The Wisconsin Democrat: Defeated or Determined?
Are you feeling down and out, neglected by your supreme leader, local Dems not in sync with each other and infighting, not sure what the next step is? Here are some reflections and advice for your future!
I have taken quite a bit of time off to reflect on the recalls and lessons learned from the whole mess in Wisconsin. Did I gloat? Not really! Anyone who looks at the price tag of the union instigated hissy fit could not possibly see anything funny or laughable about the recalls. Did I take some gratification that once again I was dead on? A tad, I am human after all but still we have so much to do and we are so far behind there is no time for victory dancing, Lambeau Leaps, or brat summits. There is much to do!
The recalls and the race for reform have left this governor behind the eight ball in terms of policies and things that should have been in the implementation phase by now. Plans and meetings that were put on hold so that the governor could go around the state and explain his direction, are now being arranged and the business of the state is now priority #1 again. Governor Walker’s message and direction were things the governor admitted he did not do a good job of promoting the first time around. Hopefully with this lesson learned among others, he will be more proactive in sharing the direction of the state with everyone, including those who do not agree and most likely will have to come along forcefully.
Is the Wisconsin Democrat Down and Out?
Not by a long shot! However there is so much dissension and infighting within the group someone will have to heal and reunite the party from its current state of chaos. This person(s) will have to be union free, meaning unlike many of our state elected, this person will not be compromised by union temptations, outside money and other private interests. They must be extremely knowledgeable about plight of the entire state of Wisconsin from the loss of manufacturing jobs, the problems of public education, and all issues in between. This person must be able to understand and reach residents no matter what county they reside in and be able to strengthen the base of the party again.
The Mistakes that the Democrats made were so easy to spot and expose that it is interesting that they are not acknowledging them on their own and making critical changes for November right now.
The Weird Protestors-The hippie/hemp/kumbaya protester is not a friend to the current Democrat. They represent lost nostalgia that most people do not want to revisit. It was messy and stinky and got pretty gross, Woodstock style. They were only looking for a return to the 50’s-70’s era of sit-in’s and protests. They were not really vested in current politics and issues.
New college students who joined in wanted to feel what those times and protests were like. They enjoyed it I think, accept the outcome. They probably did learn to be a little less complacent about the way things are in politics as a whole. In reality though college students are not finding jobs and are so far in debt that they are returning home “re-nesting,” and they are not liking life after college. They are turning to the Republican Party as some students feel the DNC has abandoned them as some current reports revealed. The national student debt/loan conversation will certainly be very important for both parties to address in legislation and media-wise. It is a battle for future voters really. Also a few weeks ago on Toure’s show on MSNBC, the young Republican correspondent gave Toure this same run down and Toure was left speechless. The stats and the new wave of younger Republicans was an amazing testament that the Republicans are working on reestablishing the party for the future. Democrats are busy putting out current fires and not able to do necessary rebuilding and recruiting. The Republicans will have to win the debt/loan debate to solidify this movement.
As an aside I do hope a new wave of young Republicans and Tea Party members will move out the old guard along with the “old white man imagery” of the party. It should be way more reflective of the society we live in now, not the GOP of Newt, Rush, and the typical list. The new generation leaders look more like us and there are many of them, young, vibrant, and diverse!!
Protests at Public Events-I have said this many times yet Democratic protestors still do this and it never wins them any fans. You simply CANNOT protest at the Special Olympics, you cannot protest outside schools and use vulgarity where innocent children are in class (do you really need someone to explain why?). You cannot appear in elected folks personal neighborhoods and homes (especially where their elderly parents rest, blowing your horn all day and night, HELLO), nor protest on bridges that working folk are trying to use to get home from a long day at work. You cannot show up at their family events (i.e. Walker’s son’s football game is off limits), and such things as these. There is a line as to what is politically acceptable and what is personal and the Democrat crazed lunatics of the left crossed that line each and every time without fail. Not only did they cross it, they jumped over that line by leaps and bounds and kept setting the bar lower and lower. Shame, shame, shame, the chants continued but they were the ones who were shameful.
