Scott Walker's Big Speech That Didn't Change Anything

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 22 2011 7:17 PM

Scott Walker's Big Speech That Didn't Change Anything

MADISON, Wisc. -- The fireside chat has come and gone. No one expected Scott Walker to soften his stance on unions, and he didn't. He warned that failure to reform collective bargaining would mean fired workers, one way or another. One way: The unions would respond to negotiators by letting members go instead of accepting cuts. Another way: By June 1500 employees would have to be fired, and a month later up to 6000 might be fired.

If anything I think the specificity of those numbers conceded an argument to Democrats. The argument up to today had been "budget repair vote by Friday or 1500 people get fired." But if there's no serious threat of firing until June? That's after the date that activists could force recall votes, of Republican or Democratic members.

Advertisement

The Assembly didn't pause for the speech, but members, who have laptops at their desk, got to read it. The Democrats didn't think too much of it.

"Given the size of his power grab," said Democratic Rep. Jon Richards, "maybe we should call it The King's Speech."

David Weigel, a former Slate politics reporter, is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

War Stories

The Right Target

Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.

Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 11:13 AM Why Is This Mother in Prison for Helping Her Daughter Get an Abortion?

Divestment Is Fine but Mostly Symbolic. There’s a Better Way for Universities to Fight Climate Change.

I Stand With Emma Watson on Women’s Rights

Even though I know I’m going to get flak for it.

It Is Very Stupid to Compare Hope Solo to Ray Rice

Building a Better Workplace

In Defense of HR

Startups and small businesses shouldn’t skip over a human resources department.

It’s Legal for Obama to Bomb Syria Because He Says It Is

How Ted Cruz and Scott Brown Misunderstand What It Means to Be an American Citizen

  News & Politics
War Stories
Sept. 23 2014 4:04 PM The Right Target Why Obama’s airstrikes against ISIS may be more effective than people expect.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 23 2014 2:08 PM Home Depot’s Former Lead Security Engineer Had a Legacy of Sabotage
  Life
Outward
Sept. 23 2014 1:57 PM Would a Second Sarkozy Presidency End Marriage Equality in France?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 23 2014 2:32 PM Politico Asks: Why Is Gabby Giffords So “Ruthless” on Gun Control?
  Slate Plus
Political Gabfest
Sept. 23 2014 3:04 PM Chicago Gabfest How to get your tickets before anyone else.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Stop Throwing Your Vegetable Trimmings Away
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 23 2014 1:50 PM Oh, the Futility! Frogs Try to Catch Worms off of an iPhone Video.
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 23 2014 4:33 PM Who Deserves Those 4 Inches of Airplane Seat Space? An investigation into the economics of reclining.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.