May 31, 2012

Live-blogging the Scott Walker/Tom Barrett Wisconsin recall debate.

8:40 Central Time: We're set to begin in 20 minutes. You can stream it here. Hang out here in the comments.

8:53: Wisconsin polysci prof John Coleman has some excellent, detailed graphs of the polling.

9:00: They're at Marquette Law School, and the moderator is Mike Gousha. It's a bright, banked classroom, and the candidates are sitting together at a table. No lecterns. No opening statements, and the candidates can talk to each other.

9:03: Question 1: What's at stake in the recall? Walker (who won the coin toss) says it's whether a politician can be decisive. Barrett says it's "the future of this state," then switches to some of his buzzwords: "rock star" (Walker is one) and Tea Party (what Walker wants to impose on us).

9:05: Gousha asks about Walker's "divide and conquer" remark. Walker says it had to do with breaking up the power of the special interests and returning the power to the people. Barrett says "you wanted to pit people against each other... you wanted to use a crisis to divide and conquer... you say you're 'going to drop the bomb.'"

9:11: This is a great format with the men sitting side by side. Barrett — a larger man — leans toward the governor and speaks with urgency and stress. Walker seems more relaxed. He's earnest, gesturing and explaining. Walker's theme is: the taxpayers.

9:15: Barrett calls Walker "the poster boy of the Tea Party." He insists Walker would sign a right-to-work law, which Walker — who won't vow to veto it — says will never arrive on his desk. Barrett is speaking very fast. They're arguing about labor statistics now and Barrett, who's relying on old estimates as opposed to the actual, verified numbers, is turning bright red.

9:21: Gousha challenges Barrett to say something specific what he would do to increase economic development. Barrett complains about Walker's tax cuts. I really don't think Barrett has any material on this, the most important issue to people. Gousha ultimately lets him get away with talking about education.

9:28: Walker says "The mayor has a moral obligation" to tell us what his budget reform plan is. (He's never done it.) Barrett says a lot of nonresponsive words. Walker, smiling, and finally doing an expansive gesture, says: "Just to be clear, so everybody's clear here: The Mayor doesn't have a plan, so all he's got is to attack me. That's what, you just heard here. The Mayor did not answer the question, because he doesn't have an answer." Barrett acts like now he will, but he does the same thing again: complaining about what Walker did and saying he'll sit down and talk to people.

9:35: Barrett keeps calling Walker "Scott," while Walker invariably calls Barrett "the Mayor."

9:39: Gousha brings up the John Doe investigation, and Barrett lashes into Walker for his lack of integrity. Walker brings up the misleading numbers about crime in Milwaukee, and Barrett does a how-dare-you-question-my-integrity routine. Which is it? Must we assume integrity, or can integrity be attacked?

9:47: Barrett says that Walker — in the name of attacking Barrett's record — has been trying to make people afraid of Milwaukee. Walker says he loves Milwaukee... and brings up Barrett's 2-mile trolley.

9:52: Barrett is agitated about all the Scott Walker commercials that are "ripping my face off."

9:54: Walker warns that if he loses, we're going to have "ping-pong recall" — one recall after another. People "are sick of" the recalls.

9:58: Closing statements. Barrett has no intention to be a "rock star," but he will be "rock solid." It's an election about trust. He'll restore "Wisconsin values." Walker touts his "courage" in taking on "the tough challenges." He's about moving forward and the future... for the next generation.

10:05: I think the highlight was when Walker said "Just to be clear, so everybody's clear here: The Mayor doesn't have a plan, so all he's got is to attack me." And beyond that, Barrett simply hasn't established that a recall is justified. Walker defended what he's done, made the usual claim that his reforms are working, and stood his ground. What more is there to say? Maybe that Barrett was disrespectful. Isn't it obvious that he should call Walker "the Governor"?

IN THE COMMENTS: Jon Burack said:
I paid almost no attention to the substance of what they said (why would anyone?). I watched body language. What struck me most was the imperious yet at the same time perplexed look Barrett directed at Walker almost constantly. A combination of ridiculous pomposity and pathetic passivity. Amazing he could pull off such a combo. A talent of sorts, I guess -- for doing himself in. Walker looked relaxed and human and never once reciprocated with any form of rudeness such as he was getting.
And Walter quotes me saying "Barrett is agitated about all the Scott Walker commercials that are 'ripping my face off'" and adds "That is totally insensitive to those in the news lately truly ripping and chewing off faces."

134 comments:

A. Shmendrik said...

Barrett will swing for the fences, Walker will be reserved, and will not take the bait. He'll look like a Governor who belongs there. End of story. Bada bing, bada boom. Walker by 8 pct. next Tuesday.

edutcher said...

I hear the Demos are planning to unleash Willie to help the union slugs. If memory serves, his endorsement record is as bad as Choom's.

Maybe he can bring his new girlfriends, the porn stars.

Robert said...

Think Walker will mention the Providence settlement tonite?

Michael The Magnificent said...

Rock star of the far right. Drink!

chickelit said...

Very salt and pepper contrast in hair.

chickelit said...

FDR? Public Unions?

Jason (the commenter) said...

Walker wanted to use a crisis, so the Democrats left the state and gave it to him?

D. said...

"you wanted to use a crisis to do that" drink

roesch/voltaire said...

