Fugitive Wisconsin Dem: We’ll probably be back “sooner rather than later”

posted at 8:31 pm on February 21, 2011 by Allahpundit

Listen closely at around 1:30 and then again at 3:15. They’ve been talking tough about staying away for weeks or however long it takes until Walker crumbles, but this guy sounds awfully close to a “well, we’ve made our point” capitulation. Notwithstanding this morning’s Journal report of one Republican senator looking to add a sunset provision to the collective bargaining provisions, the GOP caucus there has hung admirably tough. Walker first and foremost, natch.

He held another presser this afternoon but this one was uneventful — yet another plea for the Democrats to come home and a reminder that if they can’t get to work on a budget soon, some members of the public won’t be getting their checks. He took a swipe too at protesters who are filing in from out of state to meddle in Wisconsin’s business. (Among them a state representative from Maine.) Why so much interference from liberals in far-flung places? Simple: Because their first stand in Wisconsin might be their last stand nationwide.

Some strategists and labor officials watching the protest conflagration from the outside are beginning to fret that a large-scale defeat in Wisconsin will have a devastating ripple effect, weakening labor state by state throughout the rest of the country…

“Not every state’s going to roll back collective bargaining,” the official — who, like many, asked not to be named to avoid undermining the protests — added, but said it could open the gates for union losses on various fronts, like benefits…

“You’ve got to put your stake in the ground somewhere, and the governor there was so outrageous about ending collective bargaining,” Sunshine said. “For labor’s future, they have to pick a good fight, and this one has obviously become it.”

But this fight isn’t at the time or place of the unions’ choosing. Hostility to public-sector workers, including teachers, is at an all-time high amid a recession and a new national mania for curbing the tide of fiscal red ink. Walker appears to have a firm legislative majority on his side.

Elsewhere in the piece, labor leaders lament their lack of an effective PR strategy — there’s no liberal problem that can’t be solved with better “messaging”! — but that last bit in the blockquote about the timing is more salient. The GOP is playing on favorable political turf at the moment, and not just on this issue. I’m morbidly curious to see how the media war over a government shutdown shakes out given the rising awareness of just how dire America’s debt problem really is. It’s one thing for the GOP to pull the plug over spending in ’95, in the middle of a decade of prosperity, but now? With Democrats refusing to accept $60 billion in cuts to chip away at a deficit of $1.5 trillion? Even an eeyore like me is willing to have that fight.

As a parting thought, Nate Silver argues that this morning’s Rasmussen poll showing a national near-majority supportive of Walker in this standoff might be biased. There are bound to be more polls soon to confirm or debunk that theory, but in the meantime, note that the White House is suddenly trying to distance itself from any role in organizing the protests despite Twitter evidence from the DNC to the contrary. What I wouldn’t give to see their internal polling right now.



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You know the funny thing about that little white speck on the top of chickenshit?

It’s still chickenshit.

darwin-t on February 21, 2011 at 8:35 PM

I will relish their crumbling.

SouthernGent on February 21, 2011 at 8:36 PM

Walk all over `em Walker!

ThePrez on February 21, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Cut off their government credit cards…

… Having to pay for services, food, and gas on their own will have a very sobering effect.

They will be back in the State within the hour…

Seven Percent Solution on February 21, 2011 at 8:37 PM

GET BACK TO WORK, YOU COWARDS.

Good Lt on February 21, 2011 at 8:37 PM

As a parting thought, Nate Silver argues that this morning’s Rasmussen poll showing a national near-majority supportive of Walker in this standoff might be biased.

Can’t keep him away from his hobbyhorse, hm? Silver’s still crabby about the fact that his predictions about the Senate were wrong, because Rasmussen only polled two or three races a day. He’s basically blaming them for his own failure to use more recent information.

And now Scott Rasmussen is his bete noire. By my count, the only poll Rasmussen blew – and they did so in a major way – was Hawaii’s Senate race. That’s it.

KingGold on February 21, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Walker was always going to win. He had the winning hand from the getgo. And this has been a public relations disaster for the Democrats. Tantrums are never a winning strategy.

