UPDATED: Early Results Say Walker Wins
At about 10:15 pm CST Tom Barrett conceded the results of the Wisconsin recall election to Gov. Scott Walker.
The original article follows below:
So now what?
Well, to start with we count the votes. Polling is sophisticated but not the ultimate decider of elections and the AP and other media outlets called this race before votes in Milwaukee, Madison and Racine had been counted. As of the time this post was filed Tom Barrett was not conceding yet, nor should he.
But let’s say the early results are right and Walker did indeed survive the recall efforts, does it say anything about November, the state of the Democratic party and the health of our democracy? Well sure.
Our democracy needs help but it is not dead. The amount of money spent to prop up the Walker administration is nothing short of staggering and frankly would cure the state’s budget woes. But it’s impossible to look at the massive movement, built up over a year that forced a sitting governor to defend his seat in the middle of his term as a loss. Far from it. Let me put it this way. The Koch brothers, just now paid twice for the same crappy governor.
Should the Obama administration, and in particular President Obama been more involved in the recall effort? For the recall effort to have legitimacy it needed to be independent. And it largely was. I think the DNC and the Obama administration under-valued the impact their presence would have on morale, but I don’t know that morale was going to change these results. And had the DNC and Obama shown up and stayed in the state, then this would have been more of a proxy battle. Given the president’s strong showing in the state despite the likely Walker win, I’d say they probably made the right call.
What about November? Well, for starters that assumes Gov. Walker will make it to November. Remember he’s got a federal indictment likely looming which means the beloved governor of the Republican party will face criminal charges for ripping off disabled veterans. Lovely, yes, but more importantly it reminds us to think of the long-game and the evidence suggests that the Walker administration will give us plenty to work with there.
Tom Barrett lost once to Scott Walker. We shouldn’t be surprised if he lost a second time. And we also shouldn’t be surprised that Wisconsin, like the rest of the country, remains deeply divided on our most basic issues of governance.What we need to start doing, however, is asking just who that division serves and why they’d spend so much money to keep that division intact?
Photo from WisPolitics.com via flickr.