If you’ve been following along in my last post, you know the news: the Wisconsin State Senate rushed through and passed a bill that strips collective bargaining rights from most public employees. The vote in the State Senate, entirely composed of Republicans, was 18-1; only moderate Dale Schultz voted no. The budget repair bill was split at the last minute, cleaving the “non-fiscal” anti-union piece from the fiscal components of the bill. The non-fiscal piece did not require a quorum, so the Senate was able to pass it.
So what happens now? There are a host of potential implications…
Those implications include legal challenges, a battle for control of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court (which, bizarrely, is elected), a possible general strike, recalls of the 8 Republicans eligible and also possibly of Gov. Scott Walker in 2012, and hopefully a massive energizing of Democrats and progressives in Wisconsin and around the country to start – finally! – fighting back against the teahadists, Koch-funded flunkies, etc. To quote David Dayen of Firedoglake, “This is the beginning, not the end of this fight.” At least, let’s hope that’s the case, because for the moment, working people and Democrats appear to have suffered a significant short-term setback in Wisconsin.
P.S. So much for Gov. Walker’s argument that this was all about the Wisconsin budget, as the bill passed tonight stripped out all “fiscal” components in order to pull off this trick play.
P.P.S. Also, for anyone clueless enough to believe that not showing up to vote is without consequences, or that elections don’t matter, or that “all politicians are the same so why bother,” I refer you to the situations both in Wisconsin and in Congress right now. Case closed.