Mr. D on February 21, 2011 at 8:39 PM

I’m morbidly curious to see how the media war over a government shutdown shakes out given the rising awareness of just how dire America’s debt problem really is.

I don’t think it’s gonna play out the way the Dems are hoping. First of all, the Congressional approval rating ain’t exactly high right now. So why would most Americans miss something they hate? And secondly, if the government gets shut down because the Dems can’t agree to slash $60 billion from the budget, it’ll be kinda hard for them to portray themselves as being even remotely serious about tackling the fiscal tsunami that’s approaching.

Doughboy on February 21, 2011 at 8:39 PM

GET BACK TO WORK, YOU COWARDS.

Good Lt on February 21, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Hear, hear!

equanimous on February 21, 2011 at 8:40 PM

Don’t back down. De-certify the union, start firing people, and make the state a right to work state.

If the governor makes any concessions everything goes right back to what it is now within ten years.

Skandia Recluse on February 21, 2011 at 8:41 PM

It seems like they might have a poll lodged in their rectum.

GnuBreed on February 21, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Good Lt on February 21, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Are you registered at Michelle Malkin’s site?..:)

Dire Straits on February 21, 2011 at 8:41 PM

I said this in another thread, but Republicans shouldn’t let Democrats get away with the “Organizing for America” shell game. Every time OfA sends something, it’s BarackObama.com doing it. The GOP should be reminding the public of the source at every opportunity.

Patrick Ishmael on February 21, 2011 at 8:42 PM

this guy sounds awfully close to a “well, we’ve made our point” capitulation

So it appears that their state-funded credit cards have been cut off. Principles are one thing, but liberals don’t back up their principles with their own money.

iurockhead on February 21, 2011 at 8:45 PM

“You’ve got to put your stake in the ground somewhere, and the governor there was so outrageous about ending collective bargaining,” Sunshine said. “For labor’s future, they have to pick a good fight, and this one has obviously become it.”

Aww, with a name like that, who can’t help but get the warm fuzzies over their defense of union goons?

red winger on February 21, 2011 at 8:45 PM

I’m morbidly curious to see how the media war over a government shutdown shakes out given the rising awareness of just how dire America’s debt problem really is. It’s one thing for the GOP to pull the plug over spending in ’95, in the middle of a decade of prosperity, but now?

This is the first time I’ve seen this argument made and it is frustrating to see the Republicans cower everytime a Liberal LSM member uses it against them. Yes things are very different and way worse now! Desperate times call for desperate measures.

CCRWM on February 21, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Cut off their government credit cards…

… Having to pay for services, food, and gas on their own will have a very sobering effect.

They will be back in the State within the hour…

Seven Percent Solution on February 21, 2011 at 8:37PM

These are state legislators, and I know it isn’t the South where they only make what they can steal basically, but unless they are getting money for a union (illegal) or Obama administration (probably illegal) this has got to be costing a boatload. It cost a lot to live in a hotel in Chicago.

whbates on February 21, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Jeez. He even looks like the kid that used to get beat up for his lunch money every day at school. What a thumb sucking lightweight of an elected representative.

RUN FORREST RUUUUNNNN!

FlatFoot on February 21, 2011 at 8:47 PM

As a parting thought, Nate Silver argues that this morning’s Rasmussen poll showing a national near-majority supportive of Walker in this standoff might be biased.

No, wait, Nate Silver said that? Get out of town.

I’m not generally one of the “polls are biased!” sorts, whether the polls favor us or not. But the fact that the White House is suddenly distancing themselves tells me that the polls showing Democrats / unions losing on this issue must be fairly accurate.

Vyce on February 21, 2011 at 8:52 PM

I have to believe that the only people left that might possibly support this are headline skimmers- the type who get their news from maybe, Jon Stewart, or they hear that “someone” is “trying to take money away from teachers”, and then look no further for clarification. I always think this whenever I hear of polls that make me roll my eyes. There is no clear thinking person who can support these teachers protests to keep benefits that are bankrupting the entire state. And they’re crappy teachers to boot!

anniekc on February 21, 2011 at 8:52 PM

FlatFoot on February 21, 2011 at 8:47 PM

vous sucez…go back to the daily kos

equanimous on February 21, 2011 at 8:55 PM

And now Scott Rasmussen is his bete noire. By my count, the only poll Rasmussen blew – and they did so in a major way – was Hawaii’s Senate race. That’s it.

