Badgers and Weasels


All eyes, including my own, are on Wisconsin tonight, and for good reason; six Republican state senators who supported Gov. Scott Walker’s Koch-funded Randian Fantasyland are facing recall.  Two of them, the loathsome Randy Hopper (whose recently-dumped wife has joined recall efforts) and Dan Kapanke from LaCrosse, are expected to lose.  A third, cocktailhag Alberta Darling, who couldn’t name a single job her beloved “job creators” have created, is in a dead heat against Sandy Pasch, and admitted last week that she was “nervous.”   She left out “….as a whore in church,” but it was implied.  If those three lose, Democrats regain control of the Senate, but as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel noted, won’t be able to do much to reverse Walker’s corporate coup, at least at first.

Nonetheless, such a stunning rebuke of Walker’s Shock Doctrine after only eight months, and set against tens of million dollars in corporate cash, would knock the Koch brothers and ALEC down a peg, a richly deserved outcome they obviously would like to avoid at all costs.  Walker himself, bless his heart, is already waxing philosophical, declaring that the race is “out of his hands,” all the while knowing that he’s already earned wingnut welfare for life (and probably his own show on Fox News), so if this doesn’t work out, what the Hell.  He added, in an almost Palinesque flight from reality, that people would see how great his education program is turning out and vote to stay the course.  In the middle of the summer, when schools are closed.  (Note to Kochs:  You want ‘em dumb, but not that dumb…)

Naturally, the President has been all but silent on the recalls, and that may be a good thing for Democrats, but it reveals yet another example of his well-earned political dilemma and cravenness as a politician.  He knows, and Republicans in Wisconsin and elsewhere have outright said, that the current battle in Wisconsin is about denying him reelection, which we all know by now is the only thing on God’s (formerly) green earth that he actually cares about.  His notorious “family budget” rhetoric and relentless talk of “shared” sacrifice, endlessly repeated, sounds a lot more like Scott Walker than it does like the Wisconsin 14.  So, like the darling Ms. Darling, Obama too is “nervous,” a condition which invariably involves his frantically pretending not to be President at all until the dust settles.  As we’ve seen in the past, such shrinking from political fights never produces a good outcome, but he’s trying it again anyway.  Yawn.

This time, though, he has no choice.  After dropping EFCA like a hot potato and freezing federal workers’ pay, he has shown himself to be no friend of either unions or public employees, and he would probably draw boos and depress Democratic turnout if he showed up.  Worse (for him), a resounding Democratic victory would show voters that forced austerity borne of failure to tax the wealthy and the gutting of the public domain is both profoundly stupid and wildly unpopular in a crucial swing state.  Too bad he just agreed to all that.  Guess it’s time to hide under the desk again.

Ironically, the message Wisconsin Democrats are sending is the diametric opposite of Obama’s.  They didn’t “compromise” with a loud, intransigent, and addlepated minority’s cockamamie ideas.  They didn’t meekly accept the imperious demands of shadowy corporate funders.  They didn’t betray, repeatedly, the citizens who voted for them in good faith.   They didn’t give up.   As a sign said in last winter’s protests, they’re badgers, not weasels.  Wish I could say the same thing for the president.

Keep your fingers crossed.

UPDATE: The ol’ cocktailhag was out there talking about that school thing again, and looking pretty thirsty on local TV. As usual, she complained that there was even a recall at all; why don’t voters just sit down and shut up, but she too launched into the talking point about how great the schools are going to be, would that they were open.