Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wisconsin and the aftermath

What’s New Today
 he Wisconsin recall.  #2 is an emotional look at what happened in Wisconsin on Tuesday.  #3 spells out who are the winners and who are the loser from Wednesday’s recall.  Who do you think is the one person on both lists? #4 asks what it the consequences for unions in general from the recall.  #5 is akin to Jay Leno’s question to Hugh Grant when he was dating Elizabeth Hurley and was caught with a hooker in his car.  “What were you thinking?”  This article asks the democrats the same question.  #6 is a quick video which shows you what delusional is.  #7 tells of Obama's membership in the far left New Party. 

Today’s Thoughts

Democrat pundits are citing exit polls in Wisconsin that said Obama holds a 10 point lead over Romney.  Of course these are the same exit polls that said the 7 point Walker win was tied.  

After one week, June is already looking like a disaster for President Obama: first the unemployment numbers and then the Wisconsin recall.  But it could be worse.  SCOTUS will rule on the Constitutionality of Obamacare later this month.  

Howard Dean sees the Wisconsin recall vote as the beginning of the undermining of American democracy.  Actually Howard, “This is what democracy looks like.”

Obama’s decision to go the Hollywood for fund raisers on D-Day’s 68th anniversary marks his 150th fund raiser while in office. 

1.  The Wisconsin Recall and Money

The spin from the left on the morning after their disastrous Wisconsin recall election failure is that Governor Scott Walker (R-WI), who walked away with the election, did so because he spent oodles of money.

Politico’s takeaway: “Money shouts.” “Walker wins one for the plutocrats,” trumpeted Joan Walsh of  “Outspent 7-1, Democrats couldn’t beat Scott Walker with a strong ground game.” Media Matters’ favorite Washington Post columnist, Greg Sargent, cited the Citizens United decision allowing corporate political spending no less than five times in his recap of the election – despite the fact that not one dollar spent in Wisconsin would have been illegal before Citizens United. The Post’s Chris Cillizza said, “Being outspent 10-1 (or worse) is never a recipe for success in a race. Democrats cried foul over Walker’s exploitation of a loophole that allowed him to collect unlimited contributions prior to the official announcement of the recall in late March.” Daily Kos said that with Walker’s spending edge, “It shouldn’t even be close.”

This is false.

Overall, over $63.5 million was spent on the recall effort by various parties. Walker spent about $30 million; Barrett spent about $4 million. Most of the money spent by Walker came from out-of-state sources – The Republican Governors Association spent about $4 million, almost all from out-of-state; the Kochs gave $1 million; the Chamber of Commerce gave $500,000. On the surface, then, it appears that Walker had a tremendous cash advantage.

Not so fast. As it turns out, labor unions spent an additional $21 million on the recall election. When it came to state senate recall elections back in September 2011, Democrats outspent Republicans $23.4 million to $20.5 million….

If you go beyond the spin I think unions are flummoxed by Citizen United and the Tea Party.  Normally, the Unions would have had a huge financial advantage as well as a huge advantage in the ground game.  In this election they didn’t, but found themselves facing an equal opponent.  In this case they lost and they lost big. 

2.  People United Goes Down in Flames

The American left as we have come to know it suffered a devastating blow in Wisconsin last night. The organized heart of the left gave everything it had to the fight against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: heart, shoe leather, wallet and soul. The left picked this fight, on the issue and in the place of its choice; it chose to recall Walker because it believed it could win a showcase victory. That judgement was fatally flawed; it is part of a larger failure to grasp the nature of American politics and the times in which we live.

The left gave this fight everything it had. It called all the troops it could find; it raised all the money it could; it summoned the passion of its grassroots supporters, all the moral weight and momentum remaining to the American labor movement and every ounce of its strength and its will.

And it failed.

The tribes of the left danced and rallied in the streets of Madison. They knocked on doors. They staffed phone banks. They passed fliers. They organized on social media. They picketed. They sang. They brought in the celebrities and the stars; they marched seven times around the city blowing the trumpets and beating the drums. They hurled invective; they booed; they cheered.

