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How will GOP handle election letdown? Michigan union fight offers clues.


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Even though both have said the bill is not necessary, neither state Senator Richardville nor Governor Snyder has said they would block a right-to-work bill if introduced by their party.

Snyder and like-minded moderates are likely hesitant to go after unions because they see how similar fights in Wisconsin and Ohio galvanized progressives, perhaps helping them get out the vote Tuesday – and helping the president and other Democrats, says William Rosenberg, a political scientist at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

“Those rather aggressive anti-union stances gave unions an opportunity to really organize and, as a result, those earlier skirmishes came back to haunt the Republicans in this presidential race,” Professor Rosenberg says.

After this week’s election, Michigan lawmakers are also walking the same tightrope as their national counterparts in Washington in determining how best to establish their agenda without appearing overly confrontational.

“Politicians don’t want to overreach, in that by overreaching, sometimes you might win a short-term gain, but maybe you’ll lose on the longer-term perspective,” Rosenberg says. “The Republican Party has got an identity problem as to who they are going to be and how to approach it. There’s great tension there.”


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