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Pierce writes: "Right now, if nothing else changes, it looks very much like Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, is going to keep his job."

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, 04/13/12. (photo: AP)
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis, 04/13/12. (photo: AP)

Scott Walker for President?

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

17 May 12


ight now, if nothing else changes, it looks very much like Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, is going to keep his job. If that's the case, and assuming he doesn't go down in the ongoing John Doe investigation in Milwaukee, I predict that he will have an "exploratory committee" set up in Iowa within the month, and he will suddenly discover a deeply held desire to spend a lot of time in places like Nashua and Manchester. Make no mistake: If he hangs on, he will be the biggest star in the Republican party. Chris Christie yells at all the right people, but has he ever faced down the existential threat that schoolteachers and snowplow drivers brought to bear on Walker? Marco Rubio? Has he withstood the wrath of organized janitors and professors of the humanities? If Walker wins in June, it wouldn't take very much effort at all for Fox News and for the vast universe of conservative sugar-daddies and their organization to decide that Walker should be the odds-on choice for 2016.

Dear Debbie Wasserman-Schultz: That heinous future actually could happen if you don't get out of the Green Room and get the DNC off the stick here. I'm still not kidding. If the Democrats blow this one, and if it's proven that the DNC could have helped in any way and didn't, you should be fired before the sun goes down. In 1990, the DNC declined to help fully a congressional candidate named David Worley in Georgia. The Worley people were begging for money, for organizers, for a lifeline of any kind. Very little was forthcoming. Worley lost to Newt Gingrich by 978 votes. How would the subsequent 10 years have been different if Gingrich's political career had ended ignominiously in 1990? That's the kind of chance that you seem to be allowing to go a'glimmering in Wisconsin. Let Walker win, and Democrats not yet born will curse your name.

I am less than optimistic about Tom Barrett's chances because he's getting outspent about 20-1, and because the numbers stubbornly refuse to move. This should be a base-vs.-base election, but it's being played, at least by the Democrats, as yet another unicorn-hunt after "independent voters." Barrett keeps talking about the "civil war" that Walker incited in Wisconsin. But that's not the argument. There should have been a "civil war" over what Walker was trying to do. There wouldn't even be a recall without what Barrett calls "the civil war." The "civil war" was entirely appropriate. Sometimes, in politics, there are issues worth screaming about. I'm no expert, but the end of collective bargaining during an era of flat-lining wages would seem to be one of those. By citing the "civil war" as the reason for voting for him, and without, I believe, intending to do so, Barrett makes all those people standing in the cold last January marginally complicit in what he says as the problem the recall was meant to solve. But the problem with Scott Walker was not that he inspired an outburst of incivility. It's that he tried to screw the workers of the state of Wisconsin, and that he got more than halfway there, and that he apparently intends to go the rest of the way if he manages to survive the recall. It's not idle speculation to say that a lot more is riding on this than who gets to be governor of Wisconsin. This is the first real fight of the 2016 presidential election. your social media marketing partner


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+104 # Barbara K 2012-05-17 12:47
UGH! The very thought is nauseating.
+35 # bubbiesue 2012-05-17 13:33
But true.
+14 # RGV.REG 2012-05-17 22:55
A worse thought is that the voting machines are rigged!
We may never get our "voting" rights back!
+11 # paulrevere 2012-05-18 09:38
People, particularly the left people, refuse to grasp how easily the electronic means of cast, tally, transmitt and aggregate can be manipulated...I remind all of the group of geeks who hacked two Diebold machines from a half mile away with a ten dollar RadioShack gizmo.

Consider that over the past forty or more years of computerization every organization on the planet from military, to banks to government to corporations have been spending tens of BILLIONS A YEAR on network security and IT WILL NEVER BE SECURE.

So now we have a private company, refusing any look at their software which is Windows The Seive based channeling 80+% of the votes in America.

None of the above is exaggeration...
+30 # paulrevere 2012-05-17 13:04
Wasserman-Schul tz is a bag person for corporate sociopaths.

