Lock and Load! (Not You, Hippie)

A major reason Scott Walker survived recall is that voters were persuaded that the recall was happening for illegitimate reasons:

So what happened? It’s actually quite simple if you look at the exit polls. The final question there was the key to the entire recall election. When asked “Do you think recall elections are appropriate” some 60% of Wisconsin voters said “Only for official misconduct” and another 10% said “never”….

Walker’s massive cash advantage painted the recall process itself as the bad guy here…

Funny, I don’t remember anything like that happening in 2003, when Gray Davis, a Democrat, was recalled and replaced as California’s governor by Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the time a hero to the Republican right. I remember that the recall process was portrayed as a circus. But I don’t remember the conversation centering on the argument that recalling Davis was an affront to common decency and an insult to democracy.

As I was Googling around to test my memory of those days, I was reminded that the phrase most commonly associated with the Davis recall — see it here and here and here and here and here — was “voter revolt.”

Revolt? Wow, that sounds scary and dangerous and violent. It sounds anti-democratic. Ahhh, but it was a voter revolt. That’s quite a packed phrase. You say “voter revolt” and you’re implying that somehow the guy who’s being recalled got there in defiance of the wishes of voters — even though, obviously, he won an election. The phrase implies that the election was the illegitimate part of the process and the recall is the legitimate part.

And notice that it’s a voter revolt and not a conservative or Republican or right-wing revolt. Everyone knows that the people who tried to oust Scott Walker were those dirty liberals. The people who ousted Gray Davis were voters.

That’s the message. It’s similar to the framing of recent protest movements: the angry members of Occupy Wall Street are a bunch of hippies, but the members of the tea party movement who shouted down members of Congress at 2009 town meetings and revolted at the ballot box in 2010 were righteously angry Americans.

That’s how we look at right-wing revolts — especially when millions of right-wing dollars are available to shape our perceptions.

(X-posted at No More Mister Nice Blog.)

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158 replies
  1. 1
    The Snarxist Formerly Known as Kryptik says:

    Which is exactly why I keep calling bullshit on the voters who voted for Walker as a vote ‘against the Recall on principle’. If the shoe was on the other foot, to try and oust a Dem governor, you wouldn’t have nearly a fifth of Republicans voting ‘against the recall on principle’. It’d be a full-throated, raging, ‘FUCK YOU HIPPIE UNION SCUM!’ rampage. And the media would extoll its virtues and legitimacy to the high heavens.

    But instead, we get Union deathknells, and Republicans celebrating by punching every single hippie in the face all over fucking America.

    Yay.

  2. 2
    Chris says:

    Thank you for saying exactly what I’ve been thinking since hearing all the talk about how recalls are illegitimate; or at least they are illegitimate when it’s a Republican being recalled.

  3. 3
    David Koch says:

    Can we launch a recall of the next Adam Sandler movie, cuz it’s clearly revolting.

    Sandler is clearly a greater threat to the US than an member of al-Qaeda. Maybe the President could authorize a commando raid to neutralize this clear and present danger to our country.

  4. 4
    smintheus says:

    Yes. Also noteworthy that Gray Davis hadn’t actually done anything outlandish or undemocratic or illegal that merited recall. And yet right wingers’ set the agenda to the point that the most basic question of all, is a recall democratic, was virtually ignored.

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    One of the universal truths about the Left, and not just the American Left, is that the establishment is, by definition, going to be against you, and this includes the establishment media.

  6. 6
    Mino says:

    Enron had California by the balls. They lashed out.

  7. 7
    Three-nineteen says:

    I’d like to share part of an email I just got from the Wisconsin AFL-CIO:

    One day longer, one day stronger. Thank you for your dedication, hard work and solidarity in this fight — a struggle which is far from over.
    Though Walker was shielded with a flood of secret corporate cash, Wisconsin made its voice heard. While we came closer to recalling Walker than many expected, we ended up coming just short.
    The work we did together was about much more than just this one election.
    We laid the groundwork for a powerful movement to push back against extremist policies everywhere. Messages of solidarity and support have been pouring in from around the country and around the world…
    We are proud that we have created a new, energetic, broad-based movement for working people that is defying the odds.

    I’m sure I did the blockquote wrong, but you get the idea. Hopefully they are right and everyone’s hard work will pay dividends later.

  8. 8
    The Bobs says:

    @David Koch: Glad to see I’m not the only one who feels that way about Adam Sandler.

  9. 9
    Tom Q says:

    Not to be fully contrarian here, but there were elements at work in CA that didn’t apply in WI.

    Gray Davis was in fact VERY unpopular in 2002, but he 1) spent a ton of money on ads attacking his strongest potential GOP opponent, Riordan, leading at least in part to the GOP nominating instead the much-further-right and easier to beat Simon; and 2) prevailed with only 47+% of the vote in a somewhat splintered ballot, in a very low turnout race. Davis thus started from a position of weakness (and probably resentment) that wasn’t necessarily there for Walker (much as he might have deserved it).

  10. 10
    David Koch says:

    I wouldn’t blame the corporate media.

    I would blame DWS. In fact, let’s recall her!

    If she only used the bully pulpit 600,000 more votes would have been cast.

  11. 11
    Ben Franklin says:

    Funny, I don’t remember anything like that happening in 2003

    How was Kerry Swiftboated so successfully? He and the DNC failed to capture
    the narrative.

    Same smell here.

  12. 12
    Ben Franklin says:

    Everyone wants to blame the MEdia. They are just lazy sheep who move in the direction the sheepdog ankle-bites.

    The wingers blame the MEdia when it doesn’t go their way. It can’t all be about the MEdia.

    They have to be handled, and Dems handle them as poorly as any political party.

  13. 13
    Martin says:

    Well, of course it wasn’t an affront to common decency. Davis was going to raise our vehicle registration fees. That’s tyranny!

  14. 14
    mclaren says:

    Instead of “right wing revolt,” we should rename it “right wing putsch.”

    More accurate.

  15. 15
    Brachiator says:

    Funny, I don’t remember anything like that happening in 2003, when Gray Davis, a Democrat, was recalled and replaced as California’s governor by Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the time a hero to the Republican right. I remember that the recall process was portrayed as a circus. But I don’t remember the conversation centering on the argument that recalling Davis was an affront to common decency and an insult to democracy.

    Various LA Times political writers like George Skelton insisted that Californians in favor of the recall were boobs who just didn’t understand that you were not supposed to recall a governor. And it was not just that the recall was a circus. Pundits and bloggers all over the country insisted that this was another sign of how eccentric Californians were. Political sophisticates just “understood” that you should never recall a governor unless he or she had been convicted of committing a crime.

    Yeah, morans like Jonah Goldberg are now writing that recalls should be banned, especially if they involve Republicans, but he is less a pundit than a professional fool.

  16. 16
    cathyx says:

    I agree with Ian Welsh in this one:

    Ordinary people hate other ordinary people who are doing better than them. The politics of envy isn’t about the rich, whom ordinary people almost never see, but about their neighbours. And Americans want a mean economy, one where everyone has to suffer like they do. As long as the union movement is about a few people keeping higher wages, it will continue to fail. A union movement which is centered around public service unions cannot stand.

  17. 17
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    i think if walker is indicted in the john doe case, the story of the recall from a koch perspective will be like the line from steve martin “how i turned 1 million in real estate into 25 bucks in cash.”

  18. 18
    Medrawt says:

    @Ben Franklin: I frankly don’t have the stomach or patience to sort this all out right now, but somewhere in the cellars of McArdle’s original Jane Galt blog is a post where she pours scorn on the notion some people were trying to sell at the time that the California Crisis leading to Davis’ recall had something to do with energy companies manipulating shortages. Crazy libtalk!

