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Posted at 1:36 PM ET, 03/10/2011

Newsflash: Recalls are legitimate in Wisconsin

By Greg Sargent

Ezra Klein, on last night's events in Wisconsin:

It seems to me that the system worked. Democrats were able to slow the process down and convince both voters in Wisconsin and the national media that there was something beyond business as usual happening in Madison. National and state polls show they were successful in that effort. Walker and the Senate Republicans ignored the Democrats' attempts at compromise and ignored the public turning against them and decided to pass the legislation anyway.

That was their prerogative, and now it's up to the voters to decide whether to recall the eight Senate Republicans who are eligible for judgment this year, and to defeat Walker and the other Republicans in a year or two, when they become vulnerable to a recall election. That's how representative democracy, for better or worse, works. The representatives can make unpopular decisions, but the voters can punish them for it.

I've been getting a lot of angry emails from conservatives who are saying: How dare those Wisconsin Democrats and labor thugs pursue the recall of Republicans, given that they were legitimately elected by Wisconsin voters to get the state's fiscal house in order! It doesn't seem to matter to these good people that poll after poll after poll shows that those very same voters wanted Scott Walker and state senate Republicans to compromise with labor and Dems, or that big majorities oppose the rollback of public employee bargaining rights.

So, yes, Walker and the Republicans were elected to do what they think, or claim to think, is the right thing for the state. They are forging ahead with their agenda even though Wisconsinites are voicing strong opposition to it. Fine. The very same democratic system that allows them to do this also provides for voters to declare buyer's remorse and toss them out of office before their terms are up.

If what Walker and Republicans did is a sufficient turnoff to voters that the required number sign on for recall elections, and if those voters then replace these Republicans with Democrats, it will have been every bit as democratic as their election in the first place. In Wisconsin, recalls are democratic.

By Greg Sargent  | March 10, 2011; 1:36 PM ET
Categories:  Labor  
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Next: Wisconsin Dems ask district attorney to invalidate GOP maneuver

Comments

Yeah, but will the S&P finish under 1300 today.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 10, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Once again, the recall debate in Wisconsin is limited by a law disallowing recalls before an elected official has served a year into the current term.

This law will prevent recalls from being launched against the governor, the Assembly and the new (Republican) half of the senators.

But the entrenched (Democrat) half of the Senate remains vulnerable.

So, yeh, support recall... of the Democrat Fleebaggers!

Wisconsin Democrats face recall over dereliction of duty
http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-spokane/wisconsin-democrats-face-recall-over-dereliction-of-duty

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 10, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Recalls are absolutely democratic, especially since the provisions for recalls were enacted by democratically elected representatives. I'm curious to know what protections are used to make sure all signatures are legitimate. Anyone know about this?

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 10, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Who the heck is arguing that recalls in WI are not legitimate?

Posted by: sbj3 | March 10, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

kaddafi, 8 members of each party in the WI senate are eligible for recall; i.e. they were last elected in '08, and have served more than one year of their current term. As you note, Walker & the bulk of the repubs won't be eligible until next Jan.

More to the point, there is no evidence, thus far, that there is a credible effort afoot to recall any of the 8 eligible Dems. If you have info that shows otherwise, many of us would like to see it. Thanks!

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 10, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

You are right, it is democratic. I think a waste of money, no matter who the recall is against, but democratic.

But a question for Greg - would you agree that leaving the state in what is basically a fillibuster is undemocratic? Many of your past columns have implied that the minority shouldn't be able to tie up the business of the legislature for such an extended period of time as has happened in Wisconsin. I'm curious to hear your perspective.

Posted by: Bailers | March 10, 2011 1:48 PM | Report abuse

I take this as progress.

Last night, Greg gave material support to the "escalating" mob violence against Republican legilators.

Now he's come down off the unhinged ledge and advocates small-d democracy.

I'm all for billionaire Soros sponsoring his punch-and-pie recall campaign, if it gives angry Leftist-fascists somewhere else to vent their impotent fury.

Wisconsin DoJ Investigating Death Threats Sent to GOP Lawmakers After Union Vote
http://www.620wtmj.com/news/local/117732923.html?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

*material support*

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | March 10, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

sbj3, no one, that was the point of my 1340

And this isn't even a slow news day. Now they can't even vote because of the protesters. Wisconsin Wisconsin Wisconsin. They get the stupor bowl win, now this. I think they like all the attention and that is what this is all about. Betcha can't book a room in Madison.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 10, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, were conservatives angry when Gray Davis was recalled in California?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 10, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

NEWSFLASH: Impeachments of Obama and Biden would be LEGITIMATE too!

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 10, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"By preventing people from entering the capitol building Thursday morning, the police also denied entry to legislators, including at least two Democratic Assembly members — David Cullen and Elizabeth Coggs...Later, Mr. Cullen and Ms. Coggs could be seen climbing into the building through a first-floor window." NYT

OMG

Posted by: shrink2 | March 10, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

@sbj

"Who the heck is arguing that recalls in WI are not legitimate?"

I believe the State Senate leader hinted at this several days ago. I'm sure you'll be the first one in line to tell him how wrong he is, too.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | March 10, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Links to recall info in WI. Recall efforts have been registered against all eligible senators. The 2nd link has some basic analysis that tries to establish each districts partisan voting index to identify which senators are most vulnerable.

