As union fights continued throughout the U.S., Obama remained outside the fray from the legislative infighting in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Ohio. The approach was widely seen as a good move by Democrats, who believed Obama would risk his bipartisan clout by jumping into the fight. Instead, Obama reiterated his support for a bipartisan deal on the budget before announcing his decision not to defend DOMA. The one-two punch showed how effective Obama can be when he appeals to both his liberal base and moderates looking for bipartisanship. Obama is reaching into the "comeback kid" playbook he perfected the week DADT was repealed and the Bush-era tax cuts were extended. This week "Obama the candidate" showed up. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's (R) attack on unions is motivated by politics, and it's a move Republicans have been dying to make for years. Undercutting a key plank of the Democratic Party can seriously tilt the national playing field, and now more than a few Republican governors are trying to follow Walker's lead. We hear there are some serious recriminations within union ranks about how they spent their money in 2010; these assaults on labor aren't something that could have come from Washington. When Buffalo Beast editor Ian Murphy prank-called Walker, he could not have thought that the phone call would reinforce beliefs of Democratic activists so significantly. To gain access and a very frank conversation with Walker, all Murphy had to do was offer a mildly plausible story impersonating businessman David Koch. Democratic activists have long believed the Koch brothers were powerhouses in all GOP policies and a prank call just reinforced tier beliefs.
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