1. joe says

    That’s a little odd. Democracy is dead? I thought the people voted yesterday and chose to keep Scott Walker in office. Did I miss something?

  2. says

    There is already some evidence of voter fraud from what I saw on the news last night.

    Between that and the manipulation of the vote by the Grand Old Billionaires club I would have to agree that Democracy as we once knew it is now dead.

  3. MarkUs says

    Poor Baby. Joe Taxpayer isn’t paying for Baby’s pension plan anymore. He might have to contribute to it himself ?! Democracy is dead!

  4. RyanInSacto says

    @Joe: yeah, apparently you did miss something… like maybe the fact that there was an 8.5 to 1 spending ratio and most of Walker’s money came from a handful of people who own him. When this happens, voting becomes meaningless.

  5. joe says

    @ryaninsacto – I see, so you’re saying that the people who went to the polls didn’t actually vote?

    The people who did cast votes were casting meaningless votes?

    The 60% turnout was false? Help me understand your logic.

  6. MarkUs says

    I saw union enrollment has dropped 65 percent and over 35 percent of self-identified union households voted for Walker. These numbers were from Rachel Maddow’s show, who glossed right over them as if they meant nothing and then began harping on Karl Rove.

    Last night the M in MSNBC stood for Mad-cap comedy.

  7. Chris says

    Gov. Walker has now been elected twice in two years. Time to get over it and find a way to move on and forward.

    It is amazing how when people disagree with the outcome of the vote they claim the voters were bought or imply that they are too stupid to think for themselves. That is really insulting!

    Also..the margin of victory indicates that some “Union” households voted for Walker.

    The rules regarding the money are the same for both sides and worked in President Obama’s favor in 2008. I don’t like all the money involved here but there are plenty of fat cat democrats who aren’t donating to the super pacs….I wonder why?

  8. mybutt says

    @Markus was home schooled, built all the streets he walks on, and is the person who shows up when you call 911. Let’s all rejoice that he exists

  9. says

    @ JOE:

    Yes, Joe, you missed the Citizens United case which allows big corporations to buy elections…….
    Remember Romney says; “Corporations are people too “; so I guess there’s no surprise that corporations want to buy what money can buy.

  10. Jeff R. says

    @ Joe, and @ Chris… it’s obvious which side of the political fence you’re on. You’re QUISLINGS! Traitors that serve as PUPPETS of the enemy. IDIOTS!

  11. kpo5 says

    Just like we saw in the Prop 8 vote, the “will of the people” can only exist among equally informed people. If millions (or billions) are spent on lies and distortions, it’s always the will of someone else who comes out victorious.

  12. Gregoire says

    Wisconsin union supporters, you failed. It was not a secret that Walker had high powered sponsors and still you hoped that ‘people power’ would save the day. It did not.

    Gay rights activists, Obama supporters — learn a lesson from this. The weapons for manipulating and coercing an electorate are far more powerful than they were ten years ago.

    If you want your rights and freedoms protected, you’re going to have to do more than recite chants in the town hall.

  13. Andrew says

    Politics aside, let’s be realistic for a moment: America CANNOT afford pensions and entitlements as much as we’d like to. We’re in SO much debt, it’s truly scary.

    Maybe it sucks for unions, but this spending CANNOT go on forever. It’s simple math.

  14. parnell says

    It is now being reported that the Koch Brothers alone gave Walker TWICE what Barrett collected in his entire campaign. No candidate or society for that matter, can survive such an onslaught.

  15. Sam says

    Just because you disagree with the outcome of a vote does not make that vote undemocratic. Was there a lot of outside money involved? Yes. But would those decrying that fact object to outside progressives and labor groups contributing? Just because you don’t like the source of the conservative’s outside money doesn’t make it any worse than your outside progressive money. In the end, all that matters are the votes and while I may not like the outcome of the election the people of Wisconsin voted to keep their Governor.

  16. Matt says

    An interesting tidbit is that FDR was vehemently opposed to unions in the public sector. The theory behind unionization is that there is an asymmetry of power between the one employer and his hundreds, or even thousands of workers, and the employer has an incentive to give them the worst deal possible because it’s easy to replace one worker. Replacing ALL the workers however, would be costly, so unionization gives workers more power.

    The issue is that the government doesn’t have that same incentive to cut costs. The politicians don’t directly benefit from making the workers work for less, so when you allow public sector workers unionize, what you quite often get is people who have ties to the union sitting on both sides of the negotiating table.

