I’ve heard comparisons between Scott Walker’s union-busting and W’s efforts to privatize Social Security. I don’t think it’s such a perfect analogy, since Bush never went all in on Social Security privatization the way Walker has with union-busting. Also too, the Village never got behind Bush’s plans, partly because they were pitched as a way to increase retirees’ benefits (through the magic of the stock market) rather than a way to cut them.
The right comparison is the Terri Schiavo debacle. Here’s Mark Halperin in March 2005:
Despite some public opposition to Congress’s action (see below) the Republican leadership seems to have succeeded in framing the discourse around a moral question: if Congress can do something to prevent a woman’s death, shouldn’t it?[…..]
Once again, clearing away the personal part, the Republicans are on the offensive and the Democrats are on the defensive. That’s a Notable fact.
Hostility to public-sector workers, including teachers, is at an all-time high amid a recession and a new national mania for curbing the tide of fiscal red ink. Walker appears to have a firm legislative majority on his side.
Here are some polls (amazingly, this first one is quoted in the same article where Halperin talks about how great the issues is for Republicans):
“The public, by 63-28 percent, supports the removal of Schiavo’s feeding tube, and by a 25-point margin opposes a law mandating federal review of her case.”
You spend enough time talking to Cokie Roberts and Joe Klein about what Real Murkins think, you forget that people want a living wage and to live their lives out with dignity, and pretty soon you’re talking about the popularity of measures that poll just a few points above the crazification factor.