Simply put, we came up short of our goal in Wisconsin last night. While we sought to retake the state senate by defeating three Republicans in recall elections, we only picked up two seats. We came close, losing one election by only 2,200 votes
(4 percent), but it wasn't enough.
Despite the loss, the response from our community has been far from entirely negative. Some of us feel pumped after taking two seats in red territory, and after pulling off only the 14th and 15th successful recalls of state legislators in American history.
As we look forward, we would like to hear your thoughts. Please, click here to tell us how you feel about last night's results and what direction you think our actions should take in the days ahead.
Here is a quick, and by no means comprehensive, summary of the varied reactions:
- We took our fight deep into red territory, picking up two seats we couldn't even win in the Democratic tidal wave of 2008.
- We proved we can remove politicians from office when they steal from the middle class to pay off the super rich.
- We started a new, populist, citizen-driven movement against austerity that united labor and the netroots and stood toe-to-toe against the bottomless pit of Wall Street cash.
- This is by no means the end. Like many other new right-wing governors, Scott Walker is still unpopular. As time goes on, he, his cohorts, and their agenda will only become even more unpopular. In only a few months, along with 11 other Republican Wisconsin state senators, Walker becomes eligible for recall. There are also recalls and referendums taking place in states like Ohio, Michigan, Maine and Arizona.
- We lost. They won.
- One of the Republicans we defeated represented a fairly blue district (Kapanke), and the other was a freshman with ethical problems (Hopper).
- Because we didn't take three seats, we probably won't be able to slow down Scott Walker's agenda very much at all. The bleeding of working families will continue unabated.
- This was about as hard as we could possibly fight, and it still wasn't enough. We are simply not going to be able to engage this fiercely everywhere. Looking ahead, at best this will stall the momentum of the new populist movement we were building.
Personally, I feel much better than I thought I would in the event of a loss. We made some gains while fighting for heroes, with heroes, and like heroes. I have no regrets, and I am incredibly grateful and honored to have stood with you.
We need to hear what you think. Please, click here to tell us how you feel about last night's results, and what direction you think our actions should take in the days ahead.