[Posted by Karl]
Despite an unprecedented push from Big Labor, involving tens of millions of dollars and turnout near the level of a regular election, the left failed to gain control of the Wisconsin senate in recall elections sought after Republicans passed budgetary and collective bargaining reforms in the state. From Allahpundit’s usual yeoman aggregation, note the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel held an editorial until late yesterday (presumably today in print) stating:
So it turns out that the sky isn’t going to fall on all local governments in Wisconsin. The numbers now starting to come in show that Gov. Scott Walker’s “tools” for local governments apparently will help at least some of them deal with cuts in state aid imposed by the state budget.
That’s contrary to the expectation and the rhetoric of critics in the spring, and it’s to Walker’s credit. It bears out the governor’s assessment of his budget-repair bill, although we still maintain he could have reached his goals without dealing a body blow to public employee unions…
This grudging admission from the establishment media ignores that the union reforms broke up the cozy dominance of the WEA Trust as health insurer for public school teachers (and forced the trust to offer competitive rates in other districts), creating savings all across the state. The MJS knows how uncompetitive these rates were, too.
As Walter Russell Mead notes, Wisconsin is simply a preview of the future elsewhere:
The tide is running hard against the public sector unions. Wisconsin has been a big, Battle of Gettysburg style defeat, but the unions are suffering almost as much at the hands of their “friends” — Democratic politicians in blue states — as from open enemies like the Wisconsin GOP. In New York, in Chicago, even in California, Democratic politicians are playing hardball. They can’t help it. There isn’t any money.
The public sector unions aren’t fighting a party; they are fighting arithmetic. Sooner or later, numbers win.
Eventually, even the establishment media may figure this out.