October 31, 2014

"The most important single election next Tuesday is for governor of Wisconsin."

Writes James Taranto:
The incumbent, Scott Walker, was elected in the Republican wave of 2010 and embarked in 2011 on a serious, substantive program of reform. He succeeded in his effort to eliminate “collective bargaining” for most government employees, a boon to the state fisc and a blow to politicians, mostly Democrats, who benefit from public-sector electioneering at taxpayer expense.
Taranto delves into the did-Trek-fire-Mary-Burke controversy that we've been discussing on this blog and wonders why Burke relied so heavily on the "biographical campaign" that makes her vulnerable to an attack like that.
Why isn’t Burke running a substantive campaign? As Collin Roth... observed in February: “Mary Burke has been largely incoherent on Act 10,” the collective-bargaining reform law. “Sometimes she opposes, sometimes she likes the healthcare and pension provisions, sometimes she wants to reinstate collective bargaining rights, and sometimes she simply didn’t like that the law was divisive.”

One possible answer is that she doesn’t think a full-throated campaign of opposition would win the election.... Yet even if Walker’s reforms are secure, a loss for him next Tuesday would be a huge victory for Big Labor—a show of union power that would discourage other governors from undertaking similar reforms by sending the message that success is politically fatal. 
I don't see how refraining from full-throated opposition means Walker's reforms are secure. We've often seen moderation in a campaign followed by something much more skewed after the election is won. I know back in 2011, many Wisconsinites felt Scott Walker did too much, too harshly when he got elected.

I'll resist ranting about how terribly Barack Obama disappointed those who, back in 2008, believed he was offering a transcendent new and beautiful politics that would bring us peace and good... brotherhood....

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd make fun of you Wisconsinners and your politics were I not living in California.
Weather's great though.
Mostly.

John Tuffnell said...

Obama only disappointed those who wanted to believe and were willfully blind to the facts. There was no evidence suggesting that he would be anything other that he has shown himself to be.

McCain would have been terrible in his own way, but was the better choice for the office.

I like Taranto's writing. It is insightful and clear.

Much like the hostess, usually.

Hoping to (cue the music . . .)

Stand, with Gov-er-nor Walker! on Tuesday.

Meade said...

"I like Taranto's writing. It is insightful and clear."

I do to. And I'm glad his point of view is close to mine. It must be infuriating for those on the other side as his writing makes him personally so damn likable.

campy said...

"It must be infuriating for those on the other side as his writing makes him personally so damn likable."

Silly Meade. Everyone knows lefties never read opposing views.

SteveR said...

Politicians (and their principal supporters) are heavily invested in the status quo so expecting "change" that doesn't piss a lot of people off is naive. Compromise? yeah right.

Michael K said...

Walker did what he had to do to get the state on the right track. That took the sort of courage that politicians usually lack, including Republicans like Kasich. Now, he has to survive so the rest of us can take some hope for the future.

It's like being in a POW camp and somebody escapes. You are still there but there is a little hope.

John Lynch said...

Of course Burke would undo the reforms. Why wouldn't she?

There are too many special interests in the Democratic coalition opposed to pension reform for her to do anything else. She would never be able to fund-raise again.

Bob Ellison said...

Taranto still writes? I thought he dropped off.

Meade said...

Ellison still comments? I thought he dropped off.

Wilbur said...

99% of liberals do not find James Taranto likeable.

It's not how they roll.

My God, how basic is that?

hawkeyedjb said...

Burke is an amiable nothing who will do as she's instructed once in office. Her backers say "gut Act 10" and it's a done deal.

Sheesh. Has she said a single thing during the campaign that indicates she's anything but a tool for other people's goals?

AReasonableMan said...

I'll resist ranting about how terribly Barack Obama disappointed those who, back in 2008, believed he was offering a transcendent new and beautiful politics that would bring us peace and good... brotherhood….

Seriously, who was stupid enough to believe this? As usual Althouse is just trolling.


Quaestor said...

It also looks like reliably blue Colorado is also changing hue. Mark Udall looks like a goner. If so it will be due in no large measure to gender politics, the most pernicious trend in American public life since the Dixiecrats.

