As if you hadn’t already heard enough from the gloating class. As if the post-recall partisans of doom hadn’t annoyed the hell out of us with their eulogies. Here comes Peggy Noonan to ponder it all.
Here comes Peggy of the Wall Street Journal with her gloat-free non-partisanship to tell you the president is doomed.
Mr. Walker was not crushed. He was buoyed, winning by a solid seven points in a high-turnout race.
. . about that. He ran against the exact same guy in 2010 and got almost the same percentage (then 52/now 53). My take on all this is that there were a significant number of people who were outraged by his attacks on working people, and that drove the ability to mount a recall. But only some of those were people who voted for Walker. There were others annoyed by the recall, feeling it was an illegitimate way of wielding political power. Once a governor is elected, they thought, he should get his full four years absent criminal wrongdoing, or the equivalent. Some of these had voted for Barrett. These two numbers, roughly being the same, switched sides, and the recall was a wash.
The last governor recall happened here in California, and the recall won. The key was who pulled it off: Arnold Schwarzenegger. Absent a crime, you have to turn a recall into a real election. You need to generate excitement about having a newer, better governor. Arnold probably would have beaten Gray Davis in the ‘regular’ election just a few months earlier if he’d run, so he won. The disaster here happened the minute Barrett again became the candidate. The only motivation was “How much do you hate Scott Walker?” You need an awful lot of people to answer “So much so that I’ll vote for a loser.” It’s very narrow, boring politics. If you won’t engage the consumer, you will lose. Democrats lost.
President Obama’s problem now isn’t what Wisconsin did, it’s how he looks each day—careening around, always in flight, a superfluous figure. No one even looks to him for leadership now. He doesn’t go to Wisconsin, where the fight is. He goes to Sarah Jessica Parker’s place, where the money is.
There is, now, a house-of-cards feel about this administration.
Right Peggers. There’s no particular reason you’re writing this essay now with its endless talk of Scott the Hero and Common Sense Wisconsin. Obama’s been a hollow, powerless figure for months. No one listens or looks to him, and the administration, White House included, has keeled over. The title of this let’s-finally-admit-the-truth post? What’s Changed After Wisconsin.
Governors and local leaders will now have help in controlling budgets. Down the road there will be fewer contracts in which you work for, say, 23 years for a city, then retire with full salary and free health care for the rest of your life—paid for by taxpayers who cannot afford such plans for themselves, and who sometimes have no pension at all.
See? Peggy cares about poor people. Of course, it was she and her close friends who, as writers for the neuro-degenerated amnesiac Reagan, started this kill the government wildfire. So it’s no wonder a city garbage man retiring with his salary and pension intact is a crime. Peggy surely will retire with better than that. This editorial is why she thinks she deserves it.