  19. 19
    kideni says:

    As I said in DougJ’s thread, the Republicans were able to spin the whole recall-as-illegitimate thing masterfully, with the wholehearted support of much of the state and national media, and never addressed why it’s OK for Republicans to try to recall Democrats. Repeating what I said in the other thread because I’m lazy: Repubs actually started the senate recall process last year, they tried to get Jim Doyle recalled twice, Walker came into the Milwaukee County Exec office on the heels of a recall (that was never actually completed, in that they got the signatures but the county exec was forced out by other means so an election never happened), and Walker was prominent enough in a failed recall of Sens. Feingold and Kohl in 90s to have been given some of the leftover funds by the organizers (Walker claims he doesn’t remember if he signed those recall petitions; Barrett hammered him on this in a debate, and even the moderator didn’t quite believe that he wouldn’t remember something like that; because the recall failed, the signatures were never submitted, so there’s no public record to check for his name). Add to that the fact that this spring they tried to get a Dem senator recalled for not rolling over for a mining corporation that wrote legislation, and their miserable failure in trying to get enough signatures goes to show that recalls are fucking not easy and require a real groundswell of unhappiness with an elected official. Barrett, the WisDems, and other supporters tried their damndest to remind people of this, but the media didn’t care and people who don’t follow this stuff closely were told that it was just a bunch of whiners and look at how much money you saved on your property taxes (never mind that the $30 less you paid this year than last is more than offset by the fact that your property values declined).

  20. 20
    kindness says:

    Republicans lie. It’s their go to meme these days.

    I voted for Gray Davis and he sucked. But he was better than the alternative, even Arnold who sucked worse.

    When the MSM starts actively noting the instances where Republicans are hypocrites or lie, Democrats will have a better chance of elections. Oops….The MSM is run by republicans….oh well.

  21. 21
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    I think the problem I have with this analysis is that, at least in this instance, the narrative is following the act, not the other way around. At least (correct me if I’m wrong), I didn’t hear a pronounced “Voters are rejecting this recall because they think recalls are bad” narrative from the media before the actual vote. I heard it after the vote, i.e., after large numbers of voters in the exit polls said what they said about the recall. That would seem to be a case of the media reporting what actually happened. Again, correct me if I’m wrong.

    I think if WI voters thought that the idea of a recall for Scott Walker was too much, even if they didn’t like Scott Walker, that’s their prerogative. I have some issues with that, but I do kind of see where they’re coming from. What I do think is that recalls are at least a double-edged sword in terms of political weaponry, and they really shouldn’t be used frivolously. Now, I don’t think Walker’s actions were frivolous, but I can see why a large crowd of people, even including some liberals, would say “He got elected, he hasn’t been nabbed by the feds or killed anybody, let him serve out his term.”

    As far as narratives go, now would be a great time to work on one. Here are some suggestions:

    -The fact that Walker had to even face recall in the first place shows he’s in trouble.
    -Walker managed to trigger a recall without even being accused of a crime: his policies were just that hated by a lot of people. Is he really going to push forward with them?
    -The Koch machine blew $40 million just to keep their guy from being kicked out of office by a bunch of hippies? Just how incompetent is Walker, anyway?
    -The Dems took control of the Senate, so now Walker has lost a lot of power.
    -Walker won basically the same number of people and same areas of the state he won in 2010. He hasn’t won anyone over.

  22. 22
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    As far as narratives go, now would be a great time to work on one. Here are some suggestions:
    -The fact that Walker had to even face recall in the first place shows he’s in trouble.
    -The Dems took control of the Senate, so now Walker has lost a lot of power.
    -Walker won basically the same number of people and same areas of the state he won in 2010. He hasn’t won anyone over.

    Will anybody outside of Left Blogistania and Rachel Maddow even try this?

    I didn’t think so.

  23. 23
    Todd says:

    I’ll say it again – the conservatarians/glibertards are winning. they win whenever they get their way – it doesn’t matter that their policies bring about hardship and failure, because in their closed epistemological system, getting their way is the only thing that counts. The failure resulting from the policies can be explained away later in the echo chambers, and can be blamed on the Dixie Chicks, liberals, Al Gore, commie professors, George Soros, democrats, RINO treason, purple-heart wielding veterans or any other message honed over the past 15 years on Fox and over the intertoobs.

    The problem is the wingnut wurlitzer and its Village enablers, and short of an excessive amount of raw and bloody political violence directed at the 1% and the pundit class, you’re not going to see a change in their conduct.

  24. 24
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @ Sphagetti Lee:

    “He got elected, he hasn’t been nabbed by the feds or killed anybody, let him serve out his term.

    ” If the ‘recall only is for official misconduct’ argument got traction, I’m not surprised — there were ears ready to hear it.
    It’s a Democratic own-goal to some extent. Everyone who can’t distinguish an impeachment from a recall — and they are numerous — and who remembers Clinton’s defenders saying “Yeah, it’s a personal failing, but it doesn’t rise to the level of a high crime or misdemeanor, not warranting removal from office” would be predisposed to buy the newer argument, too, because they’re analogous, or appear to be.

    Coming from the other direction, 30 years of ‘you’re just criminalizing policy differences’ predisposes other folks who can’t distinguish an impeachment from a recall to roll the same way.

  25. 25
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Funny, I don’t remember anything like that happening in 2003, when Gray Davis, a Democrat, was recalled and replaced as California’s governor by Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the time a hero to the Republican right.

    Well, Enron saw to that.

    In truth, the California recall process was different: there was a yes/no vote on whether to recall Davis alongside an open vote for his replacement. It’s a different kind of contest from one where the incumbent faces off against a challenger that has to go through a primary.

  26. 26
    harlana says:

    well they’ll have their fucking “official misconduct” soon enough.

    38% of union households voted for Walker. 38%. so that’s how they got Walker in the first place. Birthplace of Union Movement people no brighter than us Royalist southerners, apparently.

  27. 27
    kideni says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Reporting from on the ground, there was definitely an undercurrent of “recalls are bad and should only be reserved for malfeasance in office,” a narrative that was pushed by the Republicans and was prominent in newspaper editorial boards, talk radio, and TV news. Walker even ran a commercial on it with actors saying “I didn’t vote for Walker, but recalls are terrible.”

  28. 28
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Here’s another good reason Walker won, beyond media multifariousness. In the NYTimes breakdown of Demographics that got linked here yesterday, 46% of yesterday’s voters were 2010 Walker voters. Something like 33-35% were 2010 Barrett supporters. Flip those numbers and then what happens?

    I think the media in this country has a lot of sins to answer for, but at some point you have to forget about the sinister mind-controlling language triggers and get the fucking vote out. Why the hell weren’t the Barrett numbers higher than the Walker numbers in that stat, anyway? And don’t tell me everyone who would/could have voted already did-turnout was down overall from 2010. All the media bullshit-spin in the world doesn’t matter a whit if our guys get more votes than their guys.

  29. 29
    David Koch says:

    I know you guys love to wallow in self-righteous pity.

    So I hate break up your party, but the recall was successful. They flipped Senate control.

    That’s a hellva feat. Especially when you’re being outspent 7 to 1.

  30. 30
    Alex S. says:

    This whole Republicans-can-get-away-with-it excuse is starting to annoy me. The Dems lost this one, ok, so better luck next time. The California recall was a circus and perceived as such. It wasn’t really declared a triumph of democracy even though a democrat was targeted. I don’t think that Gray Davis was treated unfairly.

  31. 31
    kideni says:

    I should also add that there was a concerted effort to ignore or wave away the grassroots movement that drove the recall. Walker never stopped hammering the lie that the whole thing was driven by out-of-state big government union bosses, while he was just representing the interests of the average Wisconsin taxpayer (who is apparently a guy in Texas, a few people in Florida, and a couple of guys from Kansas).

  32. 32
    beltane says:

    @cathyx: This. And as it becomes more and more apparent that the tickle-down snake oil these people bought with their life savings was a fraud, they will respond, not by blaming the people who duped them, but by lashing out at anyone who didn’t fall victim to the scam. Notice how the Republicans and their servile Tea Trash followers have given up even trying to promise us a better future? Instead, they are promising us a Republic of Misery where the only consolation will be that if we are suffering, we can still take solace in the fact that someone, preferably someone poor and non-white, will be suffering even more.