Occupy the Inner City-You cannot come and scoop us up any longer and think we are not going to question your motives. Gone are the days of the white van “pick-ups” voting for whoever you say vote for!! The days of using Blacks as your Plan B are just about over.
In this recall, Blacks, especially in Milwaukee realized some things and voiced these things for the first time in mass numbers out loud. Most importantly they voiced how they are not being respected by their own representatives. They also noted how Democrats only come to “the hood” for election season and moved on leaving us back to square one as soon as the voting polls closed. They also realized that this particular Democratic candidate has been their worst enemy. Mayor Tom Barrett is horrible on many issues concerning Milwaukee Blacks. He did not take over MPS as he once touted and should have done. He gave “no-bid contracts” to his friends cutting out Black businesses and potential employees. Then there is the whole trolley debacle that many inner city people could care less about. Those who do know about the trolley costs and plans know that it is of no benefit to us and may potentially hurt us even more.
There were the dreaded Milwaukee stats; highest unemployment, lowest graduation rates, #1 in segregation consecutively, and CRIME IS UP not down controversially. Barrett accused Walker of many things but when we really analyzed Milwaukee, we found Tom Barrett was possibly corrupt or questionable himself while he levied charges against the governor. He gave a half-hearted welcome to Mahlon Mitchell and just expected we would be okay with sending a political newcomer, not well-vetted to be a band aid for these issues. Certainly he was not prepared and his lack of knowledge proved to be upsetting and disrespectful to Blacks who wanted more from a party with no clear plan for them. Adding insult to injury, Mitchell was found to be in support of the governor (in written form no less) and did in fact mislead people about signing a boycott letter.
Another aside, white Democrats continually say “Milwaukee has always had segregation problems.” This is no excuse to be complacent about racism and segregation EVER. It is not acceptable to Blacks who have to live with it daily. Every time the words are uttered by some white liberal it really means “we are okay with racism and YOUR little segregation” issue. This cannot be glossed over and for Milwaukee to hold onto the #1 spot for consecutive years means many of you liberals must be willing and practicing participants. Milwaukee Blacks are starting to understand this and see your lack of concern or compassion for them. For Barrett to have been in the mayor’s office for nine years and not have formed a task force, committee, or even brought up segregation in discussion with the community says a lot about his leadership. He is not a leader on many government policy issues and that message spread all across the state during the recalls.
Black Choice Parents is a group unacknowledged and therefore part of the silent majority. These are thousands of families with a vested interest in their children’s future. Democrats did not address them, didn’t even register them on their radar along with a lot of other silent majority unusual suspects. And this is where the downfall of the Democrats got deep into trouble, so much so that Obama and the National Democratic Party pulled out very fast. Like many of us political watchers, they too saw this train crash coming for miles. The Wisconsin Democratic leaders seemed angry all the time and did not put together a good package of talking points. They did not conduct the business of the party like the newly crowned “architect” RNC Chair Reince Priebus who smiled, looked personable and was inviting. I do think some Democrats and most independents did not like the hostile new tone of the party. Some Democrats were more likely to be enraged and argumentative, which in turn ignited the silent majority and independents to vote and vote Republican. Evidence of this can be found in the exit polls that showed Obama still holding a narrow lead over Romney in Wisconsin.
