Two can play at this game, and will. But it’s smart politics for liberals. They’ve made no bones about the fact that they’re using the protests to galvanize the base ahead of 2012; a recall effort is an excuse to keep people motivated. If they win and get some Republicans tossed, it’s a moral victory proving that they’re still a force at the polls when they want to be. If they lose, it’s a cautionary tale about how important it is to turn out on election day and make sure the RethugliKKKans are never seated in the first place.
An obvious question: Are the White House and the DNC urging this on? The previous paragraph provides the answer, I guess.
“The proposals and the policies that Republicans are pushing right now are not what they campaigned on, and they’re extreme,” the party chair, Mike Tate, said in an interview. “Something needs to be done about it now. We’re happy to stand with citizens who are filling papers to recall these senators.”
Previously, Wisconsin Dems had not publicly supported talk about recalling GOP Senators, in hopes of privately reaching a negotiated solution to the crisis. The Wisconsin Democratic Party’s decision to support the recall drives represents a significant ratcheting up of hostilities and in essence signals that all bets are off…
Asked if Wisconsin Dems would drop their push to recall senators if they abandoned the drive to roll back public employee bargaining rights. Tate said he couldn’t guarantee that, arguing that Walker’s proposed budget cuts yesterday took this fight to a whole new level.
There’s all the proof you need that Democratic leaders are after bigger game here than merely protecting collective bargaining. Currently four Republicans are being targeted for recalls with another four eligible; recall efforts against four fleebagging Democrats are also already under way. Says GOP Sen. Randy Hopper, bring it on:
“It’s widely known here that I probably have one of the more difficult districts in the state for casting this vote,” says Hopper. “I have a lot of correctional facilities, a couple universities, and a couple of tech schools [in my district]. I have the second largest population of state employees in the state.”
“But it’s the right thing to do,” Hopper says of the budget repair bill. “If I get recalled because of doing what’s right in the interest of the state, and even if the true benefits won’t be seen for long after I’m done anyway, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do it.”
Hopper quoted one colleague who says, “This isn’t something we’re going to run our next campaigns on, this is something we’re going to tell our grandkids about.”
Alternate headline: Randy Hopper for federal entitlements czar. Meanwhile, unlike the left, the right isn’t limiting itself to recall petitions against Democratic fugitives. A Wisconsin citizen has filed suit against Jim Holperin requesting an order of mandamus to get him to perform his duties, and earlier today a state senate committee (with Democrats absent, natch) approved daily $100 fines for members who miss floor sessions. Luckily, fleebaggers have kind-hearted mommies and daddies to help pay their bills while they’re in Illinois striking a blow for obstruction or whatever.
And so the recall battle boils down to this: Which will the public hate more, Walker’s initiative against collective bargaining for benefits or Democrats absconding to stop Republicans from pushing it through? Based on the news from Ohio tonight, the GOP’s betting big that it’s the latter. Ponder that, my friends, as you watch Republican Sen. Glenn Grotham — yes, the same guy threatened by that mob yesterday — pay a very special tribute to the grassroots liberals camping out in the statehouse these days.