Let no one be confused, the stakes in Wisconsin are high and the Badger state could turn into the crucial battle ground between progressivism and the new Tea Party majority in the country. Issues as important as public sector compensation, bulging state deficits, union power, federalism, education, federal entitlements as well as others are being fought over. That Wisconsin is the birthplace of American progressivism with a new conservative governor, new conservative majorities in both chambers, a new conservative U.S. senator and the bright new conservative chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan, has made it ground zero for the left.
President Barack Obama has federalized the issue, throwing the full weight of the White House, the Democratic National Committee, and his own Organizing for America operation behind government unions, with the assistance of the SEIU and AFSCME unions. This is a major new test for the new governor, Scott Walker. If conservatives lose in Wisconsin, reform might be stifled elsewhere. If they can win, progressivism is in real trouble.