Take a look at this picture of Colorado women all in for Udall and War on Women strategy.

Quaestor said...

Seriously, who was stupid enough to believe this?

Apparently Obama thought you were stupid enough, else why this little taste of Stalinism?

kcom said...

"I'll resist ranting about how terribly Barack Obama disappointed those who, back in 2008, believed he was offering a transcendent new and beautiful politics that would bring us peace and good... brotherhood"

It's Halloween, not April Fool's Day.

AReasonableMan said...

Quaestor said...
Apparently Obama thought you were stupid enough, else why this little taste of Stalinism?


So your 'proof' of this silly statement is to link to a youtube video of children singing.

You genuinely believe that the typical adult voter thought there was going to be perfect racial harmony after a black man was voted president. Althouse has your number.

Also, I think you might be a little vague on the phenomena known collectively as Stalinism.

Danno said...

I love to read Taranto, and I have contributed a fair number of items for his blog, so I guess I am biased. I find his writing and ideas to be not only thoughtful, but even funny, as he pokes at the elites.

Rusty said...

What? ARM is throwing Obama under the bus.

Achilles said...

Bob Ellison said...
"Taranto still writes? I thought he dropped off."

Pay wall.

Achilles said...

AReasonableMan said...
I'll resist ranting about how terribly Barack Obama disappointed those who, back in 2008, believed he was offering a transcendent new and beautiful politics that would bring us peace and good... brotherhood….

"Seriously, who was stupid enough to believe this? As usual Althouse is just trolling."

Not trolling. Justifying. It is easier to place blame on Obama for lying than to admit gross naivete.

It is similar to what progressives do when their policies fail. It is much easier to cast out the pol that passed it than admit statist policy is terrible. Then they continue their history long search for the right leader to make their policies work.

harkin said...

Ann,

O'Failure did not "disappoint" those of us who knew he was spouting pure BS from the get-go.

The ones who disappointed us were those who should have known better and yet voted for his criminal enterprise

Hagar said...

Why isn’t Burke running a substantive campaign?

It is hard to run a "substantive" campaign if you have no "substance."

Ann Althouse said...

@harkin

Not everyone who voted for Obama bought into the "hope" propaganda. I didn't.

But I saw a side of him, which he still manifests somewhat, that was moderate and practical.

That man could have emerged, but he was too weak. He got rolled by Pelosi and Reid. That ruined his presidency. He wasn't able to stand his ground. The Obama that we saw just before the election, when that fool McCain called an emergency meeting about the financial markets then appeared completely inept, never got his footing, and everything devolved into the Obamacare clusterfuck.

JackOfVA said...

From Anatoly Rybakov's ''Children of the Arbat

In the mornings the clatter of the post box got her out of bed. She was waiting for an answer from the procurator's office, a letter from some secret but influential well-wisher, waiting for a letter from Sasha himself which he had given to someone or other - that did happen, she had been told so - but there were no replies, no letters. She would take out the newspapers and gaze at the pictures of Stalin, his simple clothes, the kind wrinkles round his eyes, the wise, calm face of a man with a clear conscience. He was 53. His oldest son was probably the same age as Sasha, and there was another son and a daughter. He knew what family grief was - he had only just lost his wife. If only Sasha's case got to him. She was pinning all her hopes on Mark, her brother. He was the head of a huge construction project in the east, a favorite of Ordzhonikidze's. The whole country knew who he was. Stalin knew him, received him and talked to him. Mark would tell Stalin about Sasha. Stalin would ask for the file, perhaps even call Sasha to him. And he'd like Sasha, he couldn't help liking Sasha.


If only Comrade Obama knew what mistakes and errors would be made by Pelosi and Reid; if only Valerie Jarrett knew of this intentional sabotage of Saint Obama's good intentions by these wreckers in the Democrat party, then certainly it would be put right and hope would be restored to the blighted land of Amerika.

Danno said...

Obamacare clusterfuck - That is a good one. Obamacare was a great example of the "I won" philosophy so prevalent in his administration. How they thought a workable new health insurance entitlement could be passed without a bipartisan majority defies me. They couldn't even persuade the two liberal GOP Senators from Maine to vote for it.

AReasonableMan said...

