March 15, 2011

"Now, Walker, Scott, and Kasich are doing exactly what they should do, and exactly what Barack Obama did in 2009."

"They won power; they're using the power to push through structural political and economic changes that will be hard to reverse. They're making the same bet Obama did — if they do this, the economy will rebound, and their political opponents will have been weakened in a way they may never recover from."

Says David Weigel, who adds:
If the economy does rebound in 2012, they're going to be in better shape politically. But so will Obama. In the long run, breaking down the power of public unions is going to help Republicans in Ohio and Wisconsin. In the short run, if it fires up activists and alienates independents, it puts the next GOP presidential candidate in a tougher spot.
That's a big "if." Also, if you want to talk about the 2012 presidential election, what's more important than Ohio and Wisconsin?

105 comments:

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
madawaskan said...

That's a big "if." Also, if you want to talk about the 2012 presidential election, what's more important than Ohio and Wisconsin?


Ca-Ching.

Weigel's on my *&^% list.

He called a blogger who slums it out with the peasants in comments- boring or something.

Actually he said that the blogger's questions bored him.

Ancient Chinese saying:he who is bored is usually full of holes and has the lower IQ.

Oh and then he banned or blocked the guy and then decided to lift it-oh forget it.

Long story short Weigel is about to go work for who?

CNN?

Nope.

FOX?

Hell no.

NYT?

Close....

MSNBC.

You guessed it!

(What's that other ancient Chinese story about Mandalins or maybe it was eunuchs....)

rhhardin said...

Weigel is one of the "they" who will fix things.

Belmont Club:

At the highest political level of our complex world “they” means people like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. These were the final “fixers” of the system when something went wrong. Of late they seemed to be capable of very little. Why? Because their power to fix depended on the systems they were supposed to control. Their “smarts” were judged by their ability to manipulate the system through which they rose. Once the system itself began fraying at the edges their true quality became evident. They were not very smart and not very adaptable.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

JournoLister Weigel, taking lemons and desperately trying to make lemonade.

JAL said...

It alienates the independents?

How about giving them hope that the future isn't beyond redemption?

(If the indies wanted to be regressives they would be progressives.)

Anga2010 said...

Looks like Texas (38) is more important than Wisconsin (10) and Ohio (18) and Iowa (6) combined!

ricpic said...

I don't know who this Wiegel is, but given that the Democrats at every level of government are spending us into a total smashup it's way overtime for Republicans to stop sweating the public opinion polls and stand up for SURVIVAL!

DADvocate said...
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DADvocate said...

In the short run, if it fires up activists and alienates independents,...

I wouldn't be so sure about alienating independents. I'm a fierce independent, technically registered Democrat at the moment. I've voted for at least 4 different parties for president.

By nature independents are, well, independent. They don't have a great deal of sympathy for unions as unions and being force to join a union are antithetical to being an independent person. Democrats have stomped on the toes of independents quite heavily under Obama with Obamacare, bailout programs and other stuff. It'll take more than an improved economy to get the independent votes in my book, if they can at all.

peter hoh said...

I've been busy, so it's possible that it's escaped my attention, but I haven't noticed any of the GOP front-runners standing up for Walker.

Anga, the Deep Blue and Reliably Red states don't matter. It's all about the Purples.

MikeR said...

Everyone's pretty down on Weigel, who said, "Now, Walker, Scott, and Kasich are doing exactly what they should do." Hard for me to do anything but respect a liberal who could say that.

Michael K said...

Right now, there is discussion (according to Mickey Kaus who knows what he's talking about) among Democrats in California about the pros and cons of having unions in your party.

If I was a public employee union official, that would scare the crap out of me. If the Democrats decided the unions are a drag on them, where do the unions go ?

Michael K said...

I've been busy, so it's possible that it's escaped my attention, but I haven't noticed any of the GOP front-runners standing up for Walker.

What GOP front runners ?

Watch what they do. My guess is it's over a 50% chance he will be the VP nominee.

vbspurs said...

Oh, the moment I read this article via Memeorandum, I knew Althouse would write about it!

Although I do not agree with the commenter's larger point-of-view (it's Slate, after all, and he obviously views Republicans with a halo of disdain), I did agree with his opening statement.

You're reducing national politics to a game of Monopoly: Whatever strategy gives a player an edge over his opponents, or partners an edge over the other players, is good. Morality and ethics are irrelevant.

Dave Weigel. With or without Journolist, still reducing everything to silly conclusions.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

wv: snellity

Dang, if this isn't a word, it should be!

vbspurs said...

MichaelK wrote:

If the Democrats decided the unions are a drag on them, where do the unions go ?

Hopefully, to the Hateful Progressive White Man's Party to be founded in the near future by Michael Moore.

Ut said...

"it puts the next GOP presidential candidate in a tougher spot."