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/117747953.html

http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/117312973.html

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 10, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Right on Greg!

"NEWSFLASH: Impeachments of Obama and Biden would be LEGITIMATE too!"

If you could find a valid constitutional reason for anything. You can't IMPEACH someone just because you don't like them.

Apples and oranges, but you know this. You're just making a falacious argument in order to change the subject.

Here's the core issue: Fat cats have to pay up. It can't always be the people.

Posted by: Alex3 | March 10, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

TheBBQChickenMadness, recalls are "legitimate" until Wisconsin law is changed in that regard.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 10, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

bsimon- thanks for sharing that.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 10, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Hi, Jake.

With regards to recalls, what's good for the Grey Goose is good for the Darling Gander.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | March 10, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Republicans have sided with the anti-government, anti-union Corporations. They've misrepresented their mandate and have revealed themselves as Corporate Shills. The Republican-led war on the middle class is almost complete.

Posted by: thebobbob | March 10, 2011 2:05 PM | Report abuse

You are in favor of recall just because you don't like what the Republicans passed. In 1970, then-House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford defined the criterion as he saw it: "An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history."

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 10, 2011 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Who is going to put in the work necessary in WI to recall Dem state senators? Breitbart? Joe the Plumber? Message board trolls? MoveOn is putting its money and organization where its mouth is. Will conservatives?

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | March 10, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

"bsimon- thanks for sharing that."

no problem. Let me just say that I don't recommend going to any of kaddafi's links. the 'examiner' site is a hideous overload of popup windows, flash and other nonsense wrapped around rubbish that purports to be 'news'. They did link to the journal-sentinel blog, where I found the links above.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 10, 2011 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Clawrence, if the House thinks Obama and Biden should be impeached, they should by all means go and ahead and do it, just like in '98. And then they can tell us how the time spent on it was consistent with their focus on jobs.

Posted by: oldabandonedbeachhouse | March 10, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Who is going to put in the work necessary in WI to recall Dem state senators?"

That's my question too. Apparently there is some outfit out of Utah that is sponsoring the Dem recalls. No word on whether they have any boots on the ground in WI.

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 10, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

""Who is going to put in the work necessary in WI to recall Dem state senators? Breitbart? Joe the Plumber? Message board trolls? MoveOn is putting its money and organization where its mouth is. Will conservatives?""

You think the Koch brothers can't give their butt-wiping money to the cause?
.

Posted by: jprestonian | March 10, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Americans for Prosperity funded a Wisconsin 3-day bus tour to rally for Walker. It ended last weekend with the largest gathering in Madison...with a total attendance of 600 people.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | March 10, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

oldabandonedbeachhouse, getting rid of Obama and Biden would be the BEST thing to get this country back on the right path and create private sector jobs.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 10, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Greg, thanks for your excellent coverage and opinions on Wisconsin--I always know I can come here to get the latest updates!

Posted by: LAB2 | March 10, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

bsimon- good info on there. One thing that perhaps skews the results a little in favor of the democrats is that by virtue of the fact that any senators eligible for recall right now were elected in 2008, the comparison of popularity among those senators is necessarily a comparison of percentages during a year that heavily favored democrats. So, for example, Darling's receipt of only 50.5% of the vote may not completely accurately depict her popularity since that election was a democrat wave election. But with that caveat, the info is great.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 10, 2011 2:24 PM | Report abuse

""Greg, thanks for your excellent coverage and opinions on Wisconsin--I always know I can come here to get the latest updates!""

If he wasn't such a modest fecklahr, he'd say "You're welcome."
.

Posted by: jprestonian | March 10, 2011 2:25 PM | Report abuse

The Fix is doing horticulture today.

"Tim Kaine's waiting game (and what it means)."

Newsflash: Vegetables can't run.

"So, what -- if anything -- does Kaine's continued public silence on the race tell us about the chances he ultimately runs?
...That Kaine is deeply divided about whether to run in and of itself represents something of a transformation in his thinking on the race."

This is right out of The Onion.

Hey, if the Democrats are all fired up and want to take the fight to Republicans: put Tim Kaine to the compost bin. This guy couldn't fight his way out of a grocery bag, though he'd consider the possibility, surely he might fall out of a grocery bag, if were tipped a lit bit.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/senate/tim-kaines-waiting-game.html

Posted by: shrink2 | March 10, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Reoublicans don't believe the words "compromise" and "bipartisanship" apply to them.

Sure, they love to throw those concepts around at Democrats, but when it comes to Republicans governing, they are all for draconian, big-government stunts like they pulled last night. It's the height of hypocrisy.

Walker and his cronies ignored the will of the people on this issue. This is typical GOP governing, and it's far from democratic. Walker seems to believe that he's running some kind of little regime in Wisconsin, rather than a representative government that serves the will of his constituents. I hope the people of Wisconsin can do something positive with their buyers remorse. It's been a very hard lesson for them.

Posted by: elscott | March 10, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"oldabandonedbeachhouse, getting rid of Obama and Biden would be the BEST thing to get this country back on the right path and create private sector jobs."

What makes you believe this? The jobs certainly didn't appear when the Republicans held the White House and both houses of Congress.

