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WI-GOP: Recall was a vindication? Really?

Democrats, both buoyed and presumably a bit disappointed by the results from Tuesday's round of recall elections of six key GOP senators, have another reason to be happy.

Sure, it has to sting a little bit to come so close to an unprecedented result like flipping a chamber via recall, only to fall a few percentage points shy. But the good news is that the Wisconsin GOP, in their relief, appears to be learning exactly the wrong lesson from last night's results.

Indeed, it appears as if Republican relief has manifested itself in some truly idiotic spin. Consider exhibit A, courtesy of a Wisconsin GOP campaign staffer:

"I think it's a huge victory for us," said John Hogan, director of the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate. "Voters gave us a mandate last fall. . . . They backed us up again (Tuesday). Voters told us loud and clear, 'Stay the course. Things are working.'"

The detachment from reality here is awe-inspiring. The GOP just went from a 19-14 majority to a 17-16 razor-thin edge overnight, and this guy is reading it as freaking vindication. That's an impressive level of self-delusion.

It's also shoddy political analysis, to boot. On several levels.

First of all, calling this a solidification of the 2010 "mandate" is dumb, because, as it happens, NONE of the class of 2010 was on the ballot last night. These were all Republicans elected in 2008. This, in itself, demonstrates the considerable political chops of the Republican sextet, since they managed to claim their seats in what was, on balance, one of the worst Republican election cycles in recent memory.

It's also stupid because, on balance, these were all races fought on Republican terrain. Only Dan Kapanke's district, in normal circumstances, could charitably be described as a blue-leaning district.

And, it is worth noting, that if Hogan wants to claim that this election was a confirmation of the 2010 "mandate," he is going to need to explain how, in five of the six districts, the GOP incumbent performed worse than their GOP counterparts from 2010. In some cases, dramatically so:

Comparison of Republican/Democratic Margins, 2010 General vs. 2011 Recall

SD-02
2010 Gubernatorial: Walker (R) +16.1%
2010 Senate: Johnson (R) +18.6%
2011 Recall: Cowles (R) +20.8%

SD-08
2010 Gubernatorial: Walker (R) +9.0%
2010 Senate: Johnson (R) +8.5%
2011 Recall: Darling (R) +7.3%

SD-10:
2010 Gubernatorial: Walker (R) +18.4%
2010 Senate: Johnson (R) +16.9%
2011 Recall: Harsdorf (R) +15.3%

SD-14:
2010 Gubernatorial: Walker (R) +16.5%
2010 Senate: Johnson (R) +16.3%
2011 Recall: Olsen (R) +4.3%

SD-18:
2010 Gubernatorial: Walker (R) +15.7%
2010 Senate: Johnson (R) +19.0%
2011 Recall: King (D) +2.2%

SD-32:
2010 Gubernatorial: Walker (R) +0.7%
2010 Senate: Feingold (D) +1.7%
2011 Recall: Shilling (D) +10.8%

To sum it up, outside of Cowles, the other five Republicans underperformed their 2010 colleagues, despite being incumbents (neither of the 2010 Republicans were incumbents). The degree of underperformance varied wildly, ranging from a point or two to an underperformance of over 20 points in SD-18 by Randy Hopper.

If the Democrats can fend off both of their recall elections next week (and kudos to Brainwrap for reminding us that the Wisconsin recalls are not over yet), they will have shaved the GOP Senate majority down to a fractional one, and they will have done so in hostile territory.

I can see why the Republicans would be relieved, but it seems silly to be claiming it as some kind of legitimate victory.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:08 AM PDT.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

    •  It's not silly (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mr MadAsHell, LordMike, MichaelNY

      It's politically smart. They won, we lost, again.

      •  Yep (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        helfenburg

        And we will spin spin spin because we can't take the reality that our views have lost.  Some on the right will say they've been rejected while we insist we've been beaten by a power imbalance but the fact remains, our voice in this democracy is shrinking.

        •  Our voice is shrinking? (6+ / 0-)

          We just picked up two seats.

          •  Yes (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BigBensBeermaster

            Because after going to an extreme in terms of content and process of democratic government, the Republicans overall just got a vindication for their methods and ideology. Again.

            They went to an edge (not "the" edge--that's probably to come), and the voters just vindicated it: still a senate majority, with two D's still needing to win their recalls.

            We need to examine in a more comprehensive manner the moral and political bankruptcy of the country as a whole. This is includes our neighbors, friends, and family. This includes the idea in Wisconsin and Michigan and my state of Florida that it's OK for a governor to run public service as if he's the CEO of a corporation, with all of the anti-democratic aspects that naturally come with such a disastrous analogy.

      •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arpear, lyta, MichaelNY

        I love Dkos election coverage, but what leads up to the election sometimes is confusing, mostly from comments. Befoe the Nov elections all I read here was that the Dems would keep the house. We lost a record 63 seats. When we talk about any other election we all talk like we can elect any progressive to any office. We talk about Bernnie Sanders as President. We always say the public is with us, I am not that convinced.

