What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

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Igor
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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby Igor » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:23 pm

pjbogart wrote:3. People really do believe that government workers, including teachers, are overpaid.


I don't know that is the case. I think that there was a certain tone-deafness on the part of some people about that.

A person with little or no retirement savings working at a low-paying job in a rural area of the state is not going to naturally sympathize with someone that has a (presumably defined-benefit) pension plan. The way to to win that person's vote is to clearly explain "You will be better off if Act 10 is repealed because _____________".

In much of the state, you would have a line around the block for city, county, or state jobs. People sometimes forget that Madison's economy provides a lot more opportunities than the rest of the state.

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby Igor » Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:31 pm

jonnygothispen wrote:
gargantua wrote:It was never about that[/b]. It was about being dishonest about his intentions before the first election. If he had been forthcoming, and he won anyway, that would have been it. No recall. I would not have signed a petition if I had not been lied to so egregiously.
Obviously, since they agreed to every concession except the elimination of collective bargaining. That was just another Republican talking point/lie the media let slide by never emphasizing what was actually going on.


I have seen that point made that "the unions already agreed to all the concessions" many times during the last year. Unless I am mistaken, it was only the state unions, correct? I have to think that a majority of the employees involved work for school districts, cities, and counties, which I believe had no such agreements.

Huckleby
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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:13 am

pjbogart wrote:
Huckleby wrote:My advice to unions: forget about politics and direct efforts at organizing in private sector. Give up on right-to-work states. Don't donate to Dem politicians anymore. Focus all resources and energy on core mission. Prove that non-right-to-work states can be more economically vital than the feudal areas of the South.


Huck, I think you're operating under the theory that Republicans hate unions because unions give money to Democrats. It's the other way around. Unions give money to Democrats because Republicans are trying to destroy them. For politicians it's about power, but for donors it's about dollars.
As to your cause/effect argument, I say it is the chicken.

You're right, the hole in my advice is that unions are forced to pay for the protection racket that the Dems are putatively running. The problem is that Dems can no longer protect public employee unions. The issue has become like gun control, where public opinion has moved decisively. (Maybe the public still supports collective bargaining in principle, but it is all too easy for Republicans to change the subject to allegedly excessive benefits.)

The right wing industrialists are going to continue to press for right-to-work legislation. I expect Dems will resist as best they can regardless of whether unions are campaign donors.

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby Stella_Guru » Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:58 pm

Detritus wrote: The Democratic Party, and specifically the current Democrat in the White House, won't lift a finger to prevent the destruction of labor unions and the principles of workplace democracy here in Wisconsin, probably because they figure that they'll win the November elections regardless of the outcome of the recalls. --didn't they learn from the 2010 elections what happens when you screw your base?--I just see no reason for labor to support the party anymore.

I think unions have to go back to a pre-collective bargaining mindset, since that's the one the "job creators" have been working with anyway: no justice, no peace. Organize to take action, not to deliver votes to some putz who doesn't give a damn about you once the election is over.

When the struggle left the streets and was handed over to a Dem Party establishment type, it was over. The lack of support from the national party was because they pretty much agree with alot of what Walker has done via outsourcing, privitization, gutting the social safety net, and decimating civil liberties.

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby DCB » Thu Jun 07, 2012 4:00 pm

My initial impressions are that a lot of Wisconsinites are 'conservative', small 'c', in the traditional sense. They may not have liked Walker's agenda, but they didn't approve of the recall - because that would be a big change. On the other hand, if Walker had been honest about his agenda during the 2010 campaign, they might have voted against him - because that would be a big change.

But what do I know?

I think Charles Pierce summarized it pretty well.
You will now see Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to run their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, everywhere in the energetic precincts of the revived American right. He will be on the covers of their startlingly advertising-free little magazines. He will be the darling of every wingnut blogger in the extended monkeyhouse; poo will be flung high and far in celebration of him.

...

As hard as Scott Walker may want to pretend to be a conciliator, as hard as he wants to fool the national press in their hopeless quest for a "reasonable" Republican that they can hitch to their centrist Cinderella's carriage, he knows good and goddamn well that it's not in the cards. The forces that put him in office, and the forces that kept him there last night, are too strong for any of that, even if he were sincere, which he most assuredly was not. He is a political creature of the Wisconsin that the people in the Exposition Center last night see in their minds. He cannot exist as a political creature outside of the Wisconsin his supporters believe themselves to have re-captured for good. They are not going to be reasonable. They are going to move further toward the extreme and he's going to move with them, because he is a star now, and he has a role to play.

(emphasis mine)

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:30 pm

The lack of support from the national party was because they pretty much agree with alot of what Walker has done via outsourcing, privitization, gutting the social safety net, and decimating civil liberties.


A lot of what Stella says contains a grain of truth, but with this statement of the intents of the national Democratic party I cannot agree.

Compromising or damaging the social safety net, maybe. Some outsourcing, maybe on the corporate end. I don't think they're interested in actually reducing civil liberties, though they aren't moving as quickly as I'd like on gay marriage, civil rights of aliens, and immigration policy. But what they did (and did not) in the election just completed was not done on account of Walker's actions at all.

I think their problem with regard to the Walker recall was they saw the writing on the wall and, acting as pragmatists rather than on principles, distanced themselves.

It'll hurt Obama in the next election. People won't turn around and vote for Romney. They just won't vote.

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:42 pm

snoqueen wrote:I think their problem with regard to the Walker recall was they saw the writing on the wall and, acting as pragmatists rather than on principles, distanced themselves.

It'll hurt Obama in the next election. People won't turn around and vote for Romney. They just won't vote.


If there are people so shallow and stupid as to not vote next fall because they are in a snit, I say good riddance. But I bet there will be as many angry non-voters next fall as there were angry Hillary supporters who didn't vote in 2008. Which is to say, virtually none.

Obama stood to lose FAR more votes from independents and working class whites by being tied closely to the recall.

It is hard to understate the damage done to Democrats in Wisconsin by the recall. Republican party infrastructure was built in Wisconsin by their own massive mobilization efforts. I have to believe that the Walker voters are now more likely to stick with Republicans next fall. The recall was a fiasco of historic proportions. I'm not pointing fingers, just keeping it real, as cool people would say about 20 years ago.

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby pjbogart » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:51 pm

snoqueen wrote:I think their problem with regard to the Walker recall was they saw the writing on the wall and, acting as pragmatists rather than on principles, distanced themselves.


Let's try cynical pragmatism for a moment and see if we catch a fish. What if the national Democrats saw Wisconsin as a serious test-case for politics after the Citizens United ruling. Here you have an unpopular governor who's been recalled by the public, facing criminal investigations and governing a State that underperforms every State in the nation for job growth despite promises that he would add 250,000 jobs during his first term in office. Walker's dead in the water, right?

Maybe they sat on the sidelines intentionally, seeing if money could overcome all of Walker's deficiencies. They really didn't stand to lose much as the electoral maps have already been redrawn. Can boots on the ground and a passionate public unseat a politician backed by unlimited cash? I guess we found out the answer to that.

I also have troubles blaming Obama for the mistakes of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Had union shops in Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton and Green Bay put in as much effort as the union shops of Madison, the election would have almost certainly been won. When Walker drops bomb number two and tries to pass right-to-work legislation, perhaps those "thugs" who were voting against a gun-stealing boogeyman will understand exactly who they voted for.

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:53 pm

Detritus wrote: The Democratic Party, and specifically the current Democrat in the White House, won't lift a finger to prevent the destruction of labor unions and the principles of workplace democracy here in Wisconsin, probably because they figure that they'll win the November elections regardless of the outcome of the recalls.... When the struggle left the streets and was handed over to a Dem Party establishment type, it was over.


Wait a sec: if the Democratic establishment hadn't risked their careers and reputations by fleeing to Illinois, there would not have been shit in the streets.

I get the anger at Obama and the national party.

In a two party system, the job of the national party in elections is to build the necessary coalitions to win 270 electoral votes.

Labor, specifically public unions, is an albatross that the Republicans are able to exploit.

To be brutal: the preservation of collective bargaining for public sector unions is not a core Democratic party value. Protecting the weak and vulnerable is more important, at least in my view. Public sector unions ABSOLUTELY were a key engine in helping to promote a more just society and a expanded middle class. My heart still goes out to them. But as a pragmatist, the public unions per se are secondary.

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:57 pm

pjbogart wrote: I also have troubles blaming Obama for the mistakes of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Had union shops in Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton and Green Bay put in as much effort as the union shops of Madison, the election would have almost certainly been won. When Walker drops bomb number two and tries to pass right-to-work legislation, perhaps those "thugs" who were voting against a gun-stealing boogeyman will understand exactly who they voted for.


39% of union households voted for Walker. I hate those people.
The police and firefighters unions both endorsed Walker. I REALLY hate them.

I'm not being sarcastic. Just like Jimmy Carter lusted in his heart, I quietly hate in mine.

The problem is not Obama. It isn't money. It is us dumb Wisconsin peeps.

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:41 pm

Henry Vilas wrote:Here is one of the first estimates on the money spent by both sides (no breakdown by party).

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign predicts the money spent during the recall election could double the record amount spent in the last gubernatorial election.

Mike McCabe, the Democracy Campaign's executive director, said once the final numbers come in, it is possible almost $80 million may have been spent during the election.

Most of the money went to ads, which McCabe said influences only 2 to 3 percent of voters.

"For the average citizen, it really turns their stomachs, and I swear to God, if airlines advertised the way politicians do, I don't think anyone in America would fly," McCabe said. "But people in the political class are devoted to doing it this way."

New totals for all recall races: Total spending on recall races tops $125 million

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby Detritus » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:52 pm

Huckleby wrote:
Detritus wrote: The Democratic Party, and specifically the current Democrat in the White House, won't lift a finger to prevent the destruction of labor unions and the principles of workplace democracy here in Wisconsin, probably because they figure that they'll win the November elections regardless of the outcome of the recalls.... When the struggle left the streets and was handed over to a Dem Party establishment type, it was over.

Just to clarify, Huck, that last sentence is Stella_Guru's, not mine. And I don't think Stella's referencing the Democrats who tried to at least stall Act 10 (et al.) by denying quorum to the Republicans. At least, I wouldn't say that about them. I would, however, say it about the Democratic operatives and the union leaders who short-circuited direct action AFTER the passage of all that crap and handed everything over to the Democratic party establishment.

This is where I mark a major error on the part of the Democratic party and the union leaders: when, in spite of thousands in the streets and opposition legislators on the lam, the Republicans rammed through their changes anyway--that was the moment for an immediate, popular response. General strike, wildcat strikes, working to rule, whatever. Something other than rolling over and plaintively reading out of Robert's Rules of Order in the vain hope that the words would magically make everything better.

The Republicans ran over our democratic system (small D democratic system), and the Democrats' response was to run over to the body and try to make it play sheepshead. It's an understandable reaction, in a "I'm in shock and don't know what to do" sense, but that doesn't make it any more useful.

Yes, if the Democratic party wants to avoid another debacle like this, Tate has to go. Barrett has to go. Falk has to go. The union leaders who counseled "parliamentary approach" have to go. They fucked up and many, many people will suffer because of it. he only option is new blood and a new strategy, or continuing failure and irrelevance.

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby Huckleby » Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:15 pm

Detritus wrote: when, in spite of thousands in the streets and opposition legislators on the lam, the Republicans rammed through their changes anyway--that was the moment for an immediate, popular response. General strike, wildcat strikes, working to rule, whatever. Something other than rolling over and plaintively reading out of Robert's Rules of Order in the vain hope that the words would magically make everything better.

I'm not going to offer an opinion on whether this would have worked, it is so outside anything I've seen.

Sly on his radio show gave some serious discussion to general strike possibility.

I do see that time was on Walker's side, he was at his weakest in his first 6 months.

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby snoqueen » Thu Jun 07, 2012 9:58 pm

I also have troubles blaming Obama for the mistakes of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Had union shops in Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton and Green Bay put in as much effort as the union shops of Madison, the election would have almost certainly been won.


It might sound like I'm contradicting myself, but I don't blame Obama at all for how things came down. I don't think his appearing on the scene in WI in June would have changed the results. During the winter demonstrations, I actually think he'd have been a distraction. That was OUR time and our movement, not his.

I do think people will remember he did not show up, that's all, and it could weaken the support he gets come next elections.

Now, regarding how this election was mishandled by the WI Democratic party: I don't think they have a clue how to win anything in the 21st century. I don't know if the same criticism applies to the national party, but we'll certainly find out.

Elections are run on very sophisticated social engineering these days, and I think the utterly cynical Republican party has taken that engineering to extreme levels. They know not only how to divide and conquer, but also how to keep people whipped up over nothing, how to create a sense of team membership through creating a mutual enemy, and how to engage attention at a deep emotional level well beyond rational thinking. All this stuff comes from applied social and psychological research, which is available to anybody but is being used as a tool -- with the results to show it works -- by just one party.

Look around here for some great examples. We have people posting who plainly can't put together two sentences or two thoughts about their belief systems, their political and social philosophies, their intended goals (beyond world domination, of course), their beliefs about political economics, or much of anything. But they're voters, they're energized, and apparently they've got a whole lot of company if you look at the election results. Somebody's got their number, and it isn't somebody who's looking out for their interests. It's somebody who knows how to play them.

The Democratic Party -- or somebody -- has to get up to speed here. One team is playing with lasers and the other with flashlights.

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Re: What I Learned on June 5th, 2012

Postby Detritus » Thu Jun 07, 2012 10:17 pm

snoqueen wrote:
I also have troubles blaming Obama for the mistakes of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Had union shops in Fond du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton and Green Bay put in as much effort as the union shops of Madison, the election would have almost certainly been won.


It might sound like I'm contradicting myself, but I don't blame Obama at all for how things came down. I don't think his appearing on the scene in WI in June would have changed the results. During the winter demonstrations, I actually think he'd have been a distraction. That was OUR time and our movement, not his.

I don't think Obama had to come here, although he did proclaim he would walk the line yadda yadda. He needed to ensure the party responded on a scale equal to, or at least closer to, the Republicans, though. The Democrats should not have been outspent 7-1 or 8-1 or whatever it turns out to be, the vast majority of that outspending coming from outside the state. That's where he and the national party could have and should have lent a hand, and that's why he will lose votes come November.

And for Christ's sake, if he wasn't going to do anything substantive, he should have kept his tweet to himself. It's bad enough that he governs as a Goldwater Republican--he shouldn't pretend he's Mr. Labor's Friend.


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