By Brent Budowsky - 04/04/11 11:34 PM EDT
Wisconsin Democrats are filing recall petitions that could result in the Wisconsin Senate being controlled by Democrats. Summer 2011 will bring white-hot midterm elections and a potential Wisconsin Waterloo for the GOP that is spreading to other states and could shift the tectonic plate of American politics.
In Wisconsin, Ohio and other states a powerful backlash is brewing from giant swaths of voters who failed to turn out for Democrats or regret their votes for Republicans in 2010. They feel demonized by GOP attacks and financially threatened by GOP policies. They will be highly motivated to vote.
Recently the Polish trade union Solidarity, one of the great voices for freedom in modern history, endorsed the Wisconsin workers and condemned the attacks on them by GOP Gov. Scott Walker. More voters agree with Solidarity than with Wisconsin Republicans.
In Ohio, the widely unpopular Republican governor, John Kasich, who was caught on tape verbally abusing a police officer who gave him a ticket, has now added both police and firefighters to the list of enemies he attacked in legislation. Most Americans view firefighters and police as heroes who risk their lives to save their neighbors, not as demons to attack or targets to have their financial security threatened.
In Washington, the GOP has added the venerable AARP to its enemies list. AARP has long represented tens of millions of seniors with honor. For Republicans to launch a Nixonian attack against them is an act of political stupidity that will not be well-received by senior voters.
Republicans wage holy war against National Public Radio, one of the fairest media in the nation, and one that provides vital service to small-town America and includes many Republicans among its fans.
Republicans threaten to shut down the government to pursue their war against Planned Parenthood, which is supported by many Republican women, while they attack a long list of programs important to mainstream American women. Many Republicans oppose efforts to achieve pay equity for women.
House Republicans even want to cut programs that help homeless veterans, cuts that Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) speak eloquently against.
The Texas GOP is likely to attempt to cheat Hispanics out of representation in Congress through a gerrymander similar to that once orchestrated by disgraced former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay. Many Republicans use tactics on immigration that are anathema to many Hispanics.
House Republicans will be widely blamed for any government shutdown or economic collapse from a failure to extend the debt ceiling if they pursue their partisan and ideological vendettas and refuse to accept 50-50 offers from Democrats.
A Wisconsin Waterloo is a real danger to Republicans. Where the GOP sees demons to attack, many voters see themselves.
Budowsky was an aide to former Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Bill Alexander, then chief deputy majority whip of the House. He holds an LL.M. degree in international financial law from the London School of Economics. He can be read on The Hill’s Pundits Blog and reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.