She presses for NOTHING that has teeth and tiptoes around any controversy except that which her handlers allow...

...hmmmm, upon reflection, that description seems to fit the vast majority of the present Democrat electeds.

+104 # Trish42 2012-05-17 13:12
I live in a the reddest of states, so the popular vote here never surprises me. But if even Wisconsinites don't vote Democrat, what hope do the rest of us have. Of course I'm nauseated by the antics of the Republicans, but I don't see the population as a whole rising up to say, "no more." It's depressing as hell!
+23 # ericlipps 2012-05-17 16:57
Quoting Trish42:
I live in a the reddest of states, so the popular vote here never surprises me. But if even Wisconsinites don't vote Democrat, what hope do the rest of us have. Of course I'm nauseated by the antics of the Republicans, but I don't see the population as a whole rising up to say, "no more." It's depressing as hell!

"Even Wisconsinites" may vote for Democrats, but they also gave us Joe McCarthy and hate preacher Gerald L. K. Smith (who actually ran for president). So it shouldn't be too great a surprise if they fail to turn out a sitting governor, evn if he is a bullying jackass.
+34 # doneasley 2012-05-17 17:51
Quoting Trish42:
Of course I'm nauseated by the antics of the Republicans, but I don't see the population as a whole rising up to say, "no more."

Kids perform "antics". The GOP behavior since Barack Obama has been in office is morally reprehensible. And the population isn't rising up because they're too busy with "Dancing With The Stars" and video games. They barely know Barack Obama, and certainly don't know what's going on politically at the national level, much less what's going on in Wisconsin.

I don't understand why the DNC hasn't pitched in after all the work that the people of Wisconsin have done. Scott Walker has access to as much money as he wants thanks to the Citizens United ruling. I believe Wisconsin is a place for Democrats nationally to make a stand since it's the poster child for the GOP overreach that's going on in every state that they control. A recall win by Walker would only validate and encourage this ALEC/Koch-taugh t style of vicious, destructive politics.

The mainstream media can share a lot of the blame for their lack of coverage of many big issues. They're as afraid of the GOP bullies as the Dems seem to be. I'm not asking for slanted coverage. Just tell the story and let us draw our own conclusions!
+4 # X Dane 2012-05-18 21:25
donesley, remember, the media is by and large OWNED by the right wing. It is not just Fox.

Maybe that is why so many journalist act like elections are just exiting "horse race" and it is fun to see who wins, rather than the deadly serious attempts at averting the disaster, a republican win would be.

Going back to the Bush years,.... which is what the republicans want to do..... would be too horrible to think of, for those of us, who care about the future of our children, and the country.
+76 # wrodwell 2012-05-17 13:15
Welcome to the Age of American Suicide. It's mind-boggling that the Democratic National Committee has refused to contribute $500,000 to the recall efforts of their presumed fellow Democrats and Progressives in Wisconsin. (Charles Pierce's comparison of the 1990 Georgia election between David Worley and Newt Gingrich does bear an uncanny resemblance to the Wisconsin recall election). I've been receiving letters recently from President Obama and other Democratic politicians requesting campaign donations. If Democrats as a whole had half a brain they would boycott the DNC and all Democratic politicians by not giving them a plug nickel until they show their $$ support for the vitally important Wisconsin Recall Election. What's the DNC's excuse? Is the DNC broke? Let them reveal their assets. Aren't they in favor of "transparency"? Failure to bolster the recall proponents in Wisconsin means that the Democrats as a whole don't deserve a plug nickel in contributions. Alas, neither party has the answers to what ails America. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the system is irredeemably corrupt and broken not to mention being creatively bankrupt. As a result, the country desperately needs a huge cathartic.
+20 # lorenbliss 2012-05-17 13:21
Once again we witness – in the Democratic National Committee's refusal to act – how Obama the Orator is really Barack the Betrayer.

As we all (should have) learned during the past four years, this is the one true "change we can believe in."

