Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Walker: Winning!

I'll have a column in Sunday's Journal Sentinel on the recalls. Both sides are claiming victory but there are two telling facts. The first is that Republicans are happy with the outcome and Democrats are not. That shouldn't surprise anyone. You don't spend millions and millions of dollars to pick up two Senate seats.

Second, when Obama overreached he lost a house. The supposedly "historic" Wisconsin recalls were outperformed by the ... Tea Party!

To be sure, the Dems drew some blood. The Walker reforms are controversial and step on the toes of some very powerful constituencies. When you can cherry pick Republicans in the most vulnerable districts and then bring national money to the table, you ought to be able to draw some blood. But the bottom line remains.

Governor Walker stuck to his guns and has, so far, surivived everything the left can throw at him. That is, in the words of Charles Sheen, winning.


Dad29 said...

And in the words of St. Vince Lombardi: 'Second place is the best loser.'

Anonymous said...

And how do teams get to first place and win a championship? It's called progress. People motivated by accomplishing a goal. And Lombardi certainly knew how to get his point across.

It's politics...there will be defeats and low points for political parties.


Two seats GAINED by Democrats.

A 17-16 split in the Senate, with two moderate GOP’ers possessing a swing vote. Now Governor Walker is calling for bi-partisanship and even Scott Fitzgerald acknowledged this tighter margin. "The agenda will probably be items that people could perceive as not being as contentious.” Gee, ya think?

Nine Democratic candidates:  244,978 votes  
Nine Republican candidates:  238,527 votes

And here it is, the money quote--“Overall, the GOP vote share in these nine districts was about SEVEN PERCENTAGE POINTS LOWER in the recalls than it was for governor last fall. The Republican drop-off from Walker’s 2010 vote is probably more meaningful in the case of the six GOP-held Senate seats, since those contests more closely resembled a referendum on the governor and his agenda than did the three races featuring Democratic incumbents.  In those six races, the GOP Senate incumbents got a combined 52% of the two-party vote, roughly FOUR POINTS LOWER than Walker’s performance in those same districts last year.” JSONLINE’s Craig Gilbert

Blood was drawn, and it's dripping on the floor.

Moreover, the source the professor linked to provides an AN OPINION that “when folks get off the fence they’re tending to vote anti-recall.” Possibly, but given the fact that his approval ratings have dropped overall, especially among independents, with Democrats more unified than ever, Walker is vulnerable. Fact! The question is whether Democrats will take their shot. I'm not too sure, given the potential long-term consequences--this is called a measured position.

When the shoe was on the other foot, and Republicans were "behind" after the 2008 Elections, conservatives offered similar arguments. So while “minor” victories to the professor and Dad29, it is progress forward. And moving ahead is “winning”.

Anonymous said...

We all should applaud Gov Walker for his vision to change the future from the disaster of the past. While his experience in politics has shown him these things it just takes the general population a little more time to see that his vision includes a better life for all people.

Our countries financial and healthcare problems are complicated but it appears that leaders like Gov Walker are working to serve the people and I perceive that decorating the Governors mansion with Civil War paintings has more meaning that we haven't yet seen.

Anonymous said...

The Republicans lose two seats. Winning!

Dad29 said...


Let's see the union-funding numbers in '12 and '14 before we talk about 'winning.'


A Nonymouse said...

Wisconsin was close to an event horizon in politics - meaning the public employee unions were close to an irreversible majority. But a weak and irresolute gov. candidate (Barrett), coupled with a distant and apathetic Washington administration, allowed enough of the electorate to delay if not distract the march over the cliff. True, after the recalls dems reacquired two senate seats, but only after throwing everything up against the wall that could be thrown. It remains to be seen if that tactic can be repeated in the next round of elections, but I'd be surprised if it isn't attempted. After all, it sorta worked - Walker has a squishy senate majority and has already done something (conversely) Doyle never did - talk of accomodating dem's sensibilities. And dems have another problem - the ineffectual, narcissistic, and immature Indonesian Commander in Chief on vacation, where he will remain where ever he travels, and thus Wisconsin is no longer a potential proving ground for the BHO 2012 campaign.

Tom said...

I see it like a siege on a castle - the Democrats laying siege to a Republican stronghold.

The Dems threw 6 waves at the castle walls. They reached the walls on 2 of those waves and were able to take out a few catapults and ballistae in the towers, but were thrown back before they could gain control.

The Repubs launched 3 sorties out of a sally port, trying to knock out the attackers' trebuchets. They didn't get any.

Now it's the winter season and the two armies are taking a break from campaigning.

In other words, the advantage has shifted closer to the Democrats than it was previously, but surviving a siege is always a victory.

Anonymous said...

There ceratinly not going to win Herb Kohls Senate seat if they don't get a good candidate for it.

George Mitchell said...

From Feingold's decision one can interpret a conclusion on his part that the recalls fell short of Dem hopes. Going forward, the general success of the budget (including collective bargaining changes) and the redistricting will pose big challenges for Wis Dems. Their failure to make collective bargaining an issue in the recalls is instructive.

Anonymous said...

DaddyZero continues the right-wing mantra that only the unions spent money on the recall elections. This is poppycock. The total spending on each side was likely equal.

The folks at the McIver Institute pretend to report actual news, but their coverage of this issue is very telling. A "report" showed the flow of money on the left into various groups in Wisconsin.

Did the McIver partisans measure and report on the money raised and spent on the right? Of course not, because balanced "journalism" isn't what their donors pay for. They pay for partisan poppycock.

It is telling that knuckle-dragging mouth breather in a heavily Republican Senate District was unable to unseat Sen. Holperin.

Daddy Zero thinks that Kim Simac lost because of all the union money spent to prop up Holperin.

Wrongo, Zero. Kim Simac lost because folks measured her up for what she is: bat-shit crazy.

Dad29 said...

only the unions spent money on the recall elections.

The CPUSA operative "Anonymous"....

Amazing inferences from you. Tired, boring, inane, but it's the best you have.

What I actually said was that WIsconsin's Big Labor will NOT have $20 million to spend here in '12.

They might not have $2 million.

They might not have $200 thou.

George Mitchell said...

It is impossible to rewind the clock and imagine Dems being happy with a forecast that spending $20m would get them: (1) a seat in an area Kloppenburg won; (2) another where the incumbent is in a messy divorce; and (3) a Senate where Rs still are in the majority.

Let Folkbum and his ilk claim victory.

Who's there candidate to oppose Scott Walker in a recall? Walker would win handily.

Anonymous said...

Gov Walker should call Ohio and tell them we will actively pursue as much business from them as possible if they belly up on their collective bargaining law...

Anonymous said...

Let's see if Tate keeps his job.