I thought that politics in Massachusetts was Byzantine, then I read this piece by Ladd Ehlinger Jr. on the special election in the 36th. A sample:
They are professional politicos, and make their living off both sides of the aisle. Ordinarily they screw things up for local constituencies in California, but they’ve got their beady eyes turned to the 36th district, too.
As you may know, Ron Nehring was (supposedly) the California Republican Party fifth columnist Chairman last year. He helped lead the Republicans to utter defeat and shame in California in 2010, with help from the Willie-Brown run database PDI.
Databases are crucial to running campaigns. Voter outreach and communications are key. You want your information to be good, and you don’t want your opposition finding out who your volunteers are, or even what sort of queries you are running on the database. So naturally, you wouldn’t want your database to be run by Willie Brown political hacks, the very people who want you defeated. Unless, of course, you are Ron Nehring.
No, if you’re Ron, instead you work with Meg Whitman to force as many local, state and federal Republican candidates in November 2010 to use the opposition’s database, so you can be damned sure everyone gets lost in the fog of war and is defeated.
Thanks Ron! You’re a true chum to liberty.
Read the whole thing to try to untie the knot that is California.
Just a couple of quick comments and that’s really all I’ll make. First of all, just to affirm, the activities of today are perfectly legitimate part of the process. Even the smallest minority – and that’s what we’ve heard from the last couple days – has every right to express the strength of its views and I salute those who do.
My latest for Examiner.com Anger and Loathing in Boston reports on the dueling Union/Tea Party rallies in Boston: a peek:
As the day progressed the Union forces got more and more agitated particularly when Radio Host Graham handed out fake “doctor of love” notes parodying the events of Wisconsin. His presence seemed to drive the union people wild, even stranger was the reaction to State Rep Rich Bastien (R Gardner) who mingled with the crowd to try to hear them out but was greeted by Nazi salutes by a self-proclaimed Jewish woman in between vulgar epithets.
The final irony of the protest is on display here:
I’ll have a post with all my videos from the rallies up before I leave the house today.
The Democratic National Committee’s Organizing for America arm — the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign — is playing an active role in organizing protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s attempt to strip most public employees of collective bargaining rights.
OfA, as the campaign group is known, has been criticized at times for staying out of local issues like same-sex marriage, but it’s riding to the aide of the public sector unions who hoping to persuade some Republican legislators to oppose Walker’s plan. And while Obama may have his difference with teachers unions, OfA’s engagement with the fight — and Obama’s own clear stance against Walker — mean that he’s remaining loyal to key Democratic Party allies at what is, for them, a very dangerous moment.
OfA Wisconsin’s field efforts include filling buses and building turnout for the rallies this week in Madison, organizing 15 rapid response phone banks urging supporters to call their state legislators, and working on planning and producing rallies, a Democratic Party official in Washington said.
The @OFA_WI twitter account has published 54 tweets promoting the rallies, which the group has also plugged on its blog.
During my interview with Andrew Breitbart on Sunday morning he commented on their presence saying the following:
I’ve sensed that any time when Obama’s Organizing for America gets involved they are up to no good. So when I see them go up against the people I try to be there.
Administration officials said Sunday that the White House had done nothing to encourage the demonstrations in Wisconsin — nor was it doing so in Ohio, Florida and other states where new Republican governors are trying to make deep cuts to balance their budgets.
And, officials and union leaders said, reports of the involvement of the Democratic National Committee — specifically Organizing for America, the grass-roots network born of Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign — were overblown to start with and were being inflated by Republicans sensing political advantage.
Because we all know how Politico is really a house organ of the Republican Party, that’s why they are always being quoted on MSNBC
I think the White House has seen these polls and is getting cold feet BIGTIME:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters agree more with the Republican governor in his dispute with union workers. Thirty-eight percent (38%) agree more with the unionized public employees, while 14% are undecided.
No one will be shocked to find Democrats opposed to Walker’s plan, 21/68, although the opposition seems a little weak, under the circumstances. Also, no one will be surprised to see almost the mirror image among Republicans, 68/15. Independents across the nation give a strong endorsement to Walker, 56/31. Among income demographics, only those earning under $20K per year support the unions (30/54), while Walker gains a plurality or majority in every other income demographic, including a 62/27 among the $60-75K demo. Interestingly, unions only barely edge Walker among government employees, 44/46.(bolding mine)
I put this down to Bill Daily. He is a man of the left and a big supporter of these same unions but he knows politics and sees where this is going. His job is to minimize the damage to the white house. He also understands that if Democrats shut down Wisconsin with the White House behind them it will be harder to blame republicans for a shutdown here.
