Last year the reaction to bailouts and fighting the health care bill energized the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party and conservatives, in general. This year the labor dispute in Wisconsin, which is spreading to other states, is energizing the union movement and liberals, in general.
As recently as November of 2010 it seemed the GOP had the wind at its back and there would be no stopping them in 2011. But overreaching is still bad form. Now the payback is building and it will eventually splatter all over Walker and any Republicans standing too close to him.
What a difference three or four months can make in politics!
Republicans in Virginia think they are shielded from the payback coming Walker's way, because of Virginia's anti-union traditions. I suspect they are underestimating how much impact this union-busting brouhaha is having on people outside of Wisconsin. Gov. Bob McDonnell has already made smug remarks that suggest just that.
You know former-Sen. George Allen, a natural born bully who oozes machismo, is itching to buy into his share of the trouble that's snowballing for cocky Republicans, who believe that flaunting their union-busting strategy is a "winning" thing.
Charlie Sheen thinks he's "winning," too.
Young citizens who don't already have hard opinions about collective bargaining are forming opinions. They see teachers and fire fighters being bashed, not just unions. If they look deeper they may see bullies torturing middle class workers at the behest of the super rich.