Political activists converged on Wisconsin on Sunday to join get-out-the-vote efforts two days before a historic recall election for Republican Governor Scott Walker that is seen as a test for November's presidential race.But as I just wrote in the previous post, I was all over downtown Madison today, and there was NO political activity at all.
But up in Brown County, Wisconsin, Scott Walker and Tom Barrett attended the same event, Brown County Dairy Breakfast, where there was a crowd of 8,000+ people to glad-hand.
Barrett arrived while Walker was still on the premises, and Walker lingered a few yards away talking to attendees while Barrett got in position to serve Dairy Breakfast food, a ritual of Wisconsin politics. The candidates were both on the scene for about 20 minutes.Yes, because this recall is an unwelcome intrusion on the people of the state, and we have reason to be angry about it. Those who pushed for the recall felt angry, after losing the regular election, and this anger took them as far as it did, but it set up a newer occurrence, which was to outrage the people who expected to be left alone until the next regular election.
Barrett was greeted warmly by some of the breakfast-goers — at least one man told him Barrett he was voting for him, prompting Barrett to joke, "Give him a lot of really good food" — but others reacted differently, telling Barrett they were voting for Walker and not shaking his hand when he extended it.
Asked if he got this kind of reaction when he ran against Walker in 2010, Barrett said, "No no, this is a newer occurrence."
Democratic Party leaders — including President Obama — sat back and allowed the fury of the protesters to build and channel into a recall. I presume they hoped the grassroot passion would benefit them. But they should have seen where this would go, and they should have cautioned against it. Every creditable candidate — including Tom Barrett — should have said they would not run and no one should sign the recall petition. But the folly was allowed to go on, and now Scott Walker has raked in the millions, become a national "rock star," and stands ready to collect a new mandate.
And now, in the end, the Democratic Party, with its lackluster candidate Tom Barrett, who already lost to Scott Walker in 2010, looks lame and defeated. The more left-wing folk who drove the protests last year have to be irritated that all their intense energy and hard work got co-opted by the Party, which didn't really have any idea what to do with it, but just wanted to use it, because it was there to be used.