June 06, 2012
Legal Out of State Dollars Trump Illegal Out of State Votes?
Rumors to the contrary, neither the rule of law nor Democracy died yesterday. Despite the best efforts of big labor and a host of outside agitators, the system worked as designed... unexpectedly!
Now that this annoying voting business is so eight hours ago, a weary nation can turn its attention to the fight that really counts: the battle of competing narratives. How can we transform a local election into an accurate to 5 decimal points predictor of what to expect in November of 2012? Nevermind that that election is between two different men competing in a far larger area with different weapons and weaknesses. We want closure and we want it now!
If only there were some sort of pre-preliminary-but-scarily-accurate pre exit poll for the national election. Think of how much money and time we could save by getting it all over with now, before we are forced to contemplate pesky tradeoffs, think about the issues, or (heaven forfend!) listen to yet another debate during which neither candidate can say what he really thinks because while both parties long for honesty and courage from our candidates, no one actually votes for the guy who respects our intelligence enough to be straight with us! Such political incompetence is a deal killer in a professional politician.
Politicians must be able to address complex policy debates with the kind of reassuring moral certitude that makes us feel that there's a simple, painless solution for even the most complex problems. What this country really needs is a more authentic inauthenticity.
In case you haven't guessed, the Princess is feeling a mite cranky this morning :p
In 2010, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker beat his Democratic opponent by 5%. Two years into a term marked by controversy, strikes, and media fueled Occupy-style activism, it's not terribly surprising that Walker survived the recall. The odds were always in his favor.
What is interesting is that he increased his 2010 margin of victory by 2% and his party swept all four open Senate seats. [Update, 8:37 am: in the comments to another post, Texan99 comments: "Latest news -- it wasn't close in the races for governor, lieutenant governor, or three of the four state senators, but the Democratic challenger may have won the fourth senate race. That shifts control of the state senate to the Democrats by one vote. The Republicans still control the state assembly, so we're probably looking a gridlock in which the reforms already implemented will stay in place, but nothing more will be accomplished."] While the Editorial Staff are not quite ready to invest it with as much significance as some, that matters.
Now it's all over except for the spin. Progressives, who up until the polls turned against them were hyping the recall as The People's Revolution, will now suddenly find themselves alternating between ennui and an understandable desire to move on to the next People's Revolution. On our long commute from work last night, the airwaves were full of innuendo about "bought elections" and Walker's entirely legal out of state donations.
One wonders whether reports of unions bussing in illegal, out of state voters will receive equal time and attention? Narrative prediction: any illegal votes are unimportant and uninteresting (and anyway they were canceled out by Walker's perfectly legal out of state donations) so we should all just Move On.
After the White House was peppered with questions about President Obama's distance from Wisconsin's election to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker, Mr. Obama tweeted his support for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in between star-studded fundraisers in Manhattan Monday night:
"It's Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow, and I'm standing by Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor. -bo."
The president has resisted Democratic entreaties to campaign on behalf of Mr. Barrett in an election where Mr. Walker holds a slight lead and one that many political observers view as harbinger for the presidential election. It may have been a lesson learned the hard way after Mr. Obama waded into the losing Democratic Senate campaign of Martha Coakley, the Democratic candidate to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts in 2010, fueling stories that his support wasn't powerful enough to help Ms. Coakley over the finish line.
If Mr. Barrett feels slighted by the president's marked absence, he's not admitting it.
He told CNN's Starting Point on Tuesday that he feels ignored by the president "not one bit."
"It started out as a grassroots movement," he said. "It will end as a grassroots movement, as it should be," he said.
Well, it would appear that the grassroots have spoken. They weren't the *right* grassroots, so this election will suddenly fade from an event with national significance to a mere blip on the never ending road to serfdom. The takeaways?
The People have sent A Strong Message of Strength to Scott Walker.
Wisconsin's teachers have engendered a heartwarmingly organic and spontaneous love for public unions in their young charges... using public money!
“If teacher unions want to be strong and well supported, it is essential that they not only be teacher unionists, but teachers of unionism. We need to create a generation of students who support teachers and the movement for workers rights, oppressed peoples’ rights. That’s our responsibility.”
So much for not having enough time to do anything but teach to the test!
Posted by Cassandra at June 6, 2012 06:30 AM
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My favorite comment this morning, wrt the *strong message*, came from the Breitbart Bigs:
"LOL at Obama Campaign: "WISCONSIN LOSS A 'STRONG MESSAGE' TO WALKER".
(next up, Obama warns that "TITANIC SINKING A "STRONG MESSAGE TO ICEBERGS".)"
Posted by: DL Sly at June 6, 2012 08:40 AM
While I would like to think it shows that commmon sense prevails, I just don't know.
PrezBO has Holder and all his backers readying all they have to slime, slander, lie, cheat and steal in order to win the next election. And with no concern of a re-election, PrezBO would be worse than a loose cannon. More like a scene from "Dr. Strangelove, I fear.
I think we ain't see nothing yet.
Kbob in Katy!
Posted by: Kbob in Katy at June 6, 2012 09:04 AM
It is so good to see those unions spending those may THOUSANDS of dollars extorted from there members being spent on this lunacy.
Posted by: Wholesale Fancy CZ Rings at June 6, 2012 09:07 AM
Well, in fairness, they think those out of state dollars should be illegal too. It's not their fault that the law permits this: they'd love to change that.
