And the Fingerpointing Begins

The fingerpointing over the results of the Wisconsin recall has already begun, looking at everything but the obvious.

Greg Sargent blames the Citizens United Supreme Court decision:

There’s no sugarcoating what this loss means for organized labor. Unions invested heavily in this battle in order to make an example of Walker. The goal was to show that Republican governors who attempt to roll back organizing rights will pay the ultimate political price. That effort failed, and the failure will have major repercussions for labor groups as they gear up for future fights over bargaining rights in states.

But Walker’s win also has major implications for Democratic elected officials across the country. It shows with crystal clarity that Republicans may very well be able to successfully use the new, post-Citizens United landscape to weaken the opposition in a structural way, and to eliminate major sources of support for that opposition.

That’s flummery. Let’s state what happened another way. In 2010 Scott Walker, without the help of big wads of out-of-state dough, defeated Tom Barrett to become governor of Wisconsin. A little over a year later Scott Walker defeats Tom Barrett again to hold onto his job and it’s because of the big wads of out-of-state dough? That violates Occam’s Razor. The simplest explanation is that a majority of Wisconsinites preferred Scott Walker to Tom Barrett and still do. I think that the only way you can believe otherwise is to assume that public employees’ unions are universally beloved in Wisconsin, something not in evidence.

Chrs Cilizza points his finger in several different directions. I think this one’s the daffiest:

To hear those who worked in the trenches of the recall tell it, the fact that Democrats had a contested primary between Barrett and former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk bears considerable responsibility for Walker’s victory.

Not only did the primary take place less than a month before the general recall election but organized labor spent millions in support of Falk (and against Barrett), spending that many Democrats believe weakened the eventual nominee. Democratic pollsters insisted that Walker was languishing in the early spring but rebounded as Barrett and Falk fought amongst themselves in the primary.

So, let’s review this one. If this is true, there are two possibilities. Either the candidate who didn’t get enough Democratic votes to win the primary and who has no statewide name recognition would have won the general election or the public employees’ unions should never have opposed Barrett. In other words their miscalculation in the primary would have transmogrified to a winning stoke in the general election. Isn’t it simpler just to believe that the public employees’ unions miscalculated full stop?

IMO that’s where the finger should be pointed: the public employees’ unions miscalculated.

I may update this post as I find more fingerpointing.


I don’t know whether to put this under “Overreaching” or “Fingerpointing”. Lexington Green posts that

Mr. Walker’s victory is the Stalingrad of the Left.

I’ve met Lexington Green on several occasions, dined at his home, and know him to be a very intelligent, well-educated, pleasant, and hospitable chap. I think that’s goofy.

E. J. Dionne blames the gender gap:

Women voted for Democrat Tom Barrett while men voted for Walker. Indeed, Walker’s share of the vote among women was 12 points lower than his share among men. But he carried males by a landslide: 59 percent to 40 percent. Walker lost women much more narrowly, 52 percent to 47 percent. The lesson is that Republicans can survive a rather big gender gap as long as they win men overwhelmingly.

That was almost precisely the same pattern as in 2010. What is it that they say about the definition of madness?

1 comment… add one
  • Drew Link

    I’ve met Lexington Green on several occasions, dined at his home, and know him to be a very intelligent, well-educated, pleasant, and hospitable chap. I think that’s goofy.

    I have absolutely no conceivable reason to dispute this. So what does it tell you?

    Denial isn’t just a river, that’s what. The proverbial Average Joe is looking at the public sector and saying WTF? There is a slumbering giant awakening.

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