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Posted at 4:55 PM ET, 02/28/2011

Dem poll: Republicans turning on Scott Walker

By Greg Sargent

Everyone has already blogged on the forthcoming poll from the Dem firm Public Policy Polling, which finds major buyer's remorse in Wisconsin, with voters saying they'd support Scott Walker's opponent by 52-45 if they could hold a do-over election.

But I think this nugget from the poll is even more important, in terms of what lies ahead:

It's actually Republicans, more so than Democrats or independents, whose shifting away from Walker would allow Barrett to win a rematch if there was one today. Only 3% of the Republicans we surveyed said they voted for Barrett last fall but now 10% say they would if they could do it over again. That's an instance of Republican union voters who might have voted for the GOP based on social issues or something else last fall trending back toward Democrats because they're putting pocketbook concerns back at the forefront and see their party as at odds with them on those because of what's happened in the last month.

This is a Dem poll, but this finding -- that Republicans are turning on Walker -- is echoed by Gallup. Last week Gallup's national poll found that a startling 41 percent of Republicans oppose Walker's plan to roll back public employee bargaining rights.

The reason this matters is that in the days ahead, Dems and labor are going to intensify pressure on Republican state senators to break with Walker and support some kind of compromise route out of the current impasse. Walker himself seems to recognize this is a potential problem: On his call with the fake Koch, he acknowledged that Republicans in swing areas would need to be propped up by aggressive messaging.

Walker himself will not budge in this standoff. The only way Dems and labor can force a compromise is to peel off Republican senators. While the swing in Wisconsin GOP voters against Walker is not huge -- seven points -- it's something, and makes this possibility marginally more likely.

By Greg Sargent  | February 28, 2011; 4:55 PM ET
Categories:  Labor  
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Next: Happy Hour Roundup

Comments

Does the President get to see these polls?
C'mon Mr. President...honor that campaign promise and find a comfortable pair of shoes and show up with the cheeseheads. It's time to show WHICH party you really represent.
We've had enough of Geitner, Immeldt et al.

I obviously have no choice but to vote for Obama in 2012 the R's have totally lost their minds...however if BO pulls in a huge haul of money from Wall Street types in campaign contributions he can forget any dough from me.

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

This is something the Republican 'leaders' never understood. What happened in November was about people expressing concern for Obama's priorities and his handling of the nation's economic crisis in particular. It was not an avowal of the right wing agenda. And yes, people make the same point about Obama's victory, more a repudiation of Bush/Cheney than a green light for the traditional Democratic causes.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 28, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

All the Dems have to do is peel off 3 GOP State Senators for a bill to be blocked. Knowing the sociopathic ruthlessness of the current GOP I could easily see 3 or 4 of these guys say they will vote against a bill that would prohibit collective bargaining, and then once the Dem senators come back to Madison, have these 3 or 4 reverse themselves.
If some of them aren't going to be up for re-election for a while they might get away with that sort of betrayal, since voters have short memories. Since this is being orchestrated by Rove ,the Koch Bros.
and their assorted flunkies, I could see this as a end game tactic. These Dem senators have nothing to go on than the word of their colleagues on the other side of the aisle. That's a pretty slender thread.

Posted by: filmnoia | February 28, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

What arrant nonsense. Mr Sargent has a "poll". so what?

When did the left find it convenient to substitute polling data for principles?

Mr Sargent admits that the govenor will stick to his principles. Soooo, Greq will stick to his polls. Well, I guess the left actually does need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows, right Greg?

And another question: why is the WI union issue such a big deal to the lefties? Is it because Sarah Palin isn't doing anything much to make the news?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 28, 2011 5:22 PM | Report abuse

From Balloon Juice:

"A unionized public employee, a teabagger, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, then looks at the teabagger and says “Watch out for that union guy—he wants a piece of your cookie!”

Posted by: suekzoo1 | February 28, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

shrink2 (may I call you that?), I believe that there are two levels of voting this time around.

The national and local/state.

Your analysis on the national level may well be true. But on the local level the politicians were elected based on much more basic issues. Here in Ohio Kasich ran on his record as a budget balancer. He promised to face the Ohio fiscal crisis head on.

the bad blood between the tax payers and gummint nipple nibblers was well underway before the election. In Ohio the school districts must submit tax levy requests to the voters. Most of these are losing and the demonstrations for and against the levies was heating up all year.

Couple that with the dismal performance of the Democrats and we have a midwestern version of the sage brush rebellion.