        •  Right... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lyta, MichaelNY

          In many states and state legislative districts and congressional districts a majority of the people are not with us.  It's hearts and minds that we must start to win over.  How can we do that?  This is the most important question we can ask.  We have to try because it is the only way we will ever win elections in the long run.

          •  As long (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            lyta

            As Progressives are attached to the democratic party they will always be labeled as the Far Left, code for crazy. We really didn't accomplish much last night. All we need to do is ask the Repubs in the US Senate how much of your agenda you get done. With all the money that was spent and time on these election will we be able to hold them the next time they come up.

        •  You should be totally unconvinced (0+ / 0-)

          That's reality-based. Bernie is a socialist, and very few Americans are willing to vote for a socialist. As a fellow socialist (though one who's registered Democratic, unlike Bernie), I certainly deeply regret and decry that, but it's nonetheless true.

          Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

          by MichaelNY on Thu Aug 11, 2011 at 02:08:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Its not that simple (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cream City, lyta, MichaelNY

        Yes we didn't accomplish our goal but we are still in a better place than we were 24 hours ago. As the numbers showed most of our candidates out-performed Walker's 2010 numbers in the district.

        Plus, this came about because of the budget repair bill and if today's senate was in place last February that bill doesn't get passed.

  •  Typical GOP spin. (13+ / 0-)

    If they had lost more seats it would have been blamed on ACORN (yeah, I know), MoveOn and the SEIU and been a mandate for more GOP right-wingness to combat the evil left...or something.

    SSDD

    If Liberals hated America, we'd vote Republican.

    by ord avg guy on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:17:16 AM PDT

  •  Here's all you need to know. (31+ / 0-)

    Six contests, at least five are very Republican. All six of the Rs were elected during the Obama wave; they are the hard GOP core.

    The Democrats fought their way in, and took 1/3 of those hard core Republican seats.

    We didn't eat their lunch, we took a third of the food out of their fridge!

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:18:38 AM PDT

  •  Agree. (5+ / 0-)

    Silly, maybe, but, not surprising. Flawed reasoning within the state that sells well to a national audience that never got the "union" thing anyway. Also. there is an intent to discourage Democrats and their supporters.

  •  A mixed outcome with basis for great hope (20+ / 0-)

    It's a nuanced take, but it's true.  I wish that triumphalists on both sides would accept the nuance.  This was a serious victory for us that fell short of being a decisive one.  That will have to do.  Now: everyone make calls for next week.

    In my avatar, the blue bars show how many want Reps who COMPROMISE; the aqua bars show who wants Reps who STAND FAST no matter what. (Left=Overall; Center=Democrats; Right=Republicans.) And there's the problem!

    by Seneca Doane on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:25:03 AM PDT

  •  Both parties are gonna declare victory on this (4+ / 0-)

    We're gonna do it all over again next Tuesday, too.

    Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

    by SaoMagnifico on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:25:28 AM PDT

  •  Republicans are Charlie Sheen (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, JML9999, SaoMagnifico, JeffW, DAO

    They have one mode: WINNING.

  •  Last night was a victory for the WI Democrats. (5+ / 0-)

    less than 4 hours until the polls close in WI. what to do with myself for 4 goddamn hours?!

    by Anton Bursch on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:33:00 AM PDT

  •  Fuck spin. My spin. If Dems needed 3 to WIN and (9+ / 0-)

    got 2. Then they got 75% of what they need to win. They are still in the race and need to run faster next time.

    That means quit the crap here at DL right now and start working harder for 2012!

  •  Democrats made progress..that is hope (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, COBALT1928, bythesea

    and the republicans who won did not do not wing by big margins. Democrats they need to keep this energy up  and be EMBOLDENED for the 2008 elections.

  •  Now is the time for Dems to go after the money, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    COBALT1928, JeffW, Calamity Jean

    that is, point out that outsiders bought the Darling Race, and may buy others. And to get that county clerk investigated.

  •  how can you read politics everyday (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    COBALT1928, LordMike

    and be surprised by this?  

    if walker gets recalled they'll spin it as a success.

    On DailyKos nothing is significant unless Obama doesn't do it.

    by glutz78 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:40:49 AM PDT

  •  hmmm... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Rich in PA, naus

    If the goal was to take over the Senate - and the effort failed to do so - I think spinning THAT as good news is spin as well.

    Granted - the deficit is smaller (with 2 more possible losses to come) - but spinning it as a victory seems like a stretch to me...

    The liver is evil - It must be destroyed

    by somewhere in ohio on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:41:14 AM PDT

    •  Picking up any Republican-held seat is always good (10+ / 0-)

      Remember that.

