It was so sweet. All those earnest, scrubbed Mid-west faces, genuinely believing that they could use a loving-hands-at-home grassroots recall movement to overcome the power of money, the power of resentment and envy that supports an effective political race to the economic bottom and the supremely effective power of false narratives.
Naturally, the grassroots recall of Wisconsin’s governor, Scott Walker, failed. How could it not? Recalls are, in the best of times, difficult things to pull off. There’s only been a few in history. People hate recalls. For most of them, it’s a long, long stretch between, “I hate that guy,” and “I’ll actually vote to toss the bum out.” Instead, people will endure all sorts of awful governance and won’t lift a finger to do anything more than just grumble and wait until the next election. And in Wisconsin, the bar had been set even higher – recalls only for illegal wrong-doing. And with Walker, that was (at this point) lacking, though there is an ongoing investigation into some illegal activities alleged to have gone on in the Governor’s office.
And nobody should ever, ever underestimate the power of envy in a bad economy. In hard, scary times, instead of raising all boats, the reverse is true. After all, the secret heart whispers, Why should you, via your union benefits, be doing better than I, who am without those benefits? And if you’re a public worker and my taxes are paying your salary, well, I’m gonna make sure you really, really get cut down to my size.
And, of course, one should never, ever underestimate the overwhelming power of the false narrative fueled by unlimited money. The big lie too often wins in the short run, and in politics, it’s all short run. Plus, negative ads work, no matter how many times we tell ourselves that that don’t. They do.
So, there’s Wisconsin, which became a sort of laboratory for what’s roiling the rest of the nation: an unbalanced economy with only a few boats rising while the rest have been scuttled or sent to China; a political ideologue (Walker) who forgot that while you can run as an ideologue you have to govern as a moderate, and instead of compromise, took an ax to the few remaining boats, gave tax breaks to his rich cronies, then openly going after union’s bargaining rights – an arrogant act of overreach that triggered the revolt. And finally, Wisconsin became the first chance to see what unlimited (and secret) PAC money can do in a hot-button, clearly partisan, ideological, political fight.
Interestingly, the battle isn’t quite over. There’s a few GOP state senators up for grabs and ultimately, the outcome of that battle may moot Walker’s win – a new Democratic majority that will block any more of Walker’s unilateral ramrodding.
Perfect cheese fight! With the outcome pretty predictable. But, bless all those fresh, hopeful mid-west faces. Wisconsinites, you got the government you deserve, ot once but . . . twice!
Speaking of Cheese Fights
The guy even looks like Jeremy Irons, star of Showtime’s “The Borgias.” In a new book, “His Holiness,” by Gialuigi Nuzzi, who got his inside info from a Vatican “deep throat,” the Pope is portrayed as a weak doofus surrounded by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, “the Holy See’s influential secretary of state. In his quest to consolidate power for himself and his cronies, Bertone made many enemies at the Vatican. The picture that emerges is of powerful groups fighting it out for control beneath an ‘almost absent’ pope, who is fully ‘under the thumb of the powerful cardinal.” Toss in the head of the Vatican Bank, who was abruptly fired (amid rumors that he actually got the boot because he had really been trying to root out financial corruption at the bank), and now the Pope’s personal valet is caught with stolen documents . . .
Bring on the poison-in-the-ring!
Or, better yet. Send a whole bunch of those fresh-faces Wisconsinites over to Italy to recall the Pope and all his minions. Considering the still-ongoing disgrace of the child-raping priests and the still indifferent/obstructing hierarchy, maybe it’s time for a total recall. Throw the bums out and start over.
Oh, Noooooooo . . .
Oh, Dear God, No. . . . John Edwards’ mistress, Rielle Hunter, has just written a new tell-all book that’s due out on June 26. Haven’t we had enough? Really, Rielle? A tell-all-book? Really?
“Hunter told GQ magazine in 2010 that she said she did not want to capitalize on the affair to make money.
Yet here she is.
Time to move to France.