Lots of moderate voters don’t like the idea of recalls. Even ones who support Democrats like president Obama. They apparently believe that it’s wrong to force a recall election on someone unless they’re guilty of gross malfeasance or criminal activity. Or something. And so they voted for Walker.
I credit Connie for bringing this to my attention. I dismissed it at first, saying it sounded like TV talking head bullshit, something pundits just make up so they have something to say. But the more I think about it the more I’m sure it must be right. Exit polls clearly indicate a lot of Obama supporters voted for Walker. They weren’t voting against Barrett or for Walker so much as voting against the recall itself.
It’s a shame that Wisconsin progressives couldn’t have waited five months and then took back both the Assembly and the Senate. They would have denied Walker his pseudo-mandate and channeled a lot of energy into reelecting president Obama, too. Think about it. Instead of “Walker victorious!” headlines in June we could have had “Walker rebuked!” headlines in November–with the same election results. He’d still be governor and we’d have gained ground in the legislature, but the meaning of it would have been totally different. Instead of a mandate to continue his wrongheaded policies, he’d be chastened and forced to moderate them.
And that’s the end of my recriminations on the subject. There’s no necessity to pummel deceased equines.
But for those of you who think the president should have done more, should have inserted himself into the situation and campaigned hard for Barrett, correct yourself. He was right not to do so. Support for him did not translate into support for the recall effort. And had he been conspicuously campaigning for it when it went down in flames it would have pretty credibly been framed as an indictment of the president himself. Not a good tone to set in a battleground state with his reelection only months away.
For those who want to blame the Koch brothers, I get it. I despise their politics. I am repulsed by the supreme court ruling which allows them to flood the political system with their insane wealth. But I don’t really believe it affected the outcome of this one very much.
For those who want to make a big deal about the fact that news organizations called the election for Walker when some Milwaukeeans were still in line to vote, I get that too. What they did was wrong on a number of levels and we should make sure they don’t do that in the future. But, again, I don’t believe it affected the outcome.
Finally, I hate to get all I-told-you-so about it but I wrote the previous blog entry several days before the election and scheduled it to appear automatically on election night. Such was my confidence in the governor’s survival. I was of course prepared to follow it up with a “Dewey Defeats Truman” post. In fact, I would love to have written that. But as it turns out I wrote this post instead.