Teachers and firefighter are the special interests Walker stands up to? And of course they are not hard working tax payers like the rest of us.

chickelit said...

Permanent change?

Robert said...

"For the umpteenth time tonite, no, I cannot pinpoint a single detriment to any school system that has resulted from Act 10."

(drink)

Jason (the commenter) said...

Having them sit so close makes Barrett look even more pushy. Feeds right into Walker's argument that "people are attacking me".

D. said...

rock star - drink

Michael The Magnificent said...

These captchas are getting too difficult for a human to read.

Fen said...

Does Barrett have anything to offer other than bumper sticker slogans?

Robert said...

Maybe Barrett will walk over to Walker, pull out a stack of folded paper, and ask him to sign a pledge.

BJK said...

How does Barrett not know that the BLS certified the jobs numbers today?

John Cunningham said...

Lefty stooge says-
Teachers and firefighter are the special interests Walker stands up to? And of course they are not hard working tax payers like the rest of us.

Correcto!! overpaid teachers who get loaded benefits all paid by taxpayers are not hard-working, with 3.5 months off yearly. ditto for firefighters. FDR and George Meany had the right idea, public employee unions are an absurdity, they are entirely a looting of the treasury.

Patrick said...

No

jeff said...

"and Tea Party (what Walker wants to impose on us)."

What? He wants Wisconsin to adhere to its state constitution and not waste tax money??? Throw that son of a bitch out of office!!!

EMD said...

I wish Barrett would be asked about specifics he would employ to run the state the "right"way.

chickelit said...

Does Barrett think HSA tax exemption is a tax break for the wealthy? Idiot!

It's a tax break for non-Union workers.

chickelit said...

What about people who get educations in Wisconsin but have to leave to get jobs?

*looks in mirror*

roesch/voltaire said...

Interesting that Madison, one of the better school districts in the state had not been able to reduce class sizes, and has had to cut down on various TAG programs to help gifted and talented for example, according to an retiring principal Colleem :Lodholz

chickelit said...

25 feet!

Jason (the commenter) said...

It's telling that Barrett thinks computers, like rock stars, are ominous and scary.

Fen said...

I wish Barrett would be asked about specifics he would employ to run the state the "right" way.

Why bother asking? Barret will only spout some "move forward into the future" bullshit slogan.

I feel sorry for his staff. They had to come up with this crap. Its like they plaigarized from the Occupy morons.

marylynn said...

What an ass this Gousha is. Barrett is an idiot, and Gousha keeps trying to help him. Scott is showing great restraint, i would have slapped Barrett by now.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Barrett: "This city is where most people of color reside"

What, are there like three?

SDN said...

"one of the better school districts in the state"

By what criteria? and whose? Hint: criteria from the WEA aren't exactly an unbiased standard.

W.C. Varones said...

edutcher,

I don't think Slick Willie is a big one for lost causes.

I'd be real surprised if he showed up.

Petunia said...

Madison's public schools aren't all that great, and they pushed through a teachers' contract ahead of Act 10. The head of the Madison teacher's union is a complete ass who's been there waaaaay too long, and 70% of the MPS teachers walked out during the protests, closing the schools for four days and leaving thousands of parents scrambling to find child care

walter said...

"Teachers and firefighter are the special interests Walker stands up to?"

Only to the extent that they participate in the labor/management perversion of public sector unions.


"Interesting that Madison, one of the better school districts in the state had not been able to reduce class sizes, and has had to cut down on various TAG programs to help gifted and talented for example, according to an retiring principal Colleem :Lodholz"


You mean districts that pushed through union contracts while fleebaggers stalled in Rockford?

Curious George said...

"Walker says "The mayor has a moral obligation" to tell us what his budget reform plan is. (He's never done it.) Barrett says a lot of nonresponsive words. Walker, smiling, and finally doing an expansive gesture, says: "Just to be clear, so everybody's clear here: The Mayor doesn't have a plan, so all he's got is attack me. That's what, you just heard here."

Barrett responds "Ok, Ill tell you what I would do!" and the first thing out of this halftards mouth is "I wouldn't blah blah blah".

walter said...

Someone give Barrette a leather jacket, a tambourine and let him into a band.

"You've gotta fight for the Right...T-Paarrrrrr-ty!!"

Curious George said...

"roesch/voltaire said...
Teachers and firefighter are the special interests Walker stands up to? And of course they are not hard working tax payers like the rest of us." Please, as someone sucking off the public tit, do not include yourself with me as part of "the rest of us".

"roesch/voltaire said...
Interesting that Madison, one of the better school districts in the state had not been able to reduce class sizes, and has had to cut down on various TAG programs to help gifted and talented for example, according to an retiring principal Colleem :Lodholz"

Please tell me you don't teach English.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

I feel embarrassed for Barrett. Our local candidates for village board come across as more knowledgeable and capable than this turd.

marylynn said...

LOL Walter

edutcher said...

W.C. Varones said...

edutcher,

I don't think Slick Willie is a big one for lost causes.

I'd be real surprised if he showed up.


Scheduled by the DNC; besides, Willie can't resist a microphone, or an audience.

ricpic said...

Standard debate between a Dem and a Republican: Dems throws poo at Republican and Republican appeals to getting along and working together. Barrett keeps calling Walker "hard right or extreme right" and Walker refuses to tell Barrett where he can shove it. Maybe this appeals to all the nice squishes in Wisconsin but it angers me. Where's Walker's backbone?

walter said...

