Wineke: Reflecting on recall election

Columnist examines the aftereffects of Walker recall

Published On: Jun 19 2012 12:20:44 PM CDT

By Bill Wineke
Special to Channel 3000

It has been more than a week since Wisconsin’s recall election and that’s plenty of time for spinsters to analyze what it all meant and it has been a particularly fruitful time for those spinsters who view us from afar.

Which means, of course, that most of the analysis is pure nonsense.

Here’s a sampling of what I’ve been reading:

1. The employee unions "overreached" in their opposition to Governor Walker and now they will pay the price.

You can have your own opinion of what the labor movement may or may not have done wrong. My own is that the progressives in Wisconsin failed to read the lessons of the 2010 election, which is a great many Wisconsin residents hate them.

I’d have rather seen the unions and the Democrats in general spend the money they wasted on the recall effort on a new effort in organizing people to understand the attacks on public employee benefits are actually attacks on the benefits of all workers.

But to say the unions “overreached” is nonsense. The Republicans who ruled the state used their power to destroy the union movement as we knew it. In response, the unions chose to use what little power they had left to try to save themselves – and the bargaining rights for their members.

2. All the money poured into the Wisconsin election was irrelevant to the outcome because people’s minds were made up long in advance.

Really? I work in central Wisconsin. Since before Christmas, at least, I couldn’t turn on a television station or a radio station without being barraged by commercials either touting Walker or castigating Mayor Barrett. It just never stopped.

We don’t yet know how big a money advantage the governor had because many of those working on his behalf don’t even have to report what they’re doing.

Now, we’re supposed to believe that those millions spent on his behalf, most of them from out-of-state millionaires and billionaires, were irrelevant.

If so, one has to ask why those millionaires and billionaires were so stupid. I mean, these are the people Mitt Romney and the Republicans keep telling us are the “success” stories of our land and who should be trusted to call the shots in our economy because they know what they’re doing. If they wasted all this money, why should we think they know how to run the country?

3. Scott Walker is now a "rock star."

No, he’s not. He’s a mediocre politician who is fortunate enough to be faced by a mediocre Democratic Party. When I see him on television giving advice to Mitt Romney I think of the old adage, “be careful what you pray for.” At some point, Republicans are going to actually have to govern by action and not by slogan.

Or, maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps the state will now create “an unbelievable number of jobs” because Walker won the recall election. I hope it does. I live here.

It’s just that I don’t really believe the state’s economic problems are due to rich people refusing to hire unless their politicians win. I might be cynical about the rich, but I’m not that cynical.