From Tim Stanley, writing for the Telegraph about Wisconsin's recall election tomorrow.
They [the left in Wisconsin] are right to worry, because Walker earned his narrow lead by breaking the Democrats’ inbuilt advantage in state politics – perhaps permanently. He did it with one simple reform. Before Walker, union member dues were paid straight from the employer to the union. The member never got to see the money and, likely, never thought about how much he was losing. After passage of Walker’s reforms, the money now goes into the employee’s pay packet first and they then get to choose whether or not to give it to the union. Unsurprisingly, workers have taken one look at the substantial contributions they have been asked to make and, channeling Justin, said, “Hell no!” To quote the Wall Street Journal, “Wisconsin membership in the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees — the state's second-largest public-sector union after the National Education Association, which represents teachers — fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011 … Much of that decline came from Afscme Council 24, which represents Wisconsin state workers, whose membership plunged by two-thirds to 7,100 from 22,300 last year.”
Call it empowering employees or call it defunding the unions, the point is that Walker has emasculated the political force behind the recall vote. That means that the 100,000 who crashed Madison to protest his policies weren’t the beginning of a new revolution. They were the last hurrah of an old political order.