Back when Michael Steele was in charge of the Republican Party, you could argue that its brightest rising star was Virginia's new Republican chief, Governor Bob McDonnell. Then Mr. McDonnell bought himself a whole lot of trouble, with that thing about how to restore voting rights for felons and that other thing about declaring Confederate History Month in a proclamation that didn't mention slavery.
Governor McDonnell is still a star -- he's still a possible candidate for vice president -- but the really new, really hot ticket is Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Rachel Maddow:
Republicans really want this guy to be the new Ronald Reagan. He sees himself as the new Ronald Reagan. He talks about himself constantly as the new Ronald Reagan. That overlooked little institution known as the Republican Party is building their national strategy, their national reconstruction, around what's going on in Wisconsin, around Wisconsin Republicans, under the leadership of Reince Priebus, the guy who used to run the party in that state, and around the idea of Scott Walker.
This fight to strip union rights is how they are trying to rebuild the National Republican Party. And this fight to strip union rights in Wisconsin that they are building everything on, this fight is not going very well. And that would just be a state-level story about Wisconsin if this was a state-level story about Wisconsin. But it is the Republicans who have decided that this is a national fight, and therefore a national story.
The problem with picking this fight in this state -- with making Wisconsin the first domino, as Governor Walker discussed with the faux-David Koch -- is that Mr. Walker's plan to bust the state employees' unions isn't proving popular in the polls and is still stuck the state senate. (The state assembly passed it early today.) And instead of other states lining up to be dominoes number two, three, and four, governors in places like Indiana, Florida and Pennsylvania have shied away.