DEMINT VS THE AMERICAN MAINSTREAM…. If there’s one thing the ongoing uproar in Wisconsin helps prove, it’s that collective-bargaining rights have become a staple of the American mainstream. Regrettably, some still refuse to see it that way.

Take Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), for example.

DeMint weighed in strongly on behalf of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), who’s been locked in a protracted battle with public employees over legislation that would strip their unions of most collective bargaining rights.

“It’s a bigger issue than people think, and it’s something that I’m going to work a lot on, because I really don’t think that collective bargaining has any place in representative government,” DeMint said on WVOC radio.

This may be an issue DeMint intends to “work a lot on,” but he shouldn’t expect to have much success.

Greg Sargent’s been working diligently lately on highlighting public attitudes on this, and the results all point in the same direction. The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, for example, finds that a 62% majority believe it’s unacceptable to eliminate public employees’ collective-bargaining rights.

Greg noted, “[T]his is now the fourth national poll to find the public supports public employees against governors looking to roll back their bargaining rights. Gallup, the New York Times and Pew (to a slightly lesser degree) have all found the same.”

Even New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), whose hatred of public employee unions is unquestioned, told constituents last night, “I love collective bargaining.”

The very idea of collective bargaining has no place “in representative government”? Good luck with that, Jim.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.