Posted by: njardine | March 10, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Real NEWSFLASH: Wisconsin State Sen. Jim Holperin is returning home, and he said a majority of the fugitive Dems have agreed to return to the State after the Assembly voted through the revised bill.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 10, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Walker is a creep and so are all the Republicans supporting this assault on American workers. The Wisconsin Republicans in particular have illegally, without the, required, legal notice, in a private session stripped workers of rights they have had for the last 50 years, this can not stand. If you are a Wisconsinite, or a Democrat or Independent that voted Republican in the mid term election, this is exactly what and who you were voting for. This is nothing new, this is what the Republican party is all about, always has been. This kind of assault on the Middle class is just one of countless injustices against the American people these Republicans commit every day, against the hard working American workers and it is why I never vote for Republicans. Stop drinking the abortion, gay rights and gun rights Koolaid these Republican shills peddle you and start worrying about surviving, wake up and start voting Democrat if you ever want to recognize the America we all once knew and loved ever again. The only real power you have is at the polls, if you keep voting Republican you are subjecting yourself and all of us to more and more of this kind of corruption and even worse in the future.

Posted by: Hillary08 | March 10, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

clawrence12 @ March 10, 2011 2:07 PM quoted then-House Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford defined the criterion as he saw it: "An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history."

And the Republicans went ahead and proved it against Clinton, and were humiliated in the Senate. Now against Nixon, on the other hand, there was evidence.

However, all this is about the Federal government. A recall is NOT and impeachment. Therefore the point is moot!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | March 10, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

njardine, because President Boehner (if removals occur prior to 1/20/13) or the next President will have learned the lessons from Obama AND Bush. First up will be high-paying jobs drilling for oil in ANWR ; )

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 10, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

shrink

You watching the market? Saw your Pimco link yesterday. Glad I'm out.

Posted by: lmsinca | March 10, 2011 2:56 PM | Report abuse

AMviennaVA, of course a "recall" is not an "impeachment" but my point that they are both LEGITIMATE is not moot.

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 10, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

elscott- I think your criticism applies fairly to both parties when they completely control a government. ACA was pretty much rammed down the throats of Republicans on a party-line vote. A great man once said, "Elections have consequences."

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 10, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

sure, the S&P above or below 1300 is the question of the day.

Technically speaking all the indices are in correction as of today, which is good. But there is so much, so so much cash on the sidelines, each time the equity and commodity markets try to correct, dip buying programs kick in and...the bubble is sustained.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 10, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

All, Wisconsin Dems file legal complaint to block last night's maneuver:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/03/wisconsin_dems_ask_district_at.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | March 10, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"sure, the S&P above or below 1300 is the question of the day."

day ends with enough buyers to nudge 'er back up over 1300. Whatever. 1290, 1310, who cares?

Posted by: bsimon1 | March 10, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Hillary08, it's not "illegal". In fact, no notice is required for Conference Committee meetings, but they gave a courtesy 2-hour notice nonetheless. The Wisconsin "Open Meetings Law" does not apply where it is inconsistent with a Senate Rule, for instance, Senate Rule 25(1)(b) "unless the committee on Senate organization determines that for good cause such notice is impossible or impractical." Look up the Stitt and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel cases, and then we can discuss further.

In the meantime, do you think the DEMOCRATIC Senators fleeing across State lines was "illegal" (see Senate Rule 84)?

Posted by: clawrence12 | March 10, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

No one and everyone. That is the free market. There is this thing called a psychological barrier. It is as real as money itself. You know that we left the gold standard because that was a bit of a fiction, as if the price of gold were ultimately different from that of wampum.

Posted by: shrink2 | March 10, 2011 3:13 PM | Report abuse

In response to the post below be advised that Gray Davis was and is a liberal democratic tarted up as a Republican aka Rino. It was Gray Davis sitting on the same side of the negotiation table, holding hands with the prison guard union, when Davis gifted them the right to full pay at retirement available at age 52 to qualified union workers. Davis was told at the time that would bankrupt the State and screw the taxpayers. So Davis tried to pass a $15.00 increase in dmv license fees to cover the tip of the iceberg of costs.

Davis was recalled over the tax, but the gift remained. Recently a firefighter in Orinda, CA retired at age 52 to a yearly stipend of $255,000.00 per year with benefits. That gift has now been extended to many other government unions by the Democratic Legislature. As predicted it has bankrupted the State. There is an estimated $500 BILLION dollar shortfall in government worker union pension plans that are guaranteed by the State.

There is an estimated $4 TRILLION dollar shortfall Nationwide in government union pension plans ALL GUARANTEED BY THE TAXPAYERS.

This fight is not about workers versus some corporation. This is big government and big government workers versus the taxpayers. And by taxes it is all of the increasing fees, taxes, permits, fines and other bites that local and State governments are staring to take out of citizens.

Anyone who does not support Governor Walker and the urgent need to put an end to government unions is either on the dole or dim.

By the way, conservatives were deeelighted when Davis the rino was recalled! We then got another rino Swartzenstukker.

If you want so see how bad the problem with government unions is in the Nation here is a good site to start:

http://www.pensiontsunami.com/
_______________________________
Gosh, were conservatives angry when Gray Davis was recalled in California?

Posted by: suekzoo1

Posted by: Bubbette1 | March 10, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@shrink,

Bill Gross is one of those large pots of money coming into equities, which puts a bid under the market. Very bullish.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | March 10, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

mobrien83, you're ignoring several important distinctions here.

