Scott Walker, a Republican Tea Party governor, smashed the labor unions that had organized a recall election. He defeated his hapless opponent by 53% to 46%. His opponent was the same poor soul who ran against him in 2010. He beat him by more.
He also beat the New York Times, which yesterday informed its readers:
Mr. Walker has held narrow leads in most polls, but given the state’s strong political division, some aides already were pondering the possibility of a recount, which a losing candidate may request under state law. In April 2011, not long after tens of thousands of union supporters and others spent days marching in protest after Mr. Walker announced his plan to cut bargaining rights and benefits to trim a budget deficit, another election was held that demonstrated just how evenly split the state may be.
The liberal Times wanted so dearly to believe that this was a horse race, that voters were behind the unions. They weren’t.
Walker did what every Tea Party voter dreams of: he got a law through the legislature what makes collective bargaining with the state illegal. That stripped the unions of any significant power to hold the state captive.
The trade union movement is dying in the United States. Its only stronghold is in organizing government workers. Walker yanked the labor movement’s chain. The unions fought back. They lost.
They did not just lose. They got smashed.
Wisconsin is not some right-to-work Southern state. It is part of the old farm-labor alliance. It is a north central state. Wisconsin’s voters came out to vote for Walker. They came out to validate his anti-union stance.
Obama stayed out of this one. He sees what’s happening. He did not choose to get his name associated with another trip to the wood shed. That happened in 2010. Once is enough, in his book.
Not in mine.
This was a major victory. It sends a message to the rest of the country. There is a new movement in the body politic: the Tea Party. It’s not going away. It’s here to stay.
Meanwhile, in San Jose and San Diego, California voters voted by two-thirds to cut unionized city employees’ pension benefits.
In no other area of American politics have conservatives had greater political success. What was considered impossible in 1964 has taken place. Trade unions are fighting their last stand. Technology is against them. It is hard to organize office workers and service industry workers. Manufacturing is being computerized. The market for easily replaced manual laborers has been falling for 30 years. And now, at long last, voters are against them.