  17. LincolnLounger says

    Recall elections should only be allowed for malfeasance or criminal activity in the course of duty. The state wasted millions of dollars because Walker did exactly what he told Wisconsin voters he would do. What a concept.

  18. Chris says

    Unions simply don’t enjoy the kind of support they once had. Public sector unions’ demands, combined with local politicians’ inclination to borrow from future generations in the form of pension benefits etc. has made the model unsustainable. Although we historically owe a lot to unions, in recent decades they have overreached, so this backlash against them is not surprising. I definitely feel this way and I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life.

  19. screech says

    America! You can afford pensions! If you can afford trillions of dollars for overseas wars, then you can certainly afford pensions! Is killing off Arab socialism in the Mid East more important than taking care of your own? I suppose so, if you want a global empire. So who wants this global empire? Multinational corporations want foreign markets.

    So what kind of democracy do you envision? Gang rape is democratic. Five say ‘yes’, one says ‘no’ to sexual intercourse. Is that democracy? Or is it that the right to form associations and group self-determination comprise democratic goals? If self-determination is the truest form of democracy, then yes, democracy is truly dead.

    America, get ready for the gang rape.

  20. stevenelliot says

    Most of the comments on this thread show me what I have always known about American gays. We as a group tend to be socially liberal but fiscally conservative. A demographic ripe for conversion to the GOP, however the powers that be in that political party sat down and decided that conservative religious voters are a larger voting block. So therefore, we have been thrown off the bus of inclusion.
    The supreme court in 2000 gave the election to bush, even tho gore had the majority vote. The supreme court has now given the election to romney via citizens united. If you never see “causality” as the frenchman in the matrix said, you fail to ever see whole pictures of how things happen. This vote should have been about big money on politics. The unions are being busted because they are the dems biggest PACs. I hate to say but obama will not be reelected. The repubs will keep the house, prob win back the senate. The ultra rich will get a permanent tax break, granting them a “special class” status. The country will sink lower into a latin american type socio-economic model. Bye Bye middle class. Hellloooo plutocratic banana republic. If you vote your rights away. Dont complain. The SCOTUS is also empowered to scuttle any chance of us ever getting marriage. U know why? It aint our rights. Its the fact the repubs dont pay entitlements for anyone but the ultra rich. and they consider us wanting equal marriage merely a payout from social security, health care, etc.

  21. says

    Here is what’s being lost in translation.

    The 100’s of millions of dollars by Multinational Corporations in elections are to gain an unfair advantage against all small business upstarts who are entrepreneurs and innovators because We are the competition.

    No greater example than main street closings after Wal Mart moving into town. Wal Mart offers low pay part time work and its employees qualify for Medicaid. We get that bill, not them. They are also attempting to reduce, or eliminate, the burden, and the cost, of infrastructure that supports their business even know it services them. We get that bill too. They seek to destroy and eliminate all small

    I own a small business and get no special roads built for me, I get no special fuel credits, no tax breaks that large multinationals get. My employees get a full time living wage with healthcare benefits. What’s more: I also don’t have a vote in these Multinational Corporate organizations. I do in my government. They hate that too and want to reduce its effect.

    These large monopolies seek full an total control of the market place and you will have no choice but to work for them.

    In this example unlimited, tax deductible, contributions, in secret, are effecting elections that influence, but does not consider, local issues, concerns or needs.

    Wake up people. There is reason to be alarmed.

  22. screech says

    Jacques, I agree 100% with what you said. The multinationals do strangle small business and stifle the voice of citizens speaking to governments. But teachers unions, railroad unions, etc. are not small businesses. Is this a larger issue with the concept of democracy itself and how we see democracy working? It seems like self-determination as a democratic principle is what multinational corporations are fighting. Is democracy really about majority rule?

  23. ratbastard says

    FDR was very opposed to public sector unions, and understandably so. We as a nation could look the other way for many decades since their creation because our economic outlook was fairly rosy and we were growing at a healthy clip. This is no longer the case. And things such property taxes and fees for this and that are outrageous in many locales primarily because of over the top public sector employee benefits, pay, retirement packages, etc.Something the majority of Americans don’t share in, the vast majority actually. But they must pay for it in addition to their own retirement, etc. Why can’t true believer progressives comprehend this? Public sector union workers no more represent the average working man or woman in America than a Goldman Sachs executive.

