Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wisconsin Republicans, Don't Start Doing Your Happy Dance Just Yet - You LOST the State Senate majority!

CNN is reporting that one of the four Republian state senators in the Wisconsin recall election appears to have lost, which along with the Republican who quit rather than face a recall election, shifts the majority to the Republicans for the time being.  Posted 2 hours ago:

CNN - Republicans scored big in Wisconsin Tuesday when Gov. Scott Walker fended off a recall vote, but Democrats appeared to eke out a victory in the state senate, where local news organizations reported Democrats taking control after winning their own recall attempts. Four Republican senators faced recall votes Tuesday. At least three held on to their seats, but former Sen. John Lehman, a Democrat, declared victory in ousting incumbent Sen. Van Wanggaard. The vote was extremely close, and results have not been certified, CNN affiliate WTMJ reported.

This is only significant should Walker try to call a special session.  Currently the Wisconsin legislature is not meeting, and is not scheduled to meet again until after the 2012 elections in November.  So what difference does it make who won?

It is the chink in the armor the small hole in the dike, the crack wall to begin a takeover of the state legislative branch in the 2012 elections.

CNN goes on, in the same article, to note:

"The Wisconsin legislature will be out of session until after the general election in November, when 16 of the body's 33 seats will be up for grabs,..."

A more measured assessment of the election yesterday was this one from the Examiner, where author Graham Bengen noted that Walker wasn't removed for the same reasons Clinton wasn't impeached.  While he did things that were wrong, the public did not perceive them as wrong enough for a mid term removal.  I suspect that may have a lot to do with the fact that the John Doe investigation for a long laundry list of serious crimes is not well known among residents of Wisconsn, and has been drowned out by false claims of success by Walker.

I think there is another reason.  This was the second round of recall elections in Wisconsin, there is a statewide election coming up in November.  I think people simply have a tolerance level that was exhausted for elections and politicking that has not been adequately taken into consideration.  And I think that people wonder if this were successful if the obstructionist Republicans wouldn't use and abuse it the way they have the filibuster in Congress, or the way the right played fast and loose with parliamentary procedures in the Wisconsin legislature. 

Ultimately people don't like dirty politics, and that is what the right has engaged in throughout their term in Wisconsin, from voter suppression and election tampering to running fake Democratic candidates.  It isn't clever, it is just ugly and desperate, and shows the moral decrepitude of the right despite their lip service to values and good government.

from the Examiner:
Why Wisconsin's Walker survived recall and why the Left should not overreact

Recalls are not meant to be simple “do-overs”. That is what happens in an election four years later – a “do-over”. Many people do not even support the idea of recall elections, and those who do have a much higher standard when voting to immediately remove an elected official from office than they do when simply choosing not to re-elect someone. The bar for recall is high, and the anti-Walker forces simply could not meet that bar.

In the final analysis, Scott Walker’s big spending did not earn him very much. Going into Tuesday’s recall election, Walker’s approval rating stood at 50%, and Tom Barrett’s was 46%. The actual election results almost exactly mirrored the approval rating of each candidate. Barrett got his 46%, and Walker got his 50% … and 3% more.

Let us be honest: Scott Walker spent $31 million and received just 3% more than what his approval rating was regardless of any spending. Many factors could account for Walker’s extra 3% on election day. It could have been that people didn't like the idea of recalling a governor – any governor – and were willing to give Scott Walker the benefit of the doubt and let him serve out his term. It could have been that Tom Barrett was an unlikable, lackluster candidate who just could not cut it. It could have been that Scott Walker outspent Tom Barrett by an 8-1 margin. It could, and probably was, a combination of some or all of these factors.
What this was not, however, was a massive victory for the Right, or for the GOP, or for the Tea Party, or for the Kochs. This was an attempt to fire a governor in the middle of his term. To do that takes a lot – a lot which just was not there in this case.

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