Little Miss Attila points out one thing that the dems in Wisconsin have forgotten:
Just remember: every day that you aren’t there, the Repubs are taking votes.
Hold on there, I thought there wasn’t a quorum? Not so fast:
Bringing up hot-button legislation while the Democrats are gone is another arrow in Walker’s quiver. Though the Wisconsin constitution requires three-fifths of the senate to be present to pass fiscal legislation, a simple majority of 17 members constitutes a quorum for other bills in the 33-seat state senate. So the 19 GOP senators who remain in Madison can pass any number of bills while their Democratic colleagues are on the lam, and Republicans are a majority in the assembly, too. “They can hold off, but there is a whole legislative agenda that Republicans in the senate and assembly can start acting on that only requires simple majorities,” Walker warns.“If they want to do their jobs, and have a say, they better show up.”
Just think of all the GOP friendly legislation that can be passed while they are gone!
Hey maybe it is a good time to make a new redistricting plan for the state? Just think of all the culture war victories we can have in Wisconsin with nary a vote against.
Is Wisconsin a right to work state? If it isn’t it can be really fast.
Want to require ultrasounds before Abortion? Let’s go for it.
Open up heathcare over state lines and maybe tort reform? Now’s the time to do it.
English as the official language of the state? Go for it.
Tougher sanctions on illegal immigration? Come on down!
Gun laws? Lets get concealed carry passed!
It will be like 1862-1865 in Congress, democrats were gone and republicans can go wild.
When will we have a chance like this again? Let’s go for it!
Our democratic friends and the media are stepping on so many land minds these days its hard to count them all, but a few things instantly come to mind:
Boom! We all love school in July
Every day that the Wisconsin teachers choose to take off is a day that parents around the state have to find sitters for theirs kids. Parents all around the nation relate and understand this. One of the things people are also forgetting is that an awful lot of school was missed this year already due to wild weather. Every day the teachers take off is a day those kids will be in school in July, again something parents nationwide can relate to
Boom!: Walker itis or take two protests and call me in the morning:
Every time we hear people talking about budget cuts in any state we hear the words “waste and fraud”, “waste and fraud”. Well now on camera we have Wisconsin doctors giving phony sick notes so Teachers can collect taxpayer money while protesting. Again this is something every single person nationwide can understand. Let’s forget the dishonesty, violation of medical ethics , the great potential lawsuits and liability suits that are going to come from this and the sheer audacity of the act and consider one other thing. This is a political protest and the doctors are giving out notes based not on medical necessity but on their political beliefs.. The federal government last year passed over the objections of the voting public a national healthcare law “Obamacare”. One of the many objections to this law has been the possibility “political” decisions in medicine, well there it is for all to see. I wonder will the same people who have no problem with the doctor notes due to “stress” will be all in favor of giving notes on April 15th (a Friday) for Tea Party folk to protest nationwide?
Boom! Walker Reagan and Unions:
We have seen an awful lot on the 100th anniversary of the Birth of Ronald Reagan, a poll just out showed him picked as the greatest president of all time (I disagree, but that’s another post). The Reagan halography has been all over and one thing that has been reported on a lot was his confrontation with the Air Traffic Controller unions. You might remember that the media was uniformly against him in this (and almost everything) but it was a turning point. Now not two weeks after all of this pomp was on TV we have Scott Walker standing his ground against both. If you think that bloggers and viewers are not making the connection, you are wrong.
Was it not even two months ago when the key word was civility? That we had to watch what we were saying and show respect? Well now that the “target” is a republican governor that is out the window. On Morning Joe today you have Mika twisting like a pretzel saying yes some signs are bad both others make a point. Suddenly the fierce moral imperative of civil discourse that we were drilled with for weeks is not longer such an imperative. Coming so soon after the stern media lectures it didn’t give people a chance to forget and speaking of signs…
Boom! Dictator Dictator who is a dictator?