The band's name should be Baretta.

"Barrett is agitated about all the Scott Walker commercials that are "ripping my face off."

That is totally insensitive to those in the news lately truly ripping and chewing off faces.

I really thought "Tom" would pull out the stops and promise a trolley stop in every yard. I guess that would be offering too much of a specific.

Simon said...

Mike Gousha was on a panel with Althouse a couple of years back, IIRC, at the 7th Circuit Bar Association annual meeting.

Simon said...

I visited Marquette for that conference, by the by; lovely city is Milwaukee.

Titus said...

What a horrible state.

Wisconsin, America's dairyland and infinite recalls.

Titus said...

Simon, Milwaukee is not lovely. You need to get out more.

Milwaukee is a fucking dump.

Nomadic100 said...

To ricpic:

Walker gave ample evidence of his backbone during the mayhem over a year ago. He could have caved then but he didn't. He has nothing to prove on that score!

Jon Burack said...

I paid almost no attention to the substance of what they said (why would anyone?). I watched body language. What struck me most was the imperious yet at the same time perplexed look Barrett directed at Walker almost constantly. A combination of ridiculous pomposity and pathetic passivity. Amazing he could pull off such a combo. A talent of sorts, I guess -- for doing himself in. Walker looked relaxed and human and never once reciprocated with any form of rudness such as he was getting.

roesch/voltaire said...

Interesting the WISN poll on who won the debate puts Barrett over Walker by 56% to 44%, I think they know enough about how old Dead Eyes works and his relationship to the John Doe investigation to be catching on to Walker's unethical behavior.

Synova said...

"Interesting that Madison, one of the better school districts in the state had not been able to reduce class sizes, and has had to cut down on various TAG programs to help gifted and talented for example, according to an retiring principal Colleem :Lodholz"

I don't trust the statement "not been able to reduce class sizes."

What it really means is that they chose not to reduce class sizes.

Now, maybe the decisions made were the right ones, but the budget is the budget and choices are made and if reducing class sizes was the most important thing, then it would happen. Did they shut down the swim team and close the pool?

Titus said...

I would do Walker. He dyes his hair though. I would like him to go more natural on the hair. I call one of my guy friend's who name is Tony Tonnette-what a coinky dinky.

Tonnette.

Jason said...

If Barrett was unhappy about "getting his face ripped off" in ads, perhaps he would, you know, run his city better.

I didnt see Walker complain about "getting his face ripped off" when people were marching outside the capitol with his head in crosshairs, or dressed as a Nazi. Or people driving by his house honking their horns and flipping him the bird. He just calmly went about his business.

The reason the left is so perturbed, along with the facing the reality of losing, is that they have poked and prodded Walker for over a year now, just hoping he would snap, lose his temper, and become irrational. He hasnt. He's stayed stoic, on point, on message, and quite clear with his remarks.

Walker's campaign has been nothing short of fantastic. And the little fact that his reforms have worked has certainly helped, too.

Tom wont have to get his face ripped off in ads too much longer. In a few days, he can retire back to his beautiful city of Milwaukee and help direct the next few millions of gallons of sewage be dumped into Lake Michigan.

Nomadic100 said...

Re: comments of Jon Burack

I didn't watch the debate at all, but just checked in on Ann's liveblogging from time to time, as well as comments.

It is evident that Walker has 10-15 I.Q. points over Barrett,if not more. Not that I.Q. is everything, but it is far more than nothing.

Jason said...

Interesting the WISN poll on who won the debate puts Barrett over Walker by 56% to 44%

I love how poll numbers matter to libs when they are winning them. But when the are behind in them, they are discredited as flawed.

Methadras said...

roesch/voltaire said...

Teachers and firefighter are the special interests Walker stands up to? And of course they are not hard working tax payers like the rest of us.


They are in essence tax siphons since they basically have been able to ride rough shod over the private sector with their union goons glad handing millions into democrat coffers without any representation for the tax payer in those negotiations. So, then I ask you, who is the net loser here? Also, I haven't heard of any layoffs from either firefighters or from teachers in Wisconsin or did I miss something? So what is your point again? Because the reality distortion fields you and your unfathomably stupid ilk tend to generate either appear to make you appear like you don't know what your talking about or that you are lying. I'll take both for 3000 alex.

Methadras said...

Fen said...

Does Barrett have anything to offer other than bumper sticker slogans?


Of course not. Leftards only have to serve base platitudes, pleas, and sloganeering to make them appear as if they have the high ground. Well from an ants point of view anyway.

XRay said...

"... besides, Willie can't resist a microphone, or an audience."

Or soft smooth lips around his dick. His first priority I'd guess. NTTIAWWT.

MadisonMan said...

Walker warns that if he loses, we're going to have "ping-pong recall" — one recall after another.

I disagree. I think the state is tired of recalls.

The head of the Madison teacher's union is a complete ass

I agree.

I'm not sure how any of the Union Heads can keep their jobs -- look how the public respect for teachers and the Union has plummeted during their tenure. Why doesn't someone run against them and point out how they've driven the bus off the cliff?

alan markus said...