And they failed.

For labor, this was a key test of strength and clout. Scott Walker attacked the American labor movement where it lives: the public sector unions are the only bright spot in the dismal world of modern American unions. They have the growth, they have the money, they have — or they had — the hope.

The Walker reforms hurt AFSCME in Wisconsin almost as badly as Ronald Reagan hurt PATCO, the air traffic controller union he famously crushed in 1981. Public sector workers have deserted their unions in droves since the state clipped union bargaining rights and stopped automatic collection of dues. After a string of bitter, humiliating and expensive defeats, labor in Wisconsin will now be a shadow of its former self, lacking the troops, the money and the morale….

This past week we had two significant events: the Unions loss in Wisconsin and the 70th Anniversary of the Japanese loss at Midway.  I think the parallel between the two is significant.  Midway didn’t end the war, but before Midway, the Japanese had been undefeated.   After Midway they never won another battle. 

3.  Wisconsin: Winners and Losers

…Any time there are such high stakes in an election, there are people who win big and people who lose big. And we at the Fix love nothing more than sifting through the results to go beyond the obvious “bests” and “worsts” of the night to find a few winners and losers you might not have thought of.

Below is our attempt to do just that. If you have winners and losers of your own from the race that was in Wisconsin, the comments section awaits your thoughts.

* Scott Walker: Walker would have preferred not to have had to fight for his political life 18 months after he first won the governorship. But, fight he did — and did it well. Lost in all of the chatter about Wisconsin is the fact that Walker proved himself as a damn good candidate who successfully turned the debate in the recall from his move to strip public section unions of their collective bargaining rights to one centered on his stewardship of the Wisconsin economy….

* Republican Governors Association: The RGA was in early and often on Wisconsin — grasping quickly just how much a Walker win (or a Walker loss) could impact the national playing field heading into the fall election….

* President Obama: Staying away from Wisconsin was, in hindsight, the right move for the President….

* Organized labor: There is simply no way to spin this in a way that looks good for unions — though that doesn’t mean they won’t try. Labor was the catalyst of the Walker recall effort and throughout the process cast it as the re-awakening of a political giant. They pursued the recall against the wishes of many Washington Democrats who thought that the best course of action was to wait until 2014 when Walker was set to stand for re-election And, although labor households represented an increased share of the recall electorate as compared to past elections in Wisconsin, Walker managed to expand his margin from 2010. (And did we mention that labor dumped a bunch of money into a losing Democratic primary fight against Walker roughly a month before the recall? Yeah, so that happened.) Coming on the heels of a high profile loss in a 2010 Arkansas Democratic Senate primary and the failed attempt to retake the Wisconsin state Senate in 2011, labor’s influence looks badly reduced heading into the fall election.

* President Obama: Yes, you can be a “winner” and a “loser” in the Fix’s judgment. …

* Early exit polls: …

What really struck me is the write up about Scott Walker.  As the author said, “successfully turned the debate in the recall from his move to strip public section unions of their collective bargaining rights to one centered on his stewardship of the Wisconsin economy.”  Contrast that to President Obama’s focus of trying to turn the debate from his stewardship of the US economy and his record in general to Bain Capital or for that matter anything else.

4. What Wisconsin means to the Unions

The results are in, and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has beaten Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett in the recall election. That’s in line with pre-election polling, though not the Election Day exit polls. Even before the results came in, we knew one thing, and that is that the Democrats and the public-employee unions had already lost the battle of ideas over the issue that sparked the recall, Walker’s legislation to restrict the bargaining powers of public-employee unions.

That’s supported by a Marquette University poll showing 75 percent of Wisconsin voters favoring increases in public employees’ contributions for health care and pensions. The poll also showed 55 percent in favor of limiting collective bargaining for public employees and only 41 percent opposed.
But the strongest evidence is that Barrett and the Democrats avoided the issue. They had tried to make the election about anything else, such as an investigation of staffers who worked for Walker when he was Milwaukee county executive.