      Democrat, OR-01 native, Swingnut for life, and keeper of the DKE glossary.

      by SaoMagnifico on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:42:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm trying to understand (5+ / 0-)

      your reasoning.  It seems that you are suggesting that anyone who has a goal -- e.g. the best possible outcome -- and falls slightly short of that goal is basically on the losing end of things.

      A couple of decades ago my goal was to be a great trial lawyer and make lots of money.  I was an average trial lawyer, a decent appellate lawyer, a good brief writer.  I spent way too much time with pro bono work and never made a lot of money.  Does that put me in the loser category because I didn't meet my goal?

      Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:52:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's a fine example to consider. (0+ / 0-)

        For your lawyer example the metrics of success are linear and multidimensional: there are increments of income rather than just rich vs. poor, and there are dimensions besides money, such as satisfaction.  

        Contrast that to elections, where there can be only one winner and the other dimensions of satisfaction, while very real, are much less important than whether you achieved your goal of political power.  

        In a way the whole example is misbegotten because your career is your own, while (ideally) a political career is on behalf of others.  You may fight the good and satisfying fight in politics, but if you fall even a little short the people on whose behalf you fought get zilch in terms of outcomes.  

        I'll Rochambeau you for it.

        by Rich in PA on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:07:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Legislative politics doesn't work like that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cream City

          The GOP just lost two reliable votes. They need either Democrats or complete unity for the rest of their agenda. That has a huge impact on what kinds of bills get brought to a vote and passed in the legislature.

          Obviously control of the Senate would be a bigger victory, but only doubling the number of successful recalls in Wisconsin history in one night is a huge success in and of itself.

      •  um... no (0+ / 0-)

        You had an initial goal - and you decided to alter along the way--you then were pursuing a different goal. that does not make you a loser - it just says your views and your priorities changed. but you still failed at your initial goal.

        People can spin this recall result as a victory - sorry I disagree.

        If the goal had been to win one or two seats - great victory. Since the goal was to take the Senate - the results are a mixed bag. Sure - the D's are better off than before, but they don't control anything today that they did not control yesterday. But, there is a silver lining.

        Sadly, the R's have a better claim to 'victory'. Their goal was to hold the Senate - they did that. Not a 'great' victory - but certainly not a crippling loss.

        Had the roles been reversed - I am certain the reactions would have been reversed also... thats just political spin at work.

        The liver is evil - It must be destroyed

        by somewhere in ohio on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:26:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  agreed (0+ / 0-)

          It would be like the D-Day invasion fleet making it to the beach then turning around because "we made 2/3 of the way there".  Victory was not achieved.  The Senate is still R and they own WI government.

          And again I have to bring up the cost of doing battle.  We spent at least $20 million to win two legislative seats.  At that rate, to take back the 700 legislative seats lost in 2010, we'd have to spend $14 billion.  If I knew this was going to be the result, I'd take that money and put it somewhere it actually makes a difference.

          •  Wrong. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LordMike

            Hopper's seat was pretty dang Republican.  The GOP's majority is whittled down to 1.  Dale Shultz will vote with Dems on matter involving labor.  The dynamics have chnaged in Dems' favor there.

            Ad hoc, ad loc and quid pro quo! So little time, so much to know!

            by KingofSpades on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 04:53:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Turnout Numbers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    Anyone know the turnout #'s for both sides? Or where I can find them?

    •  Got the actual voting numbers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      They have the actual number of people that voted for each candidate for each recall election....but so far, can't find a thing on turnout.  Stories are saying in some districts, it was historical.

      HERE'S the numbers.

      You may have already seen this...but might be interesting info for anyone that hasn't.

      -- **Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.**

      by r2did2 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:52:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are 2 more Democratic state senators (4+ / 0-)

    Spin that

    •  Um, a minority is a minority. (0+ / 0-)

      No spin required.

      I'll Rochambeau you for it.

      by Rich in PA on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:04:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  One Republican voted no (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cream City, KingofSpades, LordMike

        16+1= 17

        That means the bill would have failed

        Although all Democrats would be better, one Republican, Dale Schultz, had the courage to say no to Walkers conservative agenda.

        Facts = The win

      •  But not all majorities are the same (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cream City

        Theirs is now smaller and more difficult to maneuver.

      •  Do you live here? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LordMike

        If you were here every day, living in Wisconsin, you would understand that the protests and the recall elections have done a lot of good.  Yes, he has gotten(unfortunately) a great deal of his agenda pushed through one way or another, but I'm telling you, it has slowed things down a bit and made him very unpopular.  If you had to live here, you'd take even that as a victory.  

        "Disappointment to a noble soul is what cold water is to burning metal; it strengthens, tempers, intensifies, but never destroys it." Eliza Tabor

        by churchlady on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 12:50:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And they are just as powerless as (0+ / 0-)

      the 14 they are joining. Repugs still have control so valiant effort, symbolic wins , but functionally meaningless.