I believe that the state government of Ohio should be embarrassed. We're losing two house seats. Jobs, employable people and opportunity are leaving the state in droves. it is sad and must be corrected.

that's what the voters asked for this time around: face the issues and deal with them. The unions are just proving that those of us who warned about their unholy alliance with the legislators were correct all along.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | February 28, 2011 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"The unions are just proving that those of us who warned about their unholy alliance with the legislators were correct all along."

This is how the mental midgets on the right show their powers of deduction. The union gave every concession Walker asked for in terms of actual $$$ and yet this moron makes a statement like this...geesshhh!

Posted by: rukidding7 | February 28, 2011 5:36 PM | Report abuse

"The unions are just proving that those of us who warned about their unholy alliance with the legislators were correct all along."

Unions CREATED the Middle Class in America.

I find it ironic, sad, and pathetic that you come on here and whine your eyes out about "liberals" when ALL -- every single one -- of your GOP policies actively kill the Middle Class. GFY.

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 28, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

skip, I agree, the issues driving voting trends in regional and especially municipal elections don't revolve around sending messages to or about people in the Federal Government.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 28, 2011 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Guess the quote!

Who said this:

"It's good to allow them to work out their own problems rather than a one-size-fits-all federal government dumb-ass program. It really is an awful piece of crap."

Choices:

a) Random Tea Partier
b) A student journalist in Utah
c) Jonah Goldberg
d) Erick Erickson
e) Orrin Hatch

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 28, 2011 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately for citizens there is now open access to the Internet where they can be informed about the insidious two headed parasite called big government and government unions that feeds upon taxpayer hosts. The liberal press continues to obfuscate the issues by not clearly stating the difference between private unions and public unions.

Public unions are a racket that democrats created to fund their campaigns. The democrats make ridiculous gifts to government unions like full pay on retirement at age 52 to qualified members, and then pass along the cost to the taxpayers.

The government unions in exchange for the democrats gifts, collect huge amounts of dues from government union workers that are then funnelled into the democrats campaigns.

The only ones getting screwed here are the taxpayers. This would be called theft if the government did not protect themselves from liability.

The sooner liberal rags like this go out of business the better it will be for the Nation. In the meantime, taxpayers and citizens wake up and smell the guano. There is no reason for government unions to exist. The sooner they are abolished the sooner the taxpayers will be able to recover.

Keep in mind: THERE IS NOW A $4 TRILLION DOLLAR shortfall around the Nation that has been guaranteed by the democrats at the expense of the taxpayer. Just in California there is a $500 BILLION dollar shortfall that will fall on the taxpayers.

Watch as more cities and local governments are forced to file bankruptcy. In the meantime you have States like Oregon and Illinois that are passing massive tax increases to cover the bloated government union pensions.

If you want to support an elitist and statist government, that is creating a special class of government workers continue to rant about collective bargaining and right to work.

If you are a taxpayer and are disgusted with big government and government unions sitting on one side of the table having a meal of taxpayers than support Governor Walker and those others who are fighting for once for the interest of the taxpayer.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | February 28, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

"These Dem senators have nothing to go on than the word of their colleagues on the other side of the aisle. That's a pretty slender thread."

Wow everybody, great comments today!

I agree with the above excerpt. You can't trust anything the Senators say, waaaaaaay too much incentive to decieve. Stay away, is my suggestion. And I reccomend other public employee's should strike in honor of the Democratic Senators walkout. Wisconsin public employees, you are not slaves to your employers! Show them who's really in charge!

Thanks all, reading your comments is a pleasure! :-)

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | February 28, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

@Bubbette1:

"There is no reason for government unions to exist."

False.

Collective bargaining on wages, hours, medical benefits.

"If you are a taxpayer and are disgusted with big government"

Then don't support the Republican Party who destroy the economy with two simultaneous wars, tax cuts for the rich, and endless outsourcing of jobs overseas, and then blame all of the country's problems someone else (almost always gay, black or female).

Posted by: ronnieandrush | February 28, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Come on Greg. I read that Gallup pole it was crap. They gave no internals and way at the bottom of the fine print the have have a statement that the pole is weighted but there is no mention how it is weighted or the critera they used to weight it.

I would bet this new pole coming out will have the same mystery internals and say just what the unions wanted it to say.

Why dont we have a poll that says its costing you X number of thousands of dollars in extra taxes out of YOUR income to fund these union compensation demands are you for paying that much or against it.

Posted by: bjeagle784 | February 28, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

Even more telling about the poll, the union workers were all at the state capitol so didn't get the participate in the polling...

Posted by: soapm | February 28, 2011 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I find it sad that the GOP thinks mirroring the wages and benefits of *Asian* economies is good for America. Where's the Exceptionalism in that?

