Wisconsin is a testing ground for whether union power can defeat a Republican reformer. Democrats and unions have poured millions into the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker. He seems on track to win by a large margin. Polling suggests that he has convinced Wisconsinites that public employee unions are overpaid. The projected results seem likely to validate the old wisdom that "if you aim at the King, you'd better kill him." If Walker wins, he becomes an immediate star -- a huge draw for fundraisers and an attractive spokesman for the Republican party. Wisconsin will also be in play for the presidential race in 5 months.
When a president is weak, members of his own party begin to assert their independence. The Democratically-controlled Senate again voted 99-0 against President Obama's budget. A number of leading Democrats, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker, former Pennsylvania Governor and DNC chairman Ed Rendell, former Congressman Harold Ford, former car czar Steve Rattner, and Sen. Mark Warner have criticized Obama's attacks on Bain Capital.
But perhaps the worst news of the month is the decision of former Democratic congressman Artur Davis to join the Republican Party. Davis, an African-American with Ivy League credentials surpassing even Obama's (he graduated magna cum laude from Harvard), was the first non-Illinois congressman to endorse Obama in 2008. His message now is exactly what Axelrod and Co. have most reason to fear: He says Obama has gone too far left. "I thought he was going to be . . . pro-growth. I thought he was going to focus on national unity. . . Instead he went in another direction. . . There is no center/right in the Democratic Party."
And there is no joy in Obamaville today.