    You see this play out especially clearly with the attacks on Planned Parenthood where we have a cohort of physically repulsive, possibly impotent, Republican men and their dried out female counterparts, expressing outrage that there are young women out their enjoying a normal sex life.

  33. 33
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    Funny, I don’t remember anything like that happening in 2003, when Gray Davis, a Democrat, was recalled and replaced as California’s governor by Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the time a hero to the Republican right

    The Cal GOP didn’t want Arnold and they loathed him as a RINO. The guy who started the recall was some Kotch wannabe who thought he could buy himself the governors mansion and promptly got ignored, the same happened with the GOP nominee, who ever he was.

    Arnold won because
    a) he was popular right and left

    b) he wasn’t part of the established GOP or Dems. Heck, since his wife was a Kenedy,he was Brooder wet dream at the time.

    That is the lesson in the Davis Recall. The candidate you run against the incumbent has to show he ins’t part of the partisan dicking around and he’s going to try to fix things. They didn’t do that in Wisconsin.

  34. 34
    beltane says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: It’s good to know turnout was not as high as initially reported. There were reports last night making it seem as though turnout had exceeded even 2008 levels.

  35. 35
    Ben Franklin says:

    :

    the recall was successful. They flipped Senate control.

    Bob Shrum?

  36. 36
    Mnemosyne says:

    @smintheus:

    Also noteworthy that Gray Davis hadn’t actually done anything outlandish or undemocratic or illegal that merited recall.

    Sure he did — he tried to sue Enron after it turned out that they were manipulating prices to try and make the maximum profit out of California electricity customers. And, as we all know, it’s totally illegal and unconstitutional to interfere in a corporation’s revenue stream, even if that revenue stream was gotten illegally.

    In Republicanworld, that is.

  37. 37
    Knockabout says:

    So Steve, are you saying Zandar is just incredibly naive or just a moron?

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:

    @Knockabout: You really need to get over your obsession with Zandar. You’re in creepy stalker territory and it impacts your credibility.

  39. 39
    Skippy-san says:

    Clive Crook:

    “Tacitly, I suppose, Democrats do acknowledge it. That’s why Barrett didn’t campaign on the union question. But tacit acknowledgment isn’t enough. It isn’t enough, either, for the White House to blithely note that Wisconsin tells you nothing about November and leave it at that. Democrats can’t abandon the unions and their causes outright, but they need to show they are listening to voters and understand. They need to accept and assimilate Wisconsin. They ignore it at their peril.”

    Unions have a good message-but there are too many stupid Americans to accept it. The myth that unions are getting something for nothing-especially public sector employees has taken hold, and its too much to expect facts to prevail. The Democratic party has to find a way to brand the GOP as the naked greed that it is.

    And at that I’m not sure it will work. Too many people who should know better fancy themselves as wannabe rich bastards.

  40. 40
    Mino says:

    @Mnemosyne: Eggsactly. Cheyney said so.

    The best thing about the recall was that Issa, after engineering the whole thing, lost to Ahrnold.

  41. 41
    Only the Facts says:

    The biggest lesson from Wisconsin is that Citizens United has completely changed the game. There’s no replacement for big fat stacks of unlimited corporate cash. And the Koch Brothers have JUUUUST begun to open up their checkbooks.

  42. 42
    cthulhu says:

    Actually Davis was pretty popular throughout his political career and into his first Gov term (which started in 1998) up until the electricity and CA budget crises in 2001 (caused by energy market deregulation* and the dot-com bubble bursting, respectively). But it is true that he only managed to get into that second term with a lot of cash and negative ads; it didn’t last long.

    Daryl Issa sensed blood in the water and bankrolled the recall election with the expectation that the grateful CA populace would sweep him into office. Then Arnold stepped in. Yes Issa’s a trouble maker in Congress but that was probably his last chance at anything bigger, thankfully.

    I’ve noticed that, like Carter, Davis has become somewhat of a historical monster to those on the right. Weird. He was more of a wonk than anything.

    *Davis and CA were complaining to the Bush Admin that the system was being gamed but the Bushies replied that it simply couldn’t be so and it was all due to our excessive environmental regulations.

  43. 43
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    I’m sure it’s already been said upthread, but could bear repeating. Gray Davis was in his fourth year as Gov, and the knock on him was he wasn’t willing to take on the special interests in CA, that are famous for feeling special, to fix a huge budget deficit. He talked like he would, if I remember correctly. He talked like he would, but didn’t

    Wisconsin, on the whole is more conservative than the left coast, and this recall was over a single policy concerning union rights, in an arguable fifty fifty state, or thereabouts between right wing and midwestern liberals.

    It wasn’t a huge margin, the dems in WI had to play with, and some dems voted that process was more important than a single policy they didn’t like, that could be changed back later. The other right wing stuff, on social issues, as well a staunch conservative on all the issues, Walker did campaign as a social conservative, so elections have consequences.

    This election was about one thing, and that was Walker going further than he said on killing public union collective bargaining. That is not much to hang a recall election on, except for the true believers on the dem side, and turns out there wasn’t quite enough of them to win.

    Move on

  44. 44
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Mino: Isssa, that’s what the asswhipes name was. I remember he had some press conference when he suspended his campaign during the recall were he was in tears they took the governorship away from him after he paid for it fair and square.

  45. 45
    harlana says:

    i know i’ll probably be dodging a shower of hard-soled shoes after asking this but, has nobody mentioned the ABL/Greenwald/Scahill Kerfluffle?

  46. 46
    Only the Facts says:

    BTW thanks also to Bill Clinton for that big assist in extending the Bush Tax Cuts.

  47. 47
    Valdivia says:

    @harlana:

    please fill those of us sans twitter in.

  48. 48
    Mino says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: That might be why he’s turned into such a viper. No. Not really. He was always a snake.

  49. 49
    Mino says:

    What has me worried is the turnout. I thought the ground game was so much improved, but it looks like, not really. That doesn’t bode well.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    JC says:

    In the end, Walker got away with political lying, and lying, and lying, and lying, and lying.

    He lied about what he was going to do before the election.
    He lied about what he was DOING once he came into power. (divide and conquer).
    He has lied about the investigation, nipping at his heels, even saying he instigated the John Doe thing.

    Again and again, lying, divisiveness, serving his Koch masters.

    And somehow people were convinced that a recall was ‘illegitimate’?

    When of course, as is pointed out, Davis in CA, this wasn’t an issue?

    In this case – 7 or 8 to 1 – in the financing, makes a huge difference.

    The Rethugs have figured out, that air wars work, and they are very very good at them. And they have more than enough money for them, as well.

    Some bottom line truths:

    a. A huge number of people don’t pay attention to politics. They just vote when they are supposed to, with minimal attention, based on very limited information.
    b. Slick ad wars – well, they WORK – they have since Willie Horton, if not earlier.
    c. With Citizens United, there is an unlimited firehose of funds, for the ad air war.
    d. Big Media is slanted against economic progressive values. Only 5 media companies, if not 4 – provide the lion’s share of tv media, at least. Corporate editors ARE very susceptible to pressure from owners.
    e. Big Media isn’t self-reflective, and resists mightily anything else but the false equivalence meme. Thus, Ornstein can’t get booked on a media show, except for MS-NBC.
    f. Because the Fox, right wing media, is so disciplined about creating/nurturing false stories, these are often injected into ‘real’ media, because it is ‘in the air’.

    To wrap it up, you take enough people who aren’t paying attention – the majority of the populace – unfair media ad wars, and the ‘both sides do it’, responsibility free media – the CUES that voters get from the sources they look to, to decide who to vote for – are irredeemably broken.

    Should votes pay more attention? Sure, but people have busy lives.

    Should Democrats ‘have a better message’? Sure, but I’ve been paying attention – Barrett, liberal groups, labor, were straining and straining to get the message out. And a lot of money was spent.

