The fat lady has sung. It is over.
You can close your Solidarity song books. Roll up the tents. Pop the red heart balloons. Don't cut yourself.
There will be no recall of Scott Walker. The Wisconsin State Senate remains safely in Republican hands. We won.
This is what democracy looks like!
Obama's Democratic machine and their public employee union masters targeted six Republican senators in an unprecedented gang recall. They poured 20 million dollars (see Dan Bice) into vicious attack ads -- ads that the Oshkosh Northwestern newspaper denounced as "a new low in the politics of personal destruction."
Campaign committees colluded with supposedly independent third-party groups like Citizens Action, according to Lakeshore Laments. Partisans doled out food and drink in exchange for votes, according to MediaTrackers. Liberal millionaires funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to front groups, according to the MacIver Institute.
For the third time since November 2010, the people of Wisconsin held a referendum on Governor Walker and the Republican legislature. (The second being Prosser v. Kloppenburg.) For the third time Governor Walker and the Republican agenda won.
I predicted on Monday that Republican Senators Robert Cowles, Sheila Harsdorf, Luther Olsen, and Alberta Darling would prevail. I predicted on Monday that Republicans Randy Hopper and Dan Kapanke would be turned out of office. I was correct. (It's a gift, all praise to the Lord.)
"The revolution has not occurred. The proletariat did not take over the streets," UW-Milwaukee professor Mordecai Lee is supposed to have said.
Republicans retain control of both houses of the state legislature.
The Spin Cycle is stuck on Fail
Comrade John Nichols, appearing with Mr. Ed on MSNBC's televised pep rally Tuesday night from Madison's Capitol Square, did his mighty best to spin the disappointing results.
Democrats had been trying to win Kapanke's La Crosse-centered district "for decades," he said. The mayor of Spin City repeats the meme on-line today.
Running in districts that were drawn to elect Republicans, that have consistently elected Republicans for generations ...
"Adds up to recall success," John writes.
Then why are my liberal acquaintances (for they ARE ...) so unhappy?
If these results stand, its an undeniable defeat for labor and for progressive activists. -- the Washington Post.
A victory for Scott Walker. -- The New York Times.
A big setback for Democrats -- MSNBC
Close but no cigar. -- Fighting Ed Garvey
The figures don't lie (but liars figure)
Kapanke's 32nd district has been Republican for decades? For generations? Don't tell Mark Meyer, the Democrat who represented the district until 2005. Dan Kapanke, bless him, was always swimming upstream. His La Crosse district voted 62 percent for Barack Obama!
Yes, Randy Hopper went down in the Fond du Lac/Oshkosh district in what amounts to a rematch. In the first go-around in 2008, Democrat Jessica King lost by only 163 votes. This time around, Hopper saddled himself with lurid tales of a kept younger mistress -- political baggage that would sink, well, a John Edwards. Hopper still damn near won, losing by only 2 percentage points.
The Ed Show's Mr. Ed and Comrade Nichols were salivating at the prospect of dumping Sen. Alberta Darling, co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee and one of Walker's "closest" allies.
In 2008, Darling won with 50.5% of the vote. Tuesday, she won by 54%.
In 2008, Sheila Harsdorf won with 56% of the vote. Tuesday, she won with 58%.
In Green Bay, Rob Cowles faced the former Brown County (Green Bay) executive and won with 60%. That is an outright thumping!
The voters of Wisconsin, intelligent people, decided that the Republicans deserve credit for balancing the budget without raiding patient compensation funds, one-time "stimulus funding," or accounting tricks -- in contrast to the dysfunction in Washington D.C. and neighboring Minnesota and Illinois.
The people decided that in a nation with 9.2% unemployment and 2.5 million jobs lost since Barack Obama was sworn in as president and a record $7 trillion in debt -- talk about war on the middle class! -- requiring its government employees to make modest contributions to their unique defined benefit pensions and generous health care coverage was not too much to ask.
In fact, Democrats treated the collective bargaining issue as if it were radioactive. Although it was the casus belli for the recall, Demos knew it was an electoral loser.
Where I fault Republicans is that not all of them harped on the hooliganism and raw intimidation of the Madison Siege like Sen. Harsdorf did against her opponent, the frightening Shelly Moore.
Predicting the future
I said there will be no recall of Scott Walker for two reasons. First, Tuesday's recall results sucked the air out of the movement. Here's what's next:
The Republican legislature will reform recall -- perhaps to require a criminal indictment before a legislator is eligible for recall. (The Capital Times opposed even Chuck Chvala's recall. Of course, he was a Democrat) Recall reform will attract the votes of even some Democrats for these reasons: Fewer than 20 states have recall. The Assembly is virtually recall-proof (since recalls cannot begin until at least a year is served in office and Assembly terms are only two years). People are tired of non-stop electioneering.
Next Tuesday, it's the Democrats' turn to defend their turf. I'm looking for Kim Simac to oust Sen. Jim Holperin.
Here to stay: Collective bargaining reforms. Check. Redistricting. Check. Concealed carry. Check. Lower taxes. Check. Education reform. Check. Government efficiency? Check. Tort reform. Check. Job creation. Check.
I'm writing Ed Garvey's next blog, since I won the bet.