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March 07, 2011

Are The Wisconsin Fleabaggers Getting Ready To Return? UPDATE: Split In The Fleabagger Ranks?

Maybe.

Playing a game of political chicken, Democratic senators who fled Wisconsin to stymie restrictions on public-employee unions said Sunday they planned to come back from exile soon, betting that even though their return will allow the bill to pass, the curbs are so unpopular they'll taint the state's Republican governor and legislators.

...Sen. Mark Miller said he and his fellow Democrats intend to let the full Senate vote on Gov. Scott Walker's "budget-repair" bill, which includes the proposed limits on public unions' collective-bargaining rights. The bill, which had been blocked because the missing Democrats were needed for the Senate to have enough members present to vote on it, is expected to pass the Republican-controlled chamber.

He said he thinks recent polls showing voter discontent with Mr. Walker over limits on bargaining rights have been "disastrous" for the governor and Republicans and give Democrats more leverage to seek changes in a broader two-year budget bill Mr. Walker proposed Tuesday.

I know a lot of people are worried about the polls showing Walker's plan is unpopular in Wisconsin but I'm not one of them. Of course this is going to be unpopular. People like all sorts of things in theory ("Cut spending!") that they aren't thrilled with in reality ("What do you mean you're going to cut spending I like?"). Would it be nice if people instinctively got the connection between the corrupt nature of public sector unions and the destruction of the public fisc? Sure but they don't, at least in Wisconsin.

We need leaders like Governor Walker who are doing hard and unpopular things. Hopefully once the budget repair bill is passed and the people of Wisconsin see that they are saving money, still getting the services they want and that public sector workers haven't been sold into some 21st Century form of slavery they will come around. If they don't, well, it's a democracy. The people of Wisconsin have the right to be stupid and vote accordingly. They just better not come complaining to the rest of us when they need to be bailed out.

Update: Maybe not? According to TPM another Democratic State Senator says, nope.

Sen. Miller's comments are taken out of context in the Wall Street Journal article just released. Dems will return when collective bargaining is off the table. That could be soon based on the growing public opposition to the bill and the recall efforts against Republicans. Unfortunately, the WSJ fished for the quote they wanted, skipping this key step in logic: we won't come back until worker's rights are preserved.

Gee, sounds like dissension in the ranks. Remember last week all the stories about how some GOP Senators might break ranks and scuttle their party's efforts? Will we see the same sort of stories about the Democrats who can't seem to keep their stories straight? I kind of doubt it.


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posted by DrewM. at 09:17 AM

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