Or perhaps more aptly, the first victory in a long time for Wisconsin taxpayers.
After legislative Democrats convened a lame duck session at the behest of outgoing Gov. Doyle to ratify 17 public employee contracts, it was assumed they had the 11th hour votes. They were effectively tying the hands of Governor-elect Scott Walker and the incoming Republican legislative majorities, who rightly insisted on maximum flexibility in dealing with the state's $3.3 billion overspending problem.
Until a shocking twist late last night:
Stunned Democrats stripped Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker of his leadership position after he abruptly turned on them and voted against new contracts for state workers.
The deals looked all but dead after Decker's about-face late Wednesday night. Senate Democrats planned to reconvene at 10 a.m. Thursday, but they can't approve the contracts without the Weston Democrat's support.
An unlikely hero, Decker, who convened the Senate special session in the first place, voted the 17 contracts out of committee but then joined Sen. Jeff Plale (D-Milwaukee) in crossing the aisle and killing the bills.
This was far from the only bizarre aspect of the lame duck. The Democrats actually negotiated to get Rep. Jeff Wood (I-Chippewa Falls) out of jail briefly to provide the decisive aye vote for the contracts. Thankfully, Wisconsin's revolving door policy for convicted legislators was not enough to ram this legislation through.
Scott Walker secured his first legislative victory last night. He'll be able to pursue his principled agenda, bereft of tax increases, without any last-minute tampering from a defeated majority.