First of all, President Obama and the Democrats ran on a platform of healthcare reform. Americans knew this when they voted for him. Walker did not openly run on union-busting and teacher bashing.

Second, polls have consistently shown that a majority of Americans understand the need to reform the healthcare system. Polls in Wisconsin show voters against taking away workers' rights. Walker and his cronies ignored these.

And finally, President Obama and the Democrats compromised on healthcare reform, to the dismay of many in their own party. Walker refused to compromise.

And let's not forget that healthcare reform was about trying to help the average American get better care, even with a pre-existing condition. Walker's manuever was about helping the average Koch brother.

No doubt, you are one of those conservatives who routinesly scolds the President for refusing to be more bipartisan. No doubt you are also someone who believes in the evils of what you call "big government."

You can't get much more "big government" than taking away people's rights.

Posted by: elscott | March 10, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

There will not be any recalls. If there where, it would give more strength to the voters who voted the Governor in and, he would be re-elected by a wider margin next time.
Give up unions, you have lost your stranglehold on Wis.

unions need our people, our people do not need the unions.

Posted by: JBfromFL | March 10, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

12B yes and bsimon, look at this chart and you can see 1300 seems to matter, a lot, even though it doesn't really.

http://markets.on.nytimes.com/research/markets/usmarkets/snapshot.asp?symbol=575769

Posted by: shrink2 | March 10, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

This is just a START! Next Congressman Issa will begin IPEACHMENT proceedings against the kenyan born, radical muslim communist waging jihad against America from our WHITE House! Speaker Boehner and Senator McConnell will work to remove this insolent boy who doesnt know his "place". After HUSSIEN's removal, the Supreme Court will step in aka 2000 and appoint Jeb Bush President and Lez Cheney VP!

Posted by: Bush2 | March 10, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

To elscott: Obamacare was never about lowering costs or helping citizens. It was and is about building the largest government union in the world. It is estimated when the Obamacare bureaucracy is formed it will be in excess of 5,000,000 workers all from the SEIU and other unions. (Keep in mind the third largest bureaucracy in the world today is the 1.8 million government union shop that runs the British health care system).

Obamacare is a scam and is going to kill the Nation. We are now financially (and the Democrats) morally bankrupt. The sleaze, backdoor dealings, lies and misrepresentations made to cram Obamacare down the throat of a protesting Nation will not end well for the Democratic Progressive Union Socialist Communist Marxist Party. The beating from November seems to be forgotten, but we will see you in 2012.

Posted by: Bubbette1 | March 10, 2011 3:29 PM | Report abuse

If the libturds attempt to recall the brave and heroic Republican WI Senators, then Gov. Walker should have anyone voting for their recall arrested and incarerated. Lets these lazy, welfare and unemployment collecting bums get J O B's breaking prision rocks!

Remember - Demand Tax Cuts for the Wealthy, and Obama is a kenyan born, radical muslim communist waging jihad against America! Watch Fox News!!!

Posted by: Bush2 | March 10, 2011 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Bubbette1 @ March 10, 2011 3:21 PM: That was a VERY long post but you did not answer the vary simple question that suekzoo1 asked: "Gosh, were conservatives angry when Gray Davis was recalled in California?"

PS: As I recall, they were ecstatic and were even contemplating amending the Constitution so Schwarzenegger could run for President!

Posted by: AMviennaVA | March 10, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The People are looking for answers to the fiscal madness being propagated in our country by the left and the right. The unions are not safe and the fat cats better watch out too. What is unAmerican is spending in the name of the American People until our great country is destabilized and our way of life is at risk. The retirement age of Social Security should be pegged to two years over the average age of death, as it was when started. Entitlements begone, bring the troops home! Pay down the debt. Stop the irresponsibility. NOW

Posted by: RobMc1 | March 10, 2011 3:34 PM | Report abuse

elscott- I will concede most of the points in your argument, except for the last part, because I am not a conservative; I'm a pretty middle of the road guy. I do believe the individual mandate is unconstitutional because it violates the Commerce Clause (something I readily admit is not as clear cut as some people like to think), but I also admire the system Obama tried to set up. I think every state should address health reform and that the ACA provides a good model.

While your points are well-founded, I was responding to your assertion that republicans don't believe in bipartisanship. I don't disagree with that. All I said was that democrats when they control an entire government, don't believe in bipartisanship either. Please don't tell me you mean to argue that ACA was bipartisan.

Your one point about ACA being about helping people is completely irrelevant to whether it's bipartisan.

I also don't assume to scold the President. When I disagree with him, he's still my President, and I can't imagine having his difficult job.

I do think government can become too big. Most people believe this, though they may disagree about the point at wjhich that is the case.

Finally, I'm not so dimwitted to make assumptions about who a person is based on one observation they've made. Maybe you should read some other posts from a person before you attack them in you ad hominem way (that means arguing by making personal attacks, so you don't have to look it up).

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 10, 2011 3:37 PM | Report abuse

This is a great example where Democrats and unions aren't looking at the big picture, they're their own worst enemies.

The vast Majority of middle class workers
and taxpayers are NON-Union.

Union workers are the Only people who
have collective bargaining, and not all union workers even have collective bargaining either.

Unions have a reputation for making a mountain out of a moehill, and this is a
good example.
It will be their un-doing.