Exhibit A: Anger Management
Looking at the left blogging sites and editorials, Democrats and left wing folk were very upset about the National lack of support and/or money not given to Wisconsin. I warned you months ago this would be the case because they are more vested in November than Wisconsin recalls. Yet again another dropped ball by Wisconsin Democratic leaders. The local leaders went public with their outrage with national Democrats and the party became discombobulated instead of unifying to dethrone Scott Walker. In the final hour when Obama tweeted a message of “hope” to Wisconsin many were already done with the national DNC and its leader. Forsaken yet again by the very person who said he would put on his comfy shoes and join them. Democrats were very upset about his lack of interest in Wisconsin, rightfully so. He never came, again. Instead they sent Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Many of us think her to be unhinged at best!! She is of very little fame and not a draw. Enter Bill Clinton, he is a good draw but he was already having some public issues with Obama. His message did not play out too well since we could see even he was not in line with the DNC. Next at bat, Jesse Jackson who many know to be a fraud and only shows up wherever cameras are going to be. The dismal turnout at his events showed he is of little value anymore to Obama or any Democratic crisis. His rantings and that of Ed Schultz (and all PSMSNBC staff) are old and tired. They are rating driven or looking to advance their careers and income. Jesse has not worked in the real world since ???? He does not know the plight of the everyday Negro, nor can he relate any longer to the have not’s. He lives in a $million mansion and makes millions in bribing companies to keep him away or to create drama, while enjoying jet travels and the champagne life. He made his feelings about then presidential candidate Barak Obama public via hot mic and the tales of his promiscuity still surface in his neglected child outside of wedlock. Blacks did not fall for that either thankfully.
Locally Representative Gwen Moore sealed the deal with a horrid choice of messaging. It was embarrassing, disrespectful, dumb, and shameful. If this is her version of bipartisan politics, we are going to have serious trouble getting anything on the federal level for Wisconsin. None of our local elected stepped up to show a plan for Blacks either, the very thing that would have swayed the independent and Black vote their way. They offered no plan, no budget, no concrete ideas or numbers, just rhetoric and “vote for Barrett because he is not Walker!”
Tom Barrett was useless too. He simply had no plan and instead of just being Tom Barrett, he tried to invoke some kind of angry warrior. It didn’t work at all and it was very out of character for him. He used the silly “rock star” line in two debates (couldn’t he think of anything new?), kept bringing up the probe Scott Walker initiated himself, and he confused people by bringing up all types of messages and catch phrases that would not resonate with many people. His steady attacks contradicted his “clean campaign” promise, and he avoided proposing a budget of any kind. What did stick was the nastiness from him and from the left. Sorry but the right just did not come off as hostile as the left. Now I am not saying they did not have their moments or share of wackos, but not to the same degree as the left. Who wants to join in on that? Obama’s support/tweet was way too late, but possibly enough to keep the loyal off his back. Mind you he was between Minnesota and Illinois for fundraisers and could not drop in despite flying over Wisconsin at least twice in a matter of hours.
Exhibit B: Obama Avoids Wisconsin with another Lame Excuse
The big question for Obama now is how does he show his face in Wisconsin before November after all the neglect and rotten treatment he gave to us? Can he really come to Wisconsin and ask for our vote? I am interested to see how he and the Democratic Party will handle this situation. Democrats are very upset at this president and rightfully so. Not only did he tell them he would support them, he promised to join them side by side but in the end he did nothing at all for them.
With anger in their hearts and no message to stand on, Democrats went into election night knowing that they were pretty much defeated. I usually do not believe in polls, but anyone could sense that the silent majority was ready to speak for a 3rd time and do so triumphantly. Barrett fell apart in the final stretch offering no budget or real change people could hold on to. His failed mayorship in Milwaukee offered more contempt as he spoke of making Wisconsin a “better” place. His debate from when he first ran for mayor was featured on The Milwaukee Drum and circulated widely around the internet. This debate reminded Milwaukeeans that this man has done none of the things he promised for nine years. More importantly it reminded some of how he treated then Mayor Marvin Pratt (i.e. how he treated Blacks). Wisconsinites did not want to his version of leadership at the state level. Some union true blues were still upset about the Kathleen Falk candidacy and never really embraced Barrett fully. Mahlon Mitchell could not save Barrett as he proved to be a liability and not an asset. He made critical missteps that could not disarm Rebecca Kleefisch. Election night just solidified the resentment of Wisconsinites toward Democrats flippant attempt at the recall campaign. They also voted against that tired blue fist and the unreasonable actions from the left.
