THE MESSAGE FROM WISCONSIN
NEW YORK TIMES
Mr. Walker’s campaign raised seven times as much money as Mr. Barrett’s, much of it in six-figure checks from some of the same business interests contributing millions to Republican “super PACs” and advocacy groups this year, including Sheldon Adelson and Bob Perry. ...The tactics worked in Wisconsin, and in several other states. Labor, so long in decline in the private sector, is also losing its clout in states and cities, unable to match or withstand the unfettered bank accounts of industry. The people who kept Mr. Walker and his policies in power are just getting started.
SCOTT WALKER'S WINNING WAYS
BY JOE SCARBOROUGH
Few politicians were so graceful in victory as Walker and even fewer learned from their mistakes as quickly as he did in 2011. That humility was on full display [Tuesday] night as Walker used his acceptance speech to thank God, lift up his family and praise his Democratic opponent while telling Wisconsin Republicans to work harder on bipartisan compromise. He even used his speech to admit again that he should have listened more before moving on union reform. The governor told his partisan followers that "more unites us than divides us" and that "now is the time to move forward together." ...That was a winning formula in Wisconsin [Tuesday] night and could be the way forward for a party that has recently had the habit of unnecessarily provoking persuadable voters.
THE AGE OF UNSATISFYING WARS
BY JOHN A. NAGL
NEW YORK TIMES
Like any successful counterinsurgency, Afghanistan is likely to end somewhat unsatisfyingly for Americans, with a corrupt but gradually improving government in Kabul, advisers helping Afghan security forces fight a weakening but still dangerous Taliban, and a schizophrenic Pakistan alternately helping Afghan and Taliban fighters. It may also, in the odd logic of counterinsurgency, be more likely to succeed if we leave the project somewhat unfinished. T. E. Lawrence, no slouch as an insurgent himself, advised: “Do not try to do too much with your own hands ...It is their war, and you are to help them, not to win it for them.”
DEMS PLAY WITH DYNAMITE
BY MICHAEL GERSON
By siding with public employees in the state and local budget disputes, the national Democratic Party is playing with dynamite. Voters are sometimes willing to accept new taxes to purchase shared public benefits such as roads or schools. But even in liberal California cities, voters are reluctant to raise tax revenues to transfer directly to the retirement benefits of a middle-class interest group. So public-sector unions seek to channel resources away from education, parks and libraries into pensions — making public unions a major obstacle to the adequate provision of public services. This is a losing political proposition in Wisconsin, California or just about anywhere else in the country.
ANGELA MERKEL'S FIRESIDE CHAT
BY MATT MILLER
The German chancellor should listen to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first fireside chat, delivered on March 12, 1933, eight days after Roosevelt took office. Banks had failed in droves, as citizens who’d lost confidence in the system withdrew their cash. Fear and panic were palpable. Some version of this psychology could afflict big chunks of Europe soon. ...Merkel will need to summon an almost superhuman empathy with the entirety of Europe. And she’ll need to marshal that understanding to sell a course of action so compelling that hundreds of millions of people over whom she has no jurisdiction will accept her authority to steer them through these trying days. If ever the historical moment makes the man or the woman, we’re about to find out.
WISCONSIN'S DANGEROUS RESULT
BY E.J. DIONNE, JR.
The left will make a big mistake if it ignores the lessons of the failed recall in Wisconsin of Gov. Scott Walker (R). The right will make an even bigger error if it allows the Wisconsin results to feed its inclination toward winner-take-all politics. The danger on the right is greater because winning an epic fight is a heady experience and conservatives can claim a real victory here. ...For the left, conservative hubris would be the best outcome from Wisconsin. Nothing would do more to push swing voters the progressives’ way. But liberals and labor are operating in a difficult environment. They need to pick their fights carefully and match their energy with a new discipline and a cool realism about the power arrayed against them.
WHAT A ROMNEY RECOVERY MIGHT LOOK LIKE
BY PHIL GRAMM AND GLENN HUBBARD
WALL STREET JOURNAL
The difference between the Obama and Romney policies reflects a fundamental disagreement about the engine that drives the American economy. Mr. Obama believes government is the driver of growth, and that short-term stimulus and greater regulation is what the country needs. Mr. Romney believes growth comes from the private sector and government should get long-term policy right—restraining federal spending to avoid tax hikes, reforming the tax code, and regulating more wisely. ... Jobs are sustainable only when profits are sustainable. The American economy was built on the profits earned by serving consumers, and it will only be saved by earning profits. The president apparently does not understand that basic point. Do voters?