No, I’ve been a big defender of Rasmussen in the past, but Silver is right that last Nov they consistently overestimated the support for GOP candidates, by an average of around 4 points. And their last poll had the GOP winning the generic House ballot by 12 points, vs. an actual result of around 7. It may be that the percentage of voters using cell phones only- which automated pollsters like Ras aren’t allowed to call- has now grown so large that their model no longer works, unless they find some way to compensate such as weighting their sample for age. Until they redeem themselves in another election, I think its probably best to assume their polls are still off 4 points in a GOP direction.

Jon0815 on February 21, 2011 at 8:57 PM

But I though the brave, principled, Wisc Dems were going to hole-up for months if needed.
Isn’t that what they were saying a few days ago?
I didn’t realize that ‘months’ could go by so fast.
///

annoyinglittletwerp on February 21, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Somebody needs to start a website, and publish photos taken during the demonstration.

Prosecute the teachers, and the doctors for fraud.

Take ‘em down one at a time. Fire them. Jail them. Revoke licenses.

Detroit’s school district was just ordered to close half it’s schools. There is replacement material.

The AWOL dems are another problem, but a method should be placed in code, to declare their seats abandoned.

Zero tolerance for these democrat games anymore.

docjohn52 on February 21, 2011 at 8:57 PM

equanimous on February 21, 2011 at 8:55 PM

I think he was talking about the Dem Rep being interviewed…. otherwise he doens’t make sense…

CCRWM on February 21, 2011 at 9:00 PM

whbates on February 21, 2011 at 8:47 PM

It truly is amazing what happens when people have to pay their own way…

… To some, it is quite the shock, hence current tantrum in Wisconsin.

Seven Percent Solution on February 21, 2011 at 9:01 PM

Jon0815 on February 21, 2011 at 8:57 PM

How does the pollster factor in election fraud though?

CCRWM on February 21, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Maybe the recall petition has started circulating in his district.

Philly on February 21, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Scott Walker is on Hannity right now.

Philly on February 21, 2011 at 9:03 PM

Jon0815 on February 21, 2011 at 8:57 PM

My point was that polls are supposed to tighten up immediately preceding the election, and in Ras’s case they most certainly did. Democrat get-out-the vote strategy is worth an extra point or two.

But because they polled on any and every statewide race but only released two or three per day, election eve polls were sparse. (Silver was whining and moaning about their volume, too.) My point about Hawaii is that it was a poll that was taken right before Election Day, and was off by over 25 points. That’s a big miss, but it wasn’t a competitive race to begin with.

My confidence in Rasmussen polls was certainly shaken, but their results speak for themselves. Silver, on the other hand, keeps his allegiances far away from the disclosure of his column.

KingGold on February 21, 2011 at 9:03 PM

Speaking of “messaging” I wish conservatives and the GOP would use this showdown to Democrats are the party of greed, and the party that doesnt care about the poor, elderly and children.

Every time Democrats are in office, and out of money, they demand higher taxes or else they say they will have to cut emergency services, lay off police and rescue, or like Obama, cut off home heating aid to the poor and elderly.

But they ALWAYS protect their fat-cat union thugs at the same time, at the expense of people who really do need help.

Republicans should be HAMMERING them with that every day, every hour, if you ask me.

American Elephant on February 21, 2011 at 9:05 PM

…note that the White House is suddenly trying to distance itself from any role in organizing the protests despite Twitter evidence from the DNC to the contrary. What I wouldn’t give to see their internal polling right now.

Barack Obama, on the wrong side of America, every time.

