Reading through this morning’s Wisconsin stories in the WSJ and the Times, both of which discuss a possible return by Democrats (though the WSJ story is being walked back), I’m left wondering how Wisconsin public unions, and Democrats, lose in the long run.
If Walker caves on the collective bargaining requirement, it’s a clear win for the unions. Since his singular virtue seems to be a Bush-like stubborn consistency in the face of overwhelming public disregard, I doubt that’s going to happen.
If the Democrats return and Republicans pass the collective bargaining ban, union members and Democrats are united and energized to reach an achievable goal of flipping the Assembly and Senate in 2012, and making Walker a one-term governor, if not the subject of a recall.
Both of these outcomes leave Democrats and unions in a far better position than they were on January 1.
I’m not saying that losing is actually winning when viewed through the prism of eleven dimensional strategy. It just seems pretty obvious that any outcome where the base is highly energized, and independent voters identify strongly with the Democrats’ positions, is a very encouraging outcome in a state that routinely elects Democrats.