  24. TJ says

    We can afford what we make a priority. At some point, attracting good people to teach our children and protect our communities by encouraging long-term commitment through benefits seemed a good idea. Now, preserving proportionally unfair tax breaks for those who control the majority of the wealth and power seems the better idea. Because if we allow them to maintain their power and control, they will create jobs (mostly low-paying, service worker positions with no benefits, because the accumulation of wealth depends upon a a large and cheap labor force – hey there, China!) and allow us to feed off the crumbs from their tables.

    And when you think about it, who needs an education beyond the third grade anyways? The rich can afford to educate their children to become all the leaders, professionals, and entrepreneurs we’ll ever need, and education just makes for malcontents. They can hire their own security forces. They can afford to pay as they go. Why care about the rest of us?

  25. screech says

    Why can’t the private sector comprehend that you get what you pay for? There is this deeply ingrained sentiment that the private sector can always outperform the public sector and that is just unfounded. The extreme waste by private corporations given contracts in Afghanistan is an excellent example. The government now has to spend even more money prosecuting private companies that grabbed American money and built nothing.

    So when it comes to the public sector and especially services, like education, taxes pay for that. But it is investing in people that ensures QUALITY. If you want good teachers, yes, you have to pay for them (and that includes their retirement).

    So lets say that you are right and most Americans don’t want to pay for teacher’s retirements and their own. They probably should want to pay for pensions if they want quality is my point.

    Odd, you don’t hear many talking about police unions and pensions, do you? I suggest it is because people recognize that quality matters in the public sector.

  26. says

    rich people convincing non-rich people to vote against their own best interests, via stupid archaic jingoistic nonsense.


    and ignore the gay republican trolls who came on to this thread. they’re just a group of wimps whose dads don’t love them.

  27. ratbastard says

    No problem with giving good, talented people good pay and benefits, not outrageous, over the top pay and benefits though, especially if they’re public sector. And public sector workers on average receive pay, benefits, retirement and security [try firing a legitimately bad public worker, or getting them to perform at a decent level] that are excessively out of tune with everybody else [the vast majority] minus of course the tiny percentage of corrupt corporate executives, hedge fund managers, many pro athletes and entertainers, many in academia, etc.]

    Again, what’s so hard for many self described progressives to understand here? I mean I’m gay, and want my full civil rights, but neither am I a chump nor should I be expected to be.

  28. says

    but ratbastard, you’re just a cowardly racist right-wing suck up wimp who’d make your family happiest by swallowing a bottle of bleach.

    your illogical spin on this issue doesn’t change that. you’re more than just a chump – you’re representative of the most cowardly scum in america.


  29. andrew says

    Democracy is not dead. The guy with the most money or the richest friends usually wins. Thats just the way it is in 2012. Deal with it. If progressives want to win they have to dig deep and give $100.00s or $1000.000 or $10,000.00s or more to guarantee a victory for their side. Put up or shut up is the new name of the game.

  30. boone68 says

    Some comments suggest that America can no longer afford public worker pensions. There is more money being made in this country than at any other time in the history of the world, so that line is a load of crap. The simple truth is that Americans no longer WANT to pay for public worker pensions. So you want a stable middle income retirement for a career in the public sector? Wisconsinites, and Americans in general, say forget it. The recall election was important for many reasons, and the people who poured their heart and souls into defeating Walker Inc. shouldn’t be criticized for demonstrating their profound disappointment. Let them grieve, for christ’s sake. As a former Wisconsinite, I share some of their pain and today I appreciate the progressive stronghold in which I can raise my family. Wisconsin is going Red. Obama will lose the state later this year, and Baldwin will lose the Senate race. Wisconsin will soon be redneck red and the race to the bottom with Mississippi, Alabama et al will have begun.

  31. screech says

    Well Andrew, that is the gang rape mentality of democracy – it’s all about the numbers. Hypothetically, if the religious right outspends us could they execute us? Why not? That is the name of the game, as you put it. Well THAT kind of democracy is not dead, but it doesn’t look good for our future either.

    You’re basically saying that if you aren’t strong enough to defend yourself, then you should have been to the gym more to beat off your attacker (using the analogy). Doesn’t sound swell.

  32. screech says

    And Ratbastard, would you say the same for those who make the military their career? I mean, should soldiers get no benefits, childcare, moving expenses, FREE education, etc.?

  33. Drew2 says

    I agree wholeheartedly with ratbastard and many others on this thread.

    On the other hand, I sadly see the same, boring comments from Kiwi.

    Kiwi – just copy and paste this as it sums up every single one of your posts: “If you’re not SUPER liberal on EVERY issue, you’re a racist, self-loathing COWARD!!”