Interesting the WISN poll on who won the debate puts Barrett over Walker by 56% to 44%

Gee, with that I imagine a lot of people over at InTrade will get a haircut on those shares they bought at 90.+.

elkh1 said...

What are "Wisconsin values"?

The values of outsized salaries, vacations, insurances, pensions from the grateful Taxpayers to their public "servants".

Simon said...

Titus said...
"Simon, Milwaukee is not lovely. You need to get out more. Milwaukee is a fucking dump."

Well, it's a big city, and of course any city bigger than, say, Peoria, is going to have a very high probability of sucking. But for a big city, it was nice.

Nora said...

It seems that while Barret had slogans Walker had the goods

Unknown said...

I grew up in Milwaukee back in the 60's and 70's. It was nice then....not so nice now.

walter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
walter said...

"It is evident that Walker has 10-15 I.Q. points over Barrett"

But Barretta will effin' Rawwk!

First single: "Trust"

Ann Althouse said...

"Standard debate between a Dem and a Republican: Dems throws poo at Republican and Republican appeals to getting along and working together. Barrett keeps calling Walker "hard right or extreme right" and Walker refuses to tell Barrett where he can shove it. Maybe this appeals to all the nice squishes in Wisconsin but it angers me. Where's Walker's backbone?"

No, working together is something Barrett talked about. Repeatedly. Walker talked about his courage in making decisions and getting things done that have worked. He did not say let's work together. He said: I represent the taxpayers and I will do what's right for them (and not the special interests). That was very consistent.

walter said...

But Ann, the guy's Hitler ®!

Seven Machos said...

It is evident that Walker has 10-15 I.Q. points over Barrett

It's hilarious that you can draw such a conclusion about a fictive thing by watching a screen. Are you a Sagittarius? You must be.

MadisonMan said...

"one of the better school districts in the state"

By what criteria?

Number of Merit Scholars?

I'm curious what criteria you would use.

Seven Machos said...

On an actually political note, I find it interesting that Wisconsin led the way in the last round of social reform we had in this country -- bringing about much-needed programs -- and Wisconsin is leading the way with Walker and that guy in the House again when we in desperate need of such reform again.

Good for you, Wisconsin.

But do you think the Luddites and reactionaries of your state had to be dragged kicking and screaming last time, too?

Chip S. said...

roesch/voltaire said...
Interesting the WISN poll on who won the debate puts Barrett over Walker by 56% to 44%

How strange that WISN doesn't have these numbers anywhere on its website. You'd think they'd be proud as can be of their remarkable ability to conduct a randomized poll and tabulate the results so incredibly quickly.

Or maybe...just maybe..these results are from some stupid phone-in "poll" dominated by a union phone bank.

Nah, couldn't be that. A distinguished academic like r/v would never be confused on such a simple distinction. Nor would he be so dishonest as to knowingly misrepresent facts.

Would he?

sbr said...

On an actually political note, I find it interesting that Wisconsin led the way in the last round of social reform we had in this country -- bringing about much-needed programs -- and Wisconsin is leading the way with Walker and that guy in the House again when we in desperate need of such reform again.

You mean welfare reform, right? Of course, this time we're making up for leading the way on reforming the mess we originally led on in allowing public employee unions. AFSCME was founded and still headquartered in Madison, unfortunately.

Seven Machos said...

Is Carnifex a Moby?

Meade said...

Simon said...
"Well, it's a big city, and of course any city bigger than, say, Peoria, is going to have a very high probability of sucking. But for a big city, it was nice."

I've very much enjoyed my visits to Milwaukee.

Seven Machos said...

sbr -- No, I mean the Wisconsin Idea pushed by the Progressives at the turn of the century, when there was no safety net and labor unions actually helped poor working people achieve better working conditions instead of stifling entrepreneurship and innovation and funding lavish pensions for middle class dullards.

Carnifex said...

pardon my french..it's been a rough week.

Meade said...

Seven Machos said...
"On an actually political note, I find it interesting that Wisconsin led the way in the last round of social reform we had in this country -- bringing about much-needed programs -- and Wisconsin is leading the way with Walker and that guy in the House again when we in desperate need of such reform again."

Great observation, Sevens.
"That guy in the House" = Paul Ryan

Chip S. said...

I dunno. But it's a terrible band.

KC said...

Am I the only one who found the other "highlight" to be Barrett bringing up the image of a dead baby? It came up somewhat out of the blue as if Barrett was intending his point to go in a different direction but lost it. Why would you want voters thinking of dead babies...

Seven Machos said...

Paul Ryan. Thank you, Meade!

Carnifex said...

I'm white, fat, like to swim, AND I am a mammal...;-)

walter said...

"Shut up about Bush did it. Who cares! Bush lost his job for that reason retard,"

Actually, he was kinda "term limited."

Seven Machos said...

I like Carnifex. He's spirited, though we disagree some. But that comment came off a little crazy-eyed.

walter said...

"Barrett bringing up the image of a dead baby?"

That's awesome for rawwkk bands like Barretta.

sbr said...

sbr -- No, I mean the Wisconsin Idea pushed by the Progressives at the turn of the century, when there was no safety net and labor unions actually helped poor working people achieve better working conditions instead of stifling entrepreneurship and innovation and funding lavish pensions for middle class dullards.