      •  Not so; you need to study up (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gpack3, churchlady

        on Wisconsin legislative politics now, on the swing vote -- the guy that despises Walker for the dirty tricks that Walker pulled on him.  Oops.

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:17:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am quite aware that there is one Repug (0+ / 0-)

          that some are hoping might side with Dems, but forgive me if I am less than convinced that he would be willing to be the deciding vote against his party.

          •  It's not necessary on every issue (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cream City

            Even though it would be nice if he sided with the Dems on every issue he only needed to side with the Democratic party on the conservative Walker union-busting bill.  

            And he did.

          •  Repeat: You need to study up (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            non acquiescer, churchlady

            on Schultz's voting record, which is moderate, and even more on Schultz's experience as former Senate Majority Leader in moderating bills even before they get to the floor, so that he can vote with Republicans . . . but on bills that are less Republican than they were at the start.

            And you might enjoy reading up on what he had to say just last week about Walker.

            Of course, Schultz will not turn into a Dem.  But I bet that Walker wishes he could turn back the pages of time to that day that he pulled dirty tricks on Schultz -- who knows how to have Walker for lunch and make him pick up the check.

            "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

            by Cream City on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:49:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Can you show me any eveidence of him (0+ / 0-)

              being the deciding vote against his party? As would be required in this situation. His having some influence on Repub bills before they get to the floor doesn't do anything to enhance the power of Dems.

              Okay, he doesn't like Walker. Get back to me when you have one example of him slowing Walker down.

              •  So (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                LordMike

                "influence on Repub bills before they get to the floor doesn't do anything to enhance the power of Dems"?

                Then we really have quite a different understanding of how legislative politics is done.

                And you make clear that no matter what I tell you about Schultz, you don't want to change your mind.

                Too bad for you.   Watching a Schultz at work -- especially when I've seem him working with Fred Risser, the Madison liberal Dem "dean of the Senate" and longest-serving legislator anywhere in this land, and he likes working with Schultz -- is the way for Dems to learn how to do it, too.

                "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

                by Cream City on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 12:22:21 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'll say this - (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LordMike

                  I hope your right, but I will remain skeptical until I see him actually side with the Dems against Walker when it counts.

                  If there is one thing then GOP does well it is stick together. Although, I am hopeful the Tea Party may be the beginning of some division within.

          •  you act as if it's unprecedented (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            LordMike

            but before 2010, the Tennessee House was led by a renegade Republican who was installed with Democratic support.

            21, male, RI-01 (voting) IL-01 (college), working in MA-08 for the summer, hopeless Swingnut

            by sapelcovits on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 02:42:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You do realize (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cream City

        that Republicans only have a 1 seat majority now, and that one Republican senator is legitimately moderate (Dale Schultz). He in fact voted against Walker's union-busting bill.  The point is, if Walker's bill were to come to a re-vote, it would fail now.  The loss of Kapanke and Hopper will mean Republicans have to actively court Schultz and won't be able to pass the ridiculous hyper-partisan crap they have done in the past year.

        •  EXACTLY (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cream City, churchlady, Skaje

          All the people who are complaining don't realize that if these two new Democrats were in office at the time of the Walker bill it would not have passed

          THAT IS THE POINT OF THESE ELECTIONS

        •  that's not exactly what it means (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rivercard

          Schultz may have been allowed to vote 'no' for cover.  If it came down to his vote really being the decided vote, I have no doubt that he would've hopped on board and screwed us over.

          •  The record speaks for itself (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Skaje

            He voted know and if you read his comments it is clear he was no either way.

            This election is clear the GOP is a dying breed in Wisconsin.  Even with the unlimited spending power of corporations thanks to Citizens United the GOP lost two seats, one in Dem territory and one in GOP territory.

            In an off-year, recall, during August with the unlimited power of corporate money the GOP lost two right wing conservatives to the voice of the people.  These were two conservatives who won even during the 2008 Democratic wave.

            •  dying breed? (0+ / 0-)

              They just took 5 of 8 congressional districts, the state Senate, state House, governorship, and own all but 1 statewide seats in a state that hasn't voted GOP for president since 1984.  

              I understand that it feels good to look at the positives, but we need to be realistic in order to understand the fight that we are in today.  Your attitude suggests that we can just coast along and Republicans will eventually die out by themselves.  Not gonna happen.

              •  that's interesting (0+ / 0-)

                I didn't I suggested we can coast along, I'm glad you think you can read my mind.  2010 was a huge election for the GOP and look at the governors anemic approval ratings where they are implementing their conservative agenda in WI, MI, OH and FL

                You made the assumption I suggested we should coast along?

                You know that adage about when you assume?  Google it

                •  just pointing out (0+ / 0-)

                  That saying the GOP is a dying breed is absurd

                  •  Nationally (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    KingofSpades

                    Their approval rating is lower than it has ever been.  The approval ratings of the newly elected GOP governors has dropped faster than a rock.  The tea party finally has the 30% approval ratings they deserve and hopefully they fall faster and harder.