Those "No Right To Organize", "Right To Kiss Corporate As*" states sure rank lower in a plethora of ways: http://www.union1.org/badforindiana/pdf%20files/aflcio%20on%20rtw%20.pdf

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | February 28, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

It's appalling that the right has soooo distorted the truth & that the regular joe republicans are spewing misinformation & working hard against their own best interests & to destroy the middle class.
1) Unions are responsible for creating the middle class.
2) Public employees are taxpayers.
3) Public employees are police officers, fire fighters, teachers, etc - all the people you blow-hards rely on everyday.
4) I have NEVER in 52 yrs seen an overpaid teacher, police officer, firefighter, etc - in fact, they're mainly underpaid & work far more hrs than they're paid for.
5) The public employees in WI gave in to all demands except relinquishing their collective bargaining rights so it's obviously NOT about balancing the budget, it's about breaking the unions.
6) What's causing the budget problem in WI is the huge tax cuts Walker gave to his rich cronies - there would be a balanced budget if he hadn't given money to millionaires & corporations. Why aren't ya'll yelling about that?
7) There is an obvious & provable campaign by the wealthy & the corporations to destroy the working & middle classes. They take & take & refuse to contribute anything or to be responsible for their fair share. They've demanded tax cuts to create jobs but have not created jobs. Now they want to destroy unions but it will NOT balance the budget, it's the same old scam to screw the regular folks. What's most heartbreaking is the number of you supposedly regular folks who are working against your & your children's own futures.
The rich are getting richer & the poor & middle class get poorer & poorer. Wake up folks.

Posted by: soundpam | February 28, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

PPP poll is actually a pretty realiable poll so calling it a "Dem" poll is NOT the same thing as Rasmussen polls are to the GOP.

Posted by: maritza1 | February 28, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

""What's most heartbreaking is the number of you supposedly regular folks who are working against your & your children's own futures.
The rich are getting richer & the poor & middle class get poorer & poorer. Wake up folks.""

Oh, you're not fooling them -- they'll soon have 8 or 9 figures in the Caymans like their heroes, even if they're currently drawing SSI. Know why? "Cause they're Real Americans and (might have once) worked hard.

That, and Powerball.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | February 28, 2011 6:33 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/happy_hour_roundup_195.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | February 28, 2011 6:42 PM | Report abuse

In response to the following statement,
"The unions are just proving that those of us who warned about their unholy alliance with the legislators were correct all along."

rukidding7 wrote: "This is how the mental midgets on the right show their powers of deduction. The union gave every concession Walker asked for in terms of actual $$$ and yet this moron makes a statement like this...geesshhh!"
------------------------------------
Rukidding7, the statement you responded to so sophomorically is actually fairly insightful and accurately portrays the REAL root issue in Wisconsin.

What is it that you liberals do not get regarding the insanity of siding with public sector unions collectively bargaining against their employers, namely you and me (the taxpayers)? The sainted FDR was against it and for good reason. Most folks around the country (and in Wisconsin) agree (sorry Greg to discount your silly liberal poll... Rasmussen and WSJ have their own polls that state the ratio is roughly 48% to 38% against the protestors... look it up).

This is yet another issue (along with health care, international relations, and of course, jobs and the economy) the democrats are losing on, BIG TIME.

Sorry to break up your party Greg. Your little heroes thronging in the capitols across this land can make all the noise they want but in the end they will have to go home with their little tails between their little legs because in this country of free anti-entitlement enterprise THEY ARE IN THE VAST MINORITY.

Posted by: bryanmcoleman | February 28, 2011 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Greg I just read this pole. The first thing I noticed was that 32 or 36 percent of the respondents are union members or family memebers of a union member. However when I went to the Bureau of Labor Statistics website it says only 15 percent of WI workers are unionized. I think that might skew the poll a little dont you.

Posted by: bjeagle784 | February 28, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

First of all one of the polls was a democratic poll so I believe the numbers might have been skewed in their favor. Governor Walker was voted into office to do exactly what he is doing and people from all across the nation stand with him. I believe he is fully aware of this by the e-mails and calls he has received. What the liberal left does not seem to realize is that most of America is made up of conservative voters. There is a difference between public unions and private. The former are paid for by taxpayers money who have little say in the matter. The benefits and pensions of public unions are bankrupting many states. California has a huge deficit and as a taxpayer I do not believe that it is our responsibility to bail out a state that does not use good fiscal responsibility. I also think what Governor Walker told President Obama about worrying about balancing his own budget was a good reply. I guess we will all have to wait and see how this works out in the state of Wisconsin because other states will follow suit.

Posted by: boondog | February 28, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

What else would anyone expect from a Democratic pole? LOL

1]Obama the candidate makes statements and promises that once President he breaks.

2]Dems in the WI legislature, like spoiled children disappear in order to put an inevitable vote on hold.