Posted by: ohioan | March 10, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Social (Stupidity) Security :
Let us examine some of the problems. In 1955, the ratio of those paying to those collecting was about 9 to 1. In 2010 the ratio was about 3 to 1.

When Social Security started, you could collect at 105 percent of life expectancy. Today, you can collect at 84 percent of life expectancy -- more collecting for a longer period of time, a smaller number paying in per recipient.

From 1965 to 2009 the U.S. population grew by 54 percent and the number of people on disability grew 458 percent.

Posted by: RobMc1 | March 10, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I think all the people who watch too much of Fox News and/or listen to Rush Limbaugh and/or adore Sarah Palin, have completely lost it. Most of these Republican politicians, people like Koch brothers, and big corporations have taken jobs overseas, burned 1.2 trillion dollars in Iraq/Afgan wars, extended the tax cuts to their rich friends, divided the nation in the name of gun control, pro life, immigration, ... issues and made a fool of American voters. They are cutting on education so that we cannot see their true colors. How stupid do we have to be?

Posted by: Rush2 | March 10, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Also- As to your last point, elscott, a government of any size can take away rights as long as it has the coercive power to overcome resistance. Your arguments are mostly factual or at least defensible, but they are irrelevant to whether either party believes in bipartisanship, the subject of my response to your original comment.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 10, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

This columnist is either selectively myopic or personally dishonest. The tripe regarding the Democrat's alleged "willingness to compromise" rings hollow when these politicians fled to Illinois. By contrast, the Republicans, even when grossly outnumbered in the US Senate and the House, always showed up. It seems that the Democrats have no use for democracy (but we always knew that).
By the way, if 19 Democrats fled the state and abandoned their seats, why couldn't the governor appoint interim legislators pending special elections to re-fill the abandoned seats?

Posted by: MARKM2 | March 10, 2011 3:44 PM | Report abuse

The other item they use to divide this nation is the color of the skin of Obama. I think he is the smartest president we have had in a long long time. Just see what he has done and what he is trying to do. Do not listen to hate spreaders Rush Limbaugh and Fox News, use your common sense.

Posted by: Rush2 | March 10, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

So if they get voted out, they'll know that they blew it! The rest will know what waits for them come the next elections, and it will be someone else's turn to p**s everyone off with their solutions.

Posted by: realneil | March 10, 2011 4:02 PM | Report abuse

what would Reagan do? or FDR for that matter?

Posted by: Aldol | March 10, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

It appears that the far right does not understand the term,"We the People".

The people have the right to do what they want with their "ELECTED" officials.

If a majority of the people feel as though that or those officials are not properly representing them.

Then the people have the right to recall them.

Getting elected to a post does not mean that you have a job for life or you can do what corporate bosses tell you.

They are there to do the peoples will.

Democracy is a great thing when it is not corporate owned.

Posted by: joe_biggs | March 10, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Hey two can play at that game. I think there is more reason to recall the 14 Dem Senator who were out of state at a luxury resort on Wisconsin taxpayers dime.

The fact is the GOP are in the majority, they will control the redistricting, so there is no reason to think they won't gain more seats in '12. Wisconsin did elect them just a few months ago.

The fact that a few thousand greedy government workers and their 'useful idiot' students are p**sing and moaning at the capitol doesn't mean it's the will of the voters. It's just the goverment workers were the beneficiaries of the ponzi scheme so of course their upset for giving up their ill gotten gains. Yeah, voter are going to be so outraged that it will be easier to fire teachers who are pedophiles that public unions fight tooth and nail to keep.

Posted by: jamesd1234 | March 10, 2011 4:09 PM | Report abuse

mobrien83, I appreciate the response, although I could have done without the (unfounded) assertion that I am dimwitted. Your sarcasm tainted an otherwise thoughtful response.

When I hear the phrase, "elections have consequences" used as a snappy defense for what Walker did in Wisconsin, and I read posts here from people like Bubbette and Bush2, it's not a stretch to associate that kind of thinking with Dick Cheney's "so what?" shrug when asked what he thought about the majority of Americans imposing his war. Republicans seem to always say, "who cares what the people think -- once we get into power, we are absolute rulers."

Representative government does gives power to the majority party, but it was never intended to be a mandate for ignoring the will of the people in favor of the will of big and powerful monied interests like the Koch brothers.

You say that Obama hasn't been bipartisan during the passage of healthcare reform, and yet how do you explain that the current plan is very much like the one instituted by Republican Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts?

You just can't have it both ways. President Obama has made countless concessions to the other side of the political aisle during his presidency. He's been more bipartisan that any president in this century -- and there's absolutely no disputing that.

Posted by: elscott | March 10, 2011 4:12 PM | Report abuse

This columnist is either selectively myopic or personally dishonest. The tripe regarding the Democrat's alleged "willingness to compromise" rings hollow when these politicians fled to Illinois. By contrast, the Republicans, even when grossly outnumbered in the US Senate and the House, always showed up. It seems that the Democrats have no use for democracy (but we always knew that).
By the way, if 19 Democrats fled the state and abandoned their seats, why couldn't the governor appoint interim legislators pending special elections to re-fill the abandoned seats?

