The day after the first leg of the Wisconsin recall elections, I thought the number of “We won!” emails coming from the various lefty and labor organizations I support seemed a little odd. Did we win? It sure didn’t look that way to me. If “we” would have won, the tallies would have been different, right?
Maybe they were half right. Wisconsin Democrats did, after all, oust two Republican senators in two of the very, very few successful recall races ever held in American history. Pity the other two races didn’t fall their way, but it’s certain that what happened in Wisconsin awakened an awful lot of people to what was going on in their state, the role of the Koch brothers in rightwing AstroTurf politics there and just how aggressive and vicious the GOP can get when they are in the majority in a legislative body.
The Republican majority now hinges on one vote in Wisconsin. Personally, I’d rate the glass more than half-full considering the power math of less than a year ago. There is little doubt that Democrats will retake the legislature next year.
The collective bargaining rights issue highlighted by the recall election in Wisconsin, as I’ve maintained here, has never been merely a statewide matter. It’s a national issue of great importance to the future of this country’s middle-class families. Wisconsin was the flash point. The first battle in a longer war.
When I stopped and thought about it, I realized what HAD been gained in Wisconsin and this is now coming much better into focus as Ohio Governor John Kasich and the Republican party seek to back-walk the deeply unpopular anti-labor bill SB 5—it’s not a law yet despite the GOP’s best efforts—and are asking Ohio Democrats and labor unions to withdraw a November referendum on it. The public opinion is decidedly against the Republicans and polling just a little over two months from the November 8 vote shows an overwhelming 54% to 36% gulf in favor of rejecting the bill.
With this much Republican blood in the water, why would Ohio Democrats be stupid enough to withdraw the referendum? AS IF the Republicans would ever pay them the same courtesy! It’s hilarious to watch Kasich say this shit! So craven! So… Republican.
Kasich and the Ohio Republicans have been knee-capped and they damn well know it. Working families across Ohio owe Wisconsin progressives their gratitude. We all do.
Good people of Wisconsin: You lit what might be a long fuse, as Rachel Maddow eloquently pointed out on her show last night: