run to Illinois rather than to Minnesota. The aroma of that state’s Democratic machine should stick to them for a while.
The Democrats also exposed themselves as union tools, while the unions exposed themselves as lawless thugs. They sought mob rule in Madison. Their efforts culminated in the invasion of the Capitol Building with the assistance of Democratic staffers. It was a team effort, recounted at Badger 14 based on the incredibly dogged work of Ann Althouse and husband Meade. Which side are you on, indeed.
After toting up the substantive merits of Walker’s win, the Wall Street Journal makes a reasonable assessment of the political prospect:
The real game for unions and Democrats is 2012. After their rout in 2010, they are pursuing what we’d call the Mayhem Strategy to mobilize their base and sour independents on the GOP. Cry havoc and create enough tumult, and many voters may sue for labor peace. This is exactly the strategy that government unions have used to block any welfare-state reforms in Europe. The public is held hostage to government workers who shut down services to stop even modest changes in their workload or benefits.
The Journal editorial concludes that Walker and his allies “have won a rare victory for taxpayers, one which should be a lesson for other states and Governors.” They have shown what it takes and set a good example for the rest of us.
Let me conclude with a local footnote. From the Twin Cities, we can reach the Wisconsin border in about 20 minutes. The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s coverage of the events in Wisconsin has been pitiful. Today’s story is buried in the Local + Metro news section of the Star Tribune’s online home page and confined to what one (actually two) can pick up from a drive to Hudson, River Falls and New Richmond. When it comes to this particular news from Wisconsin. the powers-that-be at the Star Tribune would really prefer that we not get it.