As of this moment, it looks as though the recall election in Wisconsin has fallen one seat short of retaking the Senate and preventing Governor Walker from continuing his campaign against organized labor and worker’s rights, among other things. It’s sad of course, a lot of us went to bed last night hoping we’d have something great to celebrate this morning, but this was not the case. It’s a hard blow here at APV in particular. One of the sparks that got us to found this organization was the riveting sight of hundreds of thousands of citizens standing up for their rights against a petty tyrant. Wisconsin was a clarion call to many of us, a signal that it was time to stop whining and start doing something.
I’m here to say that although we fell short in this round, the lessons of Wisconsin still ring true. Stand up for your rights, don’t back down, make it as hard as possible for the corporations and the ideologues to rob us of what’s ours. You may not always win, but fighting back empowers you, it makes you stronger and better hones your arguments and strategies, and this sort of thing build on itself. Next year the people of Wisconsin will try and recall Scott Walker. The Koch brothers and the GOP will pour money into the effort to keep their man, but it will cost ’em, and they may lose this next race. The point is that these extremists need to understand that when you take a sledge hammer to the people’s rights, there are going to be consequences.
And let’s be clear, last night there were consequences. This was no picnic for the GOP, they lost two seats in the Senate and barely held the others. They needed to spend tens of millions of dollars and they watched as the Democrats built a powerful political organization heading into 2012. Walker is still widely unpopular less than a year after his election, and while it was hard to turn out Senators from gerrymandered districts, state-wide things may prove different. Some conservatives will crow about this, but they know they dodged a bullet and there are more coming down the line.
From down here in Virginia, where believe me we have our own problems, I say to the good people of Wisconsin, don’t give up the fight! We are with you. On Wisconsin!
Public Policy Director