Doesn't matter, since we have a Republican president now:

1) Gitmo open for bidness and new trials starting.
2) Operates 2 wars (3 if you count all the brown people he kills with drone missiles in Pakistan)
3) Re-upped Patriot Act spying on Americans
4) Extended Bush tax cuts
5) Destabilized the Middle East and has Muslims shooting at other Muslims instead of infidels.
6) Billionaires still paying only 15% cap gains - paying way less taxes than their secretaries.

I mean, what more could we ask for?

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I may vote to re-elect Barack W. Bush if he'll dump Biden and re-sign Dick Cheney.

somefeller said...

Weigel's analysis is pretty good. Structural changes are worth taking some short-term losses for, and if you time them before an economic upswing, you are in good shape to keep those changes in place. There's obviously a tension between the policy goals of Obama and Walker/Kasich on this, but if they all have the power of incumbency and a rising economy on their side during a re-election campaign, the smart money is to assume they'll win re-election. Time will tell. Plus, Walker and Kasich will be running for re-election in different years than Obama (unless Ohio and Wisconsin have two-year Governor's terms, which I don't think they do), so their electoral fates aren't tied to Obama's.

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

MikeR said...

Everyone's pretty down on Weigel, who said, "Now, Walker, Scott, and Kasich are doing exactly what they should do." Hard for me to do anything but respect a liberal who could say that.

I understand what you're saying; but in past contretemps, Mr. Weigel has built up such a respect deficit, he would have to say 100 smart things just to rise up to neutral.

Michael K said...

Right now, there is discussion (according to Mickey Kaus who knows what he's talking about) among Democrats in California about the pros and cons of having unions in your party.

I like Mr. Kaus's columns; but he has been banging the anti-union drum so long, I doubt any Democrat hears him any more. They've written him off as a closet conservative, and thus not worth their attention.

wv: duchemor. All right, who's been letting Trooper write the wv's again?

somefeller said...

If I was a public employee union official, that would scare the crap out of me. If the Democrats decided the unions are a drag on them, where do the unions go?

That is something to watch out for. I'd particularly want to see how Jerry Brown deals with those unions in California. If the voter breakdown for Adrian Fenty's losing mayoral election in DC is any guide (together with the subsequent rise in popularity of Michelle Rhee and films like "Waiting for Superman"), the issue of a split between the public employee unions and their supporters and Democratic-leaning white-collar professionals will become more of a big deal.

Revenant said...
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Revenant said...

Weigel frames his scenario as if the plight of unions was approximately as important to swing voters as the economy is. This is not the case; the economy is much more important to them.

In fact, statistically speaking the a swing voter is more likely to be currently unemployed than to belong to a union.

somefeller said...

Here's a great Walter Russell Mead piece regarding the Democrats and public employee unions, one that would concern me if I was a public union organizer.

Jon said...

Whenever I see Weigel on bloggingheads or TV, I'm really distracted by his bad acne. Someone should tell him they have drugs now that will clear that up.

Ut said...

"If the Democrats decided the unions are a drag on them, where do the unions go?"

This is a nonsensical question. The Democrats ARE the unions. They're one and the same.

Democrats don't exist UNLESS unions exist ... and vice versa.

The Democrat Party is the party of the elite government official - the AFSCME. That is their only constituency.

It's all the other parts of the Democrat Party coalition - blacks, illegal aliens, gays, abortionists, Mike Bloomberg ... who have nowhere else to go. But they're just "sticky boogers" ... hangers on to be flicked whenever expedient.

Weigel is a Democrat and member of the old and new Journolist. Trust nothing he writes.

Revenant said...

That's another reason I don't buy Weigel's analysis, somefeller.

Let's say the economy doesn't recover. His theory is that Democrats will thus be helped by Republican opposition to public sector unions.

But if the economy doesn't improve, governments are going to me making a tough choice -- some combination of cuts to public employee payrolls, cuts to government services, or tax increases. The latter two hurt voters a hell of a lot more than the first item on the list does. What's worse, those last two items hit the people who are most affected by the recession.

Politicians can either really piss off a small fraction of the electorate or kind of piss off the entire electorate.

I don't expect the economy to recover anytime soon, and I don't expect it to EVER "recover" to the point where our current government is sustainable; it wasn't sustainable even when the economy was booming. Given that, and given that people love both government services and lower taxes, my prediction is that public employee unions are screwed in the long run. The provide a benefit to 10% of America and additional costs to the other 90%.

BJM said...

The Japanese situation throws a wild card into the mix. The global supply chain will be interrupted to some extent and we will feel it in our labor force, a scarcity of consumer goods and price increases.

The Japanese pioneered the use of "on time" inventory delivery in the auto and electronic industries so they do not have part inventories beyond "x" number of days or weeks. Subaru and Toyota US plants already announced a cut back of overtime and US car makers use Japanese parts as well.

Consumer electronics could take a hit too...for example Apple's hottest products use Japanese flash memory and touchscreens. Shortages will flow to other electronic products.

Japan's demand for oil will increase and that will keep prices high or even spike them higher.

Last, but certainly not least; Japan is our 2nd largest debtor. It's safe to say they will not be participating in the next round of treasury sales, which would force Treasury to raise rates to enhance sales, which in turn will impact our interest rates at a time when credit card debt is already precarious, creating the next financial tsunami.

Should the Japanese be forced to liquidate some of their US treasuries as well...then all bets are off recovery-wise and Obama is toast.

reader_iam said...

I'd qualify as one of those independents, and I'm opposed to public-employee unions, full stop.

As my dad, who supports them, pointed out to me last week during a convo in which we agreed to no longer discuss the topic[!], I was complaining about how they plain didn't make sense 30 years ago and believed they were contrary to the public interest. We'll never see eye to eye. He's an independent, too, based on actual voting history ...so that cancels me out (though he doesn't like the whole demonstration thing, much less legislative shenanigans, such as fleeing the state).

My husband also qualifies as an independent. We are in accord on the subject of public unions.

My instinct is that Weigel is *probably* overstating the dislike of opposition to public unions from independents. As I think edutcher pointed out, it's not a monolithic block.

FWIW.

In fact, statistically speaking the a swing voter is more likely to be currently unemployed than to belong to a union.

Let's just say that in this household, we can relate. Oh boy can we.

Carol_Herman said...

If we're having a political earthquake, that's "big" ... then as things shift there's gonna be lots of fear!

You know, Nancy Pelosi had no fear!

Obama, too, just walked into the "doing it stupidly" routine.

And, it's a good thing there are NEWCOMERS to the republican party ... so you see them gaining TRACTION.

somefeller said...

Revenant - I don't disagree with your points, but the main idea that Weigel is pushing is that it makes sense for politicians to take the opportunity to make structural changes when they can and that they won't be electorally punished for them if the economy is going well at re-election time. I just don't see how that is a wrongheaded analysis. Obviously, it's based on an assumption of economic recovery, and if the economy doesn't recover, all bets are off. But if one assumes that it will recover (and I'm not as pessimistic as you are on that), then I'd suspect his observations will pan out.

I'd agree with you that public employee unions are in trouble either way - including for reasons that have less to do with the current economic situation but larger cultural and structural trends. Politically and socially liberal people under 45 who have moved from job to job over their careers are less likely to be supportive of unions that reek of stasis. And that goes double if they live someplace with cruddy public schools and teacher's unions.

garage mahal said...

the smart money is to assume they'll win re-election.

Walker is the low 40s, and Kasich is at 35% currently. I sure as hell wouldn't bet any money on either. Walker will be lucky to make it past 1 year in Wisconsin.

Revenant said...

Democrats don't exist UNLESS unions exist ... and vice versa.

That's just plain silly.

Our system of government trends towards a natural equilibrium where there are two major parties. If one party loses a big chunk of the electorate it changes in order to pry away part of the other party.

If public sector unions collapse the Democratic Party won't collapse -- it'll just have a rough decade or two, like the Democrats did post-Civil War and like the Republicans did post-Depression. Then it will eventually lure voters away from the Republican Party by changing its platform.

somefeller said...

Revenant - don't feed the troll.

edutcher said...

A big problem nobody mentions is that The Zero's nonfeasance in office is beginning to bite him. There are a surprising number of pieces about how Nero has golfed, partied, and gridded his NCAA choices while the Libyan rebels have been slaughtered, Japan has burned and radiated, and the budget battle seems to rate his total indifference.

Rasmussen has his approval index at -22 (20 Strong Approve, 42 Strong Disapprove). Given the rise of inflation and a possible second market crash due to a second dip in housing, the chances of economic recovery and avoidance of a Carteresque foreign policy disaster seem to be dim at the very least.

The union thing will not save him.

Carol_Herman said...

Yup. I, too, am an independent voter. And, I've made some really weird presidential picks.

Heck, back in 1980, I didn't want to vote for Carter. And, I thought Reagan was gonna win. So I voted for John Anderson.

Whom, you might ask?

Does it matter?

I've also told you that I still have my Ross Perot sign. (And, a campaign button.)

In America, you get to have lots of choices. Even when you go out to buy toilet paper.

I'm getting more focused, though, on HOW I vote.

Canuck said...

"Also, if you want to talk about the 2012 presidential election, what's more important than Ohio and Wisconsin?"

Florida

Maguro said...

garage knows that Walker is finished, just like he knew that Walker was going to cave last week. Any predictions for the NCAA tournament, O wise one?

Canuck said...

