In a "what have you done for me lately" world, there is little that labor can now offer and it is increasingly difficult to envision future circumstances for reversing its sagging political and economic fortunes.
Even though they fell short of achieving the end goal, progressives in Wisconsin did take considerable political ground in the ongoing war over the future direction of American politics -- and the fate of the middle class.
The conservative assault on the budget, the health care law, unions, public broadcasting, and the rights of women has predictably continued. Less unpredictable was the powerful response by millions of people.
It's no surprise that Republicans are up to their old games. Having successfully blocked efforts to strengthen the right of workers to organize, they now want to stop workers from learning their rights too.
This week, Senator Bennet finally ended his silence on the Employee Free Choice Act by coming out against it. This is not surprising. What is surprising is the labor movement's messaging about Bennet's announcement.