We Wisconsinites have done a few things right...recently we have lead on some of the conservative pushback on the excesses of the Progressive ideals our state originally lead on. Welfare reform in the 90s was based in large part on reforms put in place by Republican Governor Walker. Besides Paul Ryan leading on budget issues in the House, we have the GOP chair, Governor Walker leading on state issues like Thompson before.

My point was on the need to undo some of the excesses that we unfortunately also lead on. Agreed on the good things this movement originally did achieve. The Progressives just didn't know where to stop. Madison is ridiculously liberal where the two main parties in the city are the Democrats and the Progressive Danes (for those who aren't 'capitalist corporate sellout Democrats' /sarc). It does feel good to see some of leftist excesses reigned in.

Seven Machos said...

So now I am reading about the Wisconsin Idea and it turns out you cheeseheads were responsible for the direct election of United States senators.

I'm tempted to take it all back. But I suppose they can't all be jewels.

AJ Lynch said...

Govt has gone wild fiscally and governors like Walker have to fix it. Here in Philly, the total compensation for the average transit system employee [SEPTA] has increased from $75,000 to $90,000 in the last four years.

Even an innumerate imbecile should understand that is unsustainable.

Seven Machos said...

The Progressives just didn't know where to stop.

Agreed and seconded. But that's a problem with any movement. That's the human condition.

Chip S. said...

now I am reading about the Wisconsin Idea

That term conjures up an image of a bunch of geezers sitting at some dive bar reminiscing about that one time they had an idea, way back in the day.

sbr said...

AJ Lynch said...
Govt has gone wild fiscally and governors like Walker have to fix it. Here in Philly, the total compensation for the average transit system employee [SEPTA] has increased from $75,000 to $90,000 in the last four years.

Even an innumerate imbecile should understand that is unsustainable.


And Madison's highest paid public employee is a bus driver. Seriously--paid more than the mayor.

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt_and_politics/article_24af32d4-13f4-11df-86b2-001cc4c002e0.html

bagoh20 said...

" The Mayor doesn't have a plan,"

Oh bullshit! He said he intends to NOT be a rock star. That's an incredibly selfless sacrifice just to save a bunch of ungrateful cheeseheads. I think he's just the guy to pull it off too. He's the kind of guy that can say no to a groupie, and mean it. I like that.

B said...

"Barrett keeps calling Walker "Scott," while Walker invariably calls Barrett "the Mayor.""

The first time I saw that sort of calculated discourtesy for the occupant of an office you were pursuing was when Bill Clinton debated George Bush senior in 1991 and throughout the campaign. Bush invariably addressed Clinton as 'Governor' or spoke of him as 'Governor Clinton', while Clinton consistently addressed Bush not as 'Mr President' as I would have expected, but as just 'Bush'. Not by first name (I'll spot Barret that much), but just 'Bush'. It went on throughout the campaign.

I'd never seen that in presidential debates or campaigns before and it'll always stick with me. The sense that Clinton would casually disrespect the office whenever he saw an advantage in doing so. Now it may be that Clinton did not say 'Bush' every time. But he did so consistently and with emphasis.

I made a point of looking for it 4 years later. Bob Dole invariably addressed Bill Clinton as 'Mr President' directly in debates and as 'President Clinton' on the campaign trail. Bill Clinton, the relative importance of titles now favoring him, now addressed his opponent as 'Senator' in the debates and as 'Senator Dole' on the campaign trail.

Once again in 2004, from one side of the was 'Senator' or 'Senator Kerry' - never Kerry - and from the other usually 'Bush' or 'George Bush'. Seldom 'President Bush'.

I also do not recall the second President Bush ever referring to his predecessor as anything other than President Clinton while Barack Obama quite often refers to his predecessor as 'Bush'.

It's a class thing.

walter said...

"an image of a bunch of geezers sitting at some dive bar reminiscing about that one time they had an idea, way back in the day."

Yep. And that is the paradox between Wisco envisioned "progressive" vs "regressive".

The reflexive iteration of the "progressive ideal" restricts evaluation of the ideal in obedience to a misguided tradition.

yashu said...

I like Carnifex. He's spirited, though we disagree some. But that comment came off a little crazy-eyed.

Heh, sounded to me like someone who's enjoyed maybe just a finger too much Kentucky bourbon. (A vice I approve of and have been known to engage in myself on occasion... before commenting at Althouse, too.)

JAL said...

Just to be clear here -- one the news in my corner of NC it was reported that a business (Plastipak?) is closing.

And relocating in WISCONSIN.

Should I hate Walker?

No -- youse guys up there need to ask what you did to get a plant to leave a lovely right-to-work state and move into the bitterly cold land of cheeseheads.

JAL said...

And don't forget. This special election comign up?e Means nothing. Absolutely nothing. About anyone who is running for President of the United States of America.

Nothing.

No one.

It is about nothing and no one knows *why* it ever came about.

Down the memory hole.

walter said...

"what you did to get a plant to leave a lovely right-to-work state and move into the bitterly cold land of cheeseheads."

Ok..not clear on this..but what Do YOU think tipped the balance? Tenacious battle via Barretta, the band?

walter said...

C'mon Roach Voltaire, no further comment? Asleeep?

bagoh20 said...

These wanna be leaders chose to have no discussion at all of the most heinous, crime ridden place in Wisconsin. A small area where multiple murders, face ripping, and treachery against innocents occurs daily in front of everyone's eyes, and nothing is done about it: Hawkcam.

section9 said...