"Walker is the low 40s, and Kasich is at 35% currently. I sure as hell wouldn't bet any money on either. Walker will be lucky to make it past 1 year in Wisconsin."

yeah - Walker is probably out of there unless the economy improves. But I think he wants to be the Republican VP. He's clearly got his eye on a national position, so I don't think he'd mind being tossed out as long as he gets to be a hero for the base.

Revenant said...

I just don't see how that is a wrongheaded analysis.

What makes it a wrongheaded analysis, in my opinion, is that sympathy for public workers wanes and waxes with the economy. If the economy comes roaring back people will be ready to hear about the mean Republicans being unappreciative to teachers. If the economy still stinks, expect to see Republican attack adds pointing out that public-sector workers are better off than the common folk.

In short, I think the Republicans are in a lot more trouble if the economy improves than they are if it stays bad.

somefeller said...

Revenant - I see your point, but I don't think the issue of public employees unions and the economy are as tightly linked as you do. I can easily see problems for public employee unions regardless of where the economy is, for the reasons I mentioned above. Even in a boom, one can see the problems public employees unions have with others, particularly yuppie parents who want good schools and don't want to have to go private. And if the economy is good in a given year, it tends to be good for all incumbents. Lots of people split their tickets, after all.

garage mahal said...

garage knows that Walker is finished, just like he knew that Walker was going to cave last week.

I said I thought some Republicans would cave. Walker is a sociopath, there no is reasoning with him. But yes I didn't anticipate they would call a vote in 30 minutes after 30 days of saying one thing and then cramming it down completely contradicting their reasoning for it in the first place. There will be several lawsuits, so vote Kloppenberg!

Lgbpop said...

Indeed, the Dems will have a huge problem if things continue to fall apart for them, more so than did the GOP 80 years ago (yeah, boy, 80 years!) or the Dems during Reconstruction. The difference is they are no longer a true national party but a cobbled-together mess of disparate and sometimes conflicting interest groups, only one of which are the union boss types.

What FDR joined together, let leftists tear asunder.

madawaskan said...

Well ask yourselves-

Does Obama really care?

When unemployment was at 10% during the Reagan Administration- Reagan's approval ratings slipped to 35%.

Obama -not so much.

Favorable media coverage makes a difference-as does the fact that he's a Democrat.

I'm going to lift this from a commenter at PW quoting Stanley Kurtz on Obama:

*****

President Obama’s long-term political plan is a replay of Michael Harrington’s socialist realignment strategy. Obama’s goal is to polarize the country along class lines, with Republicans marked out as the aggressors. Harrington’s bet was that, once the have-nots began to act as a unified class, they would naturally gravitate to socialism. What ever the short-term political risks of this strategy, the potential long term gains would be worth it, in Obama’s mind.

If the Republicans take power in the mid-term congressional elections, that only sets up the ultimate battle during the presidential race of 2012. With repeal of health-care reform and the rest of the Obama agenda on the line, the president hopes that a newly energized base of public employee unions, minorities, and the poor will overmatch the coalition of “haves” trying to take their new benefits away. At this point, the relatively dormant le gions of Organizing for America and the vast new government-funded army of AmeriCorps volunteers would spring into action. America’s budding social-democratic movement would come to life.

Ultimately, the success of this strategy depends upon blue-collar workers voting according to what the left considers to be their eco nomic interests, rather than on cultural issues. The hope is that this can be accomplished in a country increasingly polarized along class lines with a newly expansive government allied with labor.
Does this mean Republicans ought to abandon their efforts to repeal and roll back the Obama agenda? Not at all. But it does help explain the political thinking behind the risks the president is taking.


*****

I'm not sure about Stanley Kurtz-I haven't read it but if all the above is true-does it really much matter to Obama if the economy is too bad?

It sets up the situation above described by Stanley Kurtz pretty nicely and the media isn't going to wail on him as if he's a Republican.

Now at some point it might start to matter but Obama the Democrat that the media elected is going to have a greater economic elastic limit to the downside than perhaps any other President.

DADvocate said...

then all bets are off recovery-wise and Obama is toast.

Then he'll be able to concentrate on playing golf without the distraction of budgets, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Japan, unions, all those other things that men of his intellect shouldn't have to concern themselves with.

peter hoh said...

So, am I correct that Pawlenty, Barbour, Romney, Palin, et al didn't speak out for Walker in the past few weeks?

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

The so called "Independents" are the sophisticated political idiots of our age.

With no core values upon which to stand, they quiver with the wind, swaying like wheat, leaning this way or that, depending on which sound bite they heard last, finally to plant their feet firmly on the ground and vote.

For that minute anyway.

Like musical fucking chairs, they voted the last time for the community organizer Obama. America thanks you for that one "independents."

Independents, get your facts straight, find out once and for all just what you believe in and vote like you actually know what you're doing, fer cripes sakes....

madawaskan said...

McDonnell , Kasich, Sandoval, and Daniels.

Come November there will be something else that is the talking point.

