Well I could rant on about whatever the hell happened in Wisconsin yesterday regading the Recall Gov. Scott Walker effort. But I won’t. I think it’s much more appropriate to guest post the thoughts of a friend who resides in the state and worked hard for the effort. Without further ado:
A Madison Resident steams in Mad-City:
Short answer: Walker held on by outspending Barrett on tv ads by a margin of between seven and ten to one. The ads were either a) the indisputable fact–and not campaign hyperbole–is that we saved Wisconsin by balancing the budget or b) Tom Barrett has turned Milwaukee into a hell on earth, as evidenced by this photo of a dead baby that Barrett is responsible for in some vague, non-actionable way. Walker also got some cushioning from people who don’t personally like him but who are offended by the concept of the recall. And finally, I think, despite the demonstrably crappy job he’s done as governor, Walker is still powered by an undercurrent of up-state envy, people who hate Madison liberals for being more affluent and educated and therefore more smug than they are.
Honestly, I don’t know who the hell Walker’s supporters are. I really can’t fathom this. He is as close to a mustache twirling villain as I’ve ever seen in Wisconsin politics, a demagogic bully who is willing to do anything to further his political aspirations, and who doesn’t care who he stomps on to do it. As near as I can figure, I guess, is that his supporters are people, suburbanists especially, who are afraid of losing their stuff and who are willing to let budget cuts fall on everyone else in order for them to maintain the subsidized lifestyle they somehow deserve. And Walker understands that, and promises he’s the only one standing between them and the special interests, the bogeyman union bosses, who want to make them pay for incompetent, indoctrinating teachers they can’t fire and make them sit next to other people on crowded non-high speed trains, trolleys really, because they want to put the earth’s needs above people’s.
So, shorter answer: Walker won because we live in uncertain times and he shows no uncertainty.
The worst part now is how smug Walker is going to be as he rolls out his next legislative session using the failed recall as a cudgel. Of course, before that, we will be treated to Walker lapping up national attention as the new-flavor-of-the-month frontrunner in the VP sweepstakes, coyly declining consideration, finally, in the interests of running the state. Which is to say that VP consideration for Walker will continue up to the point the Romney team does its background check and discovers just how dirty Walker is. Walker’s lawyers spent the past six weeks before the election trying to get letters from both the Feds and the Milwaukee County DA’s office declaring that Walker wasn’t the target of an investigation–either when he was Milwaukee County Exec or sitting as governor–and they couldn’t get them. Thirteen people around Walker have now been given immunity, so something’s coming down the pike.
Which points to what I hate most about Walker: this may sound quaint but what I really can’t stomach is that he has no sense of fair play. The whole John Doe investigation centers around his using his office for campaigning, for using the levers of power to help himself. Ever since he got elected he has been working tirelessly to tilt the playing field for his own benefit. He’s called special sessions to get around legislative rules and when that wasn’t enough he broke laws to muscle his bill through. His legislators on redistricting met in secret and then passed a bill so gerrymandered that the courts struck parts of it down. he passed a voter ID law to disenfranchise as many Democrats as possible. And, of course, his whole emergency budget bill was less about a budget crisis and more about cutting off political opponents at the knees. And all the while he crows hypocritically and piously (I can’t count the number of times he’s mentioned that he’s the son of a minister) about how hard he is working for Wisconsin, again, standing up against the special interests. Every time he parrots that line I want to throw something at him, because how much more special an interest can you get than the Koch Brothers.
In other words, this one really hurt. I put in a lot of get out the vote work, and I started letting myself get hopeful. And now I don’t know anything anymore.
But thanks for letting me vent. That actually made me feel better.
A Mad-City Parent