Lessons From Wisconsin

“Take back Wisconsin!”Wisconsin Public Unions

“Recall the crooks!”

“End the Tea Party Movement!” 

Over the past several weeks, these cries have been heard across the left side of the political spectrum when speaking about  the recall of six Republican Senators in the Wisconsin state legislature. The recalls occured in response to Gov. Walker’s decision to take away the ability of public sector unions to bargain for certain benefits.

While employee-employer relationships are an entirely other topic, one thing is clear:  The left saw this as an attack by the Tea Party on the collectivist principles they stood for, and the left took the recalls a symbolic battleground where they could “prove” that 2012 was within their grasp. The unions poured millions of dollars into these races, as did other out-of-state and in-state groups, all seeking to take a stand for their respective sides.

As the dust cleared on the first round of recalls, four Republicans were left standing — they had maintained the majority in the Senate and obliterated any hope from the left of destroying the Tea Party symbolically in Wisconsin.

But this is far from a “flawless victory.” The worst mistake the Tea Party can make is to make this election as important as the left had wanted to pretend it was — we’re still a long way out from 2012, and the elections tonight should remind the Tea Party that they’re playing with the “big boys” now.

Two seats were still lost, which means that the left still has enormous political potential that must be reckoned with. So the Tea Party, the Republicans, and any members of the “New Right” must remember that while they succeeded tonight in preventing a total loss, the fight will be long and hard all the way until the final vote is counted in 2012.

Two Democratic Senators in Wisconsin face recalls next week. 

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