Opinion Brief

Wisconsin teachers in revolt: Who will win the budget showdown?

Up to 13,000 public sector workers and trades unions have stormed the streets of Madison, Wisc., to protest the Republican governor's budget cuts

The video: Public schools across Wisconsin are shut for a second day today as teachers flood to the state capital to protest Governor Scott Walker's budget. (View video of the demonstration below.) The Republican's proposal would slash benefits for most of the state's public sector employees, and limit trade unions' bargaining rights. Walker says clamping down on the unions is the only way to get his budget passed, but critics say he is using the state's financial circumstances to bust up organized labor. As many as 13,000 people have flooded the area around Madison's capitol building, cheering and shouting as the Senate inside prepare to vote for or against Walker's bill. 
The reaction: The Left has finally found its voice, says Laura Clawson at the Daily Kos. This is a protest the likes of which "we've rarely seen in this country in recent decades." Finally, "working people" have decided to say no to "yet another attempt to make them — make us — the villains of a lousy economy." But teachers' unions are a key part of the problem, says Jay Nordlinger at the National Review. "For decades now, union militancy has dragged the teaching profession through the mud." And now that the unions' grasp on state finances is slipping, they're rebelling against elected officials. "Stay strong," Governor Walker. Hang onto this opportunity to "restore sanity to our public affairs." Watch a video of protesters surrounding the state capital:

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