Posted by: MARKM2 | March 10, 2011 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Recall, reschmall.... pffft. R.M.N. #37.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | March 10, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

Rave on Righties. You cry when polls crush your opinion, you deny 1000's of scientists because three said there ain't no climate change, you ignore the thousands of times Jesus said help the poor but found a sentence that vaguely references homosexuality and condemn millions with it. You railed against teen pregnancy as a mortal sin until your Queen's daughter showed up like that, then spun her into an abstinance role model. Palin is a feminist, Bush the W was a liberal...spin spin spin.
But there ain't no way you can spin Walker getting his junk tossed out on the Governor's mansion lawn come next January.

Enjoy your marginalization, tools.

Posted by: DAMNEDGENTLEMEN | March 10, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

huh?
It worked? You funny man aren't you. What this revealed is how far the tentacles of the union reach. We (citizens) are getting an illuminating depiction of what it means to be shackled to an out of control union organization.

Their sticky glandular organs continue to tighten their grip around this country as they desperately attempt to hang on to their prey (see buffoons camping at the Wi. Capital).

Yea its working alright, the union is being exposed for the gangster values they disseminate.

Posted by: Macksfield | March 10, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

This is a sad day for all GOP lawmakers ...

...and for any company wishing to pick up a Wisconsin owned power plant for pennies on the dollar.

Posted by: NeuronFlash | March 10, 2011 4:32 PM | Report abuse

This is a sad day for all GOP lawmakers ...

...and for any company wishing to pick up a Wisconsin owned power plant for pennies on the dollar.

Posted by: NeuronFlash | March 10, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Elscott- I apologize for offensiveness. I took your post to be in the same spirit, though I may have been mistaken, and that would be no excuse either way, so sorry.

I see where you are coming from on this, but I disagree about Obama's bipartisanship on ACA. I believe he passed the most partisan bill he could squeak through, and in either case it had no (or very little) republican support, nor at the time of its passage did it have even majority support from the public. That said, to me the question of bipartisanship within this context is, "could this bill have passed if the other party controlled even one house orthe executive branch?" In the case of WI and ACA, I believe the answer is a resounding no. Not that I believe bipartisanship is the end all, be all of government. If one party controls all levers of government, they've been put their by the electorate, and why shouldn't they do everything within the law to enact their agenda? In the WI situation as in the case of te ACA, the opposition put up a good resistance, but they got beat. That makes it time to get energized for the next election.

Apologies for typos, writing from iPhone on train.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 10, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully,
You too will not be another who attempts to "appease" angry "conservatives?"
Conservatives are, by their very nature, "angry."

Who cares about "conservatives?" Usually they represent "reactionary, rageful, fearful," elements of the population, often they are the least educated and the most arrogant.
Who cares about conservatives? One of the reasons the country is in the mess it is in, the "utter dysfunction," is the RESULT of "conservatism."

Don't PANDER to them. They are a minority, a LOUD minority.

Posted by: looier1 | March 10, 2011 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Elscott- I do like your quip about the most bipartisan president this century. Until 2 years ago, I used to give my Yankee fan friends a hard time because their team hadn't won a world series all millennium. Obama may be the most bipartisan president of the millennium, since there is only one other I'd feel comfortable saying it's 50-50 odds on that.

Posted by: mobrien83 | March 10, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Just what the heck is up with you folks in Wisconsin?

You just voted in a group of people who campaigned on the premise of getting your state out of the 'red'and now you wish to have recall election because they are doing exactly what they said they intended to do.

If I have followed this with any accuracy the proposed legislation does not take away the right of the union to negotiate their wage compensation.

The legislation simply intends to have the union members contribute to their health and retirement benefit plans.

And, and apparently a big and, that the employees can decide whether or not they wish to belong to a union and if so how their dues are allocated.

Since Wisconsin is one of the most highly taxed states in the entire 50 I would think that you would welcome almost any alternative to higher taxes.

My father explained to me back in the late '30's that someday the unions would strangle businesses in the same manner that business exploited labor. That time has apparently arrived in Wis. since a bus driver in Milwaukee can make $150,000 in a year with most of that income coming from overtime just perhaps the union has pushed a little too far.

As for your school teachers I believe they did their, and your, students a tremendous disservice by abandoning their classrooms. I am certain that that action inconvenienced a great number of working parents and quite possibly had a large group of teenagers running randomly about their respective towns and cities.

It is this independents observation that this protest is 'all about me' and not what is in the best interest of the state or the taxpayer.

Posted by: dharper2 | March 10, 2011 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Do you think our democracy is showcase to the world?
I do not think so. Our so called democracy and freedom is very shining and gold plated from the outside but if you make a biopsy, you will be surprised to see nothing else than badly cancer; being run by the capitalists billionaires and millionaires, good for them only,and above all full of loop holes, less for common people but too many for the rich. Only special interests can have their says and they have ways to achieve their goals. Also once you are elected partly by the people but mostly by the lobbies and goons, you will not be able to carry out what you want or what you promised but what the special interests want. Poor and middle class are crying day and nights but no one has time or ears to hear their cry. Leader like OBAMA also is helpless to get any thing done, even though he agreed under duress to pay more than 750 billion dollar to the 1% rich goons in their tax cuts!!!!! DO WE NEED OTHER REVOLUTION? JOIN LIBYANS, YEMENIS AND SUDANESE!!!!

