Overnight our state turned red last week - the biggest political shift in the nation.
It was bad enough to stand with Russ Feingold's tearful staff and watch one of the nation's best senators concede to flat-earther Ron Johnson. (Watch Johnson, who won with a torrent of out-of-state money from anonymous donors and made specious attacks on Feingold's independence, to see how often he breaks ranks with his own party.)
But as much as Feingold represented Wisconsin's great progressive tradition - opposing ill-gotten wars, the dismantling of civil liberties and both parties' coddling of Wall Street - what happened to our state government will hurt us more.
We are now entering an era of out-and-out assault on everything that makes Wisconsin a great place to live.
With his "Open for Business" sign, Scott Walker announced to the world that our state is for sale to the highest bidder.
Goodbye high-quality education, well-maintained infrastructure and pristine environment. Hello privatization, massive layoffs for teachers and public employees, and a trashed environment and economy.
Despite his promise to magically create 250,000 new jobs and hand out tax cuts while eliminating a $2.7 billion budget deficit, Walker's slash-and-burn approach has cost the state hundreds of jobs, even before he takes office.
By turning back federal subsidy money and sending a Spanish train manufacturer packing, the future governor took away 500 to 1,000 good manufacturing jobs in Milwaukee, as well as thousands of other jobs that would flow from the project.
By announcing his intention to stand with the anti-abortion nuts who now control the state Legislature, Walker will kiss goodbye Wisconsin's cutting-edge stem cell research and associated biotech jobs.
One promise Walker will keep is to make public employees feel as much pain as other strapped workers, through layoffs and by gutting state worker pensions.
The Republicans are triumphant, of course. But they should be cautious. The anti-incumbent vote owes to dissatisfaction with the economy, not deeply held party loyalty. And unless things get better in a hurry, that tide of voter anger will turn against the same politicians who rode it to victory last week.
Exit polls by Hart Research Associates found that 73% of swing voters never heard of the Congressional Republicans' "Pledge to America." When asked point by point about its key elements - tax cuts for people earning more than $250,000, privatizing Social Security, eliminating the minimum wage - they overwhelmingly opposed it.
Voters want someone to fix high unemployment and the housing crisis. But Republicans have no plans to make those things better. (Johnson's top priority is rolling back health care reforms that haven't even happened yet.)
Republican support is broad but not deep. But the anger and fear are real. And if Scott Walker and the newly elected Republican Legislature make good on their plans for radical destruction in Wisconsin, they ain't seen nothing yet.
Ruth Conniff is the political editor of The Progressive.