3] Dems in House and Senate ram through bills during lame duck session when those "fired" by the electorate in Nov. still are allowed to vote.

Need I say more.

Posted by: johnbark | February 28, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

@ronnieandrush: You like most liberals assume that because you do not like big government you are a Republican. Big government rinos need to be run out of office and replaced with representatives that have not been corrupted by big government.

Over the next two years it will be interesting to see what happens to the Democratic Progressive Union Socialist Communist Party. Will each member declare if they are all of the above, or just a unionist, communist, etc.?

If Republicans do not cleanse the rinos we may see the Tea Party become the first viable political party since the Civil War.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | February 28, 2011 7:47 PM | Report abuse

The unions force their members to pay dues that support the democrats and their re-election. I'm pleased unions are dwindling and shedding their membership. Every state is feeling the pain of these excessive salaries and benefits. If all of us can get fired what makes these superior beings of the unions above it all. The teachers work 9 months at $100,000 per year and then work for the unions and earn another $50,000.Our kids have to suffer because teachers spend more time out of the classroom and have to get a sub. I'm fed up with all these democrats who are AWOL and collecting their salaries. Cowards that is what they are. Wisconsin I salute you, look what we have in California? The unions pushed Jerry Brown into office, our state is bankrupt and he's sitting on his duff. Go Walker.

Posted by: MOMLEE | February 28, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

.

Hey Democrats,

The Republican Governors Policy Committee, a wing of the Republican Governors Association, will launch a new television ad Tuesday defending Walker's rigid stance on his budget bill.

.

Posted by: kstobbe1 | February 28, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Does anybody know anything about Greg Sargent's background. Like other journolisters, he seems to be college drop-out. Now the Ivy Leaguers are the main villians in the decline of America, but in the future, I expect the first thing we want to know about a blogger is who they really are. Anyone from the Ivy League or a drop out like Greg will be listened to by no one.

Posted by: stanlippmann | February 28, 2011 7:55 PM | Report abuse

This is not a particularly new story, especially coming from a liberal rag like the Washington Times (aka New York Times). The truth is that Scott Walker is a rock star in Republican circles. He is doing exactly what he said he would do. More than ever, a story like this makes me support his actions even more.

Truth is this: Walker and the Senate Republicans are going to break the Wisconsin union hold on public sector employees. After all, those unions actually work to the detriment of the Wisconsin taxpayers.

I ask my liberal friends to tell me how Walker's actions are different than Obama's when he rammed through the most intrusive and onerous bill in our nation's history (health care) with one party rule. Obama said it well: elections have consequences and the winners get to make the rules. In 2008 Obama won and he, together with Pelosi and Reid, stuffed the most unpopular and unfair bill ever down our throats. In 2010, Walker won, and he is delivering on what he promised. The major difference between 2009 in Washington and 2011 in Madison is that the Republicans behaved as adults on health care, while the Wisconsin Democrats have run like cowards in a desperate attempt to thwart the electorate and to support their union thug money base.

God bless Scott Walker.

Posted by: oinick | February 28, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

They CAN vote for him.

Its called a RECALL election.

Just do the Petitions and get 'er done!!!

Posted by: lb2123 | February 28, 2011 8:01 PM | Report abuse

I hope Scott Walker continues his fight these unions are destroying this Country cause we the tax payers pay for there fine lives while we bust our butts trying to make a few dollars.I have absolutally no understanding why these union people think Scott Walker is the bad guy here ,its the unions that are the bad guys not wanting to budge on anything that would take from there mouths,while at the same time there taking from our mouths.Just a bunch of thugs and bullies that need to see how it really is in this Country.Like during World War 2 everybody banded together to make sacrifices for for our country.Well now its your turn unions if you dont like it wait for your pink slip maybe that will make you think about your greedy nature.

Posted by: hawksdrive2 | February 28, 2011 8:07 PM | Report abuse

As a Wisconsin voter, I highly doubt the results of this poll. The majority of Wisconsinites are extremely fed up with the spending nationally and in this state. This is why we voted out the Democratic party in both chambers of the state legislature, governor, and US Senator. The reason there is such an uproar is because for once, the Wisconsin left is on the outside looking in.

Posted by: jordanmancl | February 28, 2011 8:08 PM | Report abuse

WHAT?
Are you telling me things DON'T go better with Koch?

Posted by: HughBriss | February 28, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

You could have stopped right after the opening statement:

"...from the Dem firm Public Policy Polling..."

Nothing but desperation and fear, as the thought of losing millions in Democratic campaign donations, once the useless public union fold up their tents and face reality, has them running scared.