Ann Althouse said...
and everything devolved into the Obamacare clusterfuck.


On what planet is Obamacare a clusterfuck? The goal was to reduce the number of uninsured. That goal has been achieved.

In addition, the rate of increase of health care costs, which are bankrupting the country, have fallen so that the program is significantly cheaper than originally projected.

On its own terms the program is a success. Given the hysteria that this relatively limited program evoked you can argue in retrospect that they should have just shot the bolt and gone for universal coverage, but that carried the risk of complete failure by not passing any legislation at all. Millions of Americans are better off because of this legislation.

Rusty said...


That man could have emerged, but he was too weak. He got rolled by Pelosi and Reid.

How sweet.
Oh. No. Honey. He's the man he's always been. His agenda is what it has always been. He's an Illinois politician. He's a progressive because progressivism allows for the greatest amount of graft.You thought because he was black he was going to do something about race? That he was going to do something for the black people in this country? You should have looked at his district in Chicago. he doesn't do anything unless it's for Barack Obama. Pelosi and Reid weren't his enablers. Pelosi and Reid were his partners.
Don't ever stop being adorable.

Hagar said...

Nope. You may well argue that John McCain as a completely loose cannon with appalling personal judgment scared you more, but there never was any hope that Obama would turn out to be anything but what he is.

Rusty said...

Nowhere does it say the the increase is due to Obamacare. There has been an increase in Medicaid and Medicare recipients.
The "other sources" has been consistent @ 3.7 % over all four quarters.
I'm assuming that other sources is Obamacare.

Birkel said...

AReasonableMan thinks America will be a better country if it embraces the policies that Europe is currently rolling back because the policies are unaffordable. Europe's economy is sclerotic. Meanwhile Canada has made conservative political choices and is enjoying one of the best periods of economic growth in its history.

A reasonable, economically illiterate man, perhaps.

cubanbob said...

Ann Althouse said...

@harkin

Not everyone who voted for Obama bought into the "hope" propaganda. I didn't.

But I saw a side of him, which he still manifests somewhat, that was moderate and practical.

That man could have emerged, but he was too weak. He got rolled by Pelosi and Reid. That ruined his presidency. He wasn't able to stand his ground. The Obama that we saw just before the election, when that fool McCain called an emergency meeting about the financial markets then appeared completely inept, never got his footing, and everything devolved into the Obamacare clusterfuck.
11/1/14, 8:08 AM

The difference between the two men in the summer of 2008 is that McCain did an ad lib and Obama stuck with his TelePrompter.

ARM considers ObamaCare a success by it's own metrics all the while acting in blissful ignorance that it hasn't been fully implemented to avoid immediate political consequences. It's a more reasonable assumption that our hostess is right that Obamacare is a clusterfuck than ARM's conclusion of it's success simply because Obama & Co. keep postponing so much of the implementation. Maybe Obama & Co know something that ARM doesn't.

Jupiter said...

"He got rolled by Pelosi and Reid."

Well, sort of. What actually happened was, he was at a loss for a "big issue" for a speech he had to give, and one of his aides suggested health insurance. So, he tried it, and it got a big hand. Thus was born Obamacare. The problem was, he didn't have a clue about health insurance (or about anything else, having never done anything of substance in his entire life). So he let Reid and Pelosi handle it, and handle it they did. He allowed himself to become the point man for an initiative he knew nothing about (If you like your doctor...). Because he is a stupid chump, and extremely lazy.

mikee said...

I submitted to BotW, and Taranto used, a story about Biden being, well, Biden, back in 2004.

So I have over a decade of experience with Best of the Web.

Walker will win if his precincts report after the Dem precincts report. Otherwise, vote fraud will give Burke the governorship.

I saw it happen in Maryland, I've seen it happen in Washington state, and it almost happened to him in his first run for governor.

This election is almost entirely about Democratic Party vote fraud, and how long the US will put up with this aspect "The Chicago Way" applied nationwide.

AReasonableMan said...

Birkel said...
Meanwhile Canada has made conservative political choices and is enjoying one of the best periods of economic growth in its history.


Canada has universal coverage, as does Australia, which hasn't had a recession in close to 20 years.