So now I am reading about the Wisconsin Idea and it turns out you cheeseheads were responsible for the direct election of United States senators.

I'm tempted to take it all back. But I suppose they can't all be jewels.


The reason why we HAVE direct election of Senators in the first place is that that previous system became the fabulously corrupt plaything of the Railroad Trusts, the Banks, and the Standard Oil Trust.

Once in a great while, you'd get a guy like Daniel Webster, but nine times out of ten, you'd get racist klanner hacks like Andrew Johnson who were just order takers for the Injun Killers. Poor Abe Lincoln won the popular vote in 1858, but the legislature decided that they didn't quite cotton to Honest Abe and sent Stephen Douglas to the Senate (where he did good service as a War Democrat).

How Theodore Roosevelt got the Sherman Act passed still mystifies me.

I don't like direct election of Senators either. It makes the Senate a jumped up version of the House. But the old system did NOT give us the likes of Pericles.

Seven Machos said...

section -- You make a fine, fine argument.

Nomadic100 said...

B - you're dead on!

section9 said...

By the way, I think I have a solution for Wisconsin's present politics of division, corruption, and partisan billingsgate.

And an END to the vicious cycle of recalls and angry television commercials:

Governor Ann Althouse!

Who's with me?

Well, it was just a thought....

Seven Machos said...

I don't think B is dead on. I think his/her analysis is trenchant but the conclusion I draw is that what you call your opponent in a high-stakes political debate is a very calculated thing that people spend a lot of time thinking about based on the way they think voters will react.

My favorite debate memory, by the way, is 1992. It was Clinton v. H.W. Bush. (This was before I stopped watching debates, and long before my admiration of Bill Clinton; I was very invested in Bush.) Bush had this tic where he would immediately start yammering an answer to a question. Clinton and his people must have picked up on that, because Clinton would do this ever-so-slightly elongated pause before answering any question. It was like he was counting in his head, "one one thousand, two one thousand.) It drove me crazy because it was obviously a fraud and yet it so obviously worked. It was brilliant.

Chip S. said...

In case anybody thought roesch/voltaire was reporting actual poll results, here's a tweet from "We Are Wisconsin" an hour ago:

Who won the 2nd #WIdebate? Vote for @Barrett4WI here: http://livewire.wisn.com/Event/12_News_Wis_Gubernatorial_Debate #WIrecall

Really, who among us doesn't respect the usefulness of online polls?

Michael McNeil said...

Here's what Alexis de Tocqueville in his great masterpiece Democracy in America composed during the 1830's had to say about the pre-17th Amendment U.S. Senate versus the directly elected House of Representatives:

“There are some laws, democratic in their nature, which nonetheless succeed in partially correcting democracy's dangerous instincts.

“When one enters the House of Representatives at Washington, one is struck by the vulgar demeanor of that great assembly. One can often look in vain for a single famous man. Almost all the members are obscure people whose names form no picture in one's mind. They are mostly village lawyers, tradesmen, or even men of the lowest classes. In a country where education is spread almost universally, it is said that the people's representatives do not always know how to write correctly.

“A couple of paces away is the entrance to the Senate, whose narrow precincts contain a large proportion of the famous men of America. There is scarcely a man to be seen there whose name does not recall some recent claim to fame. They are eloquent advocates, distinguished generals, wise magistrates, and noted statesmen. Every word uttered in this assembly would add luster to the greatest parliamentary debates in Europe.

“What is the reason for this bizarre contrast? Why are the elite of the nation in one room and not in the other? Why does the former assembly attract such vulgar elements, whereas the latter has a monopoly of talents and enlightenment? Both spring from the people, both are the result of universal suffrage, and as yet no voice has been raised in America declaring that the Senate is hostile to popular interests. Whence, then, comes this vast difference? I can can see only one fact to explain it: the election which produces the House of Representatives is direct, whereas the Senate is subject to election in two stages. All citizens together appoint the legislature of each state, and then the federal Constitution turns each of these legislatures into electoral bodies that return the members of the Senate. The senators therefore do represent the result, albeit the indirect result, of universal suffrage, for the legislature which appoints the senators is no aristocratic or privileged body deriving its electoral right from itself; it essentially depends on the totality of citizens; it is generally annually elected by them, and they can always control its choice by giving it new members. But it is enough that the popular will has passed through this elected assembly for it to have become in some sense refined and to come out clothed in nobler and more beautiful shape. Thus the men elected always represent exactly the ruling majority of the nation, but they represent only the lofty thoughts current there and the generous instincts animating it, not the petty passions which often trouble or the vices that disgrace it.

“It is easy to see a time coming when the American republics will be bound to make more frequent use of election in two stages, unless they are to be miserably lost among the shoals of democracy.

“I have no objection to avowing that I see this system of election by two stages as the only means of putting the use of political freedom within the reach of all classes of the people. Those who hope to make it the exclusive weapon of one party, and those who fear it, seem to me to be making equal mistakes.”

Michael McNeil said...