Kevin71 on February 21, 2011 at 9:07 PM

Doughboy on February 21, 2011 at 8:39 PM

I felt very strongly that the Repubs should not waver in the face of a threatened gov’t shutdown. Then I heard about the services that would be affected – air traffic for one. I am still in favor of the shutdown.

mdenis39 on February 21, 2011 at 9:07 PM

You just can’t make this stuff up. Apparently this is one of the dems on the run. He has a court hearing on April 27…he better be back by then.

http://www.fox11online.com/dpp/news/local/fox_cities/oshkosh-state-representative-gordon-hintz-cited-for-sexual-misconduct

wi farmgirl on February 21, 2011 at 9:10 PM

If this was Poker, Walker held an Ace high straight, while the union only had a couple of Jack(asse)s, hoping against hope two more would show up on the Turn and the River. The bluff didn’t work, and now Walker is just waiting for the Dems to return to the table to finish the hand.

jeffNWV on February 21, 2011 at 9:10 PM

I’d say the Dems’ started considering backing down once they realized the GOP can pass absolutely anything they want–including government union reform–without them at the statehouse to slow it down.

The state senate reconvenes tomorrow to start taking up bills that are non-fiscal and only need a majority of legislators present to meet quorum. While publicly shooting down any suggestion that union reforms be passed separately from the budget bill, senate majority leader Fitzgerald’s move to pass bills the Dems won’t like while they are gone is a clever way to put pressure on them.

It is particularly clever politically to show the Dems the GOP trump card of the potential of passing union reforms in a separate non-fiscal bill without having to play that card. The GOP gets to make that threat without being blamed for being bullies. It’s almost as if Fitzgerald went out of his way to say he doesn’t intend to pass union reforms this way…to send the message that they could do just that any time.

BryanS on February 21, 2011 at 9:10 PM

I feel like everyone has lost their minds….

wi farmgirl on February 21, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Simple man to follow.

Two parts to the argument.

Fiscal issues. Unions have already given in. Twenty needed to pass. Everyone agreed. Passed.

Collective bargaining. Not fiscal. Pass today with simple majority.

People win.

Losers lose.

crash72 on February 21, 2011 at 9:24 PM

And of course, then there’s the camel spotted in Madison today.

Yes, a camel in Madison

BryanS on February 21, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Get out of my state, Wisconsin Weasel Senators! If we get anymore Democrats in Illinois, we might tip over and capsize

Fallon on February 21, 2011 at 9:32 PM

And of course, then there’s the camel spotted in Madison today.

Yes, a camel in Madison

BryanS on February 21, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Wow. Jon Stewart’s stunt didn’t turn out so well.

Pythagoras on February 21, 2011 at 9:37 PM

Missing 14 Senators, Please just mail in your resignations and remain out of state… Thanks!

WhoU4 on February 21, 2011 at 9:43 PM

http://www.greatschools.org/wisconsin/madison/
heh

NY Conservative on February 21, 2011 at 9:49 PM

I have a feeling they aren’t coming back for at least another week.

Walker’s going to have to do something else if he wants them back by Friday.

WisCon on February 21, 2011 at 9:59 PM

You have to wonder how the WI Democrats were THINKING this would turn out….

Did they think the Republicans would tearfully beg them: “Please, please come back… We’re willing to make concessions to you now?”

In their defense: liberals have always been lunatics and narcissists. Everyone has always known that, and this flamboyantly moronic episode tells us nothing new about them. BUt the fact that even these freaks suspected for one second that kidnapping themselves might potentially work out in their favor says more about the GOP’s reputation than it says about the Democrats.

Let’s face it: liberals have pulled even stupider stunts than this in the past — and, until now, those stunts had WORKED to get liberals everything they asked for.

But not anymore. The fact that the Republicans just laughed as the neo-hippies’ most recent infantile tantrum failed so spectacularly says a lot about where at least part of the GOP are heading now. For the first time in decades, the Adult Party are finally ACTING like adults. And it’s about time.

logis on February 21, 2011 at 9:59 PM

You just can’t make this stuff up. Apparently this is one of the dems on the run. He has a court hearing on April 27…he better be back by then.

wi farmgirl on February 21, 2011 at 9:10 PM

Hintz is an assemblyman/representative, not a state senator. He was, however, the guy who was complaining rather loudly about not being given enough time to read the huge 144 page bill the Republicans came up with…yet he apparently had no problem with the multi-thousand pages of Pelosi legislation that no one was allowed to read….