The Little Things
No one could save Barrett; no one wanted “Milwaukee” on a statewide level. Some people attribute this to hate for Milwaukee. It is not hate but rather the incompetence of the city and county that people objected to. There were also little things like tax breaks homeowners received and reports that showed the state was turning around in especially the housing market and job sectors. Some were upset that the state DNC went away from the initial purpose for the recalls like Collective Bargaining and “union busting.” Act 10 was “acting” better than predicted. School districts all around the state reported even better savings than the Walker camp had computed. Most districts not only kept staff but added staff and/or programming, saved millions in healthcare costs, and were freed from the strong-armed tactics of WEA Trust, WEAC, and teacher unions.
However this recall and all it encompassed has yet to become a watershed moment for Democrats as I had hoped it would.
As much as I am an independent conservative, I do not believe in one party reign either. The hate and petty bickering for some Democrats is not ceasing, only worsening. People are wandering around chat groups, blogs, and FB pages in ongoing arguments meanwhile the rest of the world has moved on. They are left in this weird political vortex waiting for someone to save them. I sure hope someone will.
Others are left in silence, not really knowing what to say. They talked so much mess they don’t know what to think or how to feel. They certainly do not know what the next step is because this governor is not going anywhere and their party has not been giving out any direction. How these lost sheep connect back into the fold will be the job of Governor Walker but he will have to circumvent the DNC mind meld to do it. And since they have not given out marching orders, who knows which direction the DNC wants to move in. Their house, with no proper or solid foundation is right now a house of cards in a wind storm. These people were “ride or die” and are now upset that the party let them and all of us down. After all I too love a good challenge but this was a no brainer.
Then there are the diehards. Those who know things will get better if they hold on to hope and await positive messages and convictions they can believe in and get behind. These are the ones who will save your beloved party. Somewhere in this group there is a person who will examine the loss and assume the role of the phoenix and raise you up from the ashes. This person will not be Obama. If he is reelected it will be a miracle. He has done so many people wrong and wallowed in so much petty mess that he is souled out on many levels. The “Wedding Registry” was about my last straw. Really you want my wedding gifts? Luckily I am not getting married anytime soon, but I certainly would not ever fix my lips to ask people to donate to Obama in lieu of gifts, nor should he have! It was just desperate. In addition to ignoring Wisconsin, there is the Fast & Furious/Holder controversy, the ignoring of Blacks, the executive privilege that hurt his own people (perceivably illegals taking directly from his beloved Black community in the form of scholarships and placement to name two), and ObamaCare now passed is causing consternation about how it will be implemented and paid for. I am not sure he can overcome the pain he caused Wisconsin alone. Other states saw his mistreatment and abuse of a state of Democrats, a swing state, a key state. How they will react and what will they do come November? Will they wait for him to lace up and join their picket lines? I am afraid they will not be so naïve. But I have to give it to him; I thought Romney had no chance in hell. Now he is a contender!! WOW!
In order for Wisconsin Democrats to get back to their position of respect in Wisconsin, they must begin by examining each lesson from the recall and what preceded the recalls. From the fleeing of the senators, the actions of the party crossing acceptable boundaries of protest, their leaders and their lack of successful messaging and guidance and all of the lessons to be learned, they will need to sankofa (go back and fetch, African proverb) for some time. Democrats will need to search well and vet a quality candidate and arm them with a clear message regarding jobs, education, and government reform. This party as it stands now is beholden to the unions and their agenda, not the Democratic agenda, at least not in Wisconsin. When Dems scream “Koch brothers,” their rant does not go far, especially when they too are indebted to the very same 1%’ers and the same Wall Street/fat cat money. The Wisconsin DNC will need to do some serious polling and LISTENING to understand the level of anger the Wisconsin Democrat has at the party, the process, the locals, and the nationals. They must research and then begin to reestablish trust and make good on those broken promises and create a solid platform.
The Big Payback!
For career Black pols, your time is coming, boy is it coming!!! New comers and true servants of the people like, Nikiya Harris, and Tracey Dent are two new school leaders. They are not owned and they are the complete package. They are known, they are active, and they are respected. They come from the people and are in the streets fighting the fight. There are other new leaders in the community as well and they too are bringing knowledge about you and the dirty politricks being played in our own community. They are creating a movement and the days of old, bashing white people and doing nothing for your people and getting elected on reputation are going away. Almost like the last scene in the Wiz “A brand new day!” And yes I can feel it, a change is coming!