(Continued…)

Contrast the Senate that Tocqueville observed — “whose narrow precincts contain… eloquent advocates, distinguished generals, wise magistrates, and noted statesmen. Every word uttered in this assembly would add luster to the greatest parliamentary debates in Europe” — with the overwhelming mediocrity we see in the halls of the Senate today. It brings to mind what the very mediocre Senator Roman Hruska, said about another Senator during the Nixon administration: “Even if he is mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance?”

I would say, looking at the Senate of today, that mediocrity has come into its own, with representation up the wazoo for mediocrities. Given the choice between that and the Senate Tocqueville experienced, I'd pick the latter in a minute, even if it meant having to exercise democracy in the Senate once again through an additional level of indirection.

walter said...

"“It is easy to see a time coming when the American republics will be bound to make more frequent use of election in two stages, unless they are to be miserably lost among the shoals of democracy."

So..mo=bettah?

B said...

"My favorite debate memory, by the way, is 1992. It was Clinton v. H.W. Bush."

That was the debate I was thinking of. 1992, not 1991. And I thought at the time that H. W. Bush was seething at the 'third person references to 'Bush' and the first person 'Mr Bush'. I don't recall him stammering nor losing his cool. I do recall him looking at Clinton with what can best be described as distaste.

Politics is a rough sport and I understand the tactic of not emphasizing your opponent's title when it's not to your advantage. Just as you emphasis it when it is to your advantage (Clinton/Dole).

But it is a subtle thing, and not everyone picks up on it consciously or subconsciously. There's an inherent risk here also. It won't matter to those already committed for or against, but you're gambling that the uncommitted who pick up on it are not going to be turned off by the disrespect it shows the office through the current officeholder.

It's a low tactic with low potential payoff that politicians with class eschew.

Kirk Parker said...

MadMan,

"Why doesn't someone run against [the union heads] and point out how they've driven the bus off the cliff? "

Think about it for a moment--then the upstart winner would have to run the d*mn union! Who wants that kind of tar baby?

Steve Koch said...

"Walker warns that if he loses, we're going to have "ping-pong recall" — one recall after another."

MadisonMan said...
"I disagree. I think the state is tired of recalls."

The dems will keep doing recalls so long as it works. So far, recalls in Wisconsin have been quite profitable for the dems. What is the evidence that the Wisconsin electorate is punishing or will punish the dems for abusing the recall process?

Recall elections permit dems to schedule an election when their GOP foe is most vulnerable. It also forces the GOP to work harder in a battle of attrition. Recall elections, because of the tendency towards lower turnout in those elections, favors the better organized, more passionate party with the better get out the vote process (dems, dems, dems). Last, but not least, recalls are all upside with no downside. If the GOP pol is recalled, the dems win. If the GOP pol wins, it just preserves the status quo.

Brennan said...

Is there any plan to discuss this NRO story reporting on the declines in union membership if the Teachers union in Wisconsin along with AFSCME's membership decline?

NRO says 20,000 AFSCME members have deserted.

Sorun said...

It sounds like Barrett has the same plan Obama had: Take office and spend all his time complaining about his predecessor.

AprilApple said...

Barret could be the poster boy for "The Party of Desperate Condescending Children and Economic Illiteracy."

Or the poster boy for "The Party of Fear, Loathing, Graft, Corruption and Leftwing Failure."

dreams said...

I don't care for liberals or democrats but I'll concede them one thing and that is they know that most people fall for BS. Just talk a lot, it doesn't matter if its BS because most people are too ignorant to know its BS. Watch the Sunday news talk shows and you'll see that the Dems. will talk at least a third longer than the Republican.

Peter said...

"The Progressives just didn't know where to stop."

I think it's unclear how the Progressives of old (La Follette era) would have reacted to public-sector unionization. Part of their agenda was cleaning up the public sector by introducing civil service procedures to replace patronage. Would they have sold out by replacing old-style patronage with new-style (union-driven) corruption?

In any case, Old Progressivism put a lot of faith in the public sector's ability to solve problems and deliver government services more efficiently than the private sector. So, would they have been willing to compromise that to support public-sector unionization?

Ultimately you can't bring back the Old Progressivism because no one has that much faith in the ability of government to competently do much of anything anymore. But if somehow you did, you could not necessarily expect them to align themselves with the contemporary Left.

roesch/voltaire said...

Chip for the record you can go to this site at WISN and note today the results are Barrett won by 60% over Walker's 40%--http://livewire.wisn.com/Event/12_News_Wis_Gubernatorial_Debate

RecChief said...

If Mr. Barrett's only argument is that Mr Walker is a rock star of the Tea Party, shouldnt he lose? and what does this say about those that still support Barrett? He has been asked more than once in the last couple of weeks what his plan is, and has yet to come up with an answer, other than to say he would talk to people. Honestly, how does anyone on the left still consider themselves the party of pragmatism and reasoning?

Chip S. said...

You seem to have missed the fact that I posted that very link @ 12:06, by way of pointing out that your "poll" was nothing more than online bullshit.

Funny to see you double down on that.

janmaxwell said...

Interesting, Ann, how your view of the debate differs with almost every other analysis out there (yes - even from non-biased sources.

B said...

'you can go to this site at WISN...'

That is not a poll. That's an invite to call in and register an opinion. It's not a random sample of a population or group.

It's like putting a message on the big screen at a Milwaukee Brewers game asking fans to call a number and register whether or not they like the Brewers.

I bet the Brewers would do better than 60% too.

Chip S. said...