    The hard fact is, plutocrats, at this point in time, can and will continue to buy elections, and between the MSM complicity, Right Wing media, and the Ad Air Wars, there will continue to be bad information, zombie lies, and falsehoods which dominate the decision making process, of voters, when voters are not voting strictly on pocketbook or ‘moral issues’.

    I don’t know how to break this up. I thought that blogs, facebook, other ways to get valid information to inform their election decisions, would get around the MSM. But it doesn’t seem to be happening.

  52. 52
    Joey Giraud says:

    This is an emotionally charged, counter-factual story intended to keep the Democrats mad at each other and not looking into the voting machinery.

    working great, isn’t it?

  53. 53
    harlana says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse: it’s son puzzling to me, however, that 38% of union households voted for Walker, however. we southerners, well we hate union people because we have practically no unions, we live in right-to-fire states. with the quality of our lives declining, we’re jealous of those benefits and other goodies that we don’t get and we want to punish them for it. because they are no better than we are so who do they think they are?

    but i would have thought, for obvious reasons, in WI, things would be a bit different with union members and their families.

    but what do i know, my pro-union father was blackballed at his company, a large synthetics manuf’r, for the rest of his career just for talking to a DC labor lawyer. the company tried to force him to sign false statements, etc. which he refused to do. he spent the rest of his time there, 40 years, working swing-shifts, holidays, and as much OT as he could get without killing himself . He did it in order to feed 4 mouths and put 3 through college and to build up as large a retirement as he could, considering he was not allowed to advance. i hardly ever saw my dad because he worked nights and slept days and he was pretty pissed off in b/w.

    Nikki Haley would have been proud.

  54. 54
    JC says:

    @Joey Giraud: This is another point, of course. How much can we TRUST the votes? It’s all black box, in the end, as well!!

  55. 55
    Valdivia says:

    @beltane:

    thanks for the link.

  56. 56
    harlana says:

    i was too young at the time to remember myself and it isn’t discussed much, but i’ve heard stories about my mom being really pissed b/c she was afraid he was going to lose his job, even though he was just standing up for his principles, for the truth, but, as a mother, she was scared for all of us.

    so yeh, i guess you could say it pisses me off a little. those pro-Walker union people and their spawn can just jump up my glory-hole.

  57. 57
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @harlana:

    There are lots of social conservative union members, especially, throughout the midwest. And then there is the difference between public unions and private ones, that some folks draw a distinction on for propriety to exist. And Walker exempted traditional GOP leaning unions like the police and fire unions.

    The 38 percent number should be taken with those things in mind, imo, along with the idea for some, that Walker’s behavior didn’t rise to the level of overturning the results of the previous election. I expect that number to be less than 38% voting wingnut for the coming POTUS election. This was a one off, replete with peculiarities only having to do with Wisconsin.

  58. 58
    Brachiator says:

    @cthulhu:

    Daryl Issa sensed blood in the water and bankrolled the recall election with the expectation that the grateful CA populace would sweep him into office. Then Arnold stepped in. Yes Issa’s a trouble maker in Congress but that was probably his last chance at anything bigger, thankfully.

    Yep. The recall initially took the GOP leadership by surprise. It also took the establishment news media by surprise because so much of the initial impetus for the recall came from conservative talk radio and the Internet. From an LA Daily News lookback on the recall:

    Signature collection was running even better than Russo had hoped – with requests coming in daily from throughout the state and people downloading the petition from the group’s Internet page.
    __
    At that time, the recall was being given a lukewarm reception by Republican Party officials and office-holders. There was a mixed message from the White House, which believed President George W. Bush stood a better chance in California in 2004 with a weakened Democratic governor than a Republican grappling with state budget problems.
    __
    But, the drive had grabbed public attention.
    __
    With debate over the Iraqi invasion ebbing, talk radio seized on the recall with a vengeance – with daily debates fueling public sentiment.

    Issa tried to capitilize on this, but got kicked to the curb.

    And a Seattle Times editorial from 2003 warned how dopey California recall supporters were, and how flawed the recall process was:

    Voters should appreciate, however, that recall elections are almost always divisive, disruptive, polarizing and subject to a variety of unintended consequences. Although recall sometimes serves a community well, by allowing it to weed out an incompetent or corrupt official, recall also can encourage rambunctious majoritarianism, cynicism and demagoguery.
    __
    For all his faults, Davis probably has not broken the law so much as found himself in office at a particularly tough time. So rough in fact that he has the lowest public approval ratings of any California governor since polls have been conducted. (Ironically, President Bush’s spending and tax-cut policies have resulted in budget deficits that make California’s deficits look puny — yet Bush’s popularity has stayed remarkably high.)
    __
    Davis will likely defeat this recall effort in part because the California recall process is flawed. Voters will have just two questions before them in this election, which could come as early as November. Should Davis be recalled or not? And if a majority of those voting decide to recall him, the voters get the right to select a replacement governor from a list of people who have qualified for the ballot.

    . Bottom line. For reasons still not well-understood, Wisconsin voters were far more nice and passive than were California voters. But the California establishment, and California and West Coast newspapers kept insisting that the recall was bad, but were ignored by the voters.

  59. 59
    harlana says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse: well it just fucking sucks. they should be ashamed of themselves for drawing a distinction between public and private sector unions. they must think they’re going to be getting something in return but if they ain’t fucking themselves over they’re sure enough fucking over and up their kids’ or their grandkids’ futures IN the private sector or anywhere else.

  60. 60
    JC says:

    Practical progressives have to deal with the following:

    a. What are the better policies, that will work, in the real world, to make both a robust economy where all benefit, a decent safety net, and a strong United States? (analytic questions)

    b. What are the best ways to deliver this information to every voter in the US, in competition with the plutocrats, their media, and the corporate media who are delivering false and inaccurate information, so that participation in this democracy is informed by accurate information? (Media, personal, group, information outreach questions)

    c. What are the best ways to increase participation, in this democracy, so that the percentage of people voting, grows DRAMATICALLY? (Voter reform (voting on weekends, small tax cut tied TO voting, or benefits tied to voting, I don’t knowI don’t know…), open source verified voting machines, etc. (analytic and functional, rules for radicals, etc)

    d. A good candidate system, a ‘farm team’, that allows the next generation of smart, charismatic candidates who can connect with people, delivery good oratory, be set up to attempt to enact the good policies in A, and the information team to deliver B.

    A blog like this, pretty much works with A and C, convincing and discussing the best approaches – while railing with all our might against the helplessness – blaming the voter, blaming the party, blaming ourselves – of the state of B.

    But how people get their – correct or incorrect – information on which they vote – is to a degree, out of one’s hands.

  61. 61
    JGabriel says:

    Zandar via SteveM @ Top:

    When asked “Do you think recall elections are appropriate” some 60% of Wisconsin voters said “Only for official misconduct” and another 10% said “never”….

    I am really surprised Walker won with this marketing tactic.

    A little common sense should show that, in fact, we have impeachment processes for official misconduct.

    Recalls aren’t about official misconduct at all. They are, and they are supposed to be, about policy misconduct. Recalls are for removing politicians whose policies or behavior is so outrageously egregious for the state that the official’s replacement ASAP is desirable, whether or not there has been official misconduct.

    “Voter revolt” would have been a good justification for us to use against Walker. Too bad we didn’t think of it earlier. Or, maybe we did, and just didn’t have enough money to make that message dominate.

    .

  62. 62
    karen marie says:

    @David Koch: Hear hear.

    Jim Carrey, also, too.

  63. 63
    lamh35 says:

    I was channel surfing about an hour ago, and I happened to catch a bit of the Hardball segment called “The Man Show” on why white men feel threatened by this President and it may just have been the most racist and bigotted segment on Hardball I have seen in a while. I quickly turned it to something else when Tweety started on his “white men feel threatened…” bullshit. The segment included Mark Penn and some other guy.

  64. 64

    I think the bottom line here is that it’s nearly impossible to win against well-run campaign propagated through a media dominated by the propagandists, and all the money spent in the state was able to dominate, though not completely control, the media.