                    What I dislike about so many progressive sites is the whining and complaining after expectations not being met.  After the 2004 elections when everyone was complaining some started planning for the next round.

                    Wake up

            •  I am confused how (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LordMike

              more people voting for GOP candidates than Dem candidates is a clear sign of the GOP dying.

              Again, I say valiant effort, right direction, encouraging involvement but far from where we need to be to make actual change.

              It is an inconvenient fact that a large part of this country buys what the GOP is selling, but it is also a fact that we only need to peel off a small percent to get back the advantage. We must come together to figure out how to accomplish this. I don't have the answer., but maybe with more efforts like this we will stumble upon the right message.

          •  You could look it up. No. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Skaje, LordMike

            There was no cover given to Schultz, none, nada, after he had hung out by himself to battle against the reactionary forces of Fitzgerald in the state Senate.

            Really, read about it:  This was a very courageous act by Schultz, for which he -- the former Senate Majority Leader -- was treated like dirt by Walker and the Fitzgeralds.

            So Schultz bided his time, waited months until just last week -- hmmm -- to go across the state to the major paper in the state, in Milwaukee, to blow wide-open and publicly the "dirty trick" pulled on him by Walker and Fitzgerald. . . .

            Believe me, there is no joy in the governor's manse today.  Walker has made Schultz, the guy who despises him, more powerful than Walker.  That was not Walker's game plan.

            Anyway, all that said:  Sure, Schultz is no Dem.  That's not what we're saying.  Schultz is no lapdog for Walker, Schultz has voted against Walker, and Walker is now all over the state media asking for "cooperation."  Ha!

            "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

            by Cream City on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 12:42:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  You assume Schultz would vote the same (0+ / 0-)

          if he was the deciding vote. As we see quite often it is easy to take a "conscious" vote when your vote is not needed.

          I don't think you will find a lot of current examples of Repugs taking a stand with Dems.

          •  I read Schultz's comments (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KingofSpades

            he sounded legitimate.  He could have quietly voted no, but he made a big fuss about it.  Yes, it's possible he might have been wrestled into it had his vote been needed.  But in that case, he might have been able to force concessions to get his vote.

            It is difficult to keep a caucus united without significant compromise, we saw that repeatedly when we had the US Senate by 51 and by 60 votes.

          •  Trust it. I've watched the guy (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Skaje, KingofSpades

            a long time, I watched what he did, I watched what was done to him for it, and all quite closely here in Wisconsin.

            It's not just his conscience.  It's his brains and his experience.  He said -- as his wife is a retired teacher, and he well remembers the days of teacher strikes -- that collective bargaining is a good thing . . . for management.  And he's correct on that.

            So he voted as a real, reasonable, moderate Republican would vote.  We just forget what those looked like.

            "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

            by Cream City on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 12:44:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  We still can win 5 of 9 recalls in Wisconsin (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DeadHead, LordMike, happymisanthropy

    because last night was only round two, for all of you who didn't know that we already had won round one weeks ago.

    Read Brainwrap's diary, linked in this one at the top.  Really, read it and realize that there are not 6 recalls; there are 9, and there still are two to go next week.

    As Brainwrap says, we're heading for Dems, 5 to GOP, 4.

    That is, if the horse-racers can stop focusing on one lap and look at the big picture, the lap before this that was won and the lap ahead next week still to be won.

    "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

    by Cream City on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:44:49 AM PDT

  •  They WILL take this as a mandate (8+ / 0-)

    and push harder.  And the media will agree with them.

    We got two of six, and that's great. But we needed three, and they're still at the helm.

    I'm tired of moral victories. I want real victories.

    The first step towards fixing a problem is acknowledging that we have one. In most of these races we got our butts kicked.

    We have to figure out why... but I'm not going to go there for a few days, until the sting is gone.

    Recall - DONE! VOTE against the fakes - DONE! VOTE TO TAKE WISCONSIN BACK!!! Rescind. Rebuild.

    by stcroix cheesehead on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:45:06 AM PDT

    •  You will get real victories. (6+ / 0-)

      I don't see this as a moral victory -- I see it as two seats that you didn't have yesterday at this time.  I see it as an incredible impact and template for every single other State -- even if they don't have recall legislation.

      What you and your fellow Badgers showed us was courage on a shoestring initially.  You inspired millions -- and donations rolled in to counteract the Koch brothers, et al.

      You and thousands of others need a break -- but do not for one minute think you failed.  You did not.  I am reminded of Rachel Carson who was bashed, abused, battered by both the monied industry and Congress.  She won.  We won.  You will win.

      Thank you for all your hard work.

      Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:59:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm glad to see a realistic take on what happened. (0+ / 0-)

      There's way too much creative thinking devoted to what constitutes a victory.  Nobody pushed for recall elections as performance art--they pushed for recall elections to kick out the Republican incumbents, more specifically to kick out enough of them to flip the Senate back into Democratic control.  That didn't happen, so it's not an overall victory.  The only people who should be celebrating, in my outsider's opinion, are in the two districts where Democrats actually won.

      I'll Rochambeau you for it.

      by Rich in PA on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:03:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You (and many others) don't seem to (0+ / 0-)

        quite recognize that this was only step 1.

        Only half of the Senate was subject to recall this soon.

        There are 11 GOP Senators who took office in November 2010, who will all be subject to recall come January, along with Scotty himself.

        It would have been great to get at least 3 -- Walker et al will do a lot of damage between now and January -- but those two Dem senators will be part of a solid new Dem majority come March, when we defeat another 3 or 4 of these nasties.

        However, what WOULD be catastrophic would be if people bought into your, "Well, we lost," mentality, and thus gave up on the "pointless" hard work of defending the two Dem seats next week -- because after all, a majority is a majority.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 02:14:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I can tell you why (3+ / 0-)

      Aside from Kapanke, the other five all represent blood-red districts.  Bush handily won all of them in 2004 and Walker did even better last year.  They were all very capable incumbents who had been elected even in 2008 when the Obama tide swept in a bunch of Democrats.

      We went up against the hardest bunch and we still took two of them out.  The reason Republicans still control the chamber is because of the 2010 class which came in and took Democratic-leaning districts last year.  They're not eligible for recalls yet.

      Point being, if the whole chamber was up for recall Democrats would have easily taken a majority.

  •  It's Always Good News For The GOP! (6+ / 0-)

    So, the GOP, and thus the VSPs of the MSM are declaring the loss of two GOP seats in the Wisconsin Senate to be a victory?

    What a surprise.  Knock me over with a feather.

    What you need to understand is that anything short of Dems winning ALL SIX seats was going to be painted this way.  And if Dems HAD won all six seats, it would have been ACORN/Union Thugs/the Ghost of Jimmy Hoffa that did it.

    There are only two headlines - "Kane Triumphant" and "Fraud at Polls!"

  •  Fighting for what is right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    COBALT1928

    In my mind, standing up to the crazies in Wisconsin is the most important aspect of this entire episode.  If we only fight the battles we are going to win anyway, we never advance understanding of just how bad the other side is.  Frustrated by the lack of fighting in DC for progressive government, out of either fear or loyalty to Wall Street, I am thrilled that the battle has been joined somewhere.  We cannot win them all, but we will win none if we don't try.

  •  from last night (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    COBALT1928, JeffW

    Democratic Party of Wisconsin Spokesman Accuses Clerk of Tampering With Votes.

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:51:12 AM PDT

  •  It's not absurd (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    COBALT1928, happymisanthropy

    It's not absurd at all; it's routine politics.

    The only way it's a victory for them is if this takes the air out of the campaign to recall the governor.  

  •  The real test... (3+ / 0-)

    ...will be in January, when Walker is recalled.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:57:00 AM PDT

  •  Boils down to policy (0+ / 0-)

    If the republicans can continue their union-bashing policies, then it is a success for them.

    If it significantly slows down or derails these policies, then it is a victory for the dems and progressives.

    I don't think it's more complicated than that.  

    And it seems a "razor thin" majority can still pass policy if all the Republicans stick together, something they seem to be good at.

    •  Keep in mind (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cream City

      one Republican senator (Dale Schultz) voted against Walker's union-busting bill.  If we can peel him off in the future we can stop such legislation now.  I really don't get all the hand-wringing in this thread...don't people realize how unwieldy 1-seat majorities are?

      •  And all of the other GOP legislators are mad (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Skaje, LordMike

        because now they dare not, dare not miss even one floor vote.  No vacations or junkets or going home to butter up constituents or getting to the kids' recitals or games during legislative sessions.  Even having to be careful how much coffee they have, so they don't have to ask for the potty pass.   No illnesses or injuries, theirs or anyone else in teir families, allowed.  None.

        And no cover for any of those coming up for re-election first.

        "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

        by Cream City on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 12:48:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Next? (0+ / 0-)

        Will an attempt be made next spring to recall the senators elected in 2010, and the Assembly, or just Walker?

  •  We can parse it anyway we want, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    but no matter how absurd the Republican spin is, that'll be the MSM meme.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 10:58:59 AM PDT

  •  I say let them believe their spin. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, Cream City, Calamity Jean

    Then we can sneak up on them with the Walker recall.

    Peering into the future: "The Scott Walker recall vindicated those of us who knew that it was not just about a single person but about a movement that refuses to go away regardless of the reality." said John Hogan, director of the Committee to Find a Clue.

