Wisconsin Democrats came close

Close, but no cigar. How disappointing!

The Democrats won two, but had needed to win three of the six recall elections in Wisconsin yesterday to capture the majority in the State’s Senate.

The Republican majority is now diminished, 17-16, but could be widened if the two Democrats, who the Republicans seek unseat, lose in the two remaining recall elections next Tuesday.

A new Democratic majority in the Senate would have meant not only a severe rebuke of, but also possibly an end to Republican Governor Scott Walker’s union-busting policies. Instead, the failure of the Democrats to capture the Senate makes it less likely that Walker himself will be the target of a recall election next January.

What has just happend in Wisconsin, with the governor’s clearly stated plan to disarm the unions and reduce their power and influence by abolishing the right to collective bargaining for public employees, is difficult to imagine having its equal anywhere in Europe today, where the trade union movement remains strong and is an accepted and integral partner in society.  So it is not only the outcome of yesterday’s recall elections that is disappointing, so is the fact that they had to take place at all.

For more detailed accounts of what happened check out RealClearPolitics and Talking Points Memo or John Nichols’ blog at The Nation.

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