The wonks are worried — and for good reason. Walker‘s decisive victory in last night’s recall election — when taken in perspective with Mitch Daniels‘ quieter success in dismantling public unions in Indiana — signals very real trouble for the core part of the Democratic machine.
But that might be about to end. Here is a recap of some of the left’s shining lights expressing concern about the future of organized labor.
Ezra Klein believes organized labor isn’t coming back:
For a long time, a lot of the energy has been devoted to the question of “how do you revive the labor movement?” The truth is, at this point, you probably can’t. You can slow decline. And you can score isolated wins. But it’s hard to see a real turnaround in labor’s fortunes.
David Dayden laments:
The labor movement represents one of the only remaining checks on corporate power, in the fight for economic justice. They have not proven themselves capable of withstanding what amounts to the final onslaught. Union density has declined from 33% in the 1960s to 8% today. I don’t think you can look at this result and say they’ve reached the bottom. Labor must come up with a different strategy to fight back. But there’s a question of whether the deck is too stacked against them now.
Jonathan Chait echoes their sentiments:
Walker’s win will certainly provide a blueprint for fellow Republicans. When they gain a majority, they can quickly move to not just wrest concessions from public sector unions but completely destroy them, which in turn eliminates one of the strongest sources of political organization for the Democratic Party. And whatever backlash develops, it’s probably not enough to outweigh the political benefit. Walker has pioneered a tactic that will likely become a staple of Republican governance. Fortune favors the bold.They are, of course, correct.
In this instance, they are probably right.