For sure, it was a hard day’s night in Chicago if you were anywhere in the vicinity of Axelrod or Jarrett or Obama. The message from the Walker/Kleefisch victory (53% to 46%) was that public sector unions are not holding onto the monopoly power they have enjoyed for decades. The most interesting result of Walker’s WI Act 10 collective bargaining reform is the fall off of union membership: AFSCME public employee membership dropped from 62,818 in March, 2011 to 28,745 in February, 2012 and AFT teacher members dropped from 17,000 to 11,000 – all because Walker made union membership a free choice. Democrats are watching their union $$ donations shrink before their eyes.
Although (sore) loser Democrats are boohooing the “outside funding” for Walker (which they like to blame on the Citizens United Supreme Court decision), the less-sung victory in Wisconsin was for the Tea Party movement. While Wisconsin Democrats were having their 18-month collective tantrum, Tea Party workers were maturing into a practical fighting force that out-manned and out-enthused the well-oiled union thug movement. My favorite tweet during the long election night: “If you hear thunder, it is just Ronald Reagan and Andrew Breitbart high-fiving each other.”
More than anything, the new media players played a transformative role in making this conservative victory a reality. If you don’t know these citizen journalists, take the time to google them now, because they are the future. Kudos to courageous videographer Rebel Pundit (Jeremy Segal); to the on-line newspaper Illinois Review (editor, Fran Eaton); to Milwaukee WTMJ radio d.j. Charlie Sykes (whose non-stop tweets all evening were amazing) and to live blogging at Legal Insurrection (William Jacobson), which ended the election coverage with a web site fireworks display.