    Much of life is knowing what to Google
    (and blogging at BPI Campus)

    by JanF on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:00:05 AM PDT

  •  I recognize that it's a fine distinction... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    ...between an almost-victory that provides a good basis for the future, and a victory creatively defined, but I feel like this diary comes down slightly on the wrong (latter) side of that distinction.  The purpose of that number of targeted recalls was to shift the party balance in the WI Senate, and if we didn't do that it's not a victory.  

    I'll Rochambeau you for it.

    by Rich in PA on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:00:47 AM PDT

    •  We won two Senate seats (0+ / 0-)

      And now there's a pro-labor majority in the Senate. Just because it's not as big a victory as you'd hoped doesn't make it not a victory.

      •  Now that the previously pro-labor Republican... (0+ / 0-)

        ...is a necessary part of the Republican majority, let's see if he's still pro-labor.  Your argument seems to rest on that.

        I'll Rochambeau you for it.

        by Rich in PA on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:09:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's in a heavily Democratic district (0+ / 0-)

          If he wants to avoid Kapanke's fate (and he appears to) he'll keep voting the same way.

          Also, the budget repair bill passed with way more votes than it needed. The Dems weren't there, so the Republicans could have let nine members off and still passed the bill.

        •  He will be, most of the time (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean, LordMike

          because he has been so, most of the time, for decades.

          Dale Schultz, whose wife is a retired teacher, thinks collective bargaining works and is a good idea -- for management.

          Thinking about that swing vote, Scott Walker just threw up a little bit in his mouth.

          "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

          by Cream City on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:20:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  He was giving damaging stories about Walker (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cream City, LordMike

          The week before the recalls. Those are not the actions of a team player.

          •  Schultz just despises the Walker team. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GeoffT, LordMike

            He liked being a team player just fine in the old days.  Of course, as Senate Majority Leader, he ran the team.

            And that's why you don't treat the former team manager like a waterboy, Walker, ordering him to carry your water.

            Yeh, wasn't that a great story in the JS last week?  And at the time, I had to think, hmmm, why did Schultz wait months to do this -- after the first recall was won a few weeks ago, just before the power shift this week that he could see coming. . . .   Oh, he is gonna be fun to watch.

            "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

            by Cream City on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 12:51:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Can we call for Riots yet? (0+ / 0-)

    This recall has proved that we're in a class war.  We're outnumbered and underfunded.  The rich are out to take all they can from us then throw us away (or turn our children into slaves).

    The fact is that if you're poor or a worker in this country your days are numbered.

  •  Percentages about equal (0+ / 0-)

    When you add up all the races R's got 53% and D,s 47%. This is equal to what Walker got in Nov.  Since these were 1 swing district and 5 Republican districts this is very good news.  Only 3% of city of Milwaukee Wards voted and none of Dane County.  I also think that state senators had build up a lot of good-will in their districts over the decades they had served.  Hopper was only in office 3 years.  165,129 voted for D's.  You can assume that they would sign recall papers for Walker and this is just 18% of state population excluding Madison and Milwaukee.  Wished we had one more but hope recall Walker enthusiasm does not die- very likely to succeed.

  •  Voter Fraud? Vote counting Fraud? (0+ / 0-)
  •  You make an important point. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Calamity Jean

    We didn't take on the newly elected teabaggers who are causing trouble, we defeated two incumbents who had been in the legislature before 2010, before the t-party even existed.  

    In other words, we fought the hard fight, not the easy one. We took on the entire Republican party, not just the bad eggs, and we took a big bite out of them.

  •  Bottom line is we lost (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    somewhere in ohio, naus

    It may have been a close result, but a loss is a loss.

    Maybe people should start learning the lesson that Obama moving further to the left isn't a recipe for electoral success.

    That god you been prayin’ to is gonna give ya back what you’re wishin’ on someone else.

    by Coss on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:10:07 AM PDT

  •  New subject (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    non acquiescer

    Two weeks ago, who here wasn't 100% sure the Senate would flip?  Even last night, 70% of the people voting here thought it would be 3-6 seats gained.  Was it really a matter of too high expectations?  Or did something happen in the past couple weeks?  Does Olsen's seat flip without the state fair riot, the debt ceiling debacle, or the credit downgrade?

  •  They're Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    They'll say anything!

  •  "Voters gave us a mandate [...] Stay the course" (0+ / 0-)

    You gotta be f*cking kidding me. I thought at least their phraseology would change, but apparently not.

    "We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers." - Carl Sagan

    by Zutroy on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 11:29:08 AM PDT

  •  Repugs didn't lose, Dems didn't win (0+ / 0-)

    Preview of 2012?  Get your Rick Perry gear now!

  •  The comments here are hurting my head (5+ / 0-)

    If the GOP had forced recall elections in the Illinois senate (currently 35-24 Dem) and taken out 5 Democratic senators, leaving the chamber controlled narrowly 30-29 by Democrats, would we be celebrating?  Let's also say that those 5 Democrats who lost were veteran incumbents from strongly blue districts who were elected in a really Republican year in the past.  Would we be taking that as a reaffirmation of the state's support of our Democratic majority?  Would we be confident about our ability to ram through whatever kind of legislation we wanted?

