For over a year, the Left in Wisconsin and the unions that they worship have insisted that Republican Governor Scott Walker’s austerity measures were not supported by the people. He was the target of the usual Democratic posters–donning a Hitler mustache, calling him a “bully,” and using sexual references–and yet the people proved them wrong. Very wrong. Very, very wrong.
Walker won last night by a margin of 53% to 46%, and his Lt. Governor, Rebecca Kleefish, fared equally well. As of early Wednesday morning, three of the four state senate races had been called for Republicans, with one remaining race too close to call. If the Democrats manage to take that seat, it would flip the state senate back to them (a purely phyrric victory, as the state senate has already dismissed for the year and will not meet again until after the regular November elections).
Suddenly, within the last few days as polling continued to show Walker with the lead, the story that was all the rage among the mainstream media last year seemed to evaporate. President Obama, already in a weak political position, could not afford to campaign with a lost cause. He flew over Wisconsin, but never stopped in, waiting until the last minute to send a tweet supporting Walker’s opponent. Not exactly a wild commendation.
The real story is not the parties–it’s the process. The unions and the Democrats, always willing to use any trick in the book, thought they could simply steamroll the voters’ will from the 2010 election that put Governor Walker into power. They resorted to their usual slimy tactics, including sending intimidating letters telling voters they would alert their neighbors to how they vote (so much for that “privacy” thing, huh Democrats?).
Walker’s reforms have worked in a stunningly short period of time. When he took office only a year-and-a-half ago, unemployment in Wisconsin stood at 7.7%. Today it stands at 6.7%. The budget deficit was $3.6 billion in the hole; it is now projected to be a surplus of over $100 million. Most damning of all, when given the choice to opt out of a union, thousands of workers in the public sector did so. The unions’ influence is clearly waning.
Voters in Wisconsin saw that common sense reforms work, and they work without anyone getting hurt. Even after the Walker reforms, government workers in Wisconsin still earn an average of $81,000/year–that’s roughly $14,000 more than the average person in the private sector. So don’t fall for the tears being displayed by the radical Left in the aftermath of a historic election. Like anything the Democratic Left does, it’s all for show and effect. It’s not genuine, just as this recall effort was not genuine. It was never intended to better the state of Wisconsin; it was intended to ensure continued zombie-like union support of the Democratic party.
America now has the chance to avert the sad road that so many other nations, such as Greece, have recently taken. It’s not too late for us to change lanes. And that doesn’t end with Wisconsin. It continues with the removal of President Obama from the White House in November. It continues with the removal of any liberal of either party from Congress in November. It will only end when America is on sound fiscal, moral, and civil turf.
It is too early to tell if the victory in Wisconsin is a bellwether for November. Five months in politics is still an eternity. But with worsening job numbers, continued high energy prices, and the feeling of malaise stirring in the country, Mr. Obama’s days are likely numbered. To fully take advantage of yesterday’s outcome in November, Republicans must continue to show the nation the improving situation in Wisconsin and compare that to the situation President Obama has gotten us into.
The austerity fever that has finally caught Americans also spread last night to the ultra-liberal state of California, where two cities–San Diego and San Jose–voted to reform the pensions of government workers. Americans may finally be waking up to the fact that big government, tax-and-spend policies do not work.
The Democrats and unions thought they could make an example of Scott Walker. Instead, Scott Walker make an example of them. That is, we taxpayers are not afraid of you. And we will not stand by and allow you to further drive our country and our economy into the ditch.