That said, I suspect the real issue here is the strength of organized labor. Walker's recall would resurrect the appeal of union membership to workers who -- thanks to years of Ayn Rand brainwashing -- are too ignorant to understand the need for solidarity.

But Obama, beholden as he is to Wall Street, is as anti-union as any Republican: note particularly how he killed Employee Free Choice.

That's why he and his DNC (obviously) want Walker to win.

Which raises three questions:

Will the Democrats -- terrified as they are of Occupy and other manifestations of our reawakening social conscience -- allow their party to become an effective instrument of change?

Or will they continue to serve their Wall Street masters by deliberately losing the Wisconsin recall?

And what does that tell us about the national election itself?
+49 # conniejo 2012-05-17 14:21
Loren, I live in Wisconsin, and I want so badly not to believe that what you say is true. Since a year ago last February, I have been trying to understand the absence of the national Democratic machine (including the president) in this war on Wisconsin. It simply does not make any sense . . . unless you are correct. I'm afraid we "little people" are on our own.
+15 # lorenbliss 2012-05-17 15:58
Conneijo...As I said of Robert F. Kennedy, his assassination took from us "the last man who could have saved us from ourselves," and in subsequent years my interest in presidential elections was scarcely more than that required by my work as a journalist.

But -- fool that I am -- I set aside my doubts about Obama, reasoning if he kept only three of his many promises -- public-option/s ingle-payer health care; Employee Free Choice; restoration of our constitutional rights -- I would regard my vote as fulfilled.

But this alleged Democrat for whom I cast my ballot turned out to be a Republican instead.

Since then I have come to realize the true nature of the problem.

It is not our political parties. Behind their smokescreens of rhetoric, they are indistinguishab ly fascist -- note their unanimous votes on NDAA and all other such impositions of tyranny.

Instead the problem is capitalism -- infinite greed elevated to maximum virtue -- and capitalist governance: absolute power and unlimited profit for the One Percent, total subjugation for all the rest of us.

Thus are we disenfranchised , enslaved, exterminated.

Now in despair I drift ever closer to wholehearted embrace of the one option that seems to offer understanding, discipline and at least a genuine possibility for liberation:
+95 # Saberoff 2012-05-17 13:33
Wisconsinites: We must NOT let ourselves be discouraged by these latest polls numbers. We know that these polls were conducted in Republican-lean ing areas. We must retain our energy. We must get everyone we know out to the polls, voting for Tom Barrett, on June 5th. Solidarity!
+43 # Midwestgeezer 2012-05-17 14:19
Saberoff is correct. Walker will lose!
+45 # Rich Austin 2012-05-17 13:37
We all know the DNC is a neoliberal establishment that touts itself as "centrist". So much for the DNC.

Here is my question: Where is the AFL-CIO? Where is Richard Trumka and the vaunted Executive Council, most of whom are busy kissing his a_ _? Where are the Change to Win honchos? Hoffa? Where are you?

Too many of today's labor "leaders" snuck in through a side door. They never got their hands dirty during their ascendancy to the top. Now they spend more supping in the Senate dining room than they do out representing their memberships. Shame! Shame on those pie cards...those centrist pie cards. As a 71 year old retired worker I'm telling them that not a one of them could have carried a water can for real workers.
-2 # paulrevere 2012-05-18 09:22
I quit reading any of the AFL-CIO emails as it became apparent that Trumpka backed all things o.

Sell outs who should be shunned by progressives... OR...taken over as we MUST do with the money greased DNC.
+9 # MidwestTom 2012-05-17 13:37
My bet is that Homeland security under orders from BHO already has developed plans to crush Occupy where ever it appears. They will be training for bigger things this weekend in Chicago.
+56 # giraffee2012 2012-05-17 13:43
If Walker doesn't get recalled - it only makes the Supremes' "corp = person = let $$ buy our government" decision GAVE OUR DEMOCRACY away - I hold them 100% responsible for the run away influence the Koch Brothers have bought our elections and worse yet OUR MEDIA.

