Reflections on Democrat defeat in Wisconsin recall

Despite large scale union efforts and a tsunami of out-of state money, Wisconsin Democrats fell short in their bid to unseat six Republican state senate incumbents in yesterday’s recall election, with Republicans winning four of the six contests. Democrats, irate at Gov. Scott Walker and his allies whom they view as short-changing the collective bargaining rights of state workers, sought to even the score in an election some have viewed as a bellwether of public sentiment before the November 2012 national election. Democrats had wanted to go after the governor as well, but were preempted by a state law that mandates a governor serve at least one year.

While not taking sides, I am happy with the outcome. For me, the issue of political stability is what’s at stake in such recall elections. Think about the chaos resulting from special interest groups petitioning for recall elections whenever they disagree with their political leadership. Think about the wasted millions in costs. After all, there is a process for change. We call it the ballot box, a right open to citizens every two years. In the interim, we also have the courts. In this instance, the state court upheld the Republican decision-making process.

As is, twelve senate Democrats chose to abandon the decision process by leaving the state in order to prevent a quorum. Again, whatever happened to this thing we call democracy? If I can’t have my way, I’m going to pick-up my marbles and go home.

California’s been dealing with similar gridlock in its state assembly for many years. They also had a recall election, this one successful, in which they got rid of Governor Pete Wilson. His successor? A B-film actor and former body builder without a lick of political experience. Nothing changed. Some might argue things got worse.

Imagine if we acted this way at the federal level. We don’t like a president, so we decide on a recall, never mind waiting another four years.

Soon it will be the turn of Wisconsin Democrats to twist in the wind. Next Tuesday, recall elections for two senate democrats will take place. Where does the retribution end? I am sick of factional politics. Talk to a politician and you won’t get a straight answer. As the Indians had it,”White man speak with forked tongue.”

If you think about it, recall elections have the stuff of lynch-mob mentality behind them. No fair trial. Act on impulse. String ’em up.

I’m starting to think banana republic. Hey, would the last one out get the lights?

About RJ

Retired English prof (Ph. D., UNC), who likes to garden, blog, pursue languages (especially Spanish) and to share in serious discussion on vital issues such as global warming, the role of government, energy alternatives, etc. Am a vegan and, yes, a tree hugger enthusiastically. If you write me, I'll answer.
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