Wednesday, June 13, 2012

No Time To Despair

I know it has been a rough week for the democratic party in Wisconsin but now is NOT the time to despair. I know I was in a funk last week when I wrote this piece.  What got me to step out of said funk, was to have the republicans start gloating and telling the dems how to run elections. 

First of all it was not as resounding of  a defeat as the republicans make it out to be.   The democrats did flip the Wisconsin State Senate! That is no small feat in itself.  

Secondly, many people on the left and the right have been saying the democrats have "no bench".  While I do think that there is always room for improvement, and I would love to see more people get involved in politics on a local and statewide level, I find this claim from the right to be downright laughable.   Lets exam this a little bit closer. 

It was a year ago that Wisconsin had their first round of recalls.   This was before the recall petitions were scrutinized so the republicans actually were able to file petitions to recall 3 democrats (as opposed to 6 republicans).   All three democrats easily held their seats, while 2 of 6 republican seats were flipped.  Keeping in mind that in terms of money and name recognition and the way the system has been set up(by the incumbents) it is virtually impossible to beat an incumbent (recall or regular election).

So instead of looking at just the actual results, you have to analyze the big picture.  I wrote about it at the time:

* The Democrats have legitimate candidates and talent ready to run and serve and the Republicans do not. While the Republicans are running people like David Vanderleest, and Kim Simac, the Democrats are running people like Jess King, Fred Clark, Shelley Moore, etc… Then you can look at the “bench” of potential candidates and spokespeople where the Democrats have rising superstars like Tony Schultz and Mahlon Mitchell and the republicans have Brian Schimming.
The republicans were licking their wounds when the best they could find to run against the recalled democratic Senators were David Vanderleest who probably belongs in prison( and is thinking of running for office again), and Crazy Kim Simac, who appears to be off of her meds when she speaks.

If you want another example of the lack of talent on the republican side, look at the current race to fill Herb Kohl's US Senate seat.    The best the republican's can come up with is an unrecognizable Tommy Thompson, professional jobber Mark Neumann who no one likes and some rich guy from who lives in Washington DC.  

Excuse me for not taking you seriously when these are the kind of candidates you continue to run. 

I agree that the democrats have some serious problems that need fixing.   When an unethical, under investigation, college drop out with no real world experience and a horrendous record as a politician can get elected twice in two years as Governor of this great state, then there are serious flaws in the democratic party that need fixing.  

We know that the republicans will bury us in money in any election that they are interested in, until we fix the horrendous Citizens United decision, that is NOT going to change.    We found out that with enough money the republicans are able to turn a net loss in jobs to a "supposed strength" in their candidate.   Heck they even ran ads touting his horrendous record on jobs.  

So that being said we need to emrbace and adapt to the changing landscape.   No matter what happened, we stull have the advantage in people power.

The network of activists and enthusiasm we built up on the progressive side can not be replicated by an expensive bus and some crazy speakers. 

Some amazing people have gotten involved in politics on our side and that will all pay off in the end.  What Lori Compas did in her district was literally unprecedented.   Tell me any example of anyone on the right who has or could come close to accomplishing what Lori Compas did.  There are activist's now getting involved in even the more republican of districts and mobilizing progressive's, liberals, democrats, moderates and independents in ways that they have never been involved.   That will pay of in the end. 

We do need, and i am sure when things calm down, we will have some inflection from the democratic party.  We need better messaging and less paid consultants.   Let's hope whoever came up with the messaging in this last recall election will never work in Wisconsin politics again.  We also need the party to listen to the people more and support and embrace the grassroots activists more openly.  I would also like to see more aggressiveness from the elected officials in the party.  

We have some big hurdles to overcome, all is NOT lost for the democratic party going forward in Wisconsin.   We have the extreme advantage of a republican party that is insane and incompetent.  Now it is time to start taking advantage of that!  


  1. Wish you had a "LIKE" button! LOL This is dead nuts on as usual! I think it is time to play just as dirty as the republiclowns do. I know it is not in a Democrat's nature but... It is sad they have to cheat and steal to win. As an Independent, I look at both sides and just SMH. I am not seeing anything good out of the right (should change their position to WRONG) and the Left are way too docile about things. I am not saying the Left should engage in the same chicanery as the WRONG but they need something better to get the job done!

  2. "This was before the recall petitions were scrutinized so the republicans actually were able to file petitions to recall 3 democrats (as opposed to 6 republicans)."

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by this, but I'm pretty sure I disagree.

    The petitions filed to force the recalls of Dem senators were input from petition paper into a searchable data base to that duplicates and out-of-district and 'fake names could be found and challenged. That data input happened the week leading up to Easter with the help of hundreds of volunteers - at times there were literally people waiting in line to get a seat at a computer to help. The effort resulted in vigorous and detailed challenges being filed against those petitions.

    And of course the challenges to candidate petitions were so effective that they resulted in the 'real' candidate actually being knocked off the ballot in the Dave Hansen recall.

    So as I said, I'm not sure what you're referring to, but I'm pretty sure I disagree.

    1. i am talking about all of the fake names, and the fact that they had felons out collecting signatures and when they wanted some signature collectors to come in and testify, none could be found.

      DO you have a link to the database of people who signed the recall petition for the dems? We heard many a story of people being written down who did not sign it. the problem is there is no way the GAB could have dismissed the recalls against the dems without a revolt from the right wing hate cabal .

    2. @Jeff^^The Repubs had every opportunity to check recall sigs. They even had an extension of time to do so. They had the $$ and lawyers to challenge sigs, yet not one recall sig was challenged. The sigs that should have been challenged were the right wingers who signed fake names and those were traced to Republicans, hence no names were challenged!

    3. I am aware of that. I am talking about the recall of the three democratic senators last year.

    4. "DO you have a link to the database of people who signed the recall petition for the dems?"

      Do you mean those who signed petitions to recall Dem - Hansen, Wirch, Holperin? That work was done by volunteers for the Democratic Party at the King St office in Madison. I do not know of it having been made available to the public at large. You could contact them to see if they would allow you access to it.

    5. Agreed. The notion that the recall petitions from last year weren't challenged at all is flat out false, because I worked on those.

      The challenges that the Dem party filed against both signatures, collectors and petition sheets are on record with the GAB.

    6. Then I stand corrected. From a distance it seemed as though the GAB was going to confirm the recall races no matter what.,.,,,

  3. While I love the Capper's take on the WI Dem debacle this entire blog funk & all would be unnecessary if it were not for Command Central in St. Cloud MN just down the hall from Michelle Bachman's office. Herein lies the force responsible for the "red shift" found in the recall election. Comparing voting statistics 2010 to 2012 for Walker is too obviously unreal. The recall election is, so far unverifiable, unless we have a court order for a recount--and by now who knows what has actually happened to the paper ballots that were fed into those hacked voting machines! I wonder if something can/will be done before the Nov. elections!!

    1. Um, I didn't write this post. Also, you may file a complaint with the GAB if you wish.

  4. SuzyMetta4 sez:

    "Crazy Kim Simac, who appears to be off of her meds when she speaks" ... could you please avoid using psychiatric phenomena for comic effect? It's none of our business whether Kim takes psych meds or not, and for your many readers who do, they perhaps don't like to be compared to Kim Simac.

    Thanks for the boost to Lori Compas!

  5. Excellent points made that helped me to realize there is something to be hopeful for.

  6. Let's make sure that when we say "aggressiveness" what we mean is "assertive," not the jack-ass-ness that is Graeme Zielinski. He's doing the party NO favors.

    1. Hmm, sometimes there is a need to take the gloves off.