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And so it appears that Wisconsin Democrats find themselves in Atari.  This should not be surprising.  Either to they themselves, state democrats as a group or the nation as a whole.

By fleeing the state and preventing a quorum, the Wisconsin 14 knew, they had to KNOW, that they were setting themselves up for failure.  True, they WERE able to block the vote.  But only because it contained fiscal portions.  It isn’t rocket surgery to know all you have to do it strip out that aspect of the bill and pass it without the required 20.

There will be yelling and much nashing of teeth.  But make no mistake about it, the Wisconsin 14 brought this on themselves.

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16 comments
  1. I could not have said it better myself.

    Retreat is tantamount to surrender.

    It looks like the Wisconsin Dems learned this lesson the hard way.

    • pino said:

      Retreat is tantamount to surrender.

      My favorite are the claims that Democracy is dead.

      As if…

  2. A strike against the unions and Gitmo’s now holding trials again. Things that make you go hmmmm…..

  3. Henry said:

    Just one question… What took the Republican senators so long to figure out that slick move? The fact that it took them over two weeks to think of it shows me that they are not any smarter than the Democratic senators that were being weasels by leaving town. Fortunately for the Republicans, in politics, it is not important to be great, just be LESS stupid than the opponent.

    • pino said:

      What took the Republican senators so long to figure out that slick move? The fact that it took them over two weeks to think of it shows me that they are not any smarter than the Democratic senators that were being weasels by leaving town.

      Excellent point.

      I think they played the cards wrong. They must have known that they could do this. As such, they should have changed the wording of the bill and given the democrats time to get back. At that point, they would have had to and the vote would then have included all the senators. Now it has the appearance, if only slightly, of republicans “ramming” it through.

      Interesting side note….does this change how we feel about the filibuster in the Federal Senate? If the same rules applied in Wisconsin, no way the bill hits the floor.

  4. Are you kidding? The Democrats think they won a victory. They knew they wouldn’t stop the law from being passed. But they wanted to use the fight to energize the base, make the Republicans less popular, and set themselves up for the next election cycle. They of course knew the GOP could separate the collective bargaining bit out — they in fact tactically wanted to force them to do that to show that it was unnecessary for the budget portion of the bill. The GOP did not want to separate the bill, but when it became clear that they were losing the rhetorical war (especially in Wisconsin, where Gov. Walker’s numbers are way down, but also nation wide), with quotes that the law was really about defeating Obama, they knew they had to end the stand off.

    We’ll see if the Democrats confidence that they are winning the larger war is accurate (the law can easily be changed back next time the Democrats have majorities in Wisconsin), but it they played this well, they energized their base, increased fund raising, and made it unlikely that the base (those who are angry about Obama for governing more as centrist — such as with Gitmo) will abandon the President in 2012.

  5. Henry said:

    Scott wrote: The Democrats think they won a victory.

    Thinking it, does not make it so. I doubt there will be any long term momentum here for the Democrats to capture. If this had happened ten or twenty years ago, I would have agreed with you. In the past the voters would have considered the governor crazy, but things have changed. The public is now so focused upon finding a scapegoat for their troubles, that they are willing to back even the wildest of political moves. This actually looks like an act of leadership to the public. If the Republicans are able to hold the financial issues together in the state, they will be able to blame ALL previous money problems on those over-paid and under achieving public works, and the public will believe the story. As I public worker myself, I understand both sides of the issue. Public workers do have good pay, great benefits and exceptional job security, but I also know that public workers are not the sole cause of this countries economic melt-down. We are a part of the problem, but just a part.

  6. pino said:

    The Democrats think they won a victory. They knew they wouldn’t stop the law from being passed. But they wanted to use the fight to energize the base, make the Republicans less popular, and set themselves up for the next election cycle.

    I think you’re right in this Scott. The Democrats had to know the day would come when the bill would be separated. And to the extent they wanted to draw national attention; they did a remarkable job.

    We’ll see if the Democrats confidence that they are winning the larger war is accurate

    I agree. Walker was wise in getting this over. He, personally, has 4 years for the folks to forget. The others, just under 2.

    Further, the base that was ignited was a base that was already organized and mobilized. Whereas the Tea Party took previously inactive folks and charged them into action, all this did was take a bunch of kids and existing union members and fired them up. Kids’ll move on and the unions would have organized for the Dems anyway; it’s what unions do after all-campaign for their political arm.

    the law can easily be changed back next time the Democrats have majorities in Wisconsin

    They would have to have the Senate, the Assembly and the Mansion. Even then it would be a tough sell. The money saved will be remarkable.

    made it unlikely that the base (those who are angry about Obama for governing more as centrist — such as with Gitmo) will abandon the President in 2012.

