The Fallout from Wisconsin Finally Settles in Washington

Morning Jolt. . . with Jim Geraghty, August 11, 2011

Jim Geraghty

Democrats wait for the day of the big union comeback in Wisconsin the way we wait for the day when liberals admit Obama’s been in office long enough to hold him accountable for the economy.

I bet Godot arrives before both of those deadlines.

I like the way our old friend David Freddoso sets the stage:

An energized Democratic base was supposed to turn out yesterday. It was supposed to pry away from Republicans their total control of Wisconsin’s state legislature. Republicans had gone after the state’s public employee unions, and this was supposed to be an overreach that would cost them dearly in yesterday’s recall elections. If Democrats could pick up three of the six seats under recall, they could win back the state Senate and block Gov. Scott Walker’s agenda.

Every Republican I spoke to before the election expressed pessimism. The expectations were clearly in favor of a Democratic takeover — so much so that Republicans in Wisconsin’s legislature took the extraordinary step of passing an early redistricting bill.

And then . . . it just didn’t work out the way the unions had hoped.

In the end, the union-backed Democrats picked up only two state Senate seats in Wisconsin last night, at a staggering cost in time, effort, and of course money. One of the seats was solidly Democratic, held by a Republican due to an apparent fluke of nature. The other was held by an alleged adulterer who had moved outside his district to live with his young mistress, and whose wife was supporting his recall.

Phineas at Sistah Toldjah’s site offers Democrats some advice, though not necessarily with the best of intentions:

Your plot to seize control of the state senate is dead, and there’s a reasonable chance you could lose next week the two seats you gained this week.

In other words, Democrats, union bosses, and progressives, for your $30,000,000 and all your bussed in, slogan-chanting help, and even if you save those two seats next week, you’ll have won nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. Bupkis.

So go ahead, try to recall Walker next year. Take your campaign to save your corrupt, self-serving arrangements to other states. Spend all the money you can. It looks like a great idea. To conservatives.

It sounds as if they’re doing precisely that:

Democrats are forging ahead with efforts to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker next year, one day after losing four of six recall elections to oust GOP state senators.

The Tuesday night losses left Democrats a single seat short of overturning GOP control of the state’s upper chamber, though Democratic officials and operatives on the ground insisted Wednesday that their two wins in Republican-leaning areas exposed Walker’s weaknesses.

Say, how thrilled will the Obama campaign be to have a separate recall effort sucking up money, energy, time, and media attention to climax in August of a presidential-election year? Could there be a bigger boost to GOP morale in Wisconsin than watching a Walker recall effort fail?

On the other hand, Obama can’t give any signal that he doesn’t want a Walker recall effort to occur; his base is mad enough at him already. Wisconsin Democrats already feel ignored and snubbed by the administration; a directive from David Axelrod to put down their swords and abandon their crusade could trigger an all-out revolt in the Badger state.

By the way, in yesterday’s Jolt, I referred to Alberta Darling as Roberta. Sorry. You guys know I write this stuff pre-coffee, right?


Morning Jolt” is a National Review Online production –

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