Rhode Island’s blue-on-blue showdown is heating up. Famed litigator David Boies is taking a 96 percent pay cut to represent the state against recalcitrant public sector unions. The New York Times reports:

“Mr. Boies became involved, he said, because he was convinced that Rhode Island’s pension troubles were just the tip of a $5 trillion iceberg of unsecured retirement promises to the nation’s millions of public workers. “This is something that can cripple state and municipal governments at a time when the federal government is, more and more, cutting back on the services it provides,” he said.” …

As the blue social model decays, the coalition that was once united behind it is becoming increasingly splintered and parochial. Boies, known for representing Al Gore, waging antitrust battles against Microsoft, and fighting California’s Proposition 8 in federal court, has impeccable bona fides as a liberal Democrat. But in the face of economic realities, he and other blue liberals are being forced to make fundamental choices about their values and goals.