Sunday, March 6, 2011

Change in Wisconsin

The latest Rasmussen poll seems to indicate the voters in Wisconsin now disapprove of Governor Scott Walker by a 57% to 43% margin. Walker was elected with 52% of the vote last year.

This is an indicator of two things. First of all, traditional Democratic voters -- young people, blacks, and even progressives -- sat on their hands instead of pulling the voting lever last election. In spite of their repeated claims, Republicans have absolutely no mandate to make radical cuts in government priorities. Neither do they have majority support to dismantle the Healthcare bill. (Somewhat less than half of voters support the bill as is, but of the remaining half, about half think it doesn't go far enough.)

Secondly, Walker never made it clear when campaigning how radical his "solution" to Wisconsin's fiscal problems would be. Although exact memories are short, most people are not inclined to demonize the labor movement, especially after they realize that unionized labor includes the folks who teach their kids, patrol their streets, and put out their fires. It is understandable -- sort of -- that people who are worried about their jobs and their families' financial security might, at first, be resentful of unionized workers who, by dint of their unions, are treated with more respect. Perhaps we are seeing these people take a second look at their resentment.

People also realizing that Walker's tax cuts -- especially the provision that makes upping the property tax impossible -- will wreak havoc with education. This direct attack on schools is such an egregious over-reach that it may well make a recall against Walker and several Republican legislators a real possibility next year. (Yikes, shades of Gray Davis!) I sure hope so.

Since the right long ago declared war on the middle class, it is about time that we are seeing a bit of "class warfare" start up on our side. Too bad Obama is still making nice to the PTR (Party for The Rich, formerly GOP).

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