Posted by: duffmeister | February 28, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

MOMLEE,

You are mistaken about California. Unions were backing both brown and whitman. the ones backing whitman lost. The ones backing Brown are perfectly willing to negotiate. And unlike your assumption, the public employees can get fired. Just like you.

Our state is bankrupt because our state pays for the welfare of other states in the Union. Every $1 in federal taxes results only in 79 cents coming back to us. Same is the case with Wisconsin. they get 86 cents.

The red states that you salute are the leeches. Alaska, for example gets $1.87.

S. Carolina get $1.39.

The taxes of public employees contribute to those leeches.

Yes, unions are a bad thing when they bargain that hard. But they existed to prevent workers from being exploited.

Fixing them is the way to go, not eliminating them.

Posted by: HumanSimpleton | February 28, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

at least greg has something to talk about besides fox news,even if it is a democratic poll with no relevance at all.walker has what,about 23 months left?where is that poll saying how popular unions are across the nation right now?i'm sure greg is saving that one for...........next decade.

Posted by: alamodefender | February 28, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Like I'm going to believe a demcrats poll! You wish the Republicans were turning on the Republican governor. Keep on dreaming!

Posted by: rbraduni | February 28, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, If we don't "FIX" this soon we are all going to be F**ked!! $104,700,174,845.03 Was what we paid in INTEREST for the MONTH of December. The Federal Reserve is doing this to us. We could cut everything under the sun and there is no way to escape this debt that can never stop increasing until we STAMP OUT THE FEDERAL RESERVE!! It is IMPOSSIBLE to ever repay. This is what we owe them after only 100 yrs. under their monetary control, and they refuse to let us audit them. The proposed cuts by Dems and Repubs could not even pay for one month's interest on our debt. We have to stand up and stop this madness once and for all. The existence of our Nation depends on our instant and swift action. Kill the Fed. Unite America and Kill the Federal Reserve!!

Posted by: jasoncsaki | February 28, 2011 8:16 PM | Report abuse

where's that poll showing how popular unions are across the nation right now?how would they do if we held an election today?

Posted by: alamodefender | February 28, 2011 8:16 PM | Report abuse

This article will be one to save somewhere on your hard drive, because I predict that the demise of the Tea Party has now commenced.

All of the blustering below and bellicose arguments (interesting insisting that I should "go look it up" - I often do, and so many of the statements are just wrong), are going to dissipate like the hot air they are.

Let's look, for example, at the PPP analysis (which would require a Tea Partier to right click on the blue link above):

"A big part of Scott Walker's victory in November- and Ron Johnson's as well- was Democratic voters sitting at home. Our final pre election poll in Wisconsin found that likely voters had supported Barack Obama by only 3 points in 2008, in contrast to his actual 14 point victory in the state. Those sleeping dogs aren't lying any more though and when you combine the reinvigoration of the base with GOP union households trending back toward the Democrats, Walker seems to have severely hurt his party's chances of building on their gains from 2010 next year."

This is exactly correct.

The over the top attacks - whether it's immigration, abortion, race, education, unions, veterans (can't have that socialist VA any more, right Tea Partiers?), poor people, etc - are the Tea Party's and Republican Party's undoing.

The voter intensity in last fall's elections was undeniably R, much as it was D 12 months earlier. So the more that the whackos spew their general hatred all over their fellow citizens, those masses will come back around.

It amuses me that the right wingers snear that the president was a Community Organizer. They think that means he is some idiot bureaucrat who couldn't hold a job.

What they don't understand is that it takes a lot of skill to get groups going in a certain direction. You've got to know how to press issues, and then back off, or to move in one way to set up the big win. I think Obama has been playing this movement like a chess grand master, and he already knows the end game.

By the way, the last president to have a budget surplus was a democrat (look it up). The greatest government debt was serially accumulated by republican presidents and congresses since 1980 (look it up). Go the the OMB web site, Tea Partiers. Meanwhile, keep insulting and attacking, please.

Posted by: aclearview | February 28, 2011 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"Every state is feeling the pain of these excessive salaries and benefits. If all of us can get fired what makes these superior beings of the unions above it all. The teachers work 9 months at $100,000 per year and then work for the unions and earn another $50,000."

You should spend less time listening to hateful right-wing talk show hosts and more time talking to actual people. Anyone who believes this to be even remotely true is completely ignorant. Teachers, firemen, police officers and other public employees are OVERPAID and work too little? You should be ashamed of yourself! We need these public servants, and if it weren't for idealism nobody would want to work in that sector, because it's certainly not for the comfy lifestyle.

