The political landscape is pretty ugly, what with the fascist tactics and last-minute smears and misinformation/disinformation. After a little taunting by Gov. Walker, Obama has now stepped into a fray, with a tweet. Oh my.
Update 1: Walker is up by 9 with 89% reporting. He won by 6 in 2010. The four GOP state senators won by comfortable margins. This can't be interpreted as anything but a failure on the part of the Left.
Update 2: It looks like a Democrat did win a senate seat, giving the Democrats a 17-16 majority (link). However, the next scheduled legislative session is not until 2013, well after the next regularly scheduled election. Ed Morrissey:
In November, 16 of the 33 seats will be up for grabs, and thanks to the redistricting that will be in place for the first time in that election, Republicans are supposed to pick up at least two seats. The unions spent millions of dollars and over a year’s worth of effort to get a temporary one-seat majority in a chamber that will never meet in session.
Bottom line, millions upon millions spent with nothing of substance to show for. Walker won by a little over 7%, exceeding his November 2010 margin. The executive director of the state employees union responds to the electoral result.
"We're not going to pull a blanket over our head and pee in our pajamas."
Well, that's gratifying to hear, but it's a visual I wish I didn't visualize.
A Barrett supporter adds insult to injury.
Update 3: Molly Ball at The Atlantic has a fair take.
It's important to remember, as Democrats cope with their failure to topple Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Tuesday's recall, that this was a fight they chose.
Unlike the vast majority of elections, which occur on a regular schedule, the recall was a fight the left picked on purpose. They picked it because they thought they could win. And they were wrong.
It wasn't even close. In the final tally, Walker led his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, by 53 percent to 46 percent.
The idea behind the recall effort was to send a message: a warning to conservatives across the country that there was a line not to be crossed when it came to messing with the hard-earned gains of public worker unions. By losing, however, the consortium of unions, progressives and Democrats that worked so ardently to send Walker packing may have sent the opposite message. If Walker can survive, what's to stop any other right-leaning governor from pushing the envelope?
It's not only Republican governors, Walker noted, who are pushing to reform the pension, benefit and pay privileges enjoyed by public workers. He pointed to the efforts of Deval Patrick in Massachusetts, Lincoln Chafee (a liberal independent) in Rhode Island, Andrew Cuomo in New York and Jerry Brown in California, all of whom have approached the issue of public sector pension reform, if in less inflammatory manner.
The results for the labor movement, of which the public sector is now the backbone, could be dire. Already, there are signs Walker has succeeded in crippling Wisconsin's unions, whose membership has sharply declined since his reforms made it easier for workers to opt out and harder for the groups to gain recognition. In just over a year, the union representing state workers has seen its membership drop by two-thirds, while the American Federation of Teachers has lost more than a third of the 17,000 members it formerly claimed in Wisconsin, according to the Wall Street Journal.
I think she's also right that a Walker victory does not necessarily mean a Romney victory, but it's "not meaningless as a foretaste".
Update 4: As usual, Jon Stewart's observations are pitch-perfect.
|The Daily Show with Jon Stewart||Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Madison Men - Scott Walker Prevails in Wisconsin Recall|
Taranto reminds us of another Obama pledge that expired when it became too politically inconvenient to hold to it.
Theoretically, Obama was on the side of the government employee unions that were behind the unsuccessful attempt to oust Gov. Scott Walker, who last year signed legislation abolishing most of their corrupt "collective bargaining" arrangements. "Understand this," the future president declared in 2007: "If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I'm in the White House, I'll put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself, I'll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner."
In practice, Obama tweeted "present": "It's Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow, and I'm standing by Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor." But he was only theoretically present. Not only was he standing, not walking; he was standing someplace far from Wisconsin. In fact, for all we know he was sitting at the time. We can't be sure he was even wearing shoes.
What's that word again? Oh, yeah. Uncourageous.