You will have a tough time telling people how useful you are with stats that you have allowed ON YOUR WATCH regarding crime, education, and jobs during the Doyle years and for some of you before him too! And you deserve to be kicked out or running scared!! Each of you who souled your people out and did nothing but lined your pockets with union money! Who will you blame for job loss and crime? Obama? Can’t blame Walker, he’s only been in office for 16 months. If you blame him, you will have to use the same logic to blame Obama (he’s only had one term blah, blah, blah…) and that won’t work will it? Guess you are out there bad! These types of new leaders will bring a battle against the old guard of Black Dems who have done little more than hold town halls for all their careers. They will have to bring their “A” game to the table. The Black Democrat is tired of the rhetoric, sick of town halls that go nowhere, tired of doing everything for your career and getting little to nothing in return. We are waiting for the movement, time and place, not talk! As much as Obama will have to fight this fight, you will suffer the initial blows of a well-deserved awakening.
For the Wisconsin Democrat I suspect your transformation will be too late for Tammy Baldwin; she comes with a lot of baggage anyway. She has done little and we have paid for her nonproductive career for some time. Tommy Thompson will make mincemeat of her and maybe this loss will signal the end of the career “do nothing” politicians at the federal level. Tommy Thompson is pretty well liked by many moderates and independents and that will not change unless he does something really stupid. As far as Paul Ryan’s competition, who????? Waste of time, but possibly the media will make it entertaining.
For now lick your wounds and brush your shoulder off. The Wisconsin Democrat is not done, hell even I have faith in you. However you will have to get rid of your State Chair Mike Tate because he is really out of sorts and your Communications Director Graeme Zielinski is very unprofessional. These two have done more harm than good in their respective positions. Unless they make great change in how they conduct themselves as professionals they can only hinder the party further. They set the tone and course of destruction the party is currently experiencing. They sent out enraged emails and press releases that were incredibly off point, hate-filled, and spiteful. Even your own blue blogging sites do not support these two men. The national party really is upset with them for their public lashings about private DNC business. They are not endearing anyone to the Democratic cause. I propose they are losing people because of their type of leadership or lack of leadership, message, and adaptability to campaigns as they move along. A change in leadership is exactly what is needed and there are very good candidates that can help the Wisconsin Democratic Party refocus and put together a portfolio that can be used as the platform for August, November, and beyond.
I certainly think you will find some hope and encouragement for your party in this missive. Never count anyone out would be my message to the Democrats and to the right even more so. The Republicans did not run a very good campaign either. The fulltime absence and guidance of Republican National Chair Reince Priebus was certainly a factor the Dems could have exploited. Instead the Democrats made the recalls easier by running every which way but loose.
By November I hope to see a new and repackaged Democratic party emerge. You will need it if you want to see this president re-elected. I think he is doing his best to really not get elected. I truly do think this. Obama wants out, he does. He realized it is not fun being president and national politics is not the same as Illinois politricks. I am still with my girl Hillary Clinton for the next Democratic candidate for president. I think she deserves it. She has worked harder than most men in her party and she is experienced in national dealings. I have grown to respect her if for no other reason than her strength. I know she says she does not want to run again, but I hope she reconsiders. Other than Hills, the likely and obvious people’s choices are Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D) and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R). Now that would be the challenge of the ages. These men are great examples of bipartisanship in action and are a great duo. However these two men in a spirited competition may prove to be a most awesome treat for the avid political observer like myself. I would also think they would be the ones to restore politics back to its former self where we would not be questioning birth certificates, tax filings, and other mundane and petty crap. They already have great respect for each other and would not waste time in nasty bickering and hate-filled campaigns. They would actually stick to issues and policies.
Booker/Christie Spoof Seinfeld
This is worth the one minute and 40 seconds it takes to watch and it is pretty funny! It is rare to see two politicians working together and both equally committed to bipartisanship and to the people they serve.
Good luck Wisconsin Democrats, see you soon at the polls and a better November to you!