A defeat in a state where public-employee-union bargaining was authorized in 1959 has national implications.

Unions spent $400 million in the 2008 election cycle to elect Barack Obama and other Democrats. More than half of all union members nationally are public employees.

Public-employee unions insist that dues money be deducted from members’ paychecks and sent directly to union treasuries. So, in practice, public-employee unions are a mechanism for the involuntary transfer of taxpayers’ money to the Democratic party.

Walker’s law ended this practice and gave public employees the choice of whether to pay union dues. The Wisconsin membership of AFSCME, the big union of state employees, fell from 62,818 to 28,785….

The very last paragraph I’ve posted it the crux of the issue.  Unions without the power to force a Union shop, lose members and money.  And Democrats who get money from Unions lose contributions, big contributions.  And the fact that polls show the public is not supporting unlimited collective bargain rights for public employee unions is another blow to the system that has fed the Democratic Party since FDR. 

5.  Democrats delusion

The irony of the spectacular failure to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Tuesday’s special election was this: It was even more spectacular because it was so utterly predictable.

Walker had led in the polls for months, and at or above 50 percent. Even more telling were actual electoral results in Wisconsin over the past 16 months — results that followed the eruption of the civil war in the state between Walker and the public-sector unions whose power over state government he’d curbed.
In an April 2011 dry run of Tuesday’s race, exactly the same anti-Walker forces had sought to oust a conservative state Supreme Court justice in a special election — and failed to pull it off.

Later that year, various recall efforts against state senators failed to wrest control of Wisconsin’s Legislature from the GOP…

….And yet liberals still managed to look, talk and sound utterly gobsmacked on Tuesday night. And to act like — there is no other word for it — fools.

Only 15 minutes before his own network called the race for Walker, MSNBC host Ed Schultz triumphantly tweeted: “All you right wingers . . . a little nervous aren’t you boys? . . . your boy can’t close.”

A little later, after the victory was assured, Schultz was emotionally prostrate. “How could this happen?” he demanded before asserting with no evidence that Walker “could be indicted” within days.
Finally, he stared into the camera and offered these words of wisdom: “It’s a tough one to take, but it’s about being in the fight. It’s about believing what you believe in and sticking to your guns and not giving up. There’s no shame, there’s no embarrassment in the way this has been played out in Wisconsin.”
No, there’s only shame and embarrassment in the way this played out on MSNBC….

There is a strong string of denial in the Democrats not just in Wisconsin but across the country.  We hear they know November is going to be a tough and close race, but it’s only beginning to sink in that Obama might lose (actually he probably will lose and lose big).  If you look at the signs right now the probability is exactly that. 

6. Hapless Wisconsin Protesters in Deep Denial

As they said, “We didn’t lose.”  It’s hard to lose when you’ve already lost your mind. 

7. Obama and the New Party

On the evening of January 11, 1996, while Mitt Romney was in the final years of his run as the head of Bain Capital , Barack Obama formally joined the New Party, which was deeply hostile to the mainstream of the Democratic party and even to American capitalism. In 2008, candidate Obama deceived the American public about his potentially damaging tie to this third party. The issue remains as fresh as today’s headlines, as Romney argues that Obama is trying to move the United States toward European-style social democracy, which was precisely the New Party’s goal.

In late October 2008, when I wrote here at National Review Online that Obama had been a member of the New Party, his campaign sharply denied it, calling my claim a “crackpot smear.” Fight the Smears, an official Obama-campaign website, staunchly maintained that “Barack has been a member of only one political party, the Democratic Party.” I rebutted this, but the debate was never taken up by the mainstream press.

Recently obtained evidence from the updated records of Illinois ACORN at the Wisconsin Historical Society now definitively establishes that Obama was a member of the New Party. He also signed a “contract” promising to publicly support and associate himself with the New Party while in office….

I guess you can’t find skeletons in a candidate’s closet if you deny he has a closet which is what happened last election.  The more we learn about BHO, the less surprising his failure as the President is.

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