Re: the Senate, I have read that it doesn't sit again until after the November elections unless the governor calls it into session. Thus, if the Republicans end up with that fourth seat, he can call it; if not, it will never meet until the new elections have reset the R/D balance.
Posted by: Grim at June 6, 2012 10:55 AM
My favorite spin (thus far) on the election comes from one of the newly-castrated union spokespersons:
One Democratic strategist who works with unions defended their muscle, pointing to a victory late last year in repealing a law backed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) that was similar to Walker’s. He also rattled off a series of union victories: Stopping “right to work” legislation in New Hampshire and Minnesota, stalling the Florida legislature’s efforts to privatize their prison system, and the two state Senate seats unions picked up in last year’s Wisconsin recall efforts.
Now, I'm pretty savvy (read: jaded) about how these things work at the state level. But if any client of mine ever touted how it "picked up two senate seats" I'd read them the Riot Act, and then take them to school on the Hobbs Act.
I just don't understand why anyone would want to be represented by such imbeciles. Really, I don't.
Posted by: spd rdr at June 6, 2012 11:11 AM
Sorry. Forgot to link the the imbecilic quote:
Posted by: spd rdr at June 6, 2012 11:12 AM
"All elections are local..." Well, sort of, people see what directly affects them. There were probably tens of thousands of voters who went out and voted for Walker for one reason only, what he did worked. Prior to the reform people saw their local school budgets with huge holes in them. Walker ran on and enacted school budget reform, it passed, and it worked.
That's the only message I would take away from this.
Posted by: Allen at June 6, 2012 12:17 PM
I imagine the images of the unions squatting in the state house while the Dems fled the state along with their continued antics and multiple recalls just may have increased Walker's ability to garner more votes. Duh. Plus, union membership is plummeting and they have blown millions for a possible mere symbolic victory if that single R loss holds up.
I think the R should release a statement saying that although the results are close enough for an automatic recount that he will concede and simply run again in November for the good of Wisconsin. And that it is time for all Wisconsinites to come together in good faith for their state and its future. To let the divide heal and the bitterness fade.
He would be such a stark contrast to the behavior of the Dems if he did so. He would have earned good will and shown the gravitas of a true statesman thus highlighting the classless nature of the Dems and the recalls.
Posted by: TexasMom2012 at June 6, 2012 01:18 PM
The People have sent A Strong Message of Strength to Scott Walker.
Hey, we may have lost to the NY Yankees by the scoreboard, but it's a moral victory that we showed up with matching uniforms!
Posted by: The East Bumfolke Blind Sisters of the Elderly at June 6, 2012 01:51 PM
I live in Wisconsin, but I'm just a guy. Just a guy who is real unhappy with the GOP as it is today, but still.
I voted for Walker the first time because, duh, the opposition was worse. I voted Walker in the recall because
a) The lamentations and the tears of UW kids and professional protestors occupying the capitol. No really: there was one guy who was actually crying on CNN. 'Death of democracy'. Dude: Democracy is fine. Rule by under-employed mobbility at the capital is on it's last legs.
a1) The number of screwed up signatures on the recall paperwork is astounding. Fictional characters, no addresses, fictional _people_, a guy who signed 23 times. Turned me right off.
b) Because, if Walker is still in the office WPR will never-ever stop talking politics. And when those guys rattle on about that stuff it's darn funny.
c) We got concealed carry under Walker.
d) What he's doing is working. Example: under the previous regime we had no expansion in the state at my day job. Now - we're building a new facility, adding 175 more jobs FY 2013.
Posted by: Brian Dunbar at June 6, 2012 02:38 PM
Rule by under-employed mobbility at the capital is on it's last legs.
Wishful thinking, Brian. The unions may be down, but they are by no means out. Granted, after this debacle, they won't try to move the whole damn mountain again any time soon. But if they go after smaller, cheaper targets - a state senator here, a state rep there - pretty soon they can own enough votes to undo the "damage," or at least stymie further reform. It takes time, though, and if there's one thing the unions have shown themselves to be sorely lacking in it patience (and maturity, morality, intelligence, etc, etc. etc.)
Posted by: spd rdr at June 6, 2012 04:01 PM
Wishful thinking, Brian. The unions may be down, but they are by no means out.
No doubt. But ... union membership here is down. Declining membership means they will lack the funds to be too ambitious.
This is, I think, a shame. Unions did do a lot for this country: 40-hour work weeks didn't just happen. The good they did - and do - risks being lost.
OTOH having a public employee union is an abomination.
But I was thinking specifically of the noisy few camped out at the capitol in Madison, singing, banging drums, making a mess.
They can stay and do what they wish, but their relevance is dead.
Posted by: Brian Dunbar at June 6, 2012 04:15 PM
Unions did do a lot for this country:
Yes, they did. The problem is that unions pretty much got all the things they were create for. They were, in fact, so successful that even if they were to go away you would likely not see much change. The 40 hour work week is so ingrained into the culture even non-union and most salary positions use it.
But people don't need to pay dues today for battles that were won 40 years ago. So for the union to exist it must create new greivances, no matter how petty, it must keep union members convince that the bosses are screwing you every day, to keep it's dues income flowing.
It's the equivalent of ADT breaking into homes in order to convince people they need security systems.
Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at June 6, 2012 06:31 PM
That Senate win (actually, those Senate wins, all of them) ... the Wisconsin Senate doesn't come into session until after the next election, in November. So their one vote majority will not be used (unless Walker is dumb enough to call a special session.)
Posted by: htom at June 8, 2012 06:09 PM