Like a wave bashing into the shoreOh, Hootie. Even now your profound words shed light on the problems of the world.
You wash away my dreams.
Time, why you walk away?
Like a friend with somewhere to go
You left me crying...
The huge crowds of the opening weekends have dwindled considerably, even as organizers try to find bigger and bigger names to stoke attendance. Protesters have now been denied the opportunity to use an overcrowded and occupied State Capitol as a symbol of their resistance.
The visuals are no longer compelling, and absent violence or big crowds, there's nothing new to add to the story. You've got forty people hanging out in the rotunda, and their arguments are no different than they were three weeks ago. What was a compelling story two weeks ago is now an afterthought. The stories shift from the headlines to the sidebars, and then off the front page entirely.
People's opinions are all over the map, and seem very evenly split on many issues, between siding with Walker and siding with Democrats. But for the overwhelming majority of voters, these issues of collective bargaining are like campaign finance reform. People say they care, but at the end of the day, there are other issues they care about a lot more.
The vast majority of Wisconsinites have no direct stake in this discussion. They don't directly benefit. They aren't directly harmed.
It's easy for them to understand how more jobs, or better jobs, or an improved economy will help them. Asking them to understand why it's important for them to give more of their money to public employees? Any benefit there is a lot harder to explain. People might be sympathetic, but to expect that sympathy to swing their vote? That's a big leap of faith.
Bob Jauch is right. Senate Democrats can't stay away forever. They know it, and the Republicans know it. The Democrats' biggest enemy right now isn't Scott Walker. It's time. And nobody ever wins a battle against time.
Time passes. Casual supporters are stripped away. People's attention shifts elsewhere, and all that's left are a handful of diehards fighting a battle in which everyone else has lost attention.