Thursday, March 10, 2011

Will Wisconsin Move from Magenta to Mauve (or even Eggplant)?

MADISON, WI — After a month of raucous protesters, relatively negative press, falling approval ratings, and state police manhunts, the rock-ribbed Republicans of Wisconsin finally outsmarted their arch-rivals, that merry band of AWOL Democrats, who holed up at cheap motels in Illinois rather than showing up to vote on the Governor Walker's dismemberment of The Badger State's public employee unions and their collective bargaining rights.

We're circumspect on this matter. In fact, the Tea Party Republicans might have bitten off one too many scones with this particular parliamentary maneuver. Yes, they've got the legislation they've been craving. But, in the process, Wisconsin's Republicans just might have created a real tempest in their tea pot. With teachers, students, firefighters, construction workers, and seemingly infinite multitudes of angry workers bonding together in protest with moderate-to-liberal sympathizers in and around the state's capitol, it looks like a counterrevolution might be building.

In our eyes, Wisconsin — which had been a magenta state in 2004, turned purple in 2006, midnight blue in 2008, and then, Reagan Red in 2010 — is now poised to change its hue to mauve (or maybe, even eggplant). As Gov. Walker continues to govern as if his mandate was to roll back the clock to 1876, unions, previously disinterested Democrats, and young voters, may well succeed in their recall initiatives, but they might also provide an industrial state's firewall against what had been looking like a tough reelection for President Obama.

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