Posted by: the_illuminaut | February 28, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Wrong. You can't believe every poll you read, obviously.
This is about Taxpayers. The Majority of middle-class taxpayers do NOT sympathize with the unions.
Most middle-class taxpayers are Not Unionized.
Taxpayers are appalled at the salary/benefit/pension package of public
employees.
There are retired public employees with a retirement of $90,000/yr. or more, and full
benefits. This is utterly ridiculous.
Most middle-class taxpayers will Never, Ever have anything close to that.

Posted by: ohioan | February 28, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

The comment posted by Bubbette1 (Feb28 at 5:53PM...Fortuntaely for citizens) is an outstanding summary and a most worthwile treatment of this topic. In fact, many are outstanding, such as oinick's post and those who are praising Scott Walker!

Wisconsin is broke. The reporters and the union don't understand that; only taxpaying citizens do. Wisconsin Sen. Jon Erpenbach, one of the 14 Democrats who fled to Illinois, abondoned his elected office. Voters should hold a special election and replace the 14 Democrats who have proven they can't perform. In addition, Erpenbach lied when he misrepresented the Governor's balanced budget proposal, saying the Governor disregarded public employees acceptance of concessions; the fact is that the union members did not agree to all of Governor Walker's steps to restore fiscal health to Wisconsin. Stop telling bright Americans otherwise; we know better.

As for that prank call the media distorted Governor Walker's intentions, the Governor meant he wanted to be prepared for hostile actions and the possibility of negative behavior by the protestors. Governor Walker's first and only thought was to protect the public from radical union members who would harm innocent others to get their self-proclaimed entitlements.

The media needs to understand that there are some Americans who are not among the stupid herds of sheep who believe what Al Franken, Jerry Springer and Charlie Sheen claim...but who will post the truth for sheep to read in hopes they dumocrats will become bright enough to cast semi-intelligent votes in the future. We are broke; it's time to man-up; it's time to close down public-servent unions.

I too was a democrat once; but the democratic party left me; I didn't leave the democratic party. The only way for real Americans to fix this unionized welfare state is to vote for people like Governor Walker and vote against the 14 dumocrats who left their post when hard decisions are to be made.

Hats off to Governor Walker. He is today's version of Governor Ronald Reagan, and maybe another President Reagan if voters stick with him. I'm looking forward to contributing to his future campaigns as we need great Americans like Walker to reset the damage done by liberals, unions and career politicians in both parties!

Posted by: Joy44Kirk | February 28, 2011 8:47 PM | Report abuse

I don't like the way Gov. Walker is threatening to lay off 1500 public union workers if the Democratic Senators don't return to Wisconsin and have this un-Constitutional bill ramrodded through the Legislature. This is not good governance and negotiation. This is not the way we were taught politics is supposed to be run in civics classes. Shame on this Tea Bagger. He should go back and learn the basics of compromise.

Posted by: kerryberger | February 28, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Walker is foolish, but he he a good family man. He should be a teacher in a Middle school.

Posted by: ak1967 | February 28, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

This is what happens when people vote based on biases, bigotry, fear, and hatred. You get stuck with Republicans who don't give a damn about middle class folks. They care about the wealthy and corporations. They wish to keep everyone else at the bottom. People need to vote in their own best interests and stop falling for bigots and idiots.

Posted by: 12345leavemealone | February 28, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

This governor has brought horrible publicity to his state. And I know what it's like to to have fools in government. I live in Alabama, which has an assembly line for producing embarrassingly ignorant leaders. Luckily we can still say "Thank God for Mississippi" (i.e. check out any news story about former Gov. Haley Barbour, and he'll be sticking his foot in his mouth.) Now we've got Wisconsin as another backup. Little tip for folks up there: When you go on vacation just tell people you're from northern Illinois. It'll save you a lot of explaining. Thanks.

Posted by: dparks2 | February 28, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

This "Plum Line" by Greg Sargent is pure union propaganda and Horsepucky. Since when do polls replace reality and truth? Public Employee Unions cannot be permitted to hold Wisconsin, ot any other state government hostage to their demands. Totally absurd! The Democrats who have abandoned their sworn duty to the public should be punished and removed from office.
They will cause many to suffer because of their dereliction of duty. Disgusting!

Posted by: USDefender | February 28, 2011 9:27 PM | Report abuse

If Wisconsin were able to have a recall election and Scott Walker were to lose, everyone loses.

People will flee the state in droves.

Nothing like knowing that nothing will change and a bad business climate and high taxes are here to stay as the union takes command of the state over the average taxpayer.

I am in a position to leave and I would. Sure, my tax dollars are the proverbial drop in the bucket but I'm sure there are plenty of others in my shoes.

Posted by: VAGuy01 | February 28, 2011 9:30 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans turning on Scott Walker"

No their not.

