The Political Fall-Out In Wisconsin

So, now that Scott Walker and the Republicans have won in Wisconsin, people are asking, “Is it a pyrrhic victory? Did they win a short term victory that will cost them big?” The polls seem to show that Walker has taken a beating and independents are slanting against the bill. Still, there are a few things you have to remember.

First off, recalls aren’t a snap to pull off in Wisconsin:

The rules require targeted lawmakers to have been in office for at least a year to be eligible for recall. Eight Republican senators fit that standard. To recall a state senator, Democrats need to gather signatures in each district equivalent to one-quarter of votes cast in the seat in the last gubernatorial election. In most districts, that’s at least 15,000 signatures.

Once that happens, an election is set for six weeks later. (If there are multiple challengers from one party, the election is pushed back four weeks). Only two state lawmakers have been successfully recalled in Wisconsin history.

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Signature gathering is a laborious and costly process that challenges even the best organizations. And, you can be assured that Republicans will try to disqualify as many of the petition signers as possible — meaning that recall advocates will need well in excess of 15,000 just to be safe.

But, Democrats insist they are well on their way — having already collected 15 percent of the signatures they needed over the weekend. Liberal groups say that have raised close to $2 million dollars in support.

While they won’t reveal where they are in each district — saying they want to keep Republicans guessing — efforts from some national groups have focused on three state senators: Randy Hopper, Alberta Darling and Dan Kapanke.

They only have 60 days to do this, which is a pretty tight window for both sides. Republicans will try to recall 8 of the fleebaggers who ran off to Illinois. Then, if there are enough votes for a recall, a quality candidate will need to be recruited and they’ll have to run and win in only a few weeks’ time against well known incumbents. That’s generally a pretty tough hurdle to jump over.

Moreover, although the unions seem to have all the momentum right now, that will change if they actually get their recall elections. The moment a recall election is actually declared, conservative money and manpower will start pouring in to help the Republicans and toss the Democrats out on their ears. So, could we see some of these Republicans AND Democrats lose their seats? Sure. That’s what happens when you have elections: Sometimes the politicians in power get thrown out of power — but, history says there probably won’t be all that much of a changeover.

Now, you might say, “Gee, is it worth all that? Maybe they shouldn’t have passed the bill.” Here’s what you have to understand: These government unions are parasites that are sucking the taxpayers dry and then using that taxpayer money they receive to lobby for more benefits for themselves. Dealing with Wisconsin’s budget woes and the nation’s fiscal problems REQUIRES taking these guys on. You’re going to see a lot of other cities and states confronting these leeches because THEY HAVE NO OTHER CHOICE if they want to get their budgets under control. It’s either take on the unions or go bankrupt. The Republicans in Wisconsin just happen to be the first guys to hit the bullies square in the mouth, but they won’t be the last ones to do it.

It’s also worth noting that passions are running particularly high at the moment. Will they continue to run high for the unions and liberals? Sure. But, for independents? That’s very doubtful. Unlike say, Obamacare, this doesn’t hurt the average independent voter in Wisconsin. To the contrary, it helps them — and there’s really no dispute over that fact. The unions are fighting to make the average voter pay them more money. It may take a little while to get that message through, but eventually, it should get out and the poll numbers will even out. Could it still motivate liberals and union members enough to swing elections anyway? Maybe. But, it’s not likely that a tidal wave of independent voters will kick Republicans out wholesale for taking steps to lessen their tax burden in a way that doesn’t hurt them one iota.

In the end, the GOP just has to remember that they wouldn’t call it “political courage” if there wasn’t any risk involved.

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