It was just four years ago that Scott Walker kicked off his reform agenda, beginning with the Budget Repair Bill, which debuted this week in 2011.
The ensuing chaos is illustrative of liberal groupthink and high-minded hysteria. The first protests were quiet, which included a smattering of students and public employee unions who banded together on the UW campus.
Then, they took the governor’s mansion.
In a matter of days, the blubbering spilled over into organized labor – AFSCME secured permits to bang drums and deface the Capitol in Madison, where they have continued to do so off and on ever since.
Many of the educators who say cutting their benefits doesn’t fairly compensate them for their devotion to their beloved students would walk out on those beloved students in protest.
As a finance bill, the state legislatures required a full quorum in order to hold the vote. Senate Democrats left for Illinois as to not be compelled to vote. Meanwhile, their komerads in the Assembly held round-the-clock hearings – which was largely a media stunt. Republicans demonstrated a rare penchant for politicking, much in the vein of Frank Underwood presiding over the Senate in Season 2 of House of Cards.
Assembly Republicans passed a brokered bill in 17 seconds in the early hours of February 25.
Senate Democrats – the upper house, mind you – remained in exile. The Republican majority passed a law that held the blubbering welps in contempt. They responded by filing recall papers against the 8 recently-elected Republican Senators.
Soon, a bill passed the Senate that excluded any collective bargaining amendments – and the only holdout was scallywag Dale Schultz. That legislation became law two days later with the governor’s signature.
Of course, the war would continue, culminating with a failed attempt to recall the governor for executing the policies he campaigned on, marking a scary new chapter in Wisconsin politics, where hurt feelings trump pragmatic reform.
Wisconsin has since remained in the spotlight, a hotbed of political and cultural triumphs and controversy. The eventual high-stakes victory from Act 10 is the predominant force behind legitimizing Gov. Walker’s nascent as-yet-undeclared presidential campaign. However that rolls out, it will be an important part of his – and the state’s – legacy.