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Wed Jun 6, 2012, 02:35 PM


About the Wisconsin recall election

Steve Benen: As the dust settles in Wisconsin, and the right basks in Gov. Scott Walker’s recall victory, the obvious question is coming to terms with how the incumbent managed to overcome the extensive grassroots opposition to his agenda and candidacy. There is, however, no great mystery here – consider this chart we aired on last night’s show.

…. Money doesn’t always translate into success, but …. this kind of enormous financial advantage meant the deck was stacked in the governor’s favor. Democrats, unions, and progressive activists gave it their all, but they ran into a juggernaut of conservative cash that proved to be too formidable.

…. the governor, his party, and his very wealthy allies have created a blueprint for other Republicans to follow elsewhere – crushing public-sector unions in order to destroy one of the pillars of the Democratic Party’s electoral foundation. If labor can’t organize, Democrats can’t compete.

Tom Barrett lost last night, but he wasn’t the only one.


Found on the Obama Diary

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Reply About the Wisconsin recall election (Original post)
Playinghardball Jun 2012 OP
Jackpine Radical Jun 2012 #1
scribble Jun 2012 #3
russspeakeasy Jun 2012 #2
mysuzuki2 Jun 2012 #4
shcrane71 Jun 2012 #5

Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 02:37 PM

1. Obama hasn't been subjected to the kind of attacks Barrett faced.

Not yet. Anyway, as long as he has enough money to fight back, I guess he'll do OK here.

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Response to Jackpine Radical (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 03:14 PM

3. Bitter, bitter pills and some good news

Local union officials in Wisconsin were not in touch with their members. They were late providing support to what was, essentially, a wildcat strike, but conducted with much more wisdom and purpose. Officials couldn't have been quieter over the last two years. No op-eds; no interviews; very few appearances before their memberships when it would have counted.

The State Democratic Party and union activists ignored Liberal activists in "red"
counties, who were ready to go but never brought into the loop. Howard Dean must still
be banging his head on a brick wall in frustration.

The Wisconsin State Democratic party never did quite support the strike, or the recall effort;
or, apparently, their own candidate for Governor. This, even though some Democratic State Legislators bravely retreated to Illinois to give everybody a chance to properly organize and fight back.

The National Democratic Party didn't make Wisconsin the issue that it deserved to be,
nor did they offer anything but insultingly late and superficial support for that effort.

Obama was A.W.O.L.

The Democratic candidate for Governor was a colorless party functionary who didn't
understand why the demonstrations had taken place in the first place. He has already
lost to Walker just two years ago.

National Progressive journalists misreported events to their progressive readership
outside Wisconsin. They said it was a close race when it was no such thing, and most
of them had to know that. They were late to the party, brought box wine, and wanted credit for champaigne.

NOBODY watched precincts and exit polls through the last three Statewide Wisconsin elections. This in a State where Republicans have recently stolen a Governorship, a Senate seat and a State Supreme Court seat, in just two years.

NOBODY took a close look at who, exactly, was voting FOR Walker, nor did they try to
shape messages that would appeal to them. I'll bet nobody knows who voted for Walker
(and why) to this day.

I'll bet Walker actually lost yesterday, but the Democrats were too clueless to catch him stuffing ballot boxes. At least some Wisconsin counties vote on DeBold machines. It would be no trick at all to invent 50,000 votes spread through fifteen friendly counties, and steal the election.

Now everybody wants to give up the fight as if they have already lost. This is just the first
skirmish in a long battle they'd better be willing to wage.

The good news, is that we're still standing. We can win if we solve these problems.


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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 02:40 PM

2. The recall proved; you can't beat anybody with nobody.

Barrett was an extremely weak challenger. Money was a big factor, but you have to have something to say.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 03:24 PM

4. This battle may have been lost but the war has not!

We fight on.

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Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 03:43 PM

5. Another purchased election. Another complacent media that isn't asking hard-hitting questions.

Another loss for US democracy.

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