There are signs Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has begun to look for a face-saving way to dig out from what a majority of people believe was a colossal overreach to abolish collective bargain rights.
But there is a long way go to go before the epiphany.
Even as Walker put in motion today the process of laying off 1,500 public employees over the unions' refusal to accept his anti-labor edict, he is beginning to look for a compromise that might spare his GOP colleagues some tough races amid the public relations debacle he has caused for the Republican Party in Wisconsin.
“It has come to a point where there could be a breakthrough,” state Sen. Chris Larson, on of 14 Democrats who fled the state to avoid a vote on the union issue, told The New York Times.
Walker continues to say the layoffs can be avoided, but only if workers give up their rights. "While these notices start the process needed to [fire] state employees, if the Senate Democrats come back to Wisconsin, these notices may be able to be rescinded and layoffs avoided," said a statement released by Walker's office.
The unions have long believed that Walker would sink center-right Republicans with a draconian approach to public employees' job security in a bad economy.
"As you can imagine, it’s no surprise that folks think (Republican) senators may abandon Walker, as the polling numbers show – including even Rasmussen – are driving them off a cliff," AFL-CIO spokesman Eddie Vale said in an email.
Meanwhile, protesters are complying with a judge's order to clear out of the Capitol at night.