    Bring back the Fairness Doctrine! Put Noam Chomsky on Fox!

  65. 65
    harlana says:

    this is just personal with me, sorry. i really resent these people. and Walker is a piece of shit with flies. and all his donors and supporters can go to hell.

  66. 66
    beltane says:

    @lamh35: If you look at American history you’ll soon realize that the common thread is the persistent oppression of white men, especially rich white men.

  67. 67
    Valdivia says:

    @lamh35:

    RULE NUMBER 1: Mark Penn is always wrong. That makes me feel better.

  68. 68
    Yutsano says:

    @lamh35:

    The segment included Mark Penn and some other guy.

    That should have been your first warning that what was to follow would be complete bullshit. Mark Penn is incapable of finding his ass with both hands, a bloodhound, and a GPS system.

    @Valdivia: This. Also. Too.

  69. 69
    harlana says:

    @beltane: yep

    i have the twitters now. try not to spend too much time on it but i check things now and again.

  70. 70
    beltane says:

    @Yutsano: And this is quite an accomplishment considering the size of Mark Penn’s ass.

  71. 71
    Steve in DC says:

    Look, I’m fine with him not being recalled, it was a stupid fucking idea to start with. Want to know why we shouldn’t open this pandora’s box?

    If we go around recalling elected officials all over the place everybody is up for it. Who wins if we can force an election a year based off this mess and people require 24/7 campaign cash to survive them? The neoliberals and the far right.

    Also what did walker really do “wrong” by standard Democratic values? We haven’t been pro labor since we turned into the socially liberal party… nut up or shut up. He did what Obama, Coumo, Booker, Clinton, all of our “leaders” love, attack labor, granted he didn’t extract some social liberalism by screwing them over so I guess that’s the offense here?

    Sorry but this is silly. Don’t open that pandora’s box and we can claim we care about labor and unions when our leadership changes and we stop selling out the poor for upper class white liberal social values, till then, fuck off!

  72. 72
    kindness says:

    The worst part?

    Obama is going to be going up against over $1B in negative and lying ads. Even though he is good will it be enough to beat the Roves & the Citizens United galtians? I sure hope so.

  73. 73
    harlana says:

    there was a “drone war” about a drone war, something

  74. 74
    cthulhu says:

    @Brachiator: It was such a crazy circus. While the sensible voters in each party went for the Dem Lt Gov and the long time GOP star McClintock, the rabble went for the punchline that was the Governator. Hell, even Larry Flynt got 17,000+ votes.

  75. 75
    Valdivia says:

    @Yutsano:

    :) and what you said. also, too.

  76. 76
    hitchhiker says:

    big picture: they win in general because their messaging is better; that’s a function of how massively well-resourced it is. it’s also a function of how their (loony) worldview fits together . . . they see freedom from taxes and regulation as nirvana, and as long as we keep arguing about this or that tax or this or that regulation, they win. it’s their territory.

    what’s nirvana for us? a protected commons and a level playing field. (my choice) obama’s pretty good at making poetry about those things, but we don’t have 20 think tanks full of paid scholars pumping out white papers and getting themselves on every media talking about this with passion and humor and depth. they’re insane, imo, but they’ve been working a long game since before st. ronald.

    in this case, walker had a long time to prepare and collect $$, and he used it. i saw a graph last night (i think on tpm) that showed his approval/disapproval numbers, and they seemed to change from net neg to net pos right about the time the recall was scheduled and the dems suddenly looked like they didn’t know what to do next.

    did people feel sorry for him, then? who knows. my guess is that the money behind him was busy testing memes, and the tastiest one was that this was just sour grape loser stuff.

  77. 77

    […] blogger, SteveM at Balloon-Juice.com thinks that too many people just felt a recall election wasn’t legitimate. I’ve heard people on the street in Wisconsin saying this kind of thing in interviews, so it […]

  78. 78
    Spectre says:

    @David Koch:

    You didn’t win control of the senate. The senate doesn’t come back until January, at which time the Republicans will have regained control because of gerrymandered districts that are up for election in November.

  79. 79
    Tonal Crow says:

    Um, what the hell is it with Wisconsin? I went to the Elections Division website to examine the results, only to be greeted with this on the front page:

    Election Night Results
    __
    Wisconsin does not have official election night results. The Associated Press gathers unofficial results, which are reported on newspaper, TV and radio website.

    Excuse me? A state “does not have official election night results”? What? Do Republican hacks just make up the results?

  80. 80
    harlana says:

    i wanna see a perp walk. just sayin.

  81. 81
    Ben Franklin says:

    Is Clinton becoming deranged?

    What is with the surrogates off message? Or is there some Grand Strategy behind all these gaffes?

  82. 82
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Spectre: Oh be quiet, ghoul (a much better nym for you). If the Republicans had retained the WI Senate, Walker would be able to call special legislative sessions to ram the rest of his agenda through, and you know it. The Dem Senate win made a difference because he can’t do that now. I’m not sure what you’re getting out of trying to make people feel even more demoralized but it’s getting tired.
    Drop it.

  83. 83
    feebog says:

    @ Steve:

    So much fail in this paragraph that the mind boggles:

    Also what did walker really do “wrong” by standard Democratic values? We haven’t been pro labor since we turned into the socially liberal party… nut up or shut up. He did what Obama, Coumo, Booker, Clinton, all of our “leaders” love, attack labor, granted he didn’t extract some social liberalism by screwing them over so I guess that’s the offense here?

    You think that what Walker did to public Unions is OK? By stripping thme of their right to collectively bargin, he essentially destroyed them. And as Rachel Maddow has repeatedly pointed out on her show, you destroy the Unions and you dry up the main source of fuding for Democratic candidtes in Wisconson. Stripping Unions of Collective Bargaining rights means Walker can dicate salaries, working conditions, and benefits without any input from or recourse to the employees. Once stripped of Collective Bargining rights, they become at will employees once their contracts expire, with no recourse to impartial arbitration if they are wrongfully fired.

    These are rights that Unions have spent decades fighting for, gone in a second, with no indication from Walker that this was his intent.

  84. 84
    "Fair and Balance" Dave says:

    @Mino:

    The best thing about the recall was that Issa, after engineering the whole thing, lost to Ahrnold.

    IIRC, it was Issa who was the main driver behind to the whole recall campaign so the term “revolting” actually does have some relevance after all.

  85. 85
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Steve in DC:

    I do my best to not call troll on anyone I have a distaste for, but when I see your constant harping on how the Dems have sold out populism for ‘social liberalism’, I can’t help but note that trying to make those two groups suspicious of each other is exactly what the right wing has been doing, very successfully, for years.

    We can have both. They’re not mutually exclusive. That’s a lie.

  86. 86
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Spectre:

    And as for you…I just don’t get this pathology. “OK we won now but we’re still DOOOOOOMED! A few months from now! Just you wait and see!” What’s the point of saying something like that?

  87. 87
    piratedan says:

    @JC: well said…..it pains me to say this, but Progressives need to sloganize their ideals. Bumper Sticker politics.

    What does the average american do…. gets home in time to maybe catch a syndicated sitcom before the local news, maybe some jeopardy or wheel of fortune afterwards and then it’s reality shows and csi before bedtime. they get their news from the front page of yahoo or Msn or being subjected to twenty minutes of Fox news on the treadmill when they don’t have time to watch the usual equivocation taking place on the nightly news.

    In the interim, while on the TV at home, you have four or five Conservitive ads running to one for the Dem. Three promote how nifty the R candidate is and how he’s gonna make their lives better, one projects all of the slimy negative shit that they’re doing back onto his opponent and the last ad is the anonymous hit piece painting every liberal principle and idea as a threat to their american lifestyle.

    I want to fight this fight, I work the phones, I try and influence my friends and family but damn these are some heavy bleeping odds we’re up against.

