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Wisconsin collective bargaining: Will Walker win the battle but lose the war?

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Andy Manis / AP

(Read caption) Wisconsin Senate majority leader, Scott Fitzgerald (R) of Juneau, signs orders finding the 14 missing Democrats in contempt and subject to arrest on sight, at the state Capitol in Madison, Wisc., on March 3.

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The siege of Wisconsin continues – Republican Gov. Scott Walker and 14 absent Democratic state senators remain in a standoff over a budget bill that would strip most public union workers of collective bargaining rights.

This thing has been going on for over two weeks now. Who’s winning?

The better question might be, is anybody winning?

Walker’s budget is still stuck in the legislature. The footloose Democrats are camped out across the border in Illinois, without the comforts of home. Public employee unions, which have already agreed to wage and benefit cuts, now face layoffs. Meanwhile, national polls generally show that the US public doesn’t approve of eliminating collective bargaining for public workers – as GOP lawmakers are moving to do in Indiana and Ohio, as well as Wisconsin.

That’s kind of a mess, winner-picking-wise.

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