But they are more than economic. At stake is the strength of our democracy itself. The Supreme Court decision in Citizens United opened the floodgates for the money of corporations and billionaires to corrupt our elections. The unions provide virtually the only counterbalance for working Americans. It is no coincidence that America has grown more unequal and the middle class has declined as union representation has been weakened.
In Wisconsin, stunningly, workers drew the line. The public employee unions agreed to accept Walker's economic demands, but rallied against the union-busting provisions. State Democrats joined, leaving the state to block the vote on Walker's legislation and allowing the demonstrations to gain traction. Students and activists rallied to the workers' side. The demonstrations swelled to levels not seen since the Vietnam War protests. Yet other than former House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Dick Durbin (Ill.), joined by the President Obama, national Democrats have been virtually invisible. More Green Bay Packers have spoken in support of the demonstrators than national Democrats.