So how will the Wisconsin results affect 2012?

One school of thought says that the results will embolden other states to pass similar “union busting” laws, thus crippling the unions’ ability to fund Democrats, leading to big (permanent?) Republican gains, in addition to feeling that the Republican position on this issue is one supported by the public at large.

The other school of thought says something mildly different: that this whole thing will backfire on Republicans, firing up both Democrats and independents who happen to like unions, that unions across the country will mobilize all remaining power they have to make sure that Republicans think twice before doing anything similar to Wisconsin ever again, in addition to feeling that the Democrat position on this issue is one supported by the public at large.

Who’s closer to reality, do you think?

I think NPR had a labor historian mentioning states where in the past Republicans did things like removing collective bargaining, only to have reinstated when the Democrats took power later.

The difference I seen is that in this case there was a chance to prevent that action and we got the fight we saw.

Other states that had no maneuvers or enough votes like in Wisconsin, did go ahead with the moves with not much troubles.

I do think that it will backfire as the Republicans had mixed support when going after the good benefits many public workers had, but that support evaporated when Republicans made an issue of collective bargaining, and offered no compromises on it.

The run around that the Republicans did in the end betrayed any pretensions that this was just a budget issue and the Republicans insisting still that it was not politically motivated is not sitting well even with independents.


It’s going to backfire on the republicans, I don’t have time to really jump into it but when Hannity and Rush are frothing at the mouth that this is a Giant Win for the conservative establishment and Palin is up there talking about a new dawn…the Republican Old Guard is shuttering at the idea of a Tea Party candidate in 2012…the backfire is approaching.

Obama 2012-2016 is almost a certainty.

By all the gods, I hope so. But we have to be more careful than ever. Now that their real agenda is formally out of the bag, they’re really going to have to fight. And the more desperate they become the dirtier they’ll fight.

The next step is for them to ratchet up public opinion against us. Us union thugs are apparently sending death threats now (not many tea-stains on that letter, eh?). Next will almost certainly be an attempt to inject violence around the Capitol. Walker dismissed it before, but that was because he thought he might be forced to compromise on the bill. Now that it’s been passed… they hope to get some footage sans palm trees.

We have to stop being surprised at how low they’ll sink.

I think there is serious potential for major backlash against the GoP for this one. Unions are going to come out swinging in any election they can now, with excellent reasons to really motivate their members.

Honestly, it’s a year and a half away. That’s a LOOOOOOOOOOONG time for the attention span of the American voter and by then, tons of other issues will pop up to distract them. As interesting as the Wisconsin events were, they will only effect the Wisconsin voter, if that.

I just don’t have the faith in the American voters to hold out much hope for a backlash. The Republicans will make massive ad buys blaming everything since and including the Lindbergh kidnapping on the Democrats, and recent history shows that people will buy it.

People may be annoyed right now, but there are two seasons of American Idol between now and 2012. People have to prioritize, you know. There are more important things than the survival of the middle class.

I see union people already organizing. the Dems usually just work together close to an election . But this Wisconsin thing may have got them off their couches and on their way to working for the Dems. Workers are scared and angry .Fear and anger are good motivators.

Doesn’t matter. Unions are a tiny subculture & an effective majority of Americans hate them. Scott Walker will be acclaimed as a hero, the “smart” Beltway Dems will try to distance themselves from public employee unions, the Democratic Party will fall apart, and the day is foreseeable when craft unionism will fail in this country. In its failure to agitate for the interests of the majority of laborers, the USA labor movement reveals itself to have been mortally flawed all along. Maybe in 60 years things will be dire enough some Levelers or Communists will gain traction, but I expect Yanks to follow sooner Luddites or Apocalypse cultists.


This might be even more on point:

Not sure how 45-positive 41-negative constitutes an effective majority hating with italics and everything unions.

Stupid people who do not know the history of unions and what they won for American workers, hate them. People who don’t know what it was like before unions were able to win more money and benefits for the workers, will end up back in the 1920s. But this time, when the unions try to restart, they will be dealt with even more ruthlessly. Once unions are killed ,do you imagine corporations will just continue with vacations, worker safety rules, sick days, health insurance and the other benefits the union organizers fought and died for?

I wonder how it breaks down geographically. Unions, I’m guessing, are least popular in the South, where Obama isn’t going to win anyways. States like Michigan and Ohio are states he definitely needs, though. If it’s 45–41 nationwide, I’d imagine it’s at least ten points more pro-union in the Rust Belt. And those numbers appear to be from before the current controversy started. I think it may turn out that union-busting is a good bit more unpopular than the unions themselves. Which could help the Democrats in a number of swing states.