The media just hasn't directed your attention to it yet.

The Boob Tube aka The B. F. Skinner Box.

edutcher said...

peter hoh said...

So, am I correct that Pawlenty, Barbour, Romney, Palin, et al didn't speak out for Walker in the past few weeks?

No.

peter hoh said...

NYTNY, does your assessment apply to the blogmistress?

David said...

I don't agree that Walker's reforms will be that hard to reverse. A Democratic majority, bingo!

The Democrats will be back in power some day. If it takes 4-6 years for them to get back control in Madison, maybe the Walker changes will stick. By then perhaps people will see that the world was not coming to an end after all.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Garage-"Walker is a sociopath"

C'mon....

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

peter hoh

I always mean what I say....

PaulV said...

garage, did you miss KOS poll linked earlier, It had Walker above 50% for all WI voters.

David said...

madawaskan said...
Well ask yourselves-

Does Obama really care?


My wife and I listened yesterday as Obama made a statement of sympathy for the Japanese. We both thought that he made it with all the feeling and intensity that we would summon asking if the dog was in for the night.

peter hoh said...

Ultimately, swing states matter more than swing voters.

Swings could happen because enough voters switch, or because people who sat out one election show up to vote in the next election.

Either way, it would seem that local media companies stand to benefit if they are in a competitive state.

PatCA said...

"They're making the same bet Obama did..."

That's a big assumption. Do we know why Obama did what he did? I think he did it to consolidate power in the executive branch. Look at his czars and his GM takeover, the wild spending of TARP and Porkulus.

He did it to acquire power. It's an equally valid assumption. Power is everything to him.

madawaskan said...

David

I had the same feeling. If cool could kill...

*****

peter

Don't be hiding behind Althouse's skirts.

Fight on your own if you are taking something personally...

garage mahal said...

garage, did you miss KOS poll linked earlier, It had Walker above 50% for all WI voters.

I must have. But they only polled Republican held districts under recall.

madawaskan said...

PatCA

Power is everything to him.

I wonder how his ego is keeping him from doing something in Libya.

Anyone see the statement by Lugar? I'm not sure what to make of that. NRO has it.

madawaskan said...

Senator Richard G. Lugar, the Ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement:

On Saturday, March 12, in a consensus decision, the Arab League endorsed a no-fly zone over Libya imposed by Western nations. What was not included in the Arab League’s decision was any commitment to provide resources for the costs of a no-fly zone. Any effective no-fly zone likely would require American participation and military assets. Such an operation could cost American taxpayers millions of dollars, or more, depending on the length of time it was imposed and the depth of American commitment. The United States already incurs billions of dollars in defense costs each year stemming from security requirements in the Persian Gulf region.

Given the costs of a no-fly zone, the risks that our involvement would escalate, the uncertain reception in the Arab street of any American intervention in an Arab country, the potential for civilian deaths, the unpredictability of the endgame, the strains on our military, and other factors, it is doubtful that U.S. interests would be served by imposing a no-fly zone over Libya. If the Obama Administration is contemplating this step, however, it should begin by seeking a declaration of war against Libya that would allow for a full Congressional debate on the issue. In addition, it should ask Arab League governments and other governments advocating for a no-fly zone to pledge resources necessary to pay for such an operation.

This is not unprecedented. More than $50 billion in foreign contributions were received to offset U.S. costs in association with the first Gulf War in 1991. Much of this came from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Finally, given continuing upheaval in the Middle East, we should understand that the situation in Libya may not be the last to generate calls for American military operations. We need a broader public discussion about the goals and limits of the U.S. role in the Middle East, especially as it pertains to potential military intervention.

peter hoh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
peter hoh said...

Madawaskan, no, I'm not taking what NYTNY said personally. I was just wondering if he or she was willing to fully embrace what he or she had written.

There have been times that regular commenters have made sweeping statements about certain kinds of people -- or rather people who share a certain biographical detail -- without seeming to realize that Althouse shared that biographical detail.

Revenant said...

garage knows that Walker is finished, just like he knew that Walker was going to cave last week.

I said I thought some Republicans would cave.

Garage... we know you're lying, and YOU know you're lying, and nobody else gives a rat's ass. So I have to ask you: why?

mrp said...

Sarah Palin has made her views on the events in Madison quite clear and early with a Facebook post dated Feb. 18

Om March 11, she was interviewed on Fox. VIDEO

Revenant said...

Senator Richard G. Lugar, the Ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today issued the following statement:

After reading that statement I kind of want Lugar to be President.

reader_iam said...

Carol Herman: I voted for Anderson and Perot, too. No stickers, though.

Canuck said...

"garage, did you miss KOS poll linked earlier, It had Walker above 50% for all WI voters."

The below quote is from the linked article to this post:

"Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker won his job last November with 52% of the vote, but his popularity has slipped since then.

