So Tom Barrett finally got bizzee and declared his candidacy a month before the early-May primary and soundly defeated that popinjay Kathleen Falk. I voted for Barrett in this primary, obviously. But some people are kind of freaked that the votes for Walker in the primary (Walker had a long-shot libertarian-Republican from Madison running against him) somewhat surpassed the total of votes cast for Democratic candidates. I wouldn't read too terribly much into that. We already know that Walker has a substantial and motivated movement-conservative base, and the recallistas probably figured Barrett would win the primary and they were going to vote for whoever was chosen to run against Walker anyhow.
Of more concern is that most polls show the race to be a virtual dead-heat, and one recent poll has even shown Walker to be ahead by five percentage points. And about a third of all union-members and their families actually support Walker. I attribute that to the animus movement-conservatism has created against public employees supposedly living high on the proverbial hog on the taxpayer dime. Wisconsin is dead last in job creation for 2011, and a major scandal implicating Walker during his term as Milwaukee County Executive is brewing. There is also the bill Walker signed into law undermining pay-equality for women. And how about that video of Walker telling a billionaire donor that he was planning on using a "divide and conquer" strategy in order to turn Wisconsin into a Mississippi-style "right to work" state? And despite all this, the race is nonetheless in this dead-heat. So what is the lesson here?
The lesson is one taught by Adolf Hitler that our owning class has very seriously taken to heart, and it is simply that Proppaganda Works. It can be brazen, unvarnished proppaganda, but it will still work if it is sufficiently loud and pervasive. The far-right corporate money to which Walker has access is no match for the paltry sums mustered by Tom Barrett and his supporters. And it isn't just the proppaganda associated with this particular recall election. More than three decades of blaring, strident movement-conservative proppaganda, whose latter-day manifestations are reactionary hate-radio and Fox News, have laid the groundwork for the horror now unfolding in Wisconsin. But if you live in Wisconsin and you're reading this and you're not one of the bad guys or one of those silly people seduced by that "both sides are equally bad in the same way" nonsense, please vote regardless.
But if I were a completely dispassionate political analyst on a flying-saucer observing the situation in Wisconsin from space, I would have to call the recall election for Walker. And that's because in order to defeat an incumbent Republican official with a substantial and motivated popular base, there has to be a clear and obvious majority (at least consistently 55% or more in polling) against them. We just don't have that. And even if it's a 51/49 victory for the Democrats (not guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination) we all know damn well what always happens. Republicans brazenly and openly steal the election using some sort of shenanigans, and the Democratic Party heirarchy just sits on its hands and plays dumb. Extrapolating future trends based on what has happened in the recent past is a useful guide for predicting the behavior of both dysfunctional individuals and dysfunctional societies. Having been a rather predictable dysfunctional individual for quite a while, I should know!