Last night Rachel Maddow said what I have been saying for months; that our June 5 recall election is the most important election in 2012. And she said it so well:
I've been putting it this way:
If Walker prevails on June 5, Obama can kiss Wisconsin goodbye.I'm not exaggerating either. We can rename our state Wississippi because that's what we will have become. A state so totally controlled by Republicans complete with voter suppression, vote counting shenanigans (yes, Waukesha and Ozaukee Counties, I'm looking at you), mega million dollar Republican ad spending, saturated RW hate radio, and a GOP meme spouting corporate media that only a few token Democrats could ever be elected again.
We saw the strategy roll out in 2010 and it caused the election of massive numbers of Republicans here and elsewhere. Money, hate radio, and corporate media combined in a deadly combination. The results became painfully visible after Scott Walker and his vast majority Republican Legislature were sworn in and extremist legislation was rammed through and rapidly signed.
While Walker won with a small majority of the votes in 2010, he has governed as though he got every single vote in Wisconsin.
At the start of the protests, as people came together to push back against the infamous Budget Repair Bill, Walker put the Wisconsin National Guard on standby in the all-too-familiar Republican response to free speech and freedom of assembly with a massive display of power, domination, and control that frightened cowards always resort to when challenged. While they were never used, the threat of a militarized response to peaceful protests demonstrated that there would be no limit to the tactics that would be used to supress our rights.
And, his strategy to deal with citizens protesting his actions, he even admitted he "thought about" planting "troublemakers" in crowds filled with children, disabled people, and senior citizens. The only reason he didn't, he admitted in the now famous Fake Koch Phone Call was that he didn't want to be pressured into talking to "the other side". If not for worrying about having to talk to us, he would have gladly used thugs. In fact, he did use thugs - outside police departments - to drag protesters from our State Capitol when he illegally closed it - when the Capitol Police refused to be his "palace guard".
Republicans will do anything, ANYTHING to obtain and keep power. Recallers faced threats, intimidation and attacks when standing on corners peacefully gathering signatures. Corporate media, of course, reported this only after several attacks had already occurred and only as "both sides do it". Both sides didn't do it.
Walker has been spending tens of millions of dollars every quarter to spew his lies and propaganda, he's a frequent guest on RW hate radio which saturates our state, takes only friendly questions from our corporate state media in those rare moments when he gives them a few minutes of his time, hides his schedule (the first governor in our state to do so), and has become a Republican Rock Star with featured speaking roles at events all over the country. Despite all of that, he's still never gotten above 50% in the polls.
Republicans understand the importance of this election and have been all in for months.
Despite his complaints about "outside money" and "outsiders" lining up against him, Scott Walker is the one with all those "outsiders". Republican Governors have been invading our state to support Walker and 60% of all Walkers own campaign money has come from out of state. Additionally, outside groups have been flooding the airwaves with attack ads to benefit Walker.
Republicans understand that this is the most important election in 2012. They realize that if Walker is recalled, it will send a powerful message that money and media control can't buy democracy out from under our feet, that people gathering and working together and have power, that extremism has consequences, and, most importantly, that the Republican agenda is wrong and has been rejected.
Conversely, they realize that a Walker win will empower Republican governors everywhere to roll out a similar radical agenda and employ the same tactics to turn their states red and make Democrats in office an endangered species. This, they know, will have national implications.
We're working here as if our very democracy is at stake. Because it is.
You can watch the first of two Scott Walker-Tom Barrett debates on C-SPAN tonight at 9 PM Eastern Time or stream it on their site. The next one will be on Thursday with details when available.
Obligatory Tin Cup (thanks for so many of you being so generous already)
For Tom Barrett, Democratic candidate for Governor
For Mahlon Mitchell, Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor.
For Lori Compas Democratic candidate for State Senate to replace Scott Fitzgerald (former Republican Majority Leader).
For John Lehman Democratic candidate for State Senate to replace Van Waangard
For Kristen Dexter Democratic candidate for State Senate to replace Terry Moulton
For Donna Seidel Democratic candidate for State Senate for the seat vacated by Pam Galloway.
Thanks for your support.
12:38 PM PT: Sorry to sort of post and run, but I have a phone bank shift. I'll be back in a few hours to enjoy your comments.