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Could Scott Walker Have Avoided Strife in Wisconsin? Could Scott Walker Have Avoided Strife in Wisconsin?

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Could Scott Walker Have Avoided Strife in Wisconsin?

What would have happened in Wisconsin in 2010 if Republican Gov. Scott Walker had campaigned on the details of his plan to sharply reduce the collective bargaining rights and political clout of most public employee unions?

There's a good case that he might not have been elected. There's also a good case that if he had, the polarization that's led to Tuesday's recall election might be even worse.

Walker may well survive and emerge as even more of a conservative folk hero than he already is. Yet he's been in combat mode practically since he took office--raising $30 million just to keep his job, most of it from out of state. It's not an ideal way to govern. The question is whether, in these times, it's the only way.

The lessons of Wisconsin, Indiana's seven-day sprint to a right-to-work law and President Obama's long slog to health reform suggest that if you want to go big, go fast.

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