Wednesday, June 06, 2012


A major reason Scott Walker survived recall is that voters were persuaded that the recall was happening for illegitimate reasons:

So what happened? It's actually quite simple if you look at the exit polls. The final question there was the key to the entire recall election. When asked “Do you think recall elections are appropriate” some 60% of Wisconsin voters said “Only for official misconduct” and another 10% said “never”....

Walker's massive cash advantage painted the recall process itself as the bad guy here...

Funny, I don't remember anything like that happening in 2003, when Gray Davis, a Democrat, was recalled and replaced as California's governor by Arnold Schwarzenegger, at the time a hero to the Republican right. I remember that the recall process was portrayed as a circus. But I don't remember the conversation centering on the argument that recalling Davis was an affront to common decency and an insult to democracy.

As I was Googling around to test my memory of those days, I was reminded that the phrase most commonly associated with the Davis recall -- see it here and here and here and here and here -- was "voter revolt."

Revolt? Wow, that sounds scary and dangerous and violent. It sounds anti-democratic. Ahhh, but it was a voter revolt. That's quite a packed phrase. You say "voter revolt" and you're implying that somehow the guy who's being recalled got there in defiance of the wishes of voters -- even though, obviously, he won an election. The phrase implies that the election was the illegitimate part of the process and the recall is the legitimate part.

And notice that it's a voter revolt and not a conservative or Republican or right-wing revolt. Everyone knows that the people who tried to oust Scott Walker were those dirty liberals. The people who ousted Gray Davis were voters.

That's the message. It's similar to the framing of recent protest movements: the angry members of Occupy Wall Street are a bunch of hippies, but the members of the tea party movement who shouted down members of Congress at 2009 town meetings and revolted at the ballot box in 2010 were righteously angry Americans.

That's how we look at right-wing revolts -- especially when millions of right-wing dollars are available to shape our perceptions.

(X-posted at Balloon Juice.)


Ten Bears said...

You will never “win” until you start fighting by their rules. And because you “liberals” refuse to fight fire with fire you just lost quite possibly the most crucial vote in our life-times. You seriously don’t think a failed recall is going to slow them down, do you?

“You?” I am not a “liberal”. Never have been. I identify with much of the “liberal”, the Progressive worldview, yes, and as I was raised (a bastard child) by Socialist/Wobblie grand-parents I suppose I am of “the left”, but that same Wobblie background lends credence to my long standing contention you must fight fire with fire – you have to engage the bare-footed rubes blind on Ambien, Prozac, Viagra and crotch-shots on Fox Kool-Aid at the same level that they do. You failed to do that. More notable, the charismatic “leader” you are all following, dragging the rest of us, to suicide didn’t do a bloody-damned thing to stop this, and come summer there will be blood in the streets.

It has been said that “violence is the last resort of the incompetent” (Asimov, Foundation 2, paraphrased ) but I would argue that violence is the last resort of the incontinent – of those who have lost all control, who no longer have any avenue open to them. So be it. It is far better to be gunned sown by the cops fighting for my grand-children’s future than to live out the life I once thought I would retire to in the world the Christian Republican Nazis have created for us.

Though the Tree of Liberty is watered by the blood of patriots and tyrants alike, I agree with Steve's earlier observation that our "betters' won't suffer so much as a paper-cut. Never-the-less...

Victor said...

And don't forget Florida in 2000, when the Republican Party brought in their brown-shirted thugs, but were smart enough to dress them in Brooks Brothers suits.

I'm deeply, deeply depressed today.

M. Bouffant said...

I was thinking of Davis today too, & how his great offense against public morality was raising auto registration fees.

See also: "Taxpayer" revolt.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

HA HA . Poor little stinky hipsters.

This is hell for you, I’m the Devil, and this is the first part of your guided tour before going back to your assigned rooms.

I must admit that the most rapturously delicious part of your collectivized despair is that it didn’t have to happen.

As Obi Wan said to poor little Anakin: “You have done this YOURSELF!”

First, were you *really* under the impression monied power in advertising got the juice flowing in the Walker turnout? Kinda dumb, dudes.