    Yup, that’s pretty much every one of his posts.

  34. ratbastard says


    I NEVER said public workers should get no benefits, etc.! Don’t twist my words. They should get pay,benefits,security consummate with what the majority of the people who pay their salary, benefits and retirement packages get. Is that fair?

    The job the military does is unique and they deserve unique sets of benefits. They literally are willing to put their life on the line for their country. Don’t compare someone in the armed forces with a city hall clerk with a patronage job.

  35. screech says

    What counts as “fair”? Assuming the right to collectively bargain, shouldn’t the market dictate the rate of pay, benefits, and retirement packages that teachers get?

    And we value lots of jobs, not just the armed forces. There is no reason to hold a different standard for one sector over another. Police put their lives on the line all the time.

  36. CKNJ says

    Wow, I can’t believe how many secret rethugs here have wormed their way out the poisoned apple to rub their smutty little hands in glee at this trashing of democracy…

    YES it was trashed you morons…when that much money is spent getting a message out, it’s impossible to have a fair election. The supreme court justices that passed Citizens United should all be impeached and we should reform election monies where there is an equal finite amount of money allowed for both sides. That is the ONLY way a fair election can be held…

    Imagine if all you heard all day was Walker’s message and now and again an ad from Barrett, which message will stick? That is not the way to a fair election. The Republican Party are just a bunch of Koch addicts, bought and paid for by them!

  37. screech says

    See, Ratbastard, this is what was on my mind when I said it seems like multinational corporations and republicans target self-determination styled democracy. Unions just are a group that joins together to collectively bargain for common goals (self-determination). Instead of bargaining and making contracts, you think that benefits, pay, securities should be dictated to them. When they strike (fail to reach a negotiation for a contract) THEN you start to value their services and twist the arm of government to FORCE unions into a contract.

    That would be a very strange position to take, no?

  38. anon says

    If you look at voter demographics, it looks like the elderly were more concerned about property taxes and medicare support than public employee pensions. Future national liabilities for both is quite large, with an insufficient tax base. Probably the main issue is the general unfairness of property taxes, which is independent of income and is very regressive, along with the regressive nature of payroll taxes. Income tax rates could go much higher and thereby reduce property tax rates, more in line with Europe–but borrowing has be kept in line too.

  39. Randy says

    Wisconsin Democrats should be ashamed. They picked a fight they didn’t need to pick, and then they lost it. There’s no way to spin this into a victory (despite the many attempts being made). The governor has been made far more powerful as a result.

    There are a few months left to figure out how to win, when being out-spent. So just do it. The right is always going to have more “speech” to spend.

  40. anthony says

    Parents complain about crappy schools all the time and yet they expect high caliber teachers for crappy pay. You can’t have it both ways. The truth is that an office manager or admin assistant at a Fortune 500 company with no degree makes more $$ than a seasoned teacher. That is the truth. If you don’t offer some incentives you are not going to get the best and brightest.

  41. KD says

    •Scott Walker did not get all the billionaire contributions. His PACs did.

    •Most of said money did not come from corporations, it came from individual billionaires and millionaires. They could give that money before Citizen’s United. Remember when George Soros gave tens of millions of dollars to outside groups for Kerry in 2004? All Citizen’s United did was allow corporations, unions, and other organizations to give money to outside groups. Individuals already had that right.

    •This is not just a Republican thing. Remember that Obama outspent McCain more than 2-1 in the 2008 election. I doubt most candidates would raise this kind of money like Walker. This was a special case only because he did something that was controversial but very popular with the base of his party and he became a star of the Republican party. He would not have attracted this kind of money otherwise.

    •At the end of the day the unions misused the recall process and the people of Wisconsin voted in Walker by almost the exact same margin he was voted in by in 2010.

  42. screech says

    How did they misuse the recall process? Walker claimed his platform was not about union busting. It clearly is.

    This kind of corporate involvement is wrong. Congress is corrupt and paid for. So is the presidency. This Wisconsin case is particularly egregious because Walmart can contribute to PACs and Christy Walton (who doesn’t even live in WI) gave 50,000 to Walker personally. Because the last thing Walmart wants is a union.

    And the republican party itself funneled a lot of money into Walker’s PACs. That is the problem. So a small group in a state can be attacked by a party and a country. This ruling by the courts ought to be overturned.

    And, you aren’t even touching the conceptual issues and problems with democracy. This is not democracy, its gang rape.

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