This week, there will be no shortage of commentary on the Wisconsin recall election. Depending on whom you talk to, Governor Walker’s triumph is either a win for Romney, or it means nothing for the Massachusetts Governor. Or, of course, if you’re Lawrence O’Donnell, it’s a victory for Barack Obama. (I guess I’m just not IntellectualTM enough for the mental calisthenics required to come to that conclusion, so I’ll leave that kind of heavy lifting up to the folks on MSNBC’s payroll.)
That being said, I’ll spare you a detailed analysis on what this means for the future of public sector unions, the future of the GOP, the future of the Tea Party. I already opined on those topics pretty extensively via Twitter on Tuesday night.
What I do think deserves some extra attention though, is the extent to which the left-wing establishment utterly beclowned itself Tuesday. I mean, seriously – were Democrat consultants, and in particular, MSNBC anchors, really this unprepared for a Walker victory? They picked this fight and should have been ready – but alas, Ed Schultz was all “flabbergasted.” Poor guy.
Now I will admit that Team Obama did a decent job of keeping him away from Barrett. Either they’ve learned the lesson that started with Scott Brown’s election (that virtually all of the candidates he campaigned heavily for have lost) or perhaps the President’s folks actually saw this one coming. Nevertheless, the talking heads and union types actually messaging on Wisconsin set themselves up for disaster.
Watching the #WIRecall Twitter feed and MSNBC on election day, one would think Tuesday afternoon and Tuesday evening existed in entirely different universes.
During the day it was all, “Record turnout in Wisconsin! This is democracy in action! We’re registering first time voters and getting people to the polls despite those racist Republicans who only win when they suppress the vote! Because, racism!”
Then as the results came in, all of the sudden we heard, “This election was bought by evil right-wingers! How dare they voluntarily spend their own money educating voters! TEH KOCH BROTHERSSSS!!! FOSTER FRIEEEEESSSSS!!! SHELDON! ADELSON! TEAAAA PARTIESSSS! They raised more money than we were able to extort through forced union dues! Clearly (and forget about all that record turnout nonsense) these results are based on manipulation and DEMOCRACY IS DEAD!”
But seriously, Democratic consultants (and Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow, Lawrence O’Donnell, but I repeat myself), this is bad. Y’all really need to begin closing your messaging gap with this, and soon. It literally makes no sense and goes against everything you always say about democracy and voter turnout leading to better results.
And I’m being generous here, Lords of Democratic Messaging, because even when your premises are based on outright lies, I can understand how they further your goals. But on this one, you really can’t have it both ways without revealing yourselves as utterly ridiculous; a fact obvious to even the average voter.
This even makes LESS sense than things like the fictitious “War on Women.” At least with that, I can actually see the logic you left-wing consultants are employing by tricking your acolytes into thinking that not subsidizing something means banning it. I can conceive of how that messaging point works.
On the one hand, you consistently claim as part of your basic identity as Democrats that you’re PRO-DEMOCRACY. But then you constantly harp on how Republicans supposedly work to suppress voter turnout, ignoring that Barack Obama has raised more money than any presidential candidate in history. Then all of the sudden you claim that “right-wing money” bought the election amidst extremely high turnout? Do you not realize how utterly hypocritical and disgustingly insulting to Wisconsin voters that is? (You desperately need these voters, by the way, to reelect the President.)
Sorry, Democrats, but y’all were caught with your pants down on this one and need to deal with your utterly embarrassing inconsistencies before you hurt your other candidates. Because, come on. If Rachel Maddow spending post-recall airtime fear-mongering about birther extraordinaire Orly Taitz (like the 3% garnered in her quixotic Senate primary defines modern conservatism) doesn’t reek of utter desperation, I don’t know what does.