Reports are that Democrats, union leader, and pundits were surprised when Wisconsin's senate passed a "non-fiscal" bill gutting the public unions (no strikes, no collective bargaining, no mandatory dues collection). But why was this a surprise? It was always an option, one that I kept wondering why the Republicans weren't exercising the last several weeks.
That said, this looks like a serious defeat for unions everywhere. It's also a defeat for Obama, who was an indirect target of the Republicans. That was clear. What is not clear is why Obama didn't weigh in forcefully in the matter.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see what Joe Klein has to say about all of this. Will he walk back his:
"it seems to me that Governor Scott Walker's basic requests are modest ones"
Same here. I was wondering why they didn't do it weeks ago. The only reason I can think of was that they were trying to maintain the facade that it was all about the budget and not about union busting. I think that it became so obvious to everyone, that they forgot their original line.
And speaking of Obama, can he declare Wisconsin a no-fly zone?