This episode, and the one in Indiana, are entrenching the Democrats as the party of "No" on fiscal reform. Not one penny, they screech, for austerity. Republicans, while they may be playing imperfectly are openly taking risks and are not fleeing their states to prevent votes or triggering Godwin's Law.
Of course, leftists are correct that Wisconsin Governor Walker's attempt to strip collective bargaining from public unions is about more than balancing this year's budget. True: weakening public unions will make Wisconsin leaner, more competitive, and less budget-constrained into the future. Public unionization is an anti-competitive practice aimed at shifting wealth from all taxpayers to a particular interest group; weakening or ending it will improve and cheapen government services.
Walker, by a fiscal seriousness contrasting with Obama's lack thereof, and Obama, by inciting defenders of the indefensible, have made three things clear:
First, the Democratic Party is the party of government, not only because of its extravagant sense of government's competence and proper scope, but also because the party's base is government employees. Second, government employees have an increasingly adversarial relationship with the governed. Third, Obama's "move to the center" is fictitious.