The vote in Wisconsin to remove collective bargaining from public employee unions except for wages is arousing the usual partisan articles. The NY Times, in particular, make no attempt whatever to achieve balanced coverage. <snort> Business as usual there.
Democrats See Wisconsin Loss as Galvanizing
The title of the article makes the point that this is the Democrat point of view, so I guess that gives them justification for not including the other side. This particular paragraph really made me roll my eyes: "Mr. Walker has said the entire episode in Wisconsin would be forgotten by most people once the state budget was balanced and new jobs had arrived, but Ms. Greenberg said the way Republicans forced the vote would turn off independent voters."
The way the REPUBLICANS forced the vote?? Is this woman nuts? The Fleebaggers had left the state to avoid voting. How in the world does she think that looks to the independent voters? The Republicans had no choice but to vote without the Democrats because they refused to show up.
I'm not really sure how the independents in the middle (a large number of whom are in that category, I suspect, because they don't want to think about these issues) will end up feeling about unions and Democrats in the long run. But I think it would be a big mistake for the Democrats to assume that this will work out to their benefit. My personal take on the current polls which show that a lot of people disapprove of removing collective bargaining "rights" is that most people have no idea what that means. Collective bargaining... uh, that means they can complain about working conditions, right?
But my best guess of the reason for the numbers showing disapproval is that most people don't like conflict. And the semi-professional leftist activists who have been demonstrating in Madison have created this aura, this vibe of conflict. People don't like that emotion. So they'll have a tendency to disapprove of whoever they see as instigating it. For the past few weeks the "instigator" was Scott Walker and the Republicans. They started it. But now that the bill has been voted on, the "instigator" of conflict role is going to shift to the other side.
I wouldn't be at all surprised if, in the end, this works out more to the benefit of the Republicans. They may be seen as the adults in the room, with the Democrats taking on the role of teenagers stamping their feet saying "It's not fair!!"
For a much better story of what happened in negotiations between the two sides in Wisconsin:
On Wisconsin! How Republicans won the battle of Wisconsin
Reading between the lines, it looks an awfully lot to me like the Democrats went and checked with their lords and master--the union bosses and national Democrats--and scotched the possibility of an agreement each time.
Of course that doesn't mean the the "story" that people remember will be the true one. People remember the stories they find appealing...