Monday, March 7, 2011

#WIunion No Surrender

WSJ apparently stands for 'wishful thinking,' with this morning's banner article claiming that Wisconsin Democrats are surrendering to Governor Walker's union-busting bill. The Wall Street Journal seems to be caught in a Rupert Murdoch fantasy world where the rich always win against workers. At the beginning of the Wisconsin standoff, it looked to national pundits as though Republicans had a high-profile winning issue. After weeks of polling showing consistent support for public employee bargaining rights (at about 60% versus 30% against), the right-wing media outlets are attempting to bury the story. Democrats are highlighting Republicans' hostility towards workers with a series of U.S. House hearings. The union-bashing has tepid support from national Republicans, and Democrats are hoping to force a more public stand:
Other congressional leaders haven't been reluctant to weigh in. On the Republican side, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other GOP leaders have weighed in on behalf of Walker, whose proposal would eliminate most collective bargaining rights for public employees and force increased contributions by workers to pension and benefit programs.
Republicans have dramatically sloughed off all pretense of a mandate. The public has weighed the Republican agenda and found it wanting.

More heartening in the long run is the fact that Congressional Democrats are picking this fight. Nancy Pelosi proved her effectiveness as a minority leader against Bush in the 2005-2007 cycle, and now her team is picking the right fights with a much less disciplined opponent. If House Democrats can continue to gain the offensive against the GOP's less least popular ideas, we could see a return of Speaker Pelosi in 2014, if not necessarily Democratic control of the Senate. A Democratic House and a Republican controlled Senate would hardly be different from the first two years of the Obama presidency.

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