Robert Knight

Some stories have “legs.”

They don’t disappear after a day or so but stay in the news, especially if they help move a liberal agenda. Think of global warming findings or George Allen’s “macaca” moment.

Last Tuesday’s recall elections in Wisconsin won’t have legs. That’s because union-backed Democrats failed to gain control of the state Senate in perhaps the most expensive off-year campaign in history. Of six Republicans up for recall, only two were defeated. One was in a heavily Democratic district that gave Obama more than 60 percent in 2008, and the other senator had dumped his wife and moved in with his mistress.

On the day after the election, ABC’s Good Morning America did not bother to report on it, as noted by the Media Research Center’s Scott Whitlock. CBS’s Early Show gave it a liberal slant while failing to mention that two Democrats would face recall elections in Wisconsin on Aug. 16. NBC’s Today show, a four-hour program, mentioned the vote result only once.

Even as unions and Democrats bravely talked of recalling Republican Gov. Scott Walker next year, the impact was clear to all but the reality-challenged, such as Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the Wisconsin branch of the AFL-CIO, who said, incomprehensibly, “Let's be clear, anyway you slice it, this is an unprecedented victory."

Really? Even MSNBC called it “a big setback for Democrats, organized labor, and progressive groups.”

In rejecting the recalls, Wisconsin voters backed Walker’s bold reforms that sharply curbed public employee union power and restored fiscal sanity without raising taxes. The state government no longer automatically collects union dues from public employees, which gives those employees a choice about whether they want a portion of their pay to go to union political activities. The unions aren’t into “choice” unless we’re talking about backing pro-abortion candidates.

In July, a Democrat senator survived the first slated recall vote. On Aug. 16, two of the other Democrats who fled the state earlier this year rather than vote on legislation will face a recall election. If they go down, an estimated $14 million spent by unions will result in a net gain of zero seats and a too-obvious-to-ignore rebuke from voters.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.