  88. 88
    dlnelson says:

    @Joey Giraud: I agree, Al Franken did not give up, he insisted on audits. The call for Norm came early in MN, and he refused to give it up. There has to be an audit. Wisconsin has had some problems in the past. I would love for demos to find a backbone, they are the first to concede. Harry Reid, will put an insomniac to sleep, he has no hell and brimstone. The TV channels are full of fake demos, or corporate shills. I find this depressing, we will not win unless someone in this party is barking loudly. We need to start flooding letters to the editor, stating their lies, loudly. It is time for a word war. Someone in this party leadership needs to step up to the plate, how many times do you see D leadership on the TV. Paul K is actually just starting to call out the lies. We need someone now.

  89. 89
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    Sometimes you have to let people vent. It’s not pathological in most cases

  90. 90
    tam1MI says:

    You didn’t win control of the senate. The senate doesn’t come back until January, at which time the Republicans will have regained control because of gerrymandered districts that are up for election in November.

    The part about the Senate not coming back into session until January is correct.

    Source here.

  91. 91
    dlnelson says:

    @Ben Franklin: Speaking of venting, I am over the cops and firefighters voting for R’s (I live in CA), I would rather pay our teachers the 100 grand a year, fire fighters are so overpaid and under worked in this state. All the new safety codes, etc. there really is no work unless it is a forest fire, and the prisoners do a great deal of that work. As a democrat, I am done protecting them, and I will be writing a letter to the editor, which may or may not help, but screw them. They make too much money, for very little work. Most of their work is EMT, and in Folsom, they are mainly fender benders and the cops have 12 cars show up and stand around. It is a myth that unions are Democrats. I am venting.

  92. 92
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tonal Crow: The GAB won’t have official results until everything is counted – including absentee ballots which must arrive by Friday – and certified by the Board. Until then, the GAB does not post any results. Don’t look for a nefarious explanation; there isn’t one.

  93. 93
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @tam1MI: Is everyone ignoring what people have said about special sessions on purpose? What about committee work and investigations? The state senate can do those.

  94. 94
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @tam1MI: And if you look here and here (pdf), you’ll discover that Wisconsin allows the Governor to call special legislative sessions between now and January, something he’s not likely to do with a Democratic Senate.

  95. 95
    Felanius Kootea says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: No, just a specific group of posters who’ve decided that their job is to pile on and try to demoralize people. I have no idea why.

  96. 96
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    @Tonal Crow: The GAB won’t have official results until everything is counted – including absentee ballots which must arrive by Friday – and certified by the Board. Until then, the GAB does not post any results. Don’t look for a nefarious explanation; there isn’t one.

    Not posting results as they come in prevents the public from keeping tabs on what elections officials are doing during the blackout period. That’s nefarious in itself, even if there is no actual miscounting, box-stuffing, or the like.

  97. 97
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: We must always snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. I swear some liberals are never happy unless they’re in the oppressed minority.

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tonal Crow: There is no blackout period. There is a period when municipalities and counties have reported their unofficial totals but before the GAB has certified the election. Local officials already released their numbers; that is what the AP aggregates. Anyone else could gather the numbers and aggregate them. The GAB is not allowed by law to report unofficial numbers. It is hard to fault it for that. This rule is not new.

  99. 99
    OzoneR says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    We can have both. They’re not mutually exclusive. That’s a lie.

    disagree, I think they are mutually exclusive. Case in point- a lot of union members are racist bigots, what do you do?

  100. 100
    Yutsano says:

    @OzoneR:

    Case in point- a lot of union members are racist bigots, what do you do?

    Do you have any evidence of this or are you just spouting bullshit again?

  101. 101
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Yutsano:

    Mayhaps its anecdotal. What fucking evidence do you have to the contrary?

  102. 102
    OzoneR says:

    @Yutsano:

    Do you have any evidence of this or are you just spouting bullshit again?

    The state of West Virginia.

  103. 103
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: Isn’t the general rule that if one is trying to establish a point, it is incumbent on one to provide support for one’s point?

  104. 104
    Yutsano says:

    @Ben Franklin: Anecdote is not the plural of data. And launching an attack like that with no evidence is just low. And when have you been fighting other poster’s battles? Since you got called out as a firebagger?

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Yutsano: Hey, are you in a union? Are you a racist? I mean if we are going to play those games….

  106. 106
    harlana says:

    if you haven’t seen it, this is a great site on the Walker investigation, complete with court documents.

  107. 107
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    It’s a general rule to ignore those you regard as trollish, but then, that’s rarely observed

    There are too many who feel the need to control the discussion. The general rule for them, in my estimation, is fuck off.

  108. 108
    Ben Franklin says:

    And when have you been fighting other poster’s battles? Since you got called out as a firebagger?

    My battles are my business. I don’t like the bully behavior of many here belonging to what I call the Posse. Let the discussion flow. As for Firebagger, I don’t know wtf you refer to any more than I care to be categorized as this or that.

  109. 109
    dlnelson says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I live in Folsom CA with the prison, and frequently bump into the prison union folks, they have more tats, shaved heads, etc. There was a hearing many years ago in Sac County, the prison guys were much scarier looking than the actual prisoners. I have seen it first hand. I am not knocking the guards, but they are scary people, and usually right wingers. Just sayin.

  110. 110
    Yutsano says:

    @Ben Franklin: LOL. You’re hilarious. And not in the good way. If the tone of this blog concerns you start your own. Otherwise you have as much say as I do about the discussions here.

  111. 111
    Ben Franklin says:

    @dlnelson:

    Now you’ve hit on my rant…..prison guards and privatized prisons.

    That’s the union that keeps fighting anything that might reduce the prison population.

  112. 112
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Yutsano:

    so don’t whine when I opine

  113. 113
    Spectre says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    My point is that this defeat for the working class was in no way any sort of victory for your party. Reality is not optional. You have to come to grips with what actually happened, so as to not repeat it.

  114. 114
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Ben Franklin:

    Let the discussion flow. As for Firebagger, I don’t know wtf you refer to any more than I care to be categorized as this or that.

    Shorter Franklin – I have a right to say stupid shit and you don’t have a right to call it stupid shit. Stupid shit should flow, because it’s mine.

  115. 115
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: Okay, let’s get back to Spaghetti Lee’s original point that it is possible for a political party to be pro-union and socially liberal. Do you agree or disagree? Steve in DC says we have to choose one or the other. Is he right?

  116. 116
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @beltane: I don’t think it’s about Left, witness countries where the nominal Left was the establishment. It’s being people, grassroots, against the corporations. The corporations control our media and hence they have the power of propaganda. The same thing has happened to the right as the left in this regard (or left-liberals, as the left per se went down under the weight of its own issues and mistakes without really any help from Kochs & co), but if Obama has proven anything, contra DLC sellouts of the world, the Democratic party still has a quasi-functional grassroots with a smattering of intellectual independence. The right’s independent voices are either a) shouted down (witness quick death of the real Tea Party, which was critical of Wall Street corruption) or b) bought. The grassroots, such as they are, are an authoritarian rabble driven mad by malicious propaganda and fear of the Other. The rare populist Republican candidate pops up in local races, but statewide and nationally sociopathy rules. The GOP has lost the ability to even talk about the needs of ordinary people, of Main St, except as a tactic to sow doubt against Democratic leaders and pick the pockets of the rubes.

    It’s a return to the 1930’s in America, with the GOP a fully-owned subsidiary of the Chambers of Commerce and labor in a desperate struggle for survival.

  117. 117
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    I have a right to say stupid shit and you don’t have a right to call it stupid shit. Stupid shit should flow, because it’s mine.

    OK, hotshot. I will allow you to say stupid shit all fucking day long. I may not respond to you because you are verklempt, or I may choose to say something, and you can respond like the smartass you think you are. No problema. Attack me for an honest comment that flies in face of your static mindset, and I will respond in kind. Attack someone else, singly or in mob, and I may have my say. But you will not control the discussion, if I can stop you.

  118. 118

    @Steve in DC:

    Also what did walker really do “wrong” by standard Democratic values?

