Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Chin up, Wisconsin! It's a Long Uphill Fight

We knew it was a long shot, and given all we were up against, we did great and we made real progress. We did not lose. We just didn't win quite as much as we were hoping for. But the fight isn't over, and it won't be over for a long time. Consider how much "dark money" poured into Wisconsin for these recall elections. Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign estimates that a total of nearly $31 million was spent on the Wisconsin recalls in about four months, whereas $3.75 million was spent on all of the state races in 2010. The obstacles are formidable indeed.

So today is a good day to shake the dust off, renew our resolve, reassemble our forces, and rescrew our courage to the sticking place, as it were.

Ian Millhiser at Think Progress reminds us of how truly remarkable yesterday's accomplishments are, given that the the recall rules stipulate that only those who have been in office for one year or more are eligible for recall.
All of the Republican state senators who were eligible for recall in yesterday’s elections were Republicans who held on in 2008 despite the fact that they had to stand for election during a Democratic wave. Likewise, all of the Republicans who were elected in 2010 only because they were fortunate enough to run during a Republican wave were immune from recall. Come 2012, however, all of this changes.
John Nichols of The Nation appeared today on Democracy Now! and rightly asserted that Walker took a serious hit last night. (Take that, you big bully!) Mike Tate, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, proclaimed that yesterday's recall elections amounted to "an accomplishment of historic proportions" and "showed just how vulnerable Republicans are in the November 2012 elections—and how vulnerable Gov. Walker is to a recall election himself."

So chin up, Wisconsin! We have a long, hard haul ahead of us, but we have proven ourselves to be fierce and formidable, and we've got them shaking in their boots. So here's to you, Wisconsin, and Scotty, we've put you on notice. We're coming for you!


  1. That's a really good point about how these were especially tough electoral nuts to crack (districts won by GOP when Obama won.)

    As you know, I had reservations about how protests on behalf of labor and collective bargaining turned into campaigns on behalf of the Democratic Party and candidates -- when those institutions and candidates could sometimes seem to distance themselves from labor issues.

    I hope that you and your friends will help put labor issues front and center in the Walker recall effort. Democratic candidates are a means to your ends, they're not the ends themselves.

    Sincere thanks for your work, congratulations on the wins so far, and best wishes for continued success.

  2. The Democrats in the Wisconsin state legislature have been amazingly good, fearless even, at listening to, working for, and advocating for working people. The Fighting 14 in the state senate have been faithful and stalwart friends of labor.

    On a national level, the Dems have proved themselves to be just slightly left of the extreme right, that is to say, they're farther to the right than Republicans were only just a few years ago.

    Thanks for your kind words and encouragement, Thomas. ¡La lucha continua! (The fight goes on!)