Or, perhaps (far more likely) you surely know the win is due to some WI taxpayers--many in fact--getting a little tired (speaking of violence and childish antics) of the kneecap smashers bussed in from union bloat the nation over into Madison square and the teachers shanghaiing the kiddies to play hooky? Perhaps a state that needs its fingernails clipped, budget wise, even though the so-called "public sector" employees--those lovely denizens of democracy--already have pay and benefits that outperform most Americans.

Or, perhaps for some voters the brassed-off mode was the trashing of the square, the threats and assaults (including sexual innuendos) against people (including children) by shipped-in CWA thugs, and other clownishness that was not quite so funny sans the honking noses? Or perhaps there’s some lingering angst over the MILLIONS now owed to the state of WI (if real justice is to be served?) for the cleanup of this "public sector" agitation.

Or, perhaps even better, that Walker has put the state budget back in the red to the tune of a billion smackers, and has undone the damage done by that idiot named Doyle, who couldn't tie his shoelaces without a manual and three union workers?

Next, what is meant by "legitimate" to many of the WI voters, since most of Walker' big money was spent long AFTER the WI voters noted all the above and made up their minds before the mighty Kochtupus got involved (as some wannabe stenographer for Media Matters named John Cole over at the Balloon Juice hissy fit fest site seems to think is the proximate reason for the Walker win) is that when a governor of a state has a responsibility to patch up the seams, stop the leaking, and do what must be done, and actually TAKE the "hard decisions" (as opposed to men who merely claim this, like the man-child named Obama) he SHOULD act in that capacity. That’s legit.

Wakefield Tolbert said...

So…and this is just a shot in the dark here…that would seem to fail the misconduct test or technicality for recalls rules, et al. As to the exit polls, as you know they’re always accurate as the exact reasoning in someone’s noggin. After all, the exit polls have been highly accurate in every recent election……except…well……in 1992, 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2010. Oh well…

In any case, it would seem the people of WI intuitively understand that just because the teachers unions, local government paper punchers, busybody Prog frogs, bohos, malcontents, “public servants”, Occupoop bozos (and other assorted flavors of creeps and crybabies shipped in) don’t like the harsh shoals of fiscal reality, does NOT make Walker’s stance or actions “illegitimate”.

The world is not to be run by the rules of crapping things up due to “That which I, or the editorial staff of the NYT, or Paul Krugman, or the teachers’ unions happen not to like, even as the taxpayers are the ones giving me better pay and benefits than most Americans get under Obama’s frowsy economy.”

Most of us do not have some damned pension plan, and certainly not gold-plated benefits that last the remaining ¼ of someone’s life as the clock winds down.
Dry the tears. Quit the bitch session. Coffee break is over. Go blow bubbles in your beer instead.

What again was that totally hashtaggable phrase the Left and fellow Occupoopers hammered everyone with regarding #unionized anti #Walker agitation?


As to the charge of “right wing” violence--or threats thereof--combined with Da Big Money (and leaving aside for the moment the Soros bankrolling of that sorry-assed Brett Kimberlin) it seems the Left has the best representatives of their main cause célèbre:

So, in addition to Occupoop on cop cars to make ….well…some kind of point about Truth to Da Powah (I guess), I suggest that the super-scientific NEA types, ever mocking the ignorant mongoloid homeschooling cretins who increasingly pull their kids out of the shithole public schools, show their mantle by doing another one of those “OOOOOMMM” sessions, entreating the Earth Goddess to lend an ear. Or maybe these frumpy harridans can feel the old Stalin-Lite Pete Seeger fire, sing some protest songs, or do some interpretive moves, akin to the Morris Dancers:

Need to work on their harmony, though. Oh, that’s right. They did all that crap. Still not worky-work?? Darn.

As to the notion that this was…well…not such a big deal after all, since Walker “merely” stayed afloat after being challenged by a drab dude few people liked:

Having said all that, and speaking of that Occupoops above, though, take heart, oh great Progressive swordmasters and wayfarers of the Web.

As one pundit placed the matter for you big babies crapping your Depends right about now wondering how the sky could not possibility be the limit on fiscal reality and the legitimate duties of a sitting governor:

“We're all Americans here, guys. So, for my progressive brethren, if you're unhappy or shocked or saddened about what happened last night, remember--you can always defecate on a police cruiser.”



Wakefield Tolbert said...

It was the black, not the red ink, that Walker put back into Wisconsin fiscal reality.

My bad. Ooops...