Things in Madison seem to be moving in the right direction. Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall reported yesterday that signs point to the Wisconsin GOP losing cohesion on the governor's "budget repair bill." Republicans could've taken the sticking point -- collective bargaining -- and passed it as a stand-alone bill. Since it wouldn't have been a fiscal bill, the rules for a twenty member quorum wouldn't have applied. But Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald says that this isn't going to happen and that they won't pass the bill until the filibustering Democrats return to Wisconsin.
Marshall writes that this means there's "no clear option for Walker absent some agreement with the Democrats." Scott Walker may be politically suicidal, but Wisconsin Republicans don't seem to share his eagerness for self-destruction.
Still, whenever Wisconsin is in danger of easing our unemployment rate, Scott Walker comes to drag us back from the brink. He's killed a high-speed rail project -- and all the jobs it would've created. He's killed a power plant in Madison, he's trying to regulate the wind power industry out of existence, he's refused stimulus funding for wiring schools for broadband. Now, he's threatening to lay off as many as 1,500 state workers. This is a man who came into office promising a quarter of a million new jobs. He's doing it wrong.
And these are the question the media should be asking -- what about all those jobs? When is Walker going to get to work on that? And isn't threatening massive layoffs contrary to that promise? Doesn't that make Scott Walker something of a liar? Why is it that every time we might actually reduce unemployment, Scott Walker gets in the way?
You know what would be a great way to increase state revenues? Get people to work. You know what's a lousy way to increase state revenues? Laying off people and making an already rough job market even more competitive, driving down wages. The question of the day should be, "Why does Governor Walker keep killing jobs?"
And it sounds like, behind the scenes, these are questions being asked by Wisconsin Republicans. Walker is leading his party to disaster with this overreach. A new poll from GQR Research for the AFL-CIO shows that Walker is losing Wisconsin voters.
[Talking Points Memo:]
Sixty-two percent of respondents to the poll said they view public employees favorably, while just 11% said they had an unfavorable view of the workers whose benefits packages Walker says are breaking the state budget.
Meanwhile, just 39% of respondents had a favorable view of Walker, while 49% had an unfavorable view of the freshman Republican governor. Voters are split on his job performance, with 51% saying they disapprove of the job Walker has done.
"Since the protests began, Governor Walker has seen real erosion in his standing," the GQR pollsters write in their analysis, "with a majority expressing disapproval of his job performance and disagreement with his agenda."
He's losing his party, he's losing the public, and he's losing all hope for reelection. All within a month of taking office. If he continues his bullheaded foolishness, I wouldn't be surprised if Republicans take him down -- if only for self-preservation.