He has liberated them from the soothing illusion that they are popular, and that the public agrees with them.

How do you think the leadership of the Wisconsin chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees fell to 28,745 in February from 62,818 in March 2011? How do you think they greeted the sudden realization that two-thirds of the members, given the option of leaving and cease paying union dues, headed for the exits?

The leadership of the unions have done a terrible job – and have spent years convinced that the membership loved them, and that the public thought well of them as well. That may have been true at some point, but it is no longer the case, and no amount of spin can change that. Better for these organizations to confront the hard truth, and work to earn back that trust of members and the public at large, then to insist that all is well and ignore the problems.