No matter what Debbie, Obama, Sanders, others on the left don't do -- Allowing Dems to run our government is 100% better than the GOP/TP (which is owned by big $$ from "nobody knows") -

With all that money controlling our government, cops, prisons, war complex (etc) -- my democracy (and constitutional rights) are going away - fast= in free fall.

Never ever vote TP/GOP - while we still have the vote. The newest minority that should vote out TP/GOP are women!!!!!!
+1 # X Dane 2012-05-18 21:37
We will do our best, giraffee. Believe me many of us are "mad as hell, and we don't want to take it anymore".
+41 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-17 13:47
Get out the vote Democrats...
+33 # What Now Toons 2012-05-17 13:51
Scott Walker is getting tons of cash from the right so he can continue his war on unions! And take note, tons more cash will flow in to promote him to a presidency run. He must be recalled, or we will be facing him in four years! I did a few cartoons about this "goggle-eyed homunculus" ( I love that description )They're up at my labor cartoon site
Left of Center Independent Political Cartoons
+48 # VisionSphere 2012-05-17 14:05
I just contributed $75 to the Wisconsin Democratic party this morning. I suggest that anyone who reads this and can donate even $3-$5 do it now.

I think anyone who is here understands that this Wisconsin election is THE election of this election cycle. If it is won the elections in the fall will be immensely easier.

If the DNC doesn't come thru with some real money before the end of the week. Debbie Wasserman Shultz should be fired before the convention. FIRED with malice.
-51 # phantomww 2012-05-17 15:26
I just got my thank you card in the mail for donating to Scott Walker. He will win. Maybe I will give him another donation or Sheriff Joe, can't decide which one yet. Oh, who cares, I will give to both of them. :)
+5 # paulrevere 2012-05-18 09:29
Baaaaa...baaaa little sheepster.
+10 # VisionSphere 2012-05-18 11:32
Phantomww, I take your post as a simple taunt.

Walker is the pure embodiment of what is wrong with the Republican party. Driven by ideology alone ignoring the true ramifications of their Policies. Producing fewer jobs, a constricting economy that ultimately will hurt the wealthy as much or more than the poor. All I can figure out is the Republican Oligarchy wants power - all else be hanged. And there is the reason why you have donated to Walker - because you want to feel like a winner - that you have power. Don't kid yourself the republicans will eat their own young much less a trivial contributor such as yourself. Feed yourself to your self centered self serving ideology and surrender all hope beyond this point. As for myself - Onward Wisconsin throw off the tyranny that has come to visit our country. Be the tip of the spear - we remain the supportive and dedicated shaft.
+1 # phantomww 2012-05-20 21:18
Of course it is a taunt. In case you haven't noticed, things are going pretty well in WI which is why he will win. As for policies that produce fewer jobs, I think we only have to look at Obama's record to see how to do that. what I find kind of funny is how you call me a "trivial contributor" and X Dane says I am a 1%er. So which is it? Also, my main support of Walker is that he is against PUBLIC unions (which is the same position as FDR). Public unions are bad for the states and the nation. Public employees should NEVER be allowed to strike against the American people. Public employees should NEVER be able to force the people to pay for pay and benefits that the average American can't get. But go ahead and think you are the tip of the spear and impale yourself on it. Nice to have a cause to fall on your sword for. Too bad it is for power hungry public unions and not individual Americans.
+1 # X Dane 2012-05-18 21:43
What is a 0ne percenter doing on this site.

