Looking for deeper political meaning in the Wisconsin recall election in the midst of severe global economic uncertainty invites serious miscalculation. Both sides invariably claim to see something in this vote - a rebuke to unions, a useful example of GOP extremism - that they can carry into the general election.
In fact, the Wisconsin vote was a blip that, in spite of millions spent by pro- and anti-recall forces, failed to register significantly in statewide Obama-Romney preference polls, with Obama retaining a steady, if surmoutable lead. A far more important factor at play is in the intersection of public opinion and recession. For in every recession since the end of World War II, public perceptions of labor unions take a dive, only to recover as the economy mends.
More on this in my Globalpost column.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Democrats’ War at Home
How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?
Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best
Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke
Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10
A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking
Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.
How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.
You Deserve a Pre-cation
The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.