Tag Archives: scott walker

Recall Opportunity Costs

The two political parties have only so much money to spend on campaigns. Dollars spent on one race cannot be spent on another. They have to prioritize important campaigns, even if that means conceding others.

That’s why, if I were a partisan Democrat, I would be upset with my party over the recall elections in Wisconsin. Millions of dollars are being taken away from close races around the country to go towards unseating a governor who will be up for re-election in two years anyway.

The recall may well succeed; one measure of enthusiasm is the roughly one million signatures on the recall petition, twice what was needed. But the most this expensive campaign would buy is two years in the governor’s mansion.

And this campaign will be spectacularly expensive. Labor interests view their livelihood as being at stake. That’s hyperbole in my opinion, but people do feel that way. And they will be pouring millions into the race. Tempers are running high, and strategists for the blue team have to be disappointed that so many on their side have lost theirs.

Activists are so passionate about unseating Walker that they fired before they aimed. There is no Democratic candidate to unify behind, giving Republicans a built-in advantage. Not only will there be a bruising (and expensive) primary, but many Democratic voters will be on the wrong side of the enthusiasm gap if their preferred candidate loses the primary or the nominee has low name recognition.

No one knows how it will play out yet. But even if it succeeds, this particular temper tantrum could well cost Democrats a few Congressional seats. Maybe even the White House, if it takes enough resources away from the ground game in swing states.

The Sidewalks of Madison

George Will took a trip to Madison recently and had this to say about some graffiti he found:

“Solidarity forever” was perhaps painted by a graduate student forever at the University of Wisconsin.

Insults are not always needed to make one’s opponent look bad; they often do that themselves well enough:

The authors of the sidewalk graffiti have at least read Jefferson: “The tree of liberty is watered by the blood of tyrants.” The tyrant is “$cott Walker American Fa$ci$t.”

Fascists started World War II and attempted to wipe every Jew from the face of the Earth. All in all, fascist governments directly killed more than 14 million souls. Scott Walker is the governor of Wisconsin.

A word of advice to Wisconsinites who are upset with Scott Walker’s policies: if someone wants to be taken seriously, they first have to be able to be taken seriously.

Are the Wisconsin Protests Backfiring?

Protests in Wisconsin over public sector compensation cuts have been the big story this week. Over at the Daily Caller, I explain why some of the tactics that union members and supporters are using are actually backfiring.

The teacher sickout is classic bad PR. The parents who have to find and pay for last-minute daycare are now less likely to side with teachers’ unions, not more.

The nationwide saturation coverage is actually doing far more damage. Millions of people are learning about the sweetheart salary and benefit deals that many public sector union members get. Even if Gov. Walker’s cuts pass, the protesting workers will still be much better paid than their non-union counterparts. Both are better compensated in turn than most private sector workers.

Read the whole thing here.