The only ones benefiting from a republican win will be the one percent.
+32 # conniejo 2012-05-17 14:16
I am sick at heart because of the latest polls, and even sicker at heart knowing that we have the votes to win if we just had help from the DNC, president, and other public figures. There are so many well-known individuals who could inspire people here to go to the polls on June 5. PLEASE, people; come to Wisconsin!! The private-sector unions need to do more as well. Thirty-nine percent of union households support Walker, even after the revelation of his "divide and conquer" comments to a billionaire interested in making Wisconsin a "right to work" (talk about a misnomer!!!), non-union state. These folks are being overwhelmed with Walker ads - a 25 to 1 ratio with Barrett ads. We need help to fight Walker's Citizens United advantage. So many of us are working full-time and walking door-to-door in our non-work hours, making phone calls, sending in all the money we can muster because we know this is not just about Wisconsin, but about the entire future of our country. And we will keep doing that until 8:00 p.m. on June 5. Please contact Debbie Wasserman Schultz (202) 225-7931 and tell her the DNC needs to step up to the plate with money and all the "important people" contacts they have to help Wisconsin start our country back on the road to sanity for all of us.
+29 # davidhp 2012-05-17 14:23
Citizens United is winning over the needs of the people - this election shows that that money talks in America not the people.
+8 # doneasley 2012-05-17 21:15
CU is definitely winning. Romney was able to use that money to drown out Gingrich, Santorum, Paul and the rest in the primary. He plans to repeat that same process against President Obama in the general.

Taxpayers should:
o pay for all election expenses;
o welcome all comers who qualify;
o forbid candidates to use outside money;
o limit outside advertising content and timing relative to election;
o set the debate schedule;
o set the debate topics - candidates should be ready for any topic;
o appoint independent committees for reapportionment in each state; and...
o shorten the election cycle.

What we're witnessing now are elections that would not be allowed in some 3rd world countries (2000, 2004). Money has allowed the inmates to run the asylum - and Wisconsin is a prime example of that!
+2 # X Dane 2012-05-18 21:59
doneasley, all your demands are spot on. NOW HOW CAN WE CARRY THEM OUT????.

Our next presidential race starts the minute the president steps into the White House. it is totally crazy.
+18 # isafakir 2012-05-17 14:38
why is obama and the democratic party sitting it out? i don't understand. really. another massachussetts. it stinks.
+34 # teineitalia 2012-05-17 14:39
I deeply appreciate Mr. Pierce and the way he has, with laser-like focus, zeroed in on one of the critical elections of this decade. This is the election which must be won. It will send a message to the Kochs, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Toilet Paper Party that they can throw all the money they want at elections...peo ple will not be fooled this time around.
It will take much more than Wasserman Shultz and the DNC... but they absolutely must help in every way possible.

(How I miss Howard Dean right now. He wouldn't let this slide. In fact,his group,Democracy For America,is one of many working very hard in Wisconsin as we speak.) Donate to DFA Wisconsin and your money will be put to good use.
+9 # hbheinze 2012-05-17 15:52
Teineitalia, thanks for the tip on where to donate! I'm going to donate right now.
+14 # Brooklyn Girl 2012-05-17 15:34
I will not contribute ONE THIN DIME to the DNC as long as this stupidity continues.
-8 # MendoChuck 2012-05-17 15:35
Come on folks . . . .
Those of you that think there is really any difference between The Republicans and The Democrats have not been paying attention.

But then again this has been being said for several years now but as usual the so called middle class has been lulled to sleep in the comfort of there middle class homes out in the suburbs'.
Go home and go back to sleep . . . . Washington DC did a disconnect from the so called "Middle Class" a long time ago.
+3 # Bodiotoo 2012-05-18 12:07
Middle Class/ Working Class may not wake up until we have a "Kent State" incident. When th eblood of the young starts to pour on on th estreets, may...just maybe middle America will wake up...lets hope it is not too late.
+16 # mpatrick 2012-05-17 16:13
I believe Pierce has it nailed. I live in central WI and have witnessed the blitz of Walker signs, not only on home lawns, but huge ones in farm fields. I counted one Barrett sign. And the TV is worse: Walker ad after ad appears, painting Barrett as a feckless buffoon. And it is working. The latest Marquette Univ poll puts Walker 8 to 10 points ahead. And where is the DNC? I can't understand why they're allowing this ship to sink since Walker will only grow in ability to beat them.
+5 # paulrevere 2012-05-18 09:24
easy answer mpatrick...they are unequivocal sell-outs who are blinded to the damage they are doing to WETHEPEOPLE and this great country...

money and power = drug of choice.
+17 # Arte Possible 2012-05-17 16:42
I just wrote to Obama asking for his enthusiastic support of Scott Walker's recall, saying, among other things, "Don't let Citizens United take this win away from us."
+17 # coffeewriter 2012-05-17 16:47
You get the government you deserve. If Democrats can't get a little fight in them - and out of them, then unfortunately the likes of Walker are going to triumph nationally as well as locally.

