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The Fear is Palpable

by: DocJess

Tue Jun 05, 2012 at 06:00:00 AM EDT

Today is Tuesday the 5th of June.

In California, they're trying out the new jungle primary system, as well as a number of ballot initiatives. (See the full list here.) The full 9th Circuit will release its decision today on whether it will review the 3-judge panel's decision overturning the gay marriage ban. There's a non-binding primary in Montana for the GOP, and a binding primary for the Democrats. The closed party primaries held today in New Jersey are binding on both sides. There are also binding primaries on both sides in New Mexico and South Dakota, as well as the North Dakota Democratic side. Generally, this would be all over the news, especially the California primary, but instead all eyes are on Wisconsin.

In the Badger State, they're expecting turnout of about 65%, and if that threshold is cleared, there's a high probability that America and our two-party system will survive to fight another day. The lower the threshold, the higher the chance that we have seen the end of the two party system for a generation, and the higher the probability that we will see street protests that rival those this year in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Canada. 

The spending in Wisconsin on the recall is something like $30 million on the side of evil, and about $3 million on the side of truth and light. To a lot of us outside the Beltway, we're very disappointed that the DNC declined to engage, and that the sole peep from our president was a single tweet last night, which said"

@BarackObama It's Election Day in Wisconsin tomorrow, and I'm standing by Tom Barrett. He'd make an outstanding governor. –bo

Inside the beltway, they're saying that Obama was right to steer clear as that would have made it a "partisan issue" instead of a state issue, but we'll see.

The state Democrats, along with the unions, have knocked almost a million doors, and phone banked almost a million homes, they expect to do even more today. If Barrett wins today, it is the triumph of many very hard-working, dedicated boots on the ground who will convince people in the third gubernatorial recall in US history (the others were in 1921 and 2003) that their votes matter. In a state where the airwaves are ruled by Walker's cronies' money, AND THEY CHEAT, a win will be exclusively due to the power of grassroots, of handshakes, a triumph of what elections are supposed to be - issues and actions. 

Don't underestimate the power of money in elections, and be aware that the Walker contingent is so full of lies that they've sunk this low:

Reports began to surface Sunday from around Wisconsin that those canvassing for Governor Scott Walker were informing residents that if they had signed a recall petition that there was no need for them to vote today as their signature was their vote.

WE know that's not true, but most people aren't smart where politics and elections are concerned. Hopefully voters took the time to listen to the two debates, wherein Barrett stuck to the facts and Walker sidestepped, ignored questions and outright lied. Hopefully, the voters are paying attention to the fact that Walker is the only governor with a legal defense fund, and is on the cusp of indictment. Hopefully they value schools and human beings over corporate tax cuts and the selling of public lands as paid deer-hunting "farms". 

This is the first election where the full force of Citizens United is being felt, or the second if you include the GOP presidential primary fiasco. When the votes are finally tallied, which likely won't be until early tomorrow at the earliest, will we suddenly be a plutocracy? That's question number one. Followed by the question of Milwaukee County: will the same voters who turned out in 2008 for Barack Obama come out today? If so, it will be a clear victory for Tom Barrett no matter what happens in the rest of the state. Milwaukee County is that populous, and Obama won with 62% of the vote. There are a number of people who've been interviewed who are voting for Walker NOT because they like him, but because they don't like the recall process. Are these people a large number, or just who the media chose to focus on?

Whatever the outcome, we need to learn from this situation going into November: we need to become even more focused on the idea that EVERY VOTE MATTERS. Turnout counts. Grassroots is all we've got left to fight the half million dollar (and up) donations made by the über rich. 

In my household, the fear is truly palpable, and it will be a long night. Fingers crossed the dawn brings joy.

DocJess :: The Fear is Palpable

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Fear? (4.00 / 1)
Wait a minute--this is a recall election. While it would be amazing if Barrett won, the potential for an astounding victory should be the driving force here, not the fear of a loss.

Rewind to November 10, 2010. Although we Democrats fought tooth and nail and held the Senate, and won some key and hard-fought state elections  (hello Governor Brown!), we instead chose to go along with the narrative that the election was an unmitigated disaster.

Among those disasters was Wisconsin, where we lost the governorship and the State Senate.

On November 10, 2010, if I had said that two of the Republican State Senators would be removed before their terms were up, another would resign, and that the Governor would face a recall--wouldn't that seem like a miracle? The Senate is now split 16-16--and Republican Dale Schultz voted with the Dems on the union-busting bill. In other words, we've already won.

Recall elections are hard. And if they succeed, they're devastating to the loser. But for the challenger, they're playing with house money.

This will be a dramatic victory if Barrett wins--a historic moment. If Walker wins? It's more like he survives.  

Yes, FEAR... (0.00 / 0)
I don't debate the wins you've listed, Scott, I see them for what they are. And I'm well aware that we may well win even more seats in the Senate today.

This is the third gubernatorial election in US history, and in both previous cases, the incumbent was ousted. So there's some precedent there.

My fear stems from the idea that scads of money will win an election. The level of propaganda spewing forth from the Walker side is actually more false than a lot of what Pravda used to publish in Moscow. Walker and his minions will do everything they can to deny suffrage, to keep people from the polls, to intimidate people at the polls....if that works, it's not that he survived, it's that the plutocracy movement will affect every single US election until the Supremes revisit the issue, which will likely be for the reasons John Paul Stevens stated recently. That being the influence of foreign corporations (and potentially governments) spending money to affect US elections.

Remember that the recall started last year because of people power: teachers, police, firemen...people directly affected. And then Walker went out of state for money. And came back with the Koch Brothers, Sheldon Adelson, and a bunch of other deep pockets.

He doesn't survive if he wins: it is the triumph of deep pockets. And that's my fear. Truly palpable for what it means going forward. Karl Rove has pledged a BILLION dollars to defeat Obama. Every dime from the DNC, DSCC and DCCC is going to hold the White House, which means we're already at a financial disadvantage at all electoral levels. MONEY SHOULDN'T DECIDE ELECTIONS. Especially not when the playing field is so un-leveled by Citizens United.  

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