Yesterday the good people of Wisconsin went to the voting booths and struck a blow for liberty, bravely ushering in a brand new era of prosperity while sending a powerful message to Washington and its anti-colonial Kenyan usurper. Or maybe not. Maybe yesterday the poor saps in Wisconsin were duped by powerful lobbying groups to vote against their interests, and have thus paved the way for the dismantling of the very democratic system we love and cherish, as the long Winter slowly approaches. Being an Oregonian, I can’t say as I care much.
I will say, however, that I ‘m glad about the results of the election in Wisconsin (State Motto: See? Every Now & Then We Can Make You Remember We Exist). Which is not to say that I support Gov. Walker. I don’t really know him. My only real experience with getting to know him (as opposed to having other people tell me what I should think about him, which was invariably either Christ-like Savior or Machiavellian Anti-Christ) was an interview I watched over the weekend. He seemed like a nice and reasonable guy, but then again he was sharing the screen with Sean Hannity – I’m pretty sure the Unabomber would have seemed the same in comparison. But there is no doubt in my mind we dodged a bullet in Walker’s failed recall.
The blogs and cable news networks will all be furiously spinning this story over the next 48 hours. (After that, this Most Important News Story of The Century will be largely discarded so that we can make room for the next Most Important News Story of The Century.) But the truth of the matter is that there was never any “there” there. The state of Wisconsin voted in a GOP governor over a DNC mayor, and when given the choice between the same two guys they voted for him again. He’d been accused of no crime; he’d not been caught using public funds to fly his mistress to Rio for a summer-wear shopping spree; he hadn’t been caught cooking the State books. No, he was put through the recall process because the people that lost to him the first time didn’t like the fact that they’d lost.
Liberals and Conservatives are each going to scream bloody murder for me writing this, but when I see what the Wisconsin Democrats have done with this recall I am reminded of the shameful, self-serving way the GOP has acted since Obama has been elected. It’s somehow not enough to realize you were unable to make your case and you lost an election – your loss somehow gives you the mandate to shut down the government and turn your state or country into a giant, life-sized talk radio program. Exit polls, in fact, suggested that only 28% of those that voted believed that recall elections should be used for anything other than misconduct (which I hasten to say is exactly why they were put there in the first place).
To conservatives reading this, let me submit to you that this failed recall is not the National Mandate From America you are telling yourselves it is this morning. No, this failed recall is more like an acknowledgement from the people of Wisconsin that their governor wasn’t really born in Kenya, no matter how much the other people want to believe he is.
To liberals, I’d like to suggest that you dodged a huge bullet; had this recall worked, I think your day-to-day political lives would have just gotten exponentially harder. Let me explain:
Let’s say you live in a state that, like most, has a liberal-leaning metropolitan area and a conservative-leaning urban area. Let’s say you live in a state where, like most states, conservatives look at the map rather than the population statistics and decide that they are being cheated because the tiny blue areas of the map they see on the news sometimes beat the much larger red areas on the map, and the red parts are bigger, dammit! Let’s say you live in a state that, like most, has both a healthy conservative talk radio station or two that features local or regional blowhards. Now let me ask you: If the Democrats had been successful in yesterday’s recall, how long do think it would take before any elected Democrat would become the target of a constant, steady, talk-radio fueled effort to have them removed from office?
Come to think of it, maybe that recall genie left the bottle even in last night’s failure. My initial reaction when asking myself who really won is to say “nobody;” after all, a tremendous amount of money and effort was wasted in a primal scream that succeeded in nothing but making things worse for Wisconsinites. But the truth is there was a winner: cable news and talk radio programs. Their ratings benefited mightily from this clusterf**k. Why on Earth should I think they won’t be happy to push for this kind of drama over and over and over?
This recall was a terrible, terrible idea, born of nothing but the anger of not being the gal picked to go to the ball – in the same way that the great GOP freakout about Obama has been since November, 2008. My advice to everyone, right or left, that is asked to sign the inevitable petitions to recall the man or woman you didn’t vote for because they had the audacity to win is to say “No thanks” and move on to the next election.