I too think this will hurt the GOP in the North big time. It is true that most of the US will forget, but not the people whose live in the places where people are directly affected by this. The average working class GOP voter in a northern state might vote for them because of guns and reactionary social policies, but those can only go so far.

Note that I don’t think this. I’m not really pro- or anti-union. Plus it cannot hurt and might help the GOP in the south where everyone hates the unions. But like others have said the Democratic party can’t win there, anyway.

If the GOp starts to back away from these actions they might be forgotten in a year and a half. But not if the economy doesn’t get better and they keep these shenanagans up.

Lots of mistrust of unions in the South, but most folks, especially most families with kids, have good relationships with their teachers. I wonder whether, if it gets successfully spun as an attack on public schoolteachers, it’ll hurt the GOP even in the South.

It’s pretty great seeing Jon Stewart’s got my back.

It may not be that long.

Quite a few of us Minnesota people spent time today just across the border in Hudson, WI, working on a recall petition for the Republican Senator from that area. If we get that, she will have to face a new election much sooner than 18 months away.

Similar efforts are underway in several other districts. And it only takes 3 Democrats winning to switch the control of the Wisconsin Senate.

One of the things missing here is that half of the states (as well as federal workers) already have laws that limit or prohibit collective bargaining, lots of them more restrictive than what Walker sought. By and large, the places where republicans might “do anything similar to Wisconsin” have already done it years ago.

Wisconsin was anomalous in that it was a traditional democratic stronghold and strong union state that nonetheless had a GOP gov and majorities in both houses to make this possible.

I suspect the strongest effect it will have will be in making it easier for *democratic *governors who are pushing back on their unions: e.g. Cuomo, Brown. The unions in WI were offering a lot of concessions in order to keep bargaining rights. Lots more governors are going to be telling their unions that that seems like a good deal.

It will fire up union workers/voters, but I suspect that by November 2012 the feelings and votes of people in the other 49 states are going to be based on local conditions, not based on what happened in another state 18 months ago.

US presidential elections are pretty close votewise. Now you have a group of voters, call 'em the pro-union/anti-union busters alliance, that will be motivated to get off their ass and vote. Could easily be significant.

I’m an independant voter and not a huge fan of unions. That said, if you want to change the “deal” that public workers have, it should be via a statewide referendum or workers themselves bargaining for that change. Not because a governor is claiming a “mandate.” I’d like to see unions wither and die because union workers make a business decision that it isn’t worth their dues.

WAG, though I’d love to see a study test my hypothesis:
Sort it by state like the electoral college, then count. I expect you’ll find a majority, not a plurality, of adults in a majority, not a plurality, of states see unions as the enemy. And the numbers are most likely worse if you restrict it to working-age persons. And because most economic sectors aren’t unionized in most of the country, this is actually* rational.* Unions aren’t raising their incomes, just their costs.

Unions have fallen down on the job. They have failed the American worker, & the American worker has no faith in them. Even in states with a strong union subculture, union workers are a minority; does that sound like a pro-union country?

I believe in organized labor. It’s done more to raise general quality of life than any institution in history. And I believe it’s about to die for real in this country & possibly not come back for centuries. Because instead of being invested in the economic well-being of the general populace, the unions would rather seek favors for their own “deserving” crafts. Craft unionism lacks credibility; if you’re just out for yourself & your own kind, you’re just another selfish interest group & people can see that.

This is a realization I came to while reflecting on this situation. The unions have lost elections because people** are actually voting against them.** The unions don’t see it yet, they think it’s a mistake. It’s not. Why would the general populace be for your privilege? Because you have a master’s degree? :rolleyes:

Unions are so dead in this country. Once the path of craft union & capitalism was chosen over revolution & socialism, the furrow was prepared. When they got fat & content, & stopped trying to organize non-organized industries, the seeds of their destruction were sown. The corn has grown high, it’s going to be picked, it’s the end of collective bargaining on the cob.

From the Pew cite -

I suspect, or hope, that this will be the major fallout - the realization that the public wants the deficit to be addressed without changing anything.

Since that is not possible, we find

IOW, the Walker approach is very unpopular, and so is everything else.

I know the only answer acceptable to the lefties is “raise taxes on the rich”, but it is not practical to do that without cuts and most reasonable people see that.


This is what’s going to happen. I don’t see public union-busting as an issue that will gain any traction with independents, nor do I think it will energize Republicans. But it will definitely motivate the Democrat base (particularly those in unions, of course).

ETA: comments like “Obama 2012-2016 is almost a certainty” are verging on lunacy. A year and a half is almost an eternity in presidential politics.