Wednesday, August 17, 2011

5 for 9 - Not Too Shabby!

The people in districts 12 and 22 came through for Wisconsin last night. Good work, folks! We're well on our way.

If it's one thing we've learned so far, it's that sticking together matters. It not only matters on a personal level, but it works wonders in the political process. We can beat back this destruction together. We've walked in the cold gathering signatures, marched in summer parades, canvassed in strange neighborhoods, and spoken with friends and family about these issues. We changed the makeup of the Senate this summer. We've altered Wisconsin politics forever.

We've also learned a lot about the electoral makeup of this state. We know where the pockets of conservatism are. We know the tough candidates out there. We know the lay of the land. We've visited corners of conservative Wisconsin that no liberal has explored for years. Sure, some of it was hostile territory, but we've learned that, for the most part, our neighbors are willing to have a conversation, even if we end up disagreeing with each other at the end of the day.

If you'll pardon my gender-centric tone for a second, we've also grown a pair. Gone are the days that progressives sit back and take heat from our angry conservative friends. We've learned, politically, to take the fight to the enemy. We didn't win every battle this summer, but taking five out of nine is a pretty good start. Recalls are difficult. We know that especially well now. I would argue that the hardships of this process are still going to be a deterrent to all but the utmost adamant parts of the electorate going forward.

Unfortunately for Scott Walker, I think a lot of us are still pretty angry at the way things are headed. I'm not really a fan of selling off my water quality, mortgaging our kids' education, privatizing our prisons, eliminating credit bureaus, and destroying our precious microbreweries. I'm not happy with the way working people have been treated - the repeal of the Earned Income Credit tax deduction will be a punch to the guy for a lot of people who thought Scott Walker didn't raise taxes. And of course, what started it all - the desire to kill organized labor on behalf of organized capital - is reprehensible. This is a fight I'll be engaged in the rest of my life (or until I own a few dozen factories).

While there may be some folks who are tired of recalls, my guess is those folks were already sleeping anyway. Maybe a knock on their door woke them up once and they're still upset about it. Those of us who have been awake and alive through this nonsense will be out on the streets as soon as it's politically feasible. I hope to see you all at the local recall office. I can't wait to hit my neighborhood with a clipboard and a pen. My guess is we'll be in hats and mittens when we do it. So here's my promise: hot cocoa at my house after we're done - everyone's invited! Wisconsin will be ours!