What is the lesson learned from the WIsconsin election result? That Democratic leaders should not assume that their voters are knee-jerk pro-public sector union.  17% of pro Scott Walker voters said in exit polling that they support President Obama, but only 6% of anti-Scott Walker voters said they are supporting Mitt Romney. 

Deval Patrick and Democratic House and Senate leaders in Massachusetts showed with their support for municipal health care reform last year that it is possible for Democrats to do right by the public (in that case, schoolchildren) even when it means bucking the unions. If Democrats did more of that, they'd probably win over more voters.
 
 
Reporter Noah Bierman of the Boston Globe did a long piece on Sunday taking a look at Deval Patrick's record on reform:
"Patrick, over nearly four years in office, has steered the state through a number of high-profile changes in the way it does business. Aside from transportation, Patrick has signed or implemented overhauls of laws on ethics, pensions, criminal records, detail pay and education stipends for police, auto insurance, municipal health care, charter schools, and others. Patrick and his supporters say no governor has made so much progress taking on the entrenched political culture of Massachusetts, pointing to regular labor protests as evidence that he has taken on powerful constituencies. Steve Crosby, dean of the McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston, said Patrick deserves credit for taking on police details at construction sites and education incentives for law enforcement. “That’s threatening the police unions, the public safety unions, and most governors wouldn’t touch that with a 10-foot poll,’’ said Crosby, who is neutral in the race. “That takes a lot of nerve, a lot of courage.’"... “Reform has not been the administration’s first instinct,’’ said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, a business-backed watchdog often consulted by lawmakers and the administration. “He does deserve some credit for doing some reforms, though in some cases he’s been dragged kicking and screaming, and others have been untouched.’’