While the power struggle with public employee unions in many states may fire up the Republican Party’s base, it may not be a big winner with the public as a whole.
Here’s another poll reported in the New York Times that indicates strong levels of support for public employees and their rights to unionize for collective bargaining.
It may be too early to gauge the political impact of this power struggle in Wisconsin and other states, as well as the impact of the power struggle over the federal budget and the possibility of a government shutdown.
The impact won’t be clear until everything shakes out. By the fall of 2012, the outcome of all this fiscal and political brinksmanship will be clear. Will slashed state and federal budgets trigger renewed recession, as some claim? Will political hardball with unions lead to public sector chaos and reduced quantity and quality of government services? It’s too soon to answer those questions, but the answers will determine whether Democrats or Republicans can reap political windfalls.
We can also hope that there are leaders in both parties thinking about what’s best for us, as well as for them.