As uplifting as "We lost the battle, but we are winning (WINNING!) the war" sounds, the grim truth is that Walker and his band of lackeys are not afraid of us. Not even a teensy weensy little bit, are they afraid.
These are made men. Like all Republican tools, they have no place to fail but up.
They aren't afraid of bad press. They own the damn press. They aren't afraid of negative polling. They'll handle that with new ways to suppress the vote. Recall--if it works--may even be a Palin-style relief for them, because governing is hard work. Walker has earned himself a permanent seat on FOX News, and the Kochs will be powdering his nose all the way to a presidential run.
This is the problem, of course, when all political leaders have to fear is falling into the luxurious arms of their corporate handlers.
They aren't afraid of the demonstrations. Oh, no. It gives them more time to demogogue on the right wing zombiewaves. They know people will eventually tire themselves out and get cold and hungry. They know the general media will finally ignore them completely, and FOX News will alternately paint protestors as pathetic, deseprate, rent-a-mob, thuggish, Socialist layabouts.
They aren't afraid of a general strike. They know too many people can't afford to get fired and starve their kids on a matter of principle. If teachers did strike, Walker would pull a Reagan and bring in a bunch of cheaply bought Tea Party scabs to teach our kids Creationism. If the cops were to strike, they'd bring in Wackenhut or Blackwater. Then they'd have their own personal paramilitary, no messy coup necessary.
They aren't afraid of violent protests. Oh, HELL no. They're so eager for violence to happen they may wind up instigating it after all. Anything to give them an excuse to loose the cannons on us smartass union slobs.
So don't kid yourself. Walker doesn't give a chili cheese-fried fuck about you or me. He wins any way we play it. These bastards learned from our complete surrender on Enron, the Patriot Act, the war crimes, the torture, the spying, the contractor fraud, the outing of a CIA agent, the bank crash and the bailouts, that corrupt Republicans don't experience consequences.
I say this not to discourage us from fighting. Rather, to discourage us from thinking this is about Walker, or just this batch of extremists, even as we go after them with every tool we have. I say this to inoculate us aginst discouragement when we gain 2 feet of ground and lose 3. We have to fight as dogged and fierce and in as many nonviolent ways as we can. We have to demonstrate. We have to recall. We have to educate and march and organize. We have to engage everyone we know about this.
But we need to realize that this fight is an endurance game. We've let them--even helped them--systematically screw us over since Reagan, and they have leveraged themselves nicely. They have the media, the churches, the banks, the Chambers of Commerce, and the guns. If we win some, they'll just fight harder and dirtier.
This will likely be a very long struggle. And it will likely get much worse for us. The good thing is, many more people are aware that we are under assault, and whose side they are really on. And that is huge progress.
Here's to digging in for a long war, friends. "When you can't walk, you crawl, and when you can't do that, you find someone to carry you."