March 10, 2011

"Did Walker Win?"

Asks Mickey Kaus.


wadeaminute said...

It may be a victory for Wisconsin, but it is also visible to the rest of the country. It shows the behavior of both sides, not to mention the Socialist Worker Bullhorn photos as well.

kent said...

"Did Walker Win?"

Unimportant. Democracy won.

Canuck said...

Did Walker Win?

1) Walker most definitely has propelled himself to national attention. He could run for national office. I doubt he could win again as gov. of Wisconsin.

2) In terms of the changes in collective bargaining? Can't tell if that's a long term gain or not. That will depend on if Democrats gain enough political power to reinstate it in Wisconsin.

3) In terms of the Republican party's general health in Wisconsin? too soon to tell.

We'll know this summer (and after the April election.)

If I had to guess, I'd say the recalls might be a historic precedent. Recalls usually fail. But the statewide energy is shocking in Wisconsin.

btw - the wisconsin story is #4 most read on bbc internet. Everybody is interested in you cheeseheads!

rasqual said...

Brilliant move. The Republicans just pulled the rug out from under the fleebaggers. Their admitted reason for absence is no more, with only the things they were willing to concede remaining on the table.

Wow. What a coup.

Cindy Martin said...

Wisconsin won.
Ohio won.
Idaho won.
The people calling for fiscal sanity won big tonight but the fight is long from over.

jaed said...

We'll find out whether he won when Walker's up for re-election.

(WV: entier: a non-R rentier.)

Seven Machos said...

Kaus is totally brilliant as usual.

Revenant said...

Yeah, Wisconsin won. For now.

Not sure what Walker's future will be.

foxtrot said...

As far as Walker's future, who knows? One thing is for sure, he showed more balls is 3 weeks that Doyle did in 8 years.

The liberals have had stuff like this coming since putting Obama into office. They got a taste of their own medicine. Obama tried to ram through Obamacare, and Doyle tried to ram through his own projects and agendas.

edutcher said...

To answer the question, way too soon to tell, although I note Kaus' first point is how the Demos were hoist on their own petard (doubly so).

The real winner, if this allows WI to straighten out its finances, is WI and the country at large, since there is next to no leadership at the Federal level and the states are becoming the place where the action is.

Quaestor said...

Hoist with not on

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Kaus must drive himself crazy, he always talks the "sane democrat" talk but in the end he always walks the "liberal walk".

cokaygne said...

Don't know enough about WI to say. Nationally, the Dem base will be fired up about this. Some of the "bitter clingers" who may be inclined to vote against O in 2012 might stay home or might vote to save their union.

Agree with the comment by foxtrot about Walker's balls. Right or wrong, that is the one thing O lacks. Having the guts to stand up against either a foreign threat or a domestic special interest that has gone too far works out well. Thatcher did it with the mine workers union and the Argentine military. Reagan did it with the air traffic controllers and tiny Grenada.

WI is kind of like France, is it not? You have a capital city full of radicals ready to take to the streets and a more conservative countryside.

LawGirl said...

Too soon to tell on the question. I think that, once tempers cool and people see that the sky hasn't fallen (especially if the situation of public employees improves, as in Indiana), it may have been a coup for the Republicans. But, that we will only know in hindsight. I think the move was smart in any event because it got the Fleebag Fourteen's attention anyway.

Oh, but, re: rasqual said...
Brilliant move. The Republicans just pulled the rug out from under the fleebaggers. Their admitted reason for absence is no more, with only the things they were willing to concede remaining on the table.

Actually, my understanding is that those were included in the bill that passed the Senate last night. The ONLY things that were removed were appropriations.

Class factotum said...

the Demos were hoist on their own petard

And then we move to Meade's observation about the farts.

Marshal said...

"NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Kaus must drive himself crazy, he always talks the "sane democrat" talk but in the end he always walks the "liberal walk"."

Kaus doesn't drive himself crazy at all. He's a traditional Democrat. He's an outlier in the public face of the current Democratic Party because (1) he's honest and will admit the costs of policies which benefit some Democrats, and (2) his priority is the country rather than the party or its constituents. Most Democrats make excuses for even the stupidest public policy if it benefits people who will in turn vote for their own pet policy. This you get yours, I get mine, and screw the average person is the heart of Democratic politics including the current Wisconsin hysteria. Kaus rejects this method.

During his run for the Senate in California he was routinely described as "conservative" or "indistinguishable from Republicans". Megan McArdle is routinely described as "on the right" even though she also is essentially a traditional liberal who is honest about the costs of government control. To make these assertions you have to believe that simply being honest is a sufficient principle to oust you from modern liberalism. If this isn't bad enough on its face, remember it the next time Democrats fear-monger that Republicans are driving the moderates from the party.

Richard Dolan said...

Kaus' argument is that Walker's reforms will make gov't more efficient, thus making it possible for the Gov't Party (the Dems, he says) to do more with the same resources. The argument hinges more on rhetoric than reality -- i.e., Reps = anti-gov't party; Dems = pro-gov't party.

His equations are a throw-back to the '30s, but the country has long since moved on from the New Deal battles of old. You find a lot of talk on the Rep side about 'small gov't' but not much substance or follow-through. The current budget debate in Congress - what one pundit calls the choice between cutting nothing or cutting next to nothing - is a prime example. There are a few Reps (Sen. Paul is an example) who are pushing for very substantial cuts, but so far, he is in a tiny minority even among Rep members of Congress.

It's true that the Reps are not the party of gov't unions, but that's far from making them the anti-gov't party Kaus imagines. As for who benefits by making gov't more efficient, it's the public. Reps as well as Dems will have ideas about how to put the efficiency gains to use. The usual Dem move is to talk about helping the kids (in reality, the money goes to the teachers and their union), or those who cannot afford life's necessities (again, the money flows to the state bureaucracies supposedly providing the help), etc. Reps usually respond by pointing out that the 'help' doesn't show up in results, leading them to push to cut taxes and return the savings to the taxpayers.

It's an old argument, but one that remains at the center of things. Wisconsin is in for some interesting times.