Oh really, Jan?

You mean every other commentator heard Barrett explain his budget plan?

B said...

Peter said..."The Progressives just didn't know where to stop."

Progressive politics means a shift from the status quo. One era's progressive is the next era's conservative. I've seen the argument made and agreed with the logic that in the 1850's the abolitionists would have been considered progressives and Lincoln a progressive president.

What we see coming from the left are demonstrably flawed and historically dangerous and failed policies being repackaged and reissued.

That's not progressive. It's regressive.

B said...

'your view of the debate differs with almost every other analysis out there (yes - even from non-biased sources.'

Cite please. And note when you those you consider non-biased.

B said...

BTW:

I am rapidly approaching the point where the bother of decipher the WV is not worth commenting.

Michael McNeil said...

I am rapidly approaching the point where the bother of decipher the WV is not worth commenting.

Remember, if any particular proffered word verification string is too hard to interpret, just push the button with the circular arrow on it and it will offer you another one that may be easier.

Ken said...

He insists Walker would sign a right-to-work law

Ha! Do democrats really think like this? That right to work laws are somehow bad and a political liability for politicians who support them? Is it really wrong to not force a person to join a union as a condition of employment? Are democrats so beholden to unions that the idea of non-union workers is a threat to their political survival?

Chip S. said...

I see that janmaxwell has not yet responded to B's perfectly reasonable request @9:51.

Must be the troublesome wv.

dac said...

Barrett is using really quite classic McCarthy tactics on walker. "I have in my hands a list (aka the indictments) which prove Walker is guilty (but of course we cant see the list). Pretty much just waiting for TB to take off his shoe and start pounding on the table.

Michael The Magnificent said...

If Mr. Barrett's only argument is that Mr Walker is a rock star of the Tea Party, shouldn't he lose?

Governor Walker is a "rock star" because people want to hear about his successes and how he achieved them.

In contrast, Mayor Barrett isn't a "rock star" to anyone, because he doesn't have any successes that anyone cares to hear about.

Likewise, in regards to fund raising. Barrett wears his inability to raise funds as if it's some sort of badge of honor, when it really speaks poorly of how potential donors see him as a candidate.

Meade said...

"Likewise, in regards to fund raising. Barrett wears his inability to raise funds as if it's some sort of badge of honor, when it really speaks poorly of how potential donors see him as a candidate."

Good point.

"potential donors" e.g.: DNC, Obama...

Meade said...

This post by Mickey Kaus today follows well, I think, Sevens Macho's observation on this thread last night :

Seven Machos said...
"On an actually political note, I find it interesting that Wisconsin led the way in the last round of social reform we had in this country -- bringing about much-needed programs -- and Wisconsin is leading the way with Walker and that guy in the House again when we in desperate need of such reform again."

Kaus: Marxists would call this “reification”–the attribution of a false permanency to what are in fact only transient, man-made institutions (like the organizations created by the Wagner Act). Back in the ’60s, when Dionne went to college, leftish types fought reification.*** The point was to change the system, after all, not to play games within it–by The Man’s rules! But reification has now become the routine basis for Democratic arguments against Republican reform. You can’t change the entitlement to welfare! After all, said Sen. Moynihan, welfare had been an entitlement since … what, 1935! You can’t get rid of government employee unions! They've been the “rule” since 1963!*** That’s just the way it is.
Welfare stopped being an entitlement in 1996. And if Gov. Walker prevails in the Wisconsin recall election next Tuesday (as I hope he does), radically reforming public sector unionism will become an acceptable alternative in more states than Wisconsin.
This will be good for left-wing advocates of big government, including Dionne (as Taranto notes). The inefficiency and expense of unionized government is a major reason why taxpayers don’t want more of it. Governor Walker may achieve a dramatic reform that perversely creates the conditions for undermining his own limited-government vision. The Marxists have a word for that, too.*****
_____
**–Dionne says Walker insidiously used “incumbency” to produce these changes. “Incumbency” in this case means a law was passed by a democratically elected legislature (incumbents all) and signed by a democratically elected incumbent governor. It’s not like Walker said “We can’t wait” and imposed the change through executive order.
***– I am of course much too young to remember the ’60s myself. But this is what I’m told.
****– One way to reify something is to call it a “right.” So of what’s at stake isn’t welfare as prescribed by the Social Security Act, but “welfare rights,” not unionism under a specific law but collective bargaining “rights.”
*****–Dialectics. Welfare reform’s dialectic effect shows the way: By making voters more comfortable with government spending–because dollars were no longer, in theory, going to able-bodied people whether or not they tried to work–it paved the way for both Obama’s election and his health care bill.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Is it really wrong to not force a person to join a union as a condition of employment?

If, as a condition to employment, dues to the RNC, Fox News, or Rush Limbaugh were deducted right from your paycheck, the left might finally see how evil this system of forced participation really is, but I doubt it.

leslyn said...

Althouse said,

No, working together is something Barrett talked about. Repeatedly. Walker talked about his courage in making decisions and getting things done that have worked. He did not say let's work together. He said: I represent the taxpayers and I will do what's right for them (and not the special interests). That was very consistent.

Great. I've always wanted to be governed by a benevolent dictator.

5/31/12 10:36 PM

Seven Machos said...

Poor Les. Never more than bumper sticker thought.