    He committed the biggest sin possible for an elected official: he campaigned on one platform and governed on another. It wasn’t the standard bit of politicians not keeping their promises. During the campaign, he explicitly said that he was not going to go after the unions. Then that was almost the first thing he did after taking office.

    Representative democracy does not work if you can’t rely at all on what is said during the campaign. Allowing for recall elections is done exactly for this purpose. Granted, that doesn’t do a particularly good job. It’s one place where the US system *lacks* checks and balances. Try that in a parliamentary system and you can end up losing a vote of no confidence and have to go back to the voters.

    The Wisconsin recall efforts have a much better justification under political theory than the Gray Davis recall ever did.

  119. 119
  120. 120
    trollhattan says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    It was the goofiest fucking ballot I’ve ever seen.

    1. Yes/no on recall.
    2. Vote for governor from an enormous list of candidates, including Arnie, at least one pr0n star, and…Gray Davis. Yes, he could have been recalled and reelected at the same time.

    Enron was the major factor, and Pete Wilson paved the road for them. Pete’s still at it–Meg Whitman was his idea.

  121. 121
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Ben Franklin: How was Kerry Swiftboated so successfully? He and the DNC failed to capture
    the narrative.

    Kerry hadn’t had a truly competitive race in ages. Obama ran for president not long after his first senate race as an upstart. Is that the difference? Is that the real reason Massachusetts pols keep losing national elections?

    I said pols and not dems because I’m going to state right now that Romney is terrible at running for office and is going down. Because Romney lucked out into the governorship in Mass. The Dem would have sailed to victory had not Jill Stein (I know–exactly) not exposed her for an utter fool and a phoney in front of a statewide audience. Romney rode that right to Beacon Hill.

    Where’s the next community organizer to lead the Democratic party? We can’t run Obama a third time and besides, the man will have earned a break. :)

  122. 122

    Prob’ly been said already but …

    IOKIYAR! Everything is ALWAYS okay when Republicans do it….

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: WTF?

  124. 124
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @cathyx:

    As long as the union movement is about a few people keeping higher wages, it will continue to fail. A union movement which is centered around public service unions cannot stand.

    This is why unions like NNU and SEIU are doing community organizing. You may not hear about it, but some of the traditional AFL-side craft unions are starting to quietly do the same.

  125. 125
    Yutsano says:

    @Another Halocene Human: My union right now is trying to keep Congress from changing our pension buy-in percentage. They’re also fighting us not getting COLAs and the elimination of the GS system. They’re not even pushing for higher wages, they’re trying to keep us from starving to death.

  126. 126
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    @Ben Franklin: WTF?

    I think it means fuck wit me and I will destroy you, linguistically. I must say, Franklin is one of our cutest and most endearing purity trolls, if we gotta have purity trolls.

  127. 127
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Kerry hadn’t had a truly competitive race in ages. Obama ran for president not long after his first senate race as an upstart. Is that the difference?

    Whew!. That was a series of pregnant ideas that has my head swimming so I’ll just respond to the portion shown.

    It is a massive, mind-boggling organizatonal nightmare to run a National Campaign, and the fickle voter makes the electorate like a bowl of jello needing a nail-down. However, the DNC has that job, and Kerry’s stale campaigning needed expertise that should have been forthcoming. We have too many Bob Shrums in the bushes. Obama is not afraid of risk, as he showed with Bin Laden. (btw Peter Bergen’s ‘Manhunt is excellent for timelines and details) He needs to take off the gloves, because, I believe that’s what Americans want to see in spite of what they say in polling.

  128. 128
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse: So I get joined in the attack on you because I tried to move the conversation back to something more interesting than whether some unions have racist members and, if so, how many?

  129. 129
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Stuck in the Funhouse:

    I’ll take that for what it’s worth.

  130. 130
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Is that your intent? I hope so. Even still, it’s not my job to defend the ideas expressed by others, but take umbrage when they are treated poorly.

  131. 131
    Stuck in the Funhouse says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    There is no fairness in blogging

    Momma Stuck – in the year of our lard, nineteen hundred and eleventy six.

  132. 132
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I’m going to award this one to mclaren for keeping it under three sentence.

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: Talk about racists in unions as far as I am concerned. Fuck it. I don’t care anymore. The WI threads have been as full of pure, stubborn idiocy as any I have ever seen on this blog. A shitload of people have been using their vague conception of what happen here to justify whatever half-assed theory they are currently riding as a political hobby horse. They are entirely impervious to facts. Of course, that is neither here nor there. If I made an error in thinking that you were part of a particular discussion, then excuse the fuck out of me.

  134. 134
    Yutsano says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: At some point you reach the conclusion the other party is not debating in good faith. Sometimes it becomes evident sooner than in other cases. I’m with you. I’m cutting my losses and moving on.

  135. 135
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    My apologies. It seemed like a pile-on, and your honest inquiry was misinterpreted.

    The discussion about Wi has been emotional, but why shouldn’t it be? The angst has to be expunged, and venting offers the opportunity.

  136. 136
    Lynn Dee says:

    Exactly what I’ve been thinking. And no, the difference isn’t Wisconsin voters versus California voters. 
    The difference is which side had the money.

  137. 137
    muddy says:

    Maybe they just kept thinking about Ahnuld and didn’t want that association.

  138. 138
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ben Franklin: It’s cool.

  139. 139
    Jay in Oregon says:

    @Yutsano:
    It’s feeds the Teabaggers, and right-wing evangelist types too too; if you identify with being victimized by XXXX, then it legitimizes anything you do to strike out at those who have wronged you.

    I keep this bookmarked:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com.....e-not-okay

    It’s more about interpersonal dynamics in relationships, but the key quote that sticks out to me is:

    The retaliation motive of victim identity is so great that you can reliably use the following as a guideline: If you feel chronically like a victim, you are most likely abusive in some way.

  140. 140
    Joey Giraud says:

    @dlnelson:

    I think the reason virtually all Democrats, liberals, and progressives are dismissing or ignoring the extremely likely rigging of the election is that it’s depressing to consider.

    Fixing a rigged electoral system is a huge job, with a load of conflict and hard fights, etc..

    Too much to contemplate. So let’s pretend the count is correct.

    Also, Republicans have inoculated themselves with their now-standard tactic of accusing the other side of doing what you are about to do.

  141. 141
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @kideni: The Rove* doctrine, combined with the old Big Lie tactic–turn your weakness into a strength. Powered by out of state money, make it look like it’s the other guy.

    *Edit: wrote Koch the first time. Oops.

  142. 142
    Ben Franklin says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    turn your weakness into a strength.

    Then turn Obama’s strength into a weakness…

  143. 143
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @JC:

    Should votes pay more attention? Sure, but people have busy lives.

    This is true. What’s going to have to happen is a loss of trust in the MSM. That is happening, slowly. However those who watch MSM are the more likely voters.

    Reagan was no fool when he destroyed citizen control of the airwaves. Those who fear fascism may not be far off. I feel as though we’ve had a preview through the Bush years. Obama, as promised, dialed that down and none of their butthurt comes close to the relentless why-do-you-hate-America? media-facilitated psychological oppression of the Bush years, but we know what’s in store if Romney wins.

  144. 144
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @lamh35: Penn and Matthews can go straight to hell.

  145. 145
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Yutsano: I’m rethinking pension buy-in. If you end up controlling the pension you’re protected from raids. Yes, it’s cheaper if the employer pays, but good luck with that these days.

    Public employee unions pitted themselves against middle class taxpayers in the mid 1990’s. Now it was boom time and maybe they did the right thing but it still sticks in my mind because Clinton was cutting the defense budget and me and half my friends had parents who were losing their jobs. You never, never, never hurt the people you serve, but the teacher’s union went on ‘strike’ w/r/t after-school programs, at the same time my dad was being forced to do illegal unpaid overtime. It’s BAD politics.

    Community organizing flips that script and makes the people you serve your allies instead of your opposition, which is a losing equation for public sector unions.