Walker is right. The Unions are wrong.

YOU CAN'T AFFORD THE UNIONS!

And that is the truth. IF you think I'm wrong...YOU PAY FOR IT.

Posted by: mdsinc | February 28, 2011 9:37 PM | Report abuse

Scott Walker will go down in history cloaked in shame and ridicule. I feel sorry for is family.

Posted by: ExConservative | February 28, 2011 9:39 PM | Report abuse

Unionization of State employees is not a "right" it is up to the each State whether or not public employees can belong to Unions. Therefore, it is the right of the Govenor and State Legistlators of Wisconsin to decide whether employees can participate in Unions. I believe as the "labor unions" did in the past and as FDR believed; because public employees are paid by taxpayers and do not for the most part generate revenue, their compensation and benefits should be determined by those elected by the voters and the Governor. Union involbement costs taxpayers and undermines the responsibility of the Governor and Legislators to spend tax dollars in the most cost effective and beneficial manner on behalf of the citizens of the State and those that they respresent. Period.

Posted by: fedupwithgovernment | February 28, 2011 9:42 PM | Report abuse

As a devout Republican, I can assure you that Governor Walker will stand fast until the union is smashed. Governor Walker, as well as every Republican member of the Wisconsin legislature, is the exclusive property of David H. and Charlie Koch, who will NEVER compromise with Communists.

Posted by: senbilboredux | February 28, 2011 10:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the Democratic Senators in Wisconsin can trust the Republicans at all.

After all, the core value of conservatism is dishonesty. That fact is bolstered by Fox News every day.

I think the polling shows that voters now realize they were lied to by Republican Tea Baggers and now they are sorry.

Walker is a liar and a bully. That's the reason Rush Limbaugh could never hold public office.

Posted by: colonelpanic | February 28, 2011 10:35 PM | Report abuse

Dream on Greg, it's the beginning of the end for liberalism.

Posted by: cleancut77 | February 28, 2011 10:44 PM | Report abuse

While Republicans stand tall to defend taxpayers, Dimwitcrats scatter like cockroaches and cower in a dank hideaway.

It's a memorable image.

SCOTT WALKER — HERO OF THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER

Posted by: thebump | February 28, 2011 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Typical government employee on the job:

http://americanglob.com/2011/02/28/wisconsin-protester-photo-of-the-day/

Posted by: thebump | February 28, 2011 10:52 PM | Report abuse

The man needs to go. The problem has gone well beyond a simple labor dispute. He is on tape as having considered hiring thugs to break up protests. He dispatched state troopers to Cullen's home to drag him to the capital and force him to vote--twice.

At the least, he violates minimum standards of conduct expected in an elected official. At worst, he has broken the law.

His antics have not only resulted in thousands of people rallying in support of the teachers in Wisconsin, but with thousands demonstrating in solidarity nation wide, not all of them members of any union.

Wisconsin needs a recall. If the state constitution doesn't allow for one, amend the constitution.

Posted by: Farnaz2Mansouri21 | February 28, 2011 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Looks like a drudge bomb. The religious junk and the misspellings are a dead giveaway.

Posted by: caothien9 | February 28, 2011 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Dream on Greg, it's the beginning of the end for liberalism.

==

If you're too impatient to await the outcome you can beat the rush and move to Somalia. Libertarian paradise.

Posted by: caothien9 | March 1, 2011 12:00 AM | Report abuse

The last election was so dismal in numbers because few people came out to vote. The screaming animals in the teabagging taliban took to the streets not knowing what the devil they were screaming about, except they are furious that a black family lives in the White House and that is behind their movement. Maybe 20-25% of eligible voters actually got out and voted.
We've already seen how utterly uneducated and twisted these fools are and they've elected fools. We will take out the ignoramuses they elected come next election.
It hasn't taken us long at all to see what a demoralizing bunch they are. Scott Walker will not be reelected because he is nothing but a snot-nosed little toady of the Koch family, licking their boots for his own wealth and celebrity. He has already shown everyone in America that he will throw the middle class workers in Wisconsin under the bus by committing crimes against them. Using opposition people to infiltrate their ranks, using his big bat, and crushing the union to make himself a hero. We heard everything he said to the fake David Koch, and the lying little coward laugh it off. He alluded to committing crimes against his own fellow Wisconsin citizens and he should be brought up on criminal charges for it.
Someone needs to tell that snot-nose that he won't be around too much longer.
The middle class workers have long memories and deep resentment of how the wealthy and the rightwingnuts have used them.
Unions didn't cause the financial hell America is in, the wealthy, greedy SOBs, like the Koch Brothers and Wall Street titans caused it. If the states have no money let them go after the Koch Brothers and Wall Street, not the unions.