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0BG973hQtc

PetecminMd on February 21, 2011 at 10:31 PM

Since I know none of you are going to bother reading Nate’s piece:

The second question in the Rasmussen poll found that 36 percent of respondents believe that public-sector employees earn more than private-sector workers in their state, while 21 percent thought public sector workers earned less, and 20 percent thought they earned about the same amount.

In fact, according to an analysis by USA Today, state employees earn about 5 percent less than comparable employees in the private sector, on average, although federal employees receive significantly (20 percent) more.

You have to wonder how the WI Democrats were THINKING this would turn out….

Did they think the Republicans would tearfully beg them: “Please, please come back… We’re willing to make concessions to you now?”

The only polling we have from WI citizens isn’t looking good for Walker, and this is with the media on overdrive distorting the facts. If it goes through as is, there’s no reason why the fire fighters and police officers won’t fear being next, and any decrease in child school performance will be blamed on Walker’s actions, rightfully or not. The question isn’t whether or not he’ll be a one-termer, but whether or not he’ll make it through a term without a recall.

There’s a media typhoon right now, but once it settles down, he’ll have to explain why he cut taxes for the upper income brackets, and then claimed a fiscal crisis and stripped away bargaining rights even after he got all of his concessions. WI is going blue in 2012, unfortunately.

Christie is doing it right. He’s pissing off the teachers, but he’s not stupid enough to think that shoving a bill down the legislature throats that causes a de-facto end to the biggest union in the state is smart move. All his political capital is gone.

As a minor aside:

He took a swipe too at protesters who are filing in from out of state to meddle in Wisconsin’s business.

He says this while people like Breitbart and Palin are doing everything they can to interject themselves into the issue?

Rainsford on February 21, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Doesn’t pigsford have another site he can soil?

GaltBlvnAtty on February 21, 2011 at 10:41 PM

He says this while people like Breitbart and Palin are doing everything they can to interject themselves into the issue?

Rainsford on February 21, 2011 at 10:37 PM

Uh, perhaps you are forgetting the contribution of the POTUS? Memory can be soooo selective.

donh525 on February 21, 2011 at 11:01 PM

They are crumbling. Walker’s smartest move was to start moving on other bills that they are bound to loathe, such as the state ID voting bill. LOL*

Smart cookie, Walker.

AnninCA on February 22, 2011 at 8:17 AM

You have to wonder how the WI Democrats were THINKING this would turn out….

They thought the public pressure would force him to negotiate on the core changes, which is to allow WI to become a Right to Work state.

That’s pretty obvious. I heard the governor on Morning Joe. He fielded some tough questions and didn’t really answer the criticism well. He’s totally on top of the real issue, explains that very well.

But he could use a better answer on raising taxes on the millionaires to make sure that everyone views this as truly “shared pain.”

That is emerging as a key discussion point.

AnninCA on February 22, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Did these guys get a memo from the gov about expense accounts, or has the union money dried up? Either way, they’ll be dragging their tails back to WI. Only a lib could twist this in their mind as a win.

Kissmygrits on February 22, 2011 at 9:13 AM

And of course, then there’s the camel spotted in Madison today.

Yes, a camel in Madison

BryanS on February 21, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Egyptian riot police?

Steve Z on February 22, 2011 at 9:43 AM

And of course, then there’s the camel spotted in Madison today.

Yes, a camel in Madison

BryanS on February 21, 2011 at 9:26 PM
Egyptian riot police?

Steve Z on February 22, 2011 at 9:43 AM

A Daily Show stunt that went bad.

WisRich on February 22, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Am I imagining things or do these Wisconsin senators all look like the Swedish curling team? Pretty namby pamby if you ask me. Do they have an alpha male in charge somewhere?

kens on February 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM