Visual source: Newseum
But there is more at stake on June 5 than the question of whether Walker remains in office or is replaced by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. To [conservative college student Evan] Bradtke, saving Walker’s job is a crucial step toward making Wisconsin a competitive battleground in November and electing a Republican president who deals with budgetary issues nationally the way Walker has in Wisconsin.
The recall contest “is the second most important election in the country this year,” he said.
This is an election in which Democrats are currently the underdog
, and Wisconsin remains a toss-up state
for November. But there's a lot more to be written in this chapter between now and November.
Forget your political affiliation. Never mind your assessment of his time in office so far. If you have any kind of heart, you’re struck by it: the photograph of Barack Obama bent down so that a young black boy can touch his head and see if the president’s hair is indeed like his own. It moves you. It also speaks to a way in which Obama and Mitt Romney, whose campaigns are picking up the pace just as polls show them neck and neck, are profoundly mismatched.
Because Obama is still very popular among African-Americans and because his shift on same-sex marriage was publicized widely, some blacks could plausibly take a cue from him and change their positions. Maybe, as Jon suggests, many of them didn’t actually have strong opinions to begin with. But Obama could still have been the catalyst for their own shifts in opinion.
Two caveats, however. First, it would be nice to have more polls to back this up. Second, Obama’s potential leadership in this case doesn’t suggest presidents have broad persuasive powers. If Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage did shift the views of some African-Americans, that is still a shift among only a minority of a minority of voters in, as far as we know, a single state.
[Update: The Washington Post polling unit reminds me that their national poll also showed a shift among African-Americans, a finding they characterize as “tentative” but that nevertheless supports the PPP results from Maryland.]
Obama Should Seize the High Ground
Think about this: Is there anyone in America today who doesn’t either have a pre-existing medical condition or know someone who does and can’t get health insurance as a result? Yet two years after Obama’s health care bill became law, how many Americans understand that once it is fully implemented no American with a pre-existing condition will ever again be denied coverage?
“Obamacare is socialized medicine,” says the Republican Party. No, no — excuse me — socialized medicine is what we have now! People without insurance can go to an emergency ward or throw themselves on the mercy of a doctor, and the cost of all this uncompensated care is shared by all those who have insurance, raising your rates and mine. That is socialized medicine and that is what Obamacare ends. Yet Obama — the champion of private insurance for all — has allowed himself to be painted as a health care socialist.
More on the roots of the "socialism" charge later this morning in a review of EJ Dionne's new book. It's no accidental broadside, and has its roots in a challenge to the sense of community that most of us accept as the norm—and that conservatives have forgotten, in their rush to resurrect the John Birch Society.
When news broke that a vial of Ronald Reagan’s blood was being auctioned online, the price quickly jumped to $30,000 as Web sites and blogs explored a tantalizing possibility: Did this mean the late president could be cloned?
Before mad scientists got the chance to perform a Dolly-the-Sheep experiment with the 40th president, the seller succumbed to criticism and decided to donate the blood to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. But this should only encourage the cloning speculation because the Gipper’s DNA is now in the hands of those who would most like to reproduce him: Republicans.
Komen controversy hurting Race for the Cure
Registration for the local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is down 36 percent so far, as many former supporters remain upset over the national group's controversial decision — later reversed — to withdraw breast-exam funding from Planned Parenthood.