Obama a liability in Wisconsin recall efforts?

To establish a majority in the state Senate, Wisconsin Democrats needed to defeat three of the six Republicans challenged in recall elections held Tuesday. They defeated two. A good day but not good enough, arguably because of Barack Obama and other national Dem leaders.

8 thoughts on “Obama a liability in Wisconsin recall efforts?

  1. Our right-wing press lost no time in reporting this as a loss for the Demcorats.

    There were six Republican seats that turned into four Republican and two Democratic seats, and those two in strong Republican districts. How is that a victory for the Republicans? If the parties in this matter were reversed, the press would have been reporting how the Democrats got mashed and lost 33% of the seats in play.

  2. i guess “arguably” can modify anything. it just seems like a stretch to me, especially since removing collective bargaining rights is not a position “their president and party were embracing in Washington.” that’s one part of the GOP bandwagon that the obama administration and democrats in congress have not jumped onto. it’s because of obama appointed lafe solomon as general counsel of the NLRB that we have the current boeing case. congressional republicans shut down the FAA because democrats in the senate and the president refused to go along with an effort to make unionization harder in the airline industry. thanks to obama’s NLRB appointments, the agency is instituting rules to expedite union elections, something the labor movement has been pushing for since the clinton administration. obama’s labor appointments (both to the NLRB and the DOL) have been, IMHO, fairly strong.

    cue lambert to pop in and tell me i don’t know what i am talking about. i guess 15 years as a lawyer representing unions doesn’t count.

  3. Obama famously promised to “walk the line” in defense of union members. No show.

    We were hoping for EFCA? What’s that? DOA.

    Obama may have made some good appointments, and weighed in on specific issues at the margin, but he has done less than zero to stop the overall momentum within the Dem party against unions.

    When unions go down, we all go down. Barry, the DLC quislings, and the Dem party have thrown in with the oligarchs. Because that’s where the money is.

    We’re toast.

    One term.

    See Kevin Drum in Mother Jones. Great article.

  4. Obama may have made some good appointments, and weighed in on specific issues at the margin, but he has done less than zero to stop the overall momentum within the Dem party against unions.

    and i submit that the appointments themselves are hardly “at the margins.” if you ask me which would help the labor movement more:
    (a) appointing the people obama has actually appointed, or
    (b) walking on a picket line,
    option (a) wins by a mile. in fact, i would argue that obama showing up at a picket would probably end up being a bad thing, creating a political backlash that would be more harmful to unions than helpful. the “walk the line” issue is something i only read about online. not a single one of my union clients has ever taken issue with it.

    yes, i agree that EFCA would have been great, but the democratically controlled congress is what scuttled the best chance it had to pass. and while obama could have thrown more of his weight behind it to shove it through, instead he chose to prioritize health care reform. it’s not clear to me that he could have passed both. and while reasonable people can disagree about which should have been a bigger priority, his actions with regard to EFCA don’t support the theory that he is a ideological corporatist. in fact, his labor appointments are the biggest counter-example to that theory. which is why the theory’s proponents regularly ignore them.

  5. I’m trying to weigh all this in a state that let Feingold get away.
    Something is horribly amiss.

  6. I predict any Dems running for office between 2012 and now, and after 2012, will have a difficult time explaining why the Dem president uses Repub talking points and pursues Repub objectives. And also why the DC Dems go along with him.

    Obama is doing a very effective job of undermining the principles and reasons for the Dem Party.

    Voters who want Republican government are not all that likely to vote for Dems acting like Republicans, but with internal party divisions. Voters who do not want Republican government are possibly going to vote –for a bit longer– for Dems acting like Republicans. But, slowly, bit by bit, the Dem voters will begin to realize they’re not getting Dem policies or government.

    And, finally, there won’t be enough Dems to elect Dems and the Dem Party will die.

  7. It was a big loss for the Democratic Party and government unions. Collective bargaining is the linchpin connecting the Democratic Party and union votes. When the collective bargaining agreement was put on the chopping block the Unions and the Democratic Party treatened retribution.

    If this election (winning 2 of 6 and holding 3 of 3) is part of a trend then it wasn’t a big loss. If Republicans hold Wisconsin in the next election then this was a BIG, BIG loss.

    One more thing – each of the Republican districts in which a recall took place were districts which went for Obama in 2008. These weren’t deep red districts.

    See more at:

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