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Wisconsin Voters finds that just 34% Strongly Approve of the job he is doing, while 48% Strongly Disapprove."

That strongly disapprove is electorally dangerous. The republican govs. in Ohio and Fl are also not polling well. If the economy goes up, then they'll do fine.

But the governors are pissing off a significant number of state residents. This unpopularity might effect the next Presidential election. OH, WI, and Fl will all be critical battleground states.

reader_iam said...

Heh. During the 1992 election, I was still working full time as a journalist. I knew of one other person who was voting Perot. On election night, we'd commiserate during cigarette breaks outside, stolen amidst the hubbub. I learned later that for sure there was one G.H.W.B. voter (in the newsroom, that is: I'm not addressing other departments). Mostly, though, it was all about Clinton, with an occasional supporter for a more leftward-leaning "other" party/write-in candidate.

wv: recop

reader_iam said...

I knew of one other person who was voting Perot.

"In the newsroom" ought to have been at the end of that sentence. I did know of plenty, if not many, in the larger sphere of my life (and even that building).

Phil 3:14 said...

Garage;
Walker is a sociopath, there no is reasoning with him.

I assumed you felt the same way about Nancy Pelosi that past couple of years?

Beldar said...

Prof. A asked (rhetorically): "[I]f you want to talk about the 2012 presidential election, what's more important than Ohio and Wisconsin?"

Based on the 2010 Census, since Ohio has 18 electoral votes and Wisconsin a mere 10, I'd say —

California (55), Texas (38), Florida (29), New York (29), Illinois (20), and Pennsylvania (20) are more important than Ohio.

Georgia (16), Michigan (16), North Carolina (15), Virginia (13), Washington (12), Arizona (11), Massachusetts (11), Indiana (11), and Tennessee (11) are more important than Wisconsin.

And Maryland, Minnesota, and Missouri tie with Wisconsin at 10.

But you knew that, and must have meant "important" in some other sense than the number of electoral college votes.

Who knows, maybe U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) will be the GOP presidential or vice presidential nominee. But that might actually make Wisconsin "less important" if what you were talking about was the likelihood of being a "swing state." In which case, I'd still say that FL is still more important than OH, and several additional swing states are more important than WI.

No, I think under most meanings of "important," this has been a political high water mark for Wisconsin, and while I'm keenly interested in how the various recall efforts fare, and much more interested in how WI's state-wide elections go in 2012 (and whether there's any retribution taken of either side then for what's happened this winter and early spring), I don't see WI as being a real battleground state in 2012.

Phil 3:14 said...

I'm supposed to like Weigel since he theoretically is writing to me, among the great middle. But there's something irritating about his writing.

madawaskan said...

Revenant

I guess I'm just wondering why Lugar felt he should go public with a statement like that.

It's almost as if he's trying to pre-empt something.

madawaskan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

I don't agree that Walker's reforms will be that hard to reverse. A Democratic majority, bingo!

The Democrats will be back in power some day. If it takes 4-6 years for them to get back control in Madison, maybe the Walker changes will stick. By then perhaps people will see that the world was not coming to an end after all
.

Yes, the Democrats are likely to get control back for a bit at some point. After all, keep in mind the federal level, where the Democrats managed to win both houses of Congress and the Presidency for two years, in a center right country. They had a perfect storm going into the 2008 elections, but now have the center right demographics running against them, and esp. since they governed hard left for those two years.

But, one problem for the Democrats is that these government employee union reforms are likely to greatly impact the Democrats ability to get elected. The no-longer mandatory dues will no longer get automatically transferred to the Democrats' campaigns. And, one of the advantages that the Democrats have had over the last couple of years is that they have had a major funding advantage over the Republicans, and much of that money comes from government employee unions. These reforms are going to reduce it, and the more states that jump on board, the less money the Democrats will have. Throw in some clean election legislation (as we are seeing in Ohio), and the Democrats are going to have even a bigger problem.

Plus, the government employee unions provide many of the foot soldiers for the Democrats' campaigns. This has been going on for a long time now - I remember several Presidential campaigns back, when it was pointed out that the largest group of delegates to the DNC convention that time were teachers.

Another problem that the government unions and the Democrats have is that the Democrats, esp. since the election of Obama, have basically taken the screw-everyone-else attitude towards those not working for the government. While the rest of the economy had lower wages and high unemployment, government employment increased, along with government pay and benefits, and, esp. the pay of government union workers.

There are now a large number of people in this country who view government employees, and, in particular, government union employees, as a big part of the problem, and no part of the solution. Their acting out in Madison, etc. has just shown how out of touch they are with the rest of the country. This is fairly unprecedented. I am not talking the libertarian right, but a lot in the middle have moved there since Obama's election. And, with government employee pension obligations continuing to drive the financial problems in most of the states, I don't see this changing very soon.

wv - brawl - what we are seeing here with the government employee unions.

reader_iam said...
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reader_iam said...
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peter hoh said...

Lugar's statement stands in stark contrast to several high-profile calls for the president to take action in Libya. Yesterday, John Bolton put out a piece arguing for a no-fly zone, while acknowledging that it would probably have to turn into a no-drive zone in order to succeed.

reader_iam said...

One. more. time:

Re: Lugar.
See: History (his in particular, but also more generally)

A cautious man, who while he's been wrong about various things has also been right about various things.

And he's also practical about the whole "we -can't -actually -go -and -be-everywhere -and -we-don't-yet-know-*which*-where-is -most-critical [mumble unintended consequences watch out mumble conserve {added: military} resources mumble mumble]" thing.

Which, in my book, makes him right in this instance, under these circumstances, in these times, so far, for now.

So there.

---

Sorry for the odd spaces, given intent and punctution. I'm thinking it's the only way to get this damn comment through in its entirety.

My having to delete this one will mean: "Oh, what the hell. I give up. What-evah."

Bruce Hayden said...

Based on the 2010 Census, since Ohio has 18 electoral votes and Wisconsin a mere 10, I'd say —

California (55), Texas (38), Florida (29), New York (29), Illinois (20), and Pennsylvania (20) are more important than Ohio
.

Ok, then which way are those states going to vote in the next Presidential election? CA, NY, and IL are pretty well locked Democrat, unless there is a landslide. TX is locked Republican, and FL is likely. I haven't been watching PA that much, but until at least recently, I think that they have tended blue.

Ohio though tends to be a battle ground state, and WI somewhat - I seem to remember a lot of voting irregularities (along with NM) in 2000 in WI that became moot when Bush won FL. And OH was the state that could have flipped it for Kerry (though, in the end, Bush's margin was notably higher there than some of Kerry's margin).

Point is that not all states are equal when it comes to elections. Some are less important, since one party or the other is notably dominant. And others are less important because of their size.

Another reason that these states have outsized importance here is that they are currently moving from government union friendly to unfriendly. I don't think that even Cuomo (II) can get rid of the rubber rooms where NY teachers hang out and get paid, when they are not allowed in class rooms, at least until they join union management, where they can get paid by the state even more, without having to teach. And, Gov. Moonbeam is unlikely to renege on government unionization, when he was the one to give his employees that power the last time he was governor.

reader_iam said...

Sweet sheesh. From a technical standpoint, trying to get comments posted through here lately can be sorta like a dry hump when the damn doorbell keeps ringing.

Barely worth the effort.

madawaskan said...

reader_iam

My eyes! As to your last comment-the doorknobs and what not....

****

peter and reader thanks for your thoughts on the subject.

I missed the Bolton article...

I might have read too much into what Lugar was/is doing ....

madawaskan said...

Oh wait my dyslexia flared and I totally miss read that....I thought you were complaining about dry humping the doorknobs---wow.

LOL!

Your handle reader_iam really screws me up.

reader_iam said...

The so called "Independents" are the sophisticated political idiots of our age.

I do have core values, and I didn't vote for Obama.

Screw you and your lacking in the core values of not-having-your-head-up-your-ass and not-letting-partisanship-drain-brain-cells-from-your brain , you lazy, lockstep, undeserving-of-being-called-conservative ass or anything else that might, at least every once in a while, require some semblance of an ounce of actual intellectual integrity.

Good God, you're boring. And you do that as performance art, of all things!

Hella choice, is all I can say. Hella choice.

reader_iam said...

But do keep bringing it on, you and your ilk, by all means, on account of it being oh-so-convincing and all.

reader_iam said...

Gee. This is fun. And I can do it and keep my core values, too! A little bit of this, a whole lot of of other things.

Food for thought, food for thought.

reader_iam said...

I'd say the so-called mushy, core-lacking middle has to punch back *thrice* as hard, except that the people there don't. The twice-as-hard might well apply, to be sure. That's a nothing-to-lose , might-as-well-try sorta thing.

But the third punch is inherent. It's called "a vote," aka "swing." Yes, I know. You hate that. Who cares.

Keep dissin' and insultin', you wiser--that is, purer--ones on both sides. That tactic used to work, I suppose, kinda, sorta, maybe. Do you really think it's working well now, and that it's going to play well going forward? Do you think so, **really**?

Jon said...

Canuck said: "A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Wisconsin Voters finds that just 34% Strongly Approve of the job he is doing, while 48% Strongly Disapprove."

That poll is from March 4.

Canuck said...

"I'm supposed to like Weigel since he theoretically is writing to me, among the great middle. But there's something irritating about his writing."

I'm not sure, but I think Weigel identifies as somewhat libertarian, which isn't middle so much as, well, libertarian. And Weigel is pretty opinionated -- not really a David Brooks kind of personality.

AllenS said...