Posted by: citysoilverizonnet | March 10, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Walker and these GOP Kochsters are soooooooo recalled!!! A waking giant is now drinking the coffee while the KoolAid servers are playing out the last of their desperate tricks and dystopian non-ideas. Even James O'Sleeze won't be able to save them now. His stupid pet tricks are only a symptom of a dying breed of narcissistic errand boys that will be crushed under the march of a working middle class that is now learning just what utter contempt that the rich has for them. My late parents would be so ashamed of what has happened to this nation in the last 30 plus years. They lived at a time when workers were revered, not spat upon by the self-serving uber-wealthy and their handmaidens.

Posted by: 4yourinformation | March 10, 2011 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Your no gentlemen...
Let me help illuminate the process which is taking place before our very eyes in Wi. Its called... and elected official (Scott Walker) actually doing what he said he would do. I realize that in your fantasy world that is shocking. Someone that would make promise, get elected, then follow through. I'm a bit surprised too. Unlike a union where the motives are purely power and money, Walker wants to help the state by balancing the budget.

Now here's the really bad news for the liberals, this is only the beginning. See Rick Snyder- MI, Chris Christie - NJ, Jan Brewer - Az, and on and on it goes my liberal friend. Buckle up cause its going to get real uncomfortable for those who do live in reality.

Posted by: Macksfield | March 10, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

What exactly were they going to collectively bargain for between now and the next election?

If they vote in the same people next time, then they _definitely_ get what they deserve. I already think they get what they deserve, since the current situation is exactly due to the voters choices.

Posted by: james0tucson | March 10, 2011 5:11 PM | Report abuse

There are two kinds of jobs, important and unimportant. If people will literally die because you don't go to work today, your job is important. If you have such a job, chances are very high that you will be doing it without immediate concern for whether you're getting paid, whether the "government is shut down", or what the politicians who represent you think about it.

If you do not have such a job, your job isn't important. Get over it.

Posted by: james0tucson | March 10, 2011 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Posted by Macksfield:
"Your no gentlemen..."

Why do I get the feeling you weren't educated in a state with a strong teachers' union? ;)

Posted by: curtisjasper | March 10, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Macksfield, Walker didn't campaign on union busting.

Poll results clearly show that union busting is not a voter desired outcome in Wisconsin.

I suggest that you buckle up. It is going to be a rough ride for any Koch-enabled politician.


Posted by: NeuronFlash | March 10, 2011 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Ditto, NeuronFlash.

Additionally, the fact that the state Senate stripped the collective bargaining provision out of the budget bill puts the lie to the claim that this was some kind of budgetary issue. If it is, then you need a quorum. If it isn't, well then it's dishonest to claim that the issue impacts the current budget.

Politifact scrutinized Walker's claim too on this issue about having "campaigned" on the elimination of collective bargaining rights, and found it to be wholly fabricated.

http://politifact.com/wisconsin/statements/2011/feb/22/scott-walker/wisconsin-gov-scott-walker-says-he-campaigned-his-/

On an issue like this one, if you're going to do it, campaign on it. Make the case during the campaign. Be upfront with people. If you can justify the action during the campaign, highlight it, debate it, and then let the people decide. They might says: No that's too much, or we like you for other reasons, but this is not a deal breaker, or a big Yes. Then you can claim a public mandate.

The fact that the guy couldn't even level with people about the issue during the campaign and now is lying almost habitually about issues surrounding the matter tend to suggest that he realizes that he can't justify his action publicly. If you can't justify an action, then maybe you shouldn't do it.

Ultimately, it's pretty clear that there will be a recall and several GOP state Senators are likely to lose their seats. It's also pretty clear that when the Dem momentum starts fading over the next few months, Walker and his GOP allies will do something dumb and provocative once again to rekindle flagging energy. I don't think I've seen a politician elected to statewide office squander public good will as quickly as Walker has. It will be pretty amazing if he survives a recall effort next year.

Posted by: JPRS | March 10, 2011 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Boycott Wisconsin...RECALL them all.

Posted by: ethanquern | March 10, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Attention fools and liars:

Scott Walker did not run on a platform of busting unions.

The Republican legislators did not run on a platform of busting unions.

People did not "get what they voted for" because Walker and other Republicans never made a peep about it during the campaign. With good reason, it seems, since much larger majorities of WI citizens oppose this agenda than put them into office. Kind of like George W. Bush claimed a bare majority in 2004 a "mandate" to destroy Social Security, when he'd never voiced that as an objective during the campaign.

Basically, Walker and the Republicans have flipped a huge bird to the people of WI and are more or less high-fiving each other over how they punked the people who voted for them. You know, their EMPLOYERS.

We would never tolerate such insolence and insubordination from our employees in private business, so the people of WI are right in taking whatever steps they can to fire the offending employees.

Recall city, baby.

Posted by: JennOfArk | March 10, 2011 6:05 PM | Report abuse

@MARKM2 : By contrast, the Republicans, even when grossly outnumbered in the US Senate and the House, always showed up.

FYI==secret holds and refusing to limit debate are functionally the same as denying a quorum.

Posted by: srw3 | March 10, 2011 6:07 PM | Report abuse

"My father explained to me back in the late '30's that someday the unions would strangle businesses in the same manner that business exploited labor. That time has apparently arrived in Wis. since a bus driver in Milwaukee can make $150,000 in a year with most of that income coming from overtime just perhaps the union has pushed a little too far. As for your school teachers I believe they did their, and your, students a tremendous disservice by abandoning their classrooms. I am certain that that action inconvenienced a great number of working parents and quite possibly had a large group of teenagers running randomly about their respective towns and cities. It is this independents observation that this protest is 'all about me' and not what is in the best interest of the state or the taxpayer. Posted by: dharper2"

Just as an aside, have you ever knowingly voted for a real democrat?