    Do you think Republicans would see that as a failure?  Would Republicans be whining about how unfair it is and how much it sucks that they "lost"?  Would they give up and say victory is impossible?

    I can't stand to read this defeatist crap anymore.  Everyone bought into the hype and Republicans moved the goalposts to the point that only taking out 3 Republicans constituted a Dem victory.  That's silly, even a single pickup is good for us.  2 is even better.  The GOP can spin it away all they want, but at the end of the day their majority is looking very precarious heading into next year's inevitable recalls, and the chamber is now 17-16 instead of 19-14.

    I for one am celebrating.  Nothing like this has ever been done before.  We should be proud of ourselves.

    •  Yay for perspective (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, LordMike

      The defeatist crap here is ridiculous.  It's one of the reasons I didn't join Daily Kos until SSP was merged into it.

    •  Yes! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Skaje, LordMike

      Sorry we didn't do some sorta slam dunk that the rest of the country expected, huh?  We did what we could do in Wisconsin, what never before had been done in Wisconsin or ANYWHERE, and we're not done, and we're going to win the MAJORITY of the recalls by next week.

      So just try even one recall in your states, folks -- not facing nine districts to be won at once, most of them solid-red Republican, and against more money than ever has been spent before in any legislative races -- and then come on back to tell us that it's harrrd worrrrk.  Yeh.  We know.

      Ah, if only they could see Scooter Walker slinking to the local media today, doing a Rodney King and asking for cooperation and why we can't just all get along. . . .  Ha!

      "Let all the dreamers wake the nation." -- Carly Simon

      by Cream City on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 01:01:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Utterly predictable. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    A guy I know on facebook was blaming the whole things on unions today, and saying that this should be a clear sign that unions are to blame for everything, and now 'real Americans will wake up' and do away with unions and union thugs.

    They won 4 of the 6 races, and that makes them the winners, at least in their eyes.  And there's nothing more dangerous than a cornered, wounded animal, which is always their state of mind.

    They will be, if anything, even more violent now.  Bet on it.

    I am still learning, but the teachers often suck.

    by trumpeter on Wed Aug 10, 2011 at 12:30:26 PM PDT

  •  Basis of Comparison (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    This analysis is helpful and certainly shows significant republican slippage especially in SD 14, 18, & 32.
    However the comparison to 2010 is comparing to a generational high water mark for the GOP.  Some reductions should be expected given the benchmark used.  Three solid GOP districts (2, 8, & 10) held reasonably close to republican margins from 2010, showing continued high enthusiam from the republican side.
    Can anyone suggest any other benchmarks to use that can give us a clearer picture?  For example Obama margins from 2008 might serve as a Democratic high water mark when he won all or most of these districts.

    Overall this looks hard to paint as a clear victory for either side.  Perhaps the most encouraging sign for long term Dem prospects is SD-14 where a long time, non-scandal scarred incumbent lost significant margin in a GOP district.

  •  Cutting through all the crap (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike

    You expect to hear these kinds of things from partisan hacks like this Hogan fellow. But if you've seen the comments from Walker and Fitzgerald they do the cursory "We won!" talk but quickly pivot to how they need to work with the other side. They know that yesterday wasn't a victory and that they are a lot less powerful than they were 24 hours ago.

  •  6 seats (0+ / 0-)

    Kerry 2004 -8
    Obama 2008 +7
    Feingold 2010 -13
    Barrett 2010 -12
    Kloppenberg 2011 -5
    Recalls 2011-6

    A little simplistic but if we extrapolate then the 2012 electorate is shaping up more Democratic than 2004 but less than 2008. For now I think we are back at 50-50 nation 2000-style.

    •  Agree and disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LordMike

      I think we are back at a more 50-50 nation. But I think this is a more volatile electorate than 2000 and 2004. I think its very possible that this is a throw the bums out election. 06 and 08 were Democratic years, 2010 was the Republican year and 2012 may go down as the anti-incumbent year where we see incumbents, who were thought of as entrenched, of both parties being thrown out of office.

    •  But your analysis is about these 6 (0+ / 0-)

      seats, correct? Does it include the fact that there are districts that have gone even further to the right and others that have shifted further to the left? I am thinking of Dane County and Washington County for example, both at 70-30 or even further apart?

      I don't know if you can use these recalls as a plus for Democrats or Republicans, because they were somewhat localized. For example the Green Bay area, where Dave Hanson won 65-35, and where Cowles also won 60-40.

  •  Statistics (0+ / 0-)

    I appriciate the discussion of margin, but would really like to how many votes Walker lost compared to his gubnitorial election in 10.  In these six districts was the Republican margin reduced?

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