Dems Shorten Their Lines in Wisconsin
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  • WigWag

    Professor Mead continues his flights of fancy.

    What the Wisconsin recall elections prove is what everyone with any common sense already knows; the country is balanced on a hair pin. A few points in either direction spell victory or defeat. People who thought Obama’s election represented a decisive shift to the left were just as deluded as Professor Mead who thinks the recent elections in Wisconsin prove that a decisive shift to the right has taken place.

    It seems to me that the Professor is missing the forest for the trees. The world is shifting under our feet and if anything, it is shifting in a direction that should make proponents of the red state model very nervous (although in fairness to Professor Mead he’s not actually a proponent of the red state model; he’s a proponent of a new social model that so far exists only in his imagination).

    Whether it’s the turmoil in the Arab world, the massive demonstrations in Israel, the riots in Greece, the violence in London or the sit-ins in Madison, it is clear that there is an uprising afoot. As different as they are, what ties these mass movements together is a sense of grievance about an ever smaller circle of plutocrats monopolizing all the power and wealth in society. How long before even more severe explosions break out in France, Italy, Ireland, Spain or the United States?

    As the middle class in the United States continues to shrink, and as formerly middle class people join the ranks of the downwardly mobile, how long does Professor Mead think a social model based on dramatic increases in concentrations of wealth can survive?

    Recently Professor Mead has written about the potential for an explosion from what he calls the “lumpenproliteriat;” is it really so clear to Professor Mead that the remnants of what used to be the middle class won’t join the explosion? What Professor Mead fails to remember is that one of the prime motivations behind the New Deal was to save capitalism, which, if the Great Depression had continued, might very well have become extinct in the United States.

    Professor Mead is right about one thing; working class and middle class people who have seen their standard of living erode resent government workers who have, until recently, been immune to pay and benefit cuts. But after the current process of insuring that government workers become as downwardly mobile as the rest of American workers have become is complete, who else will remain to be blamed? Perhaps then attention will be focused on the tiny few who have been prospering while the rest of the nation has been suffering.

    The American tolerance for plutocracy may be great, but it would be foolish to assume that it is unlimited. Mead’s problem is that he seems incapable of understanding who the plutocrats really are. He thinks the plutocrats are middle managers working in corporate America or toiling away in the governmental bureaucracy.

    Mead’s tendency to conflate middle managers with the Lloyd Blankfeins and Jamie Dimons of the world is emblematic of why his views are so off base.

  • Mrs. Davis

    Watch the Verizon strike. The union has really botched its PR job and the rank and file are noticing.

  • Richard S

    Newspapers that are unionized, or that are partly unionized might feel pressure not to talk too much about the problems with modern unions.

    And in our day it might be that many reporters, particularly in Washinton, are connected by family or friendship with white collar union members in the government, which also might shape the questions reporters ask and the facts they choose to print.

  • Jim in KC

    This is the Dems’ Sicily campaign in the Peloppenisian war. A disastrous diversion and waste of resources.

  • Ann C Ellwood

    Professor Mead,

    Congratulations, you have your own troll! It’s a sure sign that your voice is resonating.


  • Scott

    The Democrats lost in the November elections. They lost the Supreme Court fight. And now, while they did win two seats in the Senate in the recalls, it wasn’t enough to turn control over to the Democrats.

    So, of course, they’ve had so much success so far that they want to nullify the November elections and recall the governor as soon as they can. They want to recall him not because he’s disgraced the state or the office. Not because he’s engaged in corruption. Not because he’s been accused of committing a serious crime. And not because he suffers from some previously unknown mental illness.

    No, they want to recall the duly elected governor simply because they lost the November election and want a do-over. They don’t like his policy. They remind me of spoiled brats who bang their cups on the high chair when they don’t get their way.

    I wonder how many Centrists/Independents, the great coalition that ultimately decide elections, feel the same way? I actually think there’s a decent chance that if they go forward with the threatened recall effort, it could backfire in a big way. It will be like telling the Centrists/Independents who voted Walker into office they made the wrong choice the first time in November and the brats are demanding they defend the vote at great cost to the taxpayers to administer yet another election. That could [really get their goat] and spoil any chances that Democrats have to make up lost ground in the 2012 elections.

  • Randy

    Dr. M,

    This sounds like another version of the Taranto Principle, named after James Taranto, the editor of The Wall Street Journal editorial page. The point is that lefties or lefty candidates are lulled into a sense of complacency by their willing accomplices in the lamestream media who minimize or outright ignore their shortcomings, to the point that when they run in a general election, they’re caught unprepared.

  • Michael Trigoboff

    The Dems “shortening their lines,” reminds me of a line from Eric Frank Russell’s great sci-fi novel “Wasp”:

    We retreat triumphantly before an enemy
    who advances in utter disorder.

  • Tom Holsinger

    Wig Wag,

    The left outspent the right $30 million to $15 million in these six special elections, but the GOP candidates overall got 53% of the popular vote.

    That says a very great deal to electoral specialists.

  • buzzardist

    The situation for unions is worse than this post describes. Of the two state senate seats that Democrats did claw back, one of them was won because the Republican incumbent was outed by his estranged wife that he was residing with his mistress on a permanent basis outside of his district. The scandal did this guy in…but he still got 49% of the vote. The other seat was in a Democratic district that Obama had won by over 60% in 2008.

    In fact, of the six districts that Democrats targeted, Obama had won all of them in 2008. Overall, Republicans still got 53% of the vote in these recalls.

    And spending wasn’t more or less even. Democrats and unions outspent Republicans by more than 2-1, and perhaps by as much as 3-1 when all of the numbers finally come in.

    Democrats had the advantage in demographics, organization, energy, money, and just about everything else, and they still managed a simply majority in only two out of six districts that they targeted. Ouch.

    At some point, Democrats are simply going to have to admit that people are not buying their message anymore.

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