That $150,000, MOST OF IT OVERTIME, seems unfair to you? Do you find the excess overtime unfair, or paying for it. After all, if the company that paid that bus driver all that overtime hired enough drivers, he might have been able to go home to his family every night and weekend instead of pouring all that time into driving those busses. So just what is it about that pay that you really object to? My guess is that his regular yearly wage is in the $30k to $40K per year, that is $15 to $20 an hour. Would YOU drive a bus full time for that much hourly pay?

And those teachers? They pay perhaps $50,000 OR MORE to educate themselves and get the experience needed to get their license, Pay a good deal more to advance their education and skills, and the school system they work for decides that it doesn't want to pay them for the education and skills. Are they supposed to keep giving up pay and benefits because your little darlings need them, while the school board is cutting their pay because you voted down the property taxes needed to pay for them?

Slavery and involuntary servitude has been illegal throughout this country since the 13th amendment. Do you really want to bring it back to keep your taxes low? Or are you just jealous because a college educated worker would like to get compensated commensurate with his education?

I'm an electrician for a city wastewater plant. I make $60 k a year gross. that is justa bit above median pay for electricians locally. Should I give up my pay and keep working as an electrician because you won't pay for waste water treatment, but it has to be done?

Police, Firemen, EMT's, water plant operators, snow plow drivers ALL have jobs that directly effect our health and safety. Should we all accept your slavery because to reject it might cause you to decide between taxes and public safety?

I told you how much I make. How much do YOU make?

Posted by: ceflynline | March 10, 2011 6:10 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm. Recalling isn't enough. These nazi tbagger thugs should go behind bars for what they've done.

Then let's start putting others away for inciting violence, extorting money from hard tax working people..., like Herr Bachmann, Herr Palin, Herr Beck, Herr Limbaugh, Herr Gingrich and their latest donkey... Hucklebeeee.

Who needs these Corporate bottom feeding rednecks thugs in power? Not the American People, that's obvious by the polls. Even the State and Local Police aren't on their side.

Koch and those that fund them can go where ever they outsource their jobs. Certain they'll have a home abroad.

Posted by: DonaldT1 | March 10, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

"If you have such a job, chances are very high that you will be doing it without immediate concern for whether you're getting paid, whether the "government is shut down", or what the politicians who represent you think about it. If you do not have such a job, your job isn't important. Get over it. Posted by: james0tucson"

I have just such a job and I am definitely concerned that some dolt might decide that I don't need to be paid because he wants to make a point by shutting down the Government.

I too have to pay bills and put food on the table. Stop my pay and I have a real hard time doing that.

And the City Truck Drivers I know are in the same position. If the City decides that they can't be paid overtime to plow the streets, sixteen hours on, four hours at the garage for needed rest and sixteen more hours on, adinfinitum when the snow keeps coming, most will just go home and shovel their own snow. You apparently feel that would somehow be unfair.

It isn't. Government costs money, and plowing streets, treating water, chasing crooks, fighting fires, and making emergency medical calls IS government. You have no right to those services if you are unwilling to pay for them.

Posted by: ceflynline | March 10, 2011 6:18 PM | Report abuse

Too funny. Most conservatives here who are 'outraged'. Let me make some true generalizations:

1) Most of you supported the impeachment (recall) of President Clinton for lying about adultery. You know the guy who led that recall in the House of representative? He was carrying on a 6 month + affair with a subordinate while he was trying to recall the President for far less.

2) Most of you supported the recall of Governor Gray Davis in California and the take over by Arnold. Even though Arnold ended up taking the state into even more debt than Gray Davis was supporting.

3) Many of you would support the impeachment of President Obama. Reason? You don't need no stinking reason (thanks to Treasure of the Sierra Madre).

Go figure why most liberals don't take most conservatives as being principled and having integrity.

Posted by: kindness1 | March 10, 2011 6:22 PM | Report abuse

Reich Wingers: perfectly happy to support democracy as long as they win.

Liberals: perfectly happy to support democracy no matter what, because we're *consistent* and *principled*.

Recall elections are still elections, which makes them democracy. Suck on it, Reich Wingers.

Posted by: jiji1 | March 10, 2011 6:35 PM | Report abuse

First of all, as a conservative I support your right to attempt a recall. Not outraged in the least... its America you win some and you lose some.

Keep in mind Indiana has already gone this route. The result? Government became more efficient and average pay for state workers rose.

It really comes down to whether or not teachers employment is based on merit and performance vs. seniority dictated by unions. Let me put it this way,

if you want to borrow my lawn mower I will give you the key to the garage, but why do you keep asking for the key to my house?

If teachers are doing the great job portrayed by some, why not have your pay based on merit and performance like the rest of America? What are you afraid of?

Posted by: Macksfield | March 11, 2011 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Why was it ok for Republicans to successfully recall Gray Davis but for Democrats to not make an attempt in Wisconsin when there are rules allowing it? IOKIYAR?

Posted by: Elkay1 | March 11, 2011 10:52 AM | Report abuse

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