Some pretty remarkable developments are under way in Massachusetts, where the state House of Representatives, where Democrats hold a 128-32 majority, has just voted 111-42 to "strip police officers, teachers, and other municipal employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care," as the Boston Globe puts it. The Globe quotes Robert J. Haynes, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, as vowing, "We are going to fight this thing to the bitter end," and observing, "these are the same Democrats that all these labor unions elected." Also last night, the same Massachusetts House voted unanimously "to ban welfare recipients from spending their cash benefits on alcohol, tobacco, and lottery tickets," as the Globe puts that.
When the Democrats in Massachusetts are voting to rein in health care benefits for public employees and restrict welfare spending, it's a sign that, for all but the self-proclaimed bitter-enders, these concepts have transcended partisan politics and moved into the realm of common-sense consensus. It's really good news.