Survival of Democratic Party at Stake in Wisconsin

For the left, it's not about right or wrong. It's about keeping their alternative universe alive - one it which they are guaranteed a standard of living that can't be sustained. Either their scam hits the wall now, or it hits the wall later. They're fighting for later.

The governor set off the protests earlier last week by pushing a measure that would require government workers to contribute more to health care and pension costs and largely eliminate collective bargaining rights.

Walker says concessions are needed to deal with the projected $3.6 billion shortfall and to avert layoffs.

Are Republicans committed to holding the line in their fight to reduce collective bargaining rights, or is that just a ploy to get more concessions on benefits?

The Senate majority leader, Scott Fitzgerald, affirmed that Republicans have not been swayed by protesters.

“The bill is not negotiable,” Fitzgerald said inside a guarded room at the Capitol. “The bill will pass as is.”

Fitzgerald said Republicans have the votes needed to pass the bill as soon as 14 Senate Democrats who fled the state on Thursday and remain in hiding return to the Statehouse. Without them, there isn’t the quorum required to vote on legislation.

But even as Jackson and Trumka spoke, the union leadership was giving ground. Because collective bargaining is the key to their business model, essential to the party's survival - they must keep taxpayer dollars flowing into their coffers. They overpay state workers, skim some of that money into union coffers, then unions give the money back to the Dems.

Democrats offered again to agree to parts of Walker’s proposal that would double workers’ health insurance contributions and require them to contribute 5.8 percent of their salary to their pensions, so long as workers retained rights to negotiate as a union.

We're willing to stop beating you up for a few minutes, the unions were offering, as long as we get to keep our brass knuckes.

Fitzgerald said he was unimpressed given that the GOP has rejected the offer for months. Restrictions on collective bargaining rights are needed so local governments and the state will have the flexibility needed to balance budgets after cuts Walker plans to announce next month, he said.

At the root of it all is the future of the Democratic Party. Without the organizational and monetary support of labor, the Democrats don't exist.

Doctors from numerous hospitals set up a station near the Capitol to provide notes covering public employees’ absences.

On the street level, the fight is simply about keeping what you have - even if what you have was wrongly attained. That's why even care givers are willing to lie and cheat taxpayers to have their way.