Why is it that all the real passion seems to come from the right? Yes, I understand that conservatives are generally more political and more partisan but if progressives and liberals don't take a thumb out of their collective butt, they will have to accept living in a nationalist, conservative (fascist?) country some day soon.
+16 # Saberoff 2012-05-17 18:16
It's not "real passion" that comes from the right: it's money; lies; mass media propaganda.
+9 # speedboy 2012-05-17 17:26
Why are we wasting time and money conducting elections---jus t award the office to the highest money spender!!!
+22 # Mac 2012-05-17 20:23
I, living in Vermont, fail to understand how 39% of union families in Wisconsin could possibly be supporting Walker. I absolutely do not get it. I have been sending $ to the Wisconsin Democratic Party since this thing started. I am a union man. If we lose this one, it is a big loss not just for Democrats, but for unions and for workers across the nation. Tell me how Wisconsonites could possibly be supporting Walker, even with the influence of his TV adds? Isn't the truth more obvious than a 30-second TV ad?
+5 # wwway 2012-05-18 00:20
Mac, you'd be surprised at how many union members are lock step republicans and don't question it one bit. Why? They bought into the simple lie that "government is the problem." It makes no sense given that they are voting for representatives who want to be in government. My brother is union in CA and his take on these retired union guys with union pensions who vote Republican are ungrateful and woefully ignorant and mean.
+3 # conniejo 2012-05-18 15:53
Bless you, Mac, for helping our cause. Your own senator, Bernie Sanders, seems to me to be the last voice speaking for the average man and woman, and I am sending money to support him. We are all one in this fight against the 1%.
+6 # Listner 2012-05-18 08:39
This is the same old B.S. the repubs try every time. They march out Wall Street polls that show their candidate winning by eight or ten points. It's designed to deflate the electorate into not voting, since the thing is already lost.
First of all, the Wall Street Journal is a Murdoch owned publication. Does anybody think his poison hasn't reached the staff there too? Secondly, they always put a little disclaimer at the end that they could be off by 5 to 7 percent.
The people of Wisconsin have a tough battle to be sure but if the unions and the lame DNC can somehow join forces and speak to the people instead of putting out fires created by unsupported allegations they can win this election.
I live on the opposite coast and am donating to Wisconsin Democrats this morning. I too am a union man and although I have been on both sides of the union fence, I believe in my heart that unions are ABSOLUTELY necessary and will promote them whenever I can.
This Koch Brothers puppet MUST not keep his position as governor.
+4 # texjonmac 2012-05-18 08:43
With a few more politicians like Scott Walker we won't have to worry about self-censoring. ......we will have censorship provided as part of public service, along with involuntary servitude, loss of voting rights and loss of opportunity for education and financial advancement except for a very few.
+3 # Buddha 2012-05-18 16:21
38% of union households SUPPORT WALKER. If that high number of union households are supporting a guy who has admitted on tape that his goal is "right to work" and his strategy is to "divide and conquer", then there is no chance. That high number willing to slit their own throat means unions are dead in America, and now we all get to experience the wage decline that will result.
0 # Fairlady 2012-05-21 12:19
Anyone who works for wages should not vote for Walker or Republicans ANYWHERE,
ANYTIME and particularly in WI. I,m about to write a blast to Debbie WS; I
know she is concentrating on electing Dem women, but this should be a special
item on her agenda. We simply cannot let Walker win; I plan to phonebank to get out the vote against him.

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