The election board has determined that enough signatures exist to start the official recall of Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Despite the claims that had it not been for Adolf Hitler and Mickey Mouse, only about 10 people would have signed these things, more than 900,000 signatures were verified against Walker and about 800,000 against Kleefisch.
With that “breaking news” hitting the airwaves last night, both sides took their turns to react to the recall. Both Kathleen Falk and Kathleen Vinehout noted they’ve been looking forward to this, which comes as no surprise to anyone. However, here’s the thing that really bugged me.
Republican spokesturd Ben Sparks called in and noted that it was the “liberal unions” who foisted this recall upon the “families of Wisconsin.”
The divide in this state is already big enough, thank you. Being more divisive isn’t really what most of us are shooting for here. Falk’s ads are trying to tap into this, by noting that she’ll work across the aisle to get people to work together etc. etc. If the previous 12 years are any indication, that’s unlikely to happen at any political level short of the Mayville Queen of Corn Sponsorship Committee. However, even if we’re all just paying lip service to the idea of “Knock it the fuck off,” it would be nice to see the governor’s party try to embrace that.
The bigger problem is that the divide is being drawn in a way that none of us should tolerate. “Liberals vs. Families” might be the next great iPhone app, but it sure as hell shouldn’t be the way we view our state.
Where do the majority of us sit? Probably in neither area. Watch the “Scott Walker fucked my state” commercials the local and national PACs are running and you can see tons of families. They showcase people concerned about their schools, their towns, their lack of 250,000 new jobs to choose from. All of those are concerns for families, liberals and anyone in between.
Watch the “Hi, I’m Scott Walker and I’m going to look like a normal guy” ads and you’ll see something else amazing. He talks about keeping the budget balanced, taxes under control and people chipping in to pay their share of things like health care and pensions. It sounds a lot like things most of us would approve of. No one out there is saying, “Let’s tax the fuck out of everyone and burn the money in the backyard.” If I’m in what Scott Walker views as the “liberals” camp, I’m an oddity that thinks debt and shitty financial acumen are bad ideas.
This is not a case of one group of people that wants one thing and another group that wants another, despite the best efforts of the Walker folk. Look at the damned signs and bumper stickers: “I Stand With Gov. Walker.” It’s like a giant game of red rover or the news team fight scene from “Anchorman.”
Instead, this is a case of HOW things are being accomplished. The “hack and slash” method employed by a man with no checks against him is what people really hate here if they’re trying to get him recalled. The “welcome to my reality” kick in the balls he delivered to state workers resonates with people who have less and want more. They can’t get it, so you shouldn’t have it.
Had this been a negotiation or even a fair fight, I think the backlash would have been far less severe. It has been a long time since we’ve seen someone willing and able to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war like this. That’s why it was such a stunning sucker punch. However, Walker’s approach was “build populism and then do what you want” and now people are suffering major buyer’s remorse.
The whole reason for this recall is actually based on a kid’s joke:
“Would you like to lose 10 pounds instantly?”
“Cut your head off.”
Only it’s not funny and people aren’t laughing.
Least of all this family man. Or liberal. Or both. Or neither.