    We’ll see. As the Federal budget battle wages on, gas climbs and Libya falters, Wisconsin will fade rather quickly. With that said, Republicans are passing pro-worker legislation all over the place; Ohio, Idaho, Illinois and Wisconsin.

    Public workers do have good pay, great benefits and exceptional job security, but I also know that public workers are not the sole cause of this countries economic melt-down. We are a part of the problem, but just a part.

    I agree Henry. And well said. Entering public sector, the individual virtually gives up hope of the “corner office”. On the other hand, the benefits are exceptional.

  7. Alan Scott said:

    I know it is cold here in Pennsylvania. I figure it has to be cold in Wisconsin . I have to believe it will be hard to keep college students and out of state carpet baggers at a white hot pitch in Wisconsin . The world is already moving on and I have my doubts that a home state union movement can sustain this effort much longer . Union energy and money is being drained off at a large rate . Democrats will need that energy and money in 2012 . Right now they also need it in Ohio and other states .

    Democrats believe that rather than drain energy and money, these events in Wisconsin are building righteous fury in their base . I believe they are spread too thin . We will see .

    • pino said:

      Democrats believe that rather than drain energy and money, these events in Wisconsin are building righteous fury in their base .

      I thin it’s building fury in their union base, fer ser. However, that base isn’t the one they need to energize. THAT base is already energized. What they need is the gay corporate guy, they need the Catholic health care worker, they need the environmentalist…..And THEM folks couldn’t care less about the Unionista.

  8. Alan Scott said:

    pino ,

    The gay corporate guy ? At any rate Wisconsin is lost to them right now and they have to marshal their forces in the other states where Republican governors are attacking their money machines .

    One has to wonder just how much loot Obama Inc. can raise in 2012 since he royally screwed all the corporations that sent him protection money in 2008 .

    • Obama’s fundraising is already off to a big start. Ironically, the left is upset about how friendly he’s been to corporate America. Obama will be very tough for the GOP to beat in 2012, and the electorate will be different than in 2010. But that’s the norm in American politics — no party ever has the permanent upper hand, and that’s a good thing.

    • pino said:

      The gay corporate guy ?

      Republicans have long been hard on the homosexual community. As such, I think that demographic votes Democrat. However, I think Obama has been neglecting large swaths of his base. Of all of ’em, the unions are the easiest to motivate. They have built in members, built in organization and built in campaign contributions [mandatory union dues].

      He has lost, and continues to lose, the OTHER folks. The folks who aren’t so much Democrats as they REALLY aren’t republicans.

  9. I think in Wisconsin this will remain a plus for the Democrats in the next election cycle and maybe even the recall elections. Whether or not this translates to the entire country is the bigger question. This is for the Democratic base the equivalent of health care reform for the GOP, and the protests in Madison a mirror of the tea party movement. But health care reform was national, and this is in Wisconsin and a few other states. If the GOP can keep the impact regional, they won’t be hurt as much. Still, from the White House’s perspective the politics of this (if not the policy) is good for Obama’s 2012 chances.

    CNN Money also had an interesting take: http://money.cnn.com/2011/03/11/news/economy/wisconsin_unions_collective_bargaining/index.htm

    They claim Walker is the union’s “man of the year” for generating energy and support for unions.

    • pino said:

      the protests in Madison a mirror of the tea party movement.

      I agree with virtually everything you say. Except for the tea party comparison.

      Obama and the democrats have always been able to count on the union to come out. To picket, to man phone banks, to go door to door and to solicit. They are a strong built in campaign mechanism. But the truth is, had Wisconsin never happened, those protesting union folks would be out supporting Obama in 2012 anyway.

      The Tea Party is different. Protesting and organizing is different for these folks. They are more comfortable taking their Tea with sugar 😉 These are folks who DON’T normally become energized. While I don’t claim to affiliate with a Tea Party, I resonate with ’em. And I’m a perfect example of the phenomenon. Before Obama and health care, I could care less about politics. When Bush ran vs. Kerry, I had zero insight into the policies and issues of the day.

      Obama came and I’m plugged into the news machine ALL the time. I talk about it with friends, I strike up debates at the bar. I get opinions at the dance studio waiting for my daughter. And I write. I push family and friends on Facebook.

      It’s folks like me, otherwise inactive, that makes the Tea Party vastly different than an already motivated union.

  10. But it’s not the unions energized, but groups like teachers and fire fighters. Fire fighters are starting a national fund raising campaign to counter these kind of actions. It used to be just the unions who were politicized, this has politicized the members of the unions — people usually not too involved. The crowds are huge, and the fund raising potential even greater. We’ll see if it has staying power, but this has the potential to awake a lot of “asleep” Democrats who have been rather apathetic. I think that’s also what the tea party did for the GOP. Ultimately, it may be good — an engaged public is better than an apathetic one, though if they just fight rather than figure out how to compromise and understand each other it may not help.

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