The vote in Wisconsin last night was heartening, on a number of levels.
First, I was gratified that the very first thing Scott Walker did was give glory to God for His abundant grace. Cynics can dismiss that sort of thing as campaign boiler plate, but in the Bible, it remains a big deal. It is important to do. He also made a point of mentioning how he and his family were sustained by the prayers of many people.
Second, it happened in Wisconsin, for crying out loud. Wisconsin is not just the dairy state, it is the labor union state. Shoot, the cows are the largest public sector union they have. For this successful reining in of big labor union goonery to have occurred in Wisconsin is remarkable, and it has to be troubling for the Left. And "troubling" is a wild understatement word choice.
Third, it illustrated, yet again, that polls (and particularly exit polls) are not a neutral diagnostic tool that anyone can just use, but are routinely picked up as partisan weapons and tools. Those who want to prognosticate about November, therefore, would do far better to look at historical trends (unemployment rates and reelections, say) than at the week-to-week polling. There are two main reasons for this. First, the media on the left is Obama's kept woman, and will not be publishing polls that tell the president that he might as well pack it in now. Secondly, the media generally is in the business of attracting readers and viewers, and so they want every election to be a cliffhanger -- they have built-in economic incentives to play it that way right up to the end. If we knew beforehand that one of the Super Bowl teams was going to be ahead by 40 or so at the half, how do you thing advertising sales for the second half would go?
And last, the contrast with Europe is striking. The French just elected a socialist, veering left in their distress. This is like electing a new president of your AA chapter, and when you head off to give him the news, you find him down at Mingles with a schooner of beer. Growth or austerity? Growth or austerity? Rephrase that -- drunk or sober? Mobs in places like Greece are demanding more of all their troubles. The popular revolts over the water are insisting on a continuation of the hair of the dog that bit them. But here, at least in this moment in our history, the really effective grass roots activism is proving to be of the tea party variety, and the occupy variety has been left to their circle drumming, keeping the beat and bad company. The occupy forces have been our attempt at the European reaction, and despite support from all the predictable places, the whole operation has been pathetic. And on the other side, with the notable exception of the nomination of Romney, a host of local elections have been giving us reasons for some kind of bracing optimism. Yesterday, a couple of California cities passed pension reform.
We may be seeing the formation of a new political alignment -- in lieu of the old labels, the next set of elections might come down to PWC (people with calculators) and PWOC (and people without calculators).