Posted by: papafritz571 | March 1, 2011 12:11 AM | Report abuse

Gee, a Dem polling firm finds out from juggled polls that Wisconsinites wouldn't re-elect Scott Walker. And the Dem NYT finds the same thing. However, the REAL POLL took place in November and no PR BS by a bunch of well-financed scammers in the media and the Indonesian Imbecile's administration aren't going to turn the election around.

Forget about recall, except for the absent Dem senators who might be the only ones recalled.

Posted by: djman1141 | March 1, 2011 12:39 AM | Report abuse

The delusional Republicans really believe that the mid-term gave them Carte-Blanche to return American to the days of the Robber Barons and National Guard troops beating up and busting Unions.

They've exposed their true intentions and their ultra-rightwing agenda. Even with the millions spent by the Koch brothers and the full support of the RepubliCorps Press they will fail.

Fear, Hatred, Distortion, Distraction and Division is all Republicans have to offer America.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 1, 2011 1:29 AM | Report abuse

Posted by soapm: "Even more telling about the poll, the union workers were all at the state capitol so didn't get the participate in the polling..."

C'mon, soapm. You must have a little more imagination than THAT.

I can just see it. Call goes out from the phone bank to Joey Polltaker positioned outside the Capitol in Madison: "Hey Joey, tell your guys to poll 15 more demonstrators. We're running a little behind our targeted numbers again."

Posted by: TerryOtt | March 1, 2011 2:05 AM | Report abuse

As usual the pathetic Greg Sargent carries the water for liberals. Does anyone believe this guy anymore.

Should rename this column the "Dumb Line"

Posted by: manbearpig4 | March 1, 2011 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Walker is the kind who would put his money in an off shore account then claim poverty, while sitting on his yacht.

Posted by: WDRussell | March 1, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Scott Walker for President!!! Then Sarah Palin! Then Huckabee!

America because you are fickle and vote with your emotions and never your intellect, I sincerely hope the idiots in the Tea Party take over this nation.

You have reaped what you have voted for and now you gotta eat it.

Bon Appetite!

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Posted by: cheapgoods | March 1, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

The fanatical extremists who have taken over the American republican party are a danger to all freedoms they at times rant about.

This man Walker fits quite well into this mode. He is an uneducated in human affairs, un worldly man who maybe might make it as a small business owner in good times, but a lousy US Governor of a US state.

Posted by: bm66535 | March 1, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

'Voters' remorse is being seen all around the country as people who either voted for the Tea Party types out of frustration with the economy and employment, and those who were foolish enough to think not voting meant something, now see what they have wrought. This corporate power grab is a long planned and well orchestrated campaign that started with the modestly talented and intellectually challenged Rick Santelli and the coordinated creation of the Tea Party that followed. They are masters at manipulation through disinformation. But their blatant power grab is being met with the type of resistance found here > http://wp.me/pNmlT-CB THE TABLES ARE TURNING!

Posted by: Dh1953 | March 1, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps the GOP members who are peeling off are aware of the fact that Walker is either ignorant of his state's financial obligations to the point of abysmal stupidity (which I highly doubt) or he's gone overboard twisting facts & eliminating basic rights.

Ex: Wisconsin doesn't fund public sector union employees pensions - the employees fully contribute all pension monies. http://blogs.forbes.com/rickungar/2011/02/25/the-wisconsin-lie-exposed-taxpayers-actually-contribute-nothing-to-public-employee-pensions/
http://tax.com/taxcom/taxblog.nsf/Permalink/UBEN-8EDJYS?OpenDocument

Walker spouted it, the MSM never checked it & now with time the 14 Senators fought for, the people are discovering the truth. And the clauses Walker snuck into the bill.

Thank God for those Dem. Senators & the GOP legislators in Wisconsin who are serious about truth while debating budget realities & necessary sacrifices. Also, please note that state politicians contribute less toward their own pensions & benefits than public-sector union employees. Ironic, ain't it?

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Posted by: cheapgoods | March 1, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

With numbers turning like this, can a recall campaign be far away?

Posted by: rrchapman | March 1, 2011 3:09 PM | Report abuse

The myth of the overspending government. States are in terrible shape because the economy tanked. It's the same reason that individuals are in such bad shape. Texas, North Carolina, California, and Maryland couldn't be more different from each other as far as their state governments go, but they're all in difficult financial situations and not because they all overspent.

Posted by: nsu1203 | March 1, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse


When are the "righties" going to attack the American War Machine for adding to the deficit? Add that to the Bush/Obama tax cuts for the rich, and the Wall Street fiasco, and you've got most of the deficit.

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