The miracle in Wisconsin has had a profound effect on both the perception of public employee unions and the Republican Party. Over the years, the GOP has been hard to define. It is perhaps more easily defined by its struggles than its unity. In time, it became difficult for the original anti-slavery party to attract large numbers of black voters. It has also tended to be less popular with Hispanics than the Democratic Party is. Until recently, the GOP was suffering from an identity crisis, with internal competition of several very different ideological blocs, none of which were dominant enough to determine the GOP’s presidential nominee on their own. Some fiscal conservatives within the party are ardent social moderates or even socially liberal. Then there are Republicans who vote purely the social issues. Social conservatives, libertarians, establishment (“country club”) Republicans, blue-collar Republicans, social moderates, and the Tea Party all combine to form the shifting mosaic which comprises the GOP. This is why some nominees — like John McCain — split and diluted the Republican vote, making it harder for the GOP to win the White House. One of life’s greatest political ironies is that the GOP — not the Democratic Party — is truly diverse and boasts the bigger tent.
The different factions within the GOP all share one common characteristic — they are all fiscal conservatives. They abhor debt and deficits, believe in small government, and strive for lower taxes. They want big government off the backs of employers and employees alike, and believe in equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. They realize life isn’t fair, and government can’t make it so. The real difficulty facing the Republican Party over the last forty years has been an inability to coalesce and cobble together a coalition of these diverse factions.
Scott Walker’s miraculous win, made possible by the over-reaching and miscalculations of public employee unions, has caught national attention and caused a rebirth of sorts within the Republican Party. Walker’s fight and ultimate victory over government union greed and excess has become a clarion call for common sense, a catalyst bringing together the factions within the Republican Party around the nucleus which holds them together: fiscal conservatism. The common cause of saving the republic has united the clans and lit a fire within the GOP. And all because of what happened in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin, the birthplace of the Republican Party.