One of the things I’ve noticed over the years is that people who have actually lived under a real dictatorship tend to be more conservative. Our friends on the left in Wisconsin have been throwing the dictator card out pretty freely. Today on Big Government we have a fellow of the left saying he would like Castro or Che rather than Walker (the better to shoot or imprison those who disagree with him I guess). It’s reached a point where the target is so big even cartoonists of the left are unable to miss it as illustrated. The cartoonist, Hands is a man of the left but the assertion that Walker is too much for him. As he put it:
I’m sorry, but Walker is not a despot or a dictator. He, and the rest of the republican clowns serving at the State Capital were elected, by a wide margin, by the people of Wisconsin. I find it ironic that the same day that thousands of people skipped work to rail against our “undemocratic” leader, fewer than a quarter of the registered voters in Madison bothered to vote in an actual election.
Personally I find it insulting to see people who are making 100k in wages plus benefits claiming to be under a dictator’s thumb when people living off of dollars a day are actually being shot by real dictators at the same time.
All of these have in common the fact that this can be easily understood by the general public. This is the critical distinction. Each of these things put democrats in a bad light, are supported by video and can’t be defended easily. On twitter It has been a struggle for people of the left who reflexively support these guys to do so. The hems and the haws have been very informative.
While some members of the GOP are gettingwobbilly, I say man up. The reason why the left and the unions are screaming so loud is because they are losing both the argument and the visuals: as Powerline puts it:
I agree with Roger that this is a watershed moment. I think it is George Will who supplies the appropriate term for what we are seeing: “reactionary liberalism.” The petulant public employee unions and their associated goons swarming the Wisconsin capitol remind me of nothing so much as George Wallace blocking the schoolhouse door against integration, or the scenes, played out on national television in the early 1960s, of Democratic politicians whipping up mobs and setting dogs on civil rights marchers in the South. It was a clear sign the old order, also dedicated to preserving illegitimate privilege, was collapsing.
These protests aren’t a sign of strength, they are signs of weakness as the union bosses can’t quietly slip in the goodies they want. Or as even EJ Dionne acknowledges (and deplores) the Tea Party is winning.
An even better example is the Doctor business in Wisconsin. Think about it. Two generations ago with the Judeo-Christian values taught in every school to some degree it would have been unthinkable to commit the type of public fraud that is being done by doctors and teachers in Madison this weekend. I mean even Breitbart got a note:
How many honest doctors looking at this are embarrassed? How many teachers are forfeiting any moral authority over their students by these measures? How many will look at the examples set by the senate in Wisconsin Do they even care?
What we’re seeing is an ideology devoid of a moral compass. This is Progressivism laid bare for all the world to see. It’s disgusting. This is the Nanny State, cradle-to-grave entitlement society. They’ve turned public sector jobs into welfare programs and this is what happens when someone tries to make it sustainable.
It is important to see things for what they are. The real question is will the left eventually look in a mirror and see, or will it only be selling conspiracy theories?
I think that the influence and effect of whats going on in Egypt you know and around the world in terms of people rising up against dictators and oppressive regimes and I think the people are open to the possibilities to building a revolutionary movement.
Remember there was an election and the Republicans won, they won majorities in the state, they won the governor’s office and you have actual communists calling for actual revolution comparing the results of a free election to dictators and oppressive regimes.
And check out the comments in the Washington post Charles Lane a reliable liberal looked at what happened and called it what he was:
Yet today in Wisconsin, anger and vilification are once again the order of the day — and the incivility emanates from the progressive end of the spectrum, including, no doubt, many of the same people who blamed right-wing vitriol for creating a climate of violence in Arizona. Union-backed demonstrators, furious at Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s plans for reining in public-sector unions, equate him with Hosni Mubarak and Adolf Hitler, in disgusting mimickry of some Tea Party members’ inflammatory linkage between Obama and the evil dictators of history. (See Photo no. 10 in this gallery) or Photo 13 in this gallery .
Meanwhile, progressive voices in the media fanned the flames, spreading misinformation and outright falsehoods with a zest that would make Glenn Beck blush
And he was torn to pieces over it by the left.
Meanwhile here is Scott Walker
That was fox. Watching ABC this morning, they haven’t touched the fake doctor notes. If that gets into the MSM the game is totally over nationwide. Every single day this goes on GOP prospects for 2012 improve.