March 16, 2011 - 7:30pm
BY WILL BUTLER
There is no denying that Governor Scott Walker won a very decisive battle in Wisconsin. Despite weeks of protest, chants of “shame, shame, shame” and the 14 Democrats who fled the state in order to try and prevent the bill from passing, Walker accomplished his goal of both limiting the power of unions and striking at a central coalition of the Democratic Party. At the moment, Walker is a conservative hero and is setting an upsetting precedent for union busting with other Republican Governors, like our very own Rick Snyder. But the real question is at what cost did Walker take his victory?
While Walker seems to be the victor for now, it is more likely that his zeal for going after unions and working class people is going to backfire. As Scott Walker signed the bill into law, he was also signing his political death certificate. The collective bargaining issue will continue to haunt him and will certainly be the sole determinant for voters in his re-election campaign. And with the latest Bloomberg National Poll showing that 64 percent of respondents agree that public employees should be able to collectively bargain and Wisconsin Democratic senators being welcomed back with cheers and support, it seems that Scott Walker’s political future is written on the wall.
The labor battle in Wisconsin has national consequences as well, none of them very good for Republicans. The bill has mobilized union and progressive groups and has given the Democratic Party an ability to harness voter anger and backlash against union busting. While the midterm elections were marked by a lack of energy from the Democratic base, Walker might have just given the Left a reason to rally for the next election. I hope Governor Walker knows the meaning of karma.