Was it really just a few years ago where the Republicans were constantly talking about "the rule of law"? I'm actually glad this happened, because now there's absolutely no doubt that Scott Walker's primary goal was not to balance the budget, but to break the state employee unions:
Madison, Wisconsin (CNN) -- Wisconsin's Republican-led state Senate passed Gov. Scott Walker's proposed restrictions on collective bargaining for public employees Wednesday, getting around a Democratic walkout by stripping financial provisions from the bill.
"Tonight, the Senate will be passing the items in the Budget Repair Bill that we can with the 19 members who actually do show up and do their jobs," Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, the chamber's Republican majority leader, said in a statement announcing the move.
The Senate's 14 Democrats had fled to Illinois to prevent the chamber from attaining a quorum and passing the collective bargaining measures, which they have called an unnecessary attack on the rights of public employees. Republicans were able to move ahead by voting only on the nonfinancial aspects of Walker's proposed bill, which requires fewer members for a quorum.
[...] Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the state AFL-CIO, said Wednesday night's maneuver "shows that Scott Walker and the Republicans have been lying throughout this entire process."
"None of the provisions that attacked workers' rights had anything to do with the budget," Neuenfeldt said. "Losing badly in the court of public opinion and failing to break the Democratic senators' principled stand, Scott Walker and the GOP have eviscerated both the letter and the spirit of the law and our democratic process to ram through their payback to their deep-pocketed friends."