So what happened in the recall election yesterday? I think it was a number of things.
First, Money works. It allowed Walker's spin to be repeated so many times that it had to sink in.. even if it wasn't true. $30MM is a lot of cash and buys a lot of access.
Second, (and I have to credit my spouse for this insight) It was a "rematch"...Walker vs Barrett and nobody really wanted to see a rematch. ..a "do-over"...an instant replay...as much as I like and respect Tom, I think another candidate would have done better.
Third, "Divide and Conquer" works. The entire popular support for Walker's Union bashing legislation was jealousy and envy of the have-nots against the (percieved) "haves". Teachers salaries were held up to scorn and ridicule. Public workers salaries and benefits were played against the un-employed and under-employed. I personally know of people who voted for Walker because they thought "Walker gave the teachers union what they deserved!". Jealousy ...pure and simple...divide and conquer.
And finally...it was a referendum against recalls themselves. There has been a steady diet of recalls in the last 16 months. ..a steady diet of petitions, signature drives and elections...people (some people anyway) were just sick of it.
I am disappointed. That's for sure. I never have been a fan of Scott Walker and probably never will be. I am proud of the progressives of Wisconsin for the remarkable thing they did in bringing it to the election.....
I am also royally pissed at the Supreme Court for "Citizens United" which allows 15-16 Billionaires to buy a state government for the bargain basement price of $30MM.
I will "go to the mountain-top" and think this through. Then I will decide what path I will follow.
This has been a rough year for Wisconsin.
We've seen our proud traditions hijacked by a ruthless right-wing, corporate agenda and told that we're "better off because of it".
But we've fought back...and we've fought back valiantly.
And Tuesday will tell us if we have been successful.
So let's make it clear what's at stake here...
Tuesday will tell us if people count more than money.
Tuesday will tell us if corporations own the government or if people own the government
Tuesday will tell us if the right to organize and negotiate for wages and working conditions is still alive in Wisconsin
Tuesday will tell us what kind of model Wisconsin will be for the rest of the nation...a model of democracy or corporate rule.
Tuesday will tell us if a few billionaires have succeeded in breaking the will of an entire state...and if they can do it throughout the nation
I don't know where this will go on Tuesday.
I've run into a lot of kool-aide drinkers in the past few weeks and I've seen families divided over the issues like I've never seen before...I am worried about the unthinking-unreasoning minions who follow Walker like they follow the Green Bay Packers..."my team against your team..my team right or wrong"
But I've also run into a lot of really folks dedicated to the spirit of Wisconsin...and I've seen the hours they've put into this effort and the size of their hearts.
Go vote on Tuesday...and bring a friend with you...or maybe two or three friends....
There's a lot at stake here.
(end of sermon to the choir)
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