Commentary Magazine


Another Nail in the Wisconsin Recall Coffin

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel–Wisconsin’s largest and most influential newspaper—yesterday endorsed Scott Walker in the recall election to be held June 5. The newspaper said, “Even if you disagree with Walker’s policies, does that justify cutting short his term as governor? And if so, where does such logic lead? To more recall elections? More turmoil? It’s time to end the bickering and get back to the business of the state. We’ve had our differences with the governor, but he deserves a chance to complete his term.”

Intrade puts the governor’s chances of winning the recall vote at 84.6 percent, a huge lead. It puts Barack Obama’s chances of winning in November at a mere 56.9 percent. (Intrade is not a poll, per se. Instead, people bet real money on the outcomes—in other words, the people are putting their money—not just their opinions–where their mouths are.) In a more traditional poll, Walker is up six.

Money has apparently been drying up for Tom Barrett, the Democratic candidate, for the same reason Confederate bonds weren’t selling well in late 1864. But the DCCC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, whose job is to elect Democrats to Congress, has decided to help. One can only wonder how Wisconsin Democrats running for Congress feel about that.

One must not count unhatched chickens. But the drama that began in January 2011, as Walker sought to implement the platform he had run on the previous November and the public-service unions fought him by all means fair and foul, is beginning to look like the Götterdämmerung of trade union political power in Wisconsin and perhaps the nation.