    NNU, for example, is out there pushing for single payer. They’re smart enough to realize that the outrageous schedules and patient loads don’t just hurt them, they hurt the hapless public requiring hospital services. I only wish the AMA would have realized that years ago instead of, incredibly, defending the absurd hours put in by residents.

    (Resident is a misnomer, as they no longer sleep in the wards. I’ve heard some utterly terrible stories about traffic crashes and near misses by “residents”, and god only knows what awful mistakes they’re making on patients due to fatigue. Yabut, unionized fire fighters who sleep on the clock are greedheads. Hokay.)

  146. 146
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Ben Franklin: They tried this, called him an elitist for being a collij perfessor and making millions writing books, but it backfired, just as Alan Keyes famous cri de coeur did, “Barack Obama doesn’t know what it means to be a black man in America,” because it just didn’t pass the smell test.

    For all we despair that Obama is delegitimized by the right just for being black and handwring that maybe putting him there was a mistake (see: noted pants-wetter Ezra Klein), on some issues, his blackness has been a net positive. (Marketing experts can explain why. Note there was an early attempt by the GOP to paint Obama as not really black. This failed I think in large part because of who he chose to marry and how he chooses to identify himself.)

  147. 147
    tam1MI says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Is everyone ignoring what people have said about special sessions on purpose? What about committee work and investigations? The state senate can do those.

    While the special sessions stuff is clearly a good point, to the best of my knowledge committee work and suchlike is only done when the Senate is in session. When the legislature is not in session, legislators go back to their home districts to have town meetings and such.

  148. 148
    fuckwit says:

    Goddamned liberal media, is what it is.

  149. 149
    GeneJockey says:

    One thing people forget about Gray Davis is that he is a man singularly lacking in charisma, who just happened to be Governor at a time when the state when California went through an enormous identity crisis.

    Remember the heady days of the late 90s? Well, they were at their headiest here. We were the envy of the world, and suddenly that all went away. We couldn’t even keep the power on! Our state started having budget shortfall after budget shortfall. Californians were ANGRY, and Davis had no inherent popularity to fall back on. Then, after he was reelected in an election that left a bad taste in everyone’s mouth, it ws revealed that the budget shortfall for that year was going to be WAY LARGER than had been reported. This was the reason many gave for the recall – that Davis had known about this but kept it hidden until after the election.

    He became the focus of all the anger everyone felt, and nobody REALLY liked him anyway. The power crisis, especially, made him look utterly incompetent. It may be impossible for anyone who wasn’t here at the time to completely understand, but here we were, the epicenter of the ‘new information economy’, and suddenly we couldn’t keep the frakkin’ LIGHTS ON! And we’d been awash in revenues, and suddenly we were talking about laying off people and cutting services!

    EVERYONE was mad at Gray Davis, and that’s just not true of Walker.

  150. 150
    Brachiator says:

    @cthulhu:

    It was such a crazy circus. While the sensible voters in each party went for the Dem Lt Gov and the long time GOP star McClintock, the rabble went for the punchline that was the Governator. Hell, even Larry Flynt got 17,000+ votes.

    Here we disagree. The Democrats added another clown car to the circus. Panicked that they might not be able to save Davis, they offered the political hack Bustamante as an alternative. McClintock was not a star, he was a hard core libertarian lunatic. He never had a chance in hell of winning.

    But again, the bottom line is that all the sobered headed pundits urged the voters to retain Davis, and the voters ignored the sober headed pundits.

    So this still raises the question of why Wisconsin voters ultimately were reluctant to dump Walker.

    More important, I am curious as to whether any polling confirmed this recall hesitation and why the recall movement did not do more to try to deal with it. It is not sufficient to just blame the money or the Wisconsin media.

    California was a circus. Do the people of Wisconsin not like circuses?

  151. 151
    rageahol says:

    @dlnelson: you mean those who belong to an organization that exists to advocate for its members, who are themselves the upper strata of a nearly-absolute hierarchy, is itself authoritarian (read:right-wing)?

    the hell you say.

    i’m all for unions, but when the only unions left are those of the institutions (like prison guards) that are, to put it mildly, problematic, then the public benefit is really thrown into question. we’re not at that point yet, but the prison guards union is one of the biggest political players in CA, which does not bode well for attempts to reduce the prison population.

    it is not my impression that people become prison guards in order to live a life of service.

  152. 152
    chopper says:

    @Only the Facts:

    if you guys think you’re going to outspend obama 10-to-1 this fall you’re going to need a lot more than checkbooks.

  153. 153
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @tam1MI: If you would look at the schedule that you have linked on multiple threads, you will see that committee work is listed throughout the fall.

  154. 154
    markg says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    The problem is that some of that is not true. retaking the senate is meaningless because the legislature will not reconvene until after the November election, when the republicans will likely retake the majority with the advantage of redistricting, and the currently suspended voter suppression law, which the republican-dominated supreme court will have no doubt reinstated by then. And Walker actually received far more votes in the recall than he did when first elected. this was a disaster and there’s no way to spin it positively.

  155. 155
    Older says:

    Wisconsin is not California. States all have different rules and different attitudes.

    Out here on the left coast, we like to help make government ourselves, personally. We think if you don’t have initiative and referendum, you don’t have democracy.

    So it makes perfect sense that voters in Wisconsin have a different attitude about recalls than do voters in California.

  156. 156
    Caz says:

    The difference I guess is that Davis lost and Walker won. So with Davis, the majority did revolt and ousted him. In Walker’s case, it was a minority, and the majority still wanted him so he keeps his job. Not as much of a revolt when you can’t oust the guy. When a majority speak up and oust a guy, that’s much more of a revolt.

    Anyway, that seems to be a reasonable explanation of the difference if you’re looking for one.

    However, I don’t recall ever hearing such vitriolic things about Davis as we have about Walker. Maybe it hasn’t been characterized as much as a revolt, but Walker sure has been more characterized as an evil dude in the media than Davis was.

    In any event, the recall of Walker was not for abuse of power, but rather for disagreement with his policies. When a dude abuses his power, there’s more of a revolt than when some people just disagree with policies and they try to oust him.

    The epic fail of the Walker recall should tell you that your views on public unions don’t have as much widespread support as you might have thought. It turns out that most people are in favor of equalizing public union power and perks. I mean, it wasn’t even close – Walker won by a bigger margin than in his last general election.

    People generally don’t like that public employees are so unequally and unfairly compensated with pay and benefits, and they take offense to the union employees crying foul when they are asked to contribute just a little to their own benefits. They come across as a bunch of entitled spoiled brats. That’s why Walker won.

    Not to mention that he has done fiscal wonders for his state. If only our federal leadership would take similar measures to rein in the deficits/debts like Walker has.

    I look forward to the voter revolt in November, even though Romney is about the same as Obama. R’s and D’s are just different factions of the same big govt, massive spending, war mongering party these days.

    But then, I’m probably the only libertarian that ever reads or posts on this blog (which I’ve been doing for many years now, so you can all stop with the troll stuff, lol).

  157. 157
    chopper says:

    @Caz:

    People generally don’t like that public employees are so unequally and unfairly compensated with pay and benefits

    it’s unequal alright, just not in the way you think it is.

    , and they take offense to the union employees crying foul when they are asked to contribute just a little to their own benefits. They come across as a bunch of entitled spoiled brats. That’s why Walker won.

    just like the public sector unions which compromised with walker before he went and cut their bargaining rights anyway. oh, wait.

    unions are more than willing to compromise. the problem is dumbshits like you are deliberately misinformed and think it never happens. mostly because rationalizing union busting is more important to you than actual reality.

  158. 158
    uptown says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    That is the lesson in the Davis Recall. The candidate you run against the incumbent has to show he ins’t part of the partisan dicking around and he’s going to try to fix things. They didn’t do that in Wisconsin.

    Very good point. Arnold would have never made it through a Republican primary, even back then the GOP in CA was nuts.

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