Okay, I get that seeing Scott Walker and most of his creepy crew sleaze back into office with a wink at their rich friends and a sneer at the people of Wisconsin, but can we stop with the OMG IT'S OVER mantra?
I live in Wisconsin, and I have to suffer the assholery of Walker, too - even more than most, as he's already slashed benefits I need (not want; need) - but I still feel like there's a big picture some people are missing.
Allow me to make a few points on this below the fluer-de-Kos...
First and foremost, I did say "most" of his creepy crew. "Most", as in, John Lehman, come on down! You're the next contestant on Be The Biggest Thorn In Scott Walker's Side! So, if the Democrats hold onto their majority in the WI State Senate in November, look for Walker to make his pinched, annoyed face a lot come the legislature's next session in January.
But of course, the rest of the election in Wisconsin was a bit of a drubbing.
Let me ask you a question: do you think for one single second that the moneyed interests backing Scott Walker think they've won? Do you think they're popping the champagne and resting on their ill-gotten laurels?
That's what I thought.
I might as well link now to lao hong han's excellent diary, which details a lot about the achievements made along the way to this recall, in addition to a valuable and fascinating history lesson about recent goings-on in Wisconsin politics. I'll be chewing much of the same turf.
So, let me make a modest proposal: Winning in the recall was not the end-all be-all. It would have been the icing on a very deserved and delicious cake, but it wouldn't even have been the largest slice, IMHO. To me, this process has been about resistance. It's been about letting everyone know that there are a million of us (at least) in Wisconsin alone who are no longer going to cooperate with the encroaching corporate hegemony.
This is why the uprising in Wisconsin and it's kin outside the state (OWS being the most glaring example) are so important. They are the true, pure, grassroots, visceral reaction by millions: to stand up and say, "Oh, hell no!"
But we lost! No, defeatist inner voice, we didn't. Game ain't over. This is the beginning, not the end. This is how it's always been. This is how we get what We The People want. No benevolent officeholder or group of officeholders have ever given us anything.
No, we've always had to rise up and take it.
Over and over, we've risen up against injustice in one form or another, only to get beaten down. Like the recall. Over and over and over - until we don't. Until we get so big, so loud, so bold and brave and unbowed that we end up with the 40 hour work week, or universal suffrage, or something like equal protection under the law, or a recall that was our right to demand, and so on.
Segregation didn't end (well, de facto segregation still hasn't) because the courts suddenly decided out of the kindness of their hearts that enough was enough. They were forced to. We were forced to confront our ugly, dark, vile practices, and we didn't like what we saw in the mirror, a mirror that had been held up over and over, smashed over and over, it's shards driven into the hearts of the brave women and men who defied injustice over and over and over until those brave people won.
That's the way it's always worked. With all due respect to our friends working within the system, whose valuable contributions should never be discounted or forgotten, the kind of dramatic change many of us seek will only happen via popular struggle. Because that's the only way it has ever worked. Resistance. Struggle. Activism. Direct action.
You know, the thing we started doing 16 months ago in Wisconsin. The thing people all across the nation started doing en masse with the Occupy movement.
We lost a few races in a recall election. That doesn't invalidate what was done to get there, nor does it mean such methods are worthless. History tells us otherwise. Reality tells us otherwise.
Nobody ever changed the world by accepting it the way it is. I don't accept a world that allows the Koch brothers to buy elections, and I will fight it until it ends or I do (after which I expect someone to step right into the place I was standing and take up the struggle).
We haven't lost. They haven't won. How do I know this? I'm still standing, and so are you.
UPDATE: Oh, wow. And here I was expecting a few friendly pats on the head for effort and optimism, followed by a rapid disappearing act. Thanks for the Rec List, folks! I really want this message out there: That this isn't the big "Lose". That even if we'd won, it still isn't the big "Win". That we need to build on the popular movements that this recall was a product of. Big love to all my fellow Kossacks.