Ezra Klein writes this morning, "Wisconsin is about power, not money." His point is that in asking state employees' unions to yield on collective bargaining rights, Gov. Scott Walker is looking for a way to still the less powerful of his state's creditors -- the people who work for it.
That same consideration of power exists across national politics. Rachel Maddow:
"Republicans understand that the business interests that support them have always wanted to get rid of unions -- as it has always been and as it will always be. But more directly, Republicans understand sources of Democratic political power, and they understand sources of Democratic political power well enough to be focused across the country on how they can destroy those institutions."
Unions have consistently played a major role in electing Democratic candidates. If Republicans can start breaking the unions, they stand to gain. While their Democratic colleagues continue boycotting the State Senate to avoid a vote on Gov. Walker's budget bill, Republicans are threatening to go after another source of Democratic electoral power. They're now considering a bill that would make it harder to register to vote -- and new voters tend to help Democrats.