I'm not sure, but I think Weigel identifies as somewhat libertarian, which isn't middle so much as, well, libertarian.

Have you heard about Journolist? If so, does that group of people, to you, consist of any independents?

MarkW said...

How is the elimination of some (but not all) issues from public union bargaining a hard to reverse structural change? With Obamacare, once the entire health care system has been massively altered, it would be a tough slog to go back and recreate what used to be there. But in this case, it's just a matter of undoing the change in the law. The only hurdle is retaking majority control in the capitol (or, possibly, electing one state supreme court judge who will vote to toss out the new law before it goes into effect).

Just Lurking said...

Screw you and your lacking in the core values of not-having-your-head-up-your-ass and not-letting-partisanship-drain-brain-cells-from-your brain , you lazy, lockstep, undeserving-of-being-called-conservative ass or anything else that might, at least every once in a while, require some semblance of an ounce of actual intellectual integrity.

LOL! You go girl.

Another lifelong independent thinker here, who is against public sector unions (because they create an adversarial relationship between tax-payers and public servants), and did not vote for Obama.

My core values are not reflected completely by either of the two major parties, seeing as I am more liberal on social issues, and more conservative on economic ones. Neither side would welcome me with open arms.

But these days I find that the Dem party and Liberals are far less open to accepting those who do not agree 100% with their groupthink. There is more variety of opinion on the right-leaning side.

From my point of view, the Democrats have embraced far-left ideology as their platform, and have smugly said "fuck you" to everyone else. I say "fuck you" right back, and have stopped voting for them.

Roger J. said...

The navel gazing is indeed fun--too early to be talking about what will happen--we will see when the only polls that count are in the ballot box

My personal preference would be for Mr Obama to win relection but with a strong republican congress--gridlock is a wonderful thing if I think that the government is the problem.

Comrade X said...

interestingly Weigel also did exactly what Obama did, pretending to be far less leftist than he actually was.

AllenS said...

We are at a point with our current deficit/debt that gridlock should not be the best case scenario. It is time to solve this financial crises. I'm afraid that gridlock will only postpone a time when any effort to get our financial house in order will be only more painful. I wish everybody would at least agree that something has to be done, but I'm not seeing it.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

reader_iam

I said:"With no core values upon which to stand, they quiver with the wind, swaying like wheat, leaning this way or that, depending on which sound bite they heard last, finally to plant their feet firmly on the ground and vote."

From what you say this above doesn't apply to you. If that's the case, what is it that is bending you out of shape?

What I said applies to the great swath of independents that allow themselves to be swayed by a quip, a winning smile or the last sound bite that crossed their ears.

If that's not you, why are you feeling a sting here?

wordsmith2 said...

Mark W: You posed a good question, "How is the elimination of some (but not all) issues from public union bargaining a hard to reverse structural change?" My optimistic answer is that permitting public-sector workers to vote annually on whether or not to remain in the union (initial votes to be taken next month) and to force the unions to collect dues on an individual basis may reduce union membership long-term. Those rank-and-file who have never cared for the union will no longer be compelled to join the union, and their paychecks will increase by a significant amount each pay period. They may not wish to go back.

Trooper York said...

"garage mahal said.....
Walker is a sociopath, there no is reasoning with him."

Really? Seriously?

You are a sociopath if you want to stop the stranglehold that public employees unions have over bankrupt state budgets?

You need to rethink that one a little buddy.

Trooper York said...

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...
If that's not you, why are you feeling a sting here?"

Well it's not so much a sting as a bit of an itch which you can get from excessive dry humping.

Trooper York said...

You know I always thought dry humping is what English people or Waspy people do as they toss back dry bon motts as they are humping.

"I say my dear you are quite lively tonight."
"Thank you Cyril I must say you are guite vigerous as well."
"Oh Cyril..quite..quite...quITE..QUITE....QQQQQQQQUUUUUUIIIIITTTTTTEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

Canuck said...

"Have you heard about Journolist? If so, does that group of people, to you, consist of any independents?"

Didn't follow it that closely & I haven't researched the people on that list.

Independents are individuals who are not identified with a single political party. In the U.S., people tend to define independents as people who don't uniformly vote R or D.

Independents, libertarians, and "the middle" are are all different political idenfitications. In my opinion, these categories may overlap, but these definitions are not interchangeable.

I thought I read somewhere that Weigle is influenced by economic libertarianism, but I can't remember if this is accurate.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...

Trooper, you never fail to brighten my day, never!

Trooper York said...

Sorry but I saw Mary Poppins on Broadway and I was already thinking that English people having sex would be some real "dry humping."

Trooper York said...

That was last night by the way. It was a good show. The first act was a little slow but it picked up a lot in the second act and the arial stuff where she flew over the audience was great.

Take your kids and grandkids.

NotYourTypicalNewYorker said...
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