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Moving Forward

The burden of healing the Wisconsin divide lies on the Democrats.

Now that this joke of a recall is behind us, the challenge appears to be uniting the state.  Scott Walker has already been expected to heal the rift and bring both political parties to the table.  It was the theme of Tom Barrett’s concession speech and Walker himself describe coming together as the next step in moving Wisconsin forward.  Yet, are Wisconsin Democrats really ready to come together?

During the recall election, Walker made known that he felt the change in collective bargaining laws could have been handled differently.  However, it is important to understand that this does not mean changing the bill, it means getting more information out to the Wisconsin public.  Walker understood that in 2010, balancing the budget and loosening the grip of public sector unions was the reason he was elected into power.  As we move forward it is important to understand he had the will of people on his side as the GOP brought forth legislation in the first year of his term.

Having won by an even larger margin on June 5th, 2012 than he did in November of 2010, fortifies this stance that the voters of Wisconsin are not in favor of liberal policy that is crippling other states.  This also means that moving forward the voters of Wisconsin expect the same fiscally responsible conservative policy enacted as they had already seen from Scott Walker.  Therefore, the burden of coming together lies squarely on the shoulders of Democrats in Wisconsin.  Are they prepared to accept that Wisconsinites want a strong conservative leader?

Based on the concession speeches given by both Barrett and Mitchell, I don’t believe they want any level of unity.  During Barrett’s speech he told his supporters, “Never, ever stop doing what you think is right.”  This came after he told the crowd that what they did to get to this election was “right”.  He did not tell his supporter to join the governor in his fight to put Wisconsin on the top nationally in jobs, education or quality of life.  Instead, he instructed his supporters to continue to challenge the governor as they have.  Barrett in losing, wants his supporters to stand against what the people of Wisconsin have said in back-to-back gubernatorial elections.

Mitchell’s speech was much more in your face and aggressive than Barrett’s.  As a union representative, what we witnessed from Mitchell was not a sign that he expected things to change.  Instead, what we got was the same drum thumping union bullying the people of Wisconsin rejected.  Saying things like, “This is a way of life that we always have to keep and that we cannot let up” as he discusses the union activism that drove this failed recall election.  He went on to explain to the crowd that this is a “fight we are in and a fight that did not end today whether we won or lost.”  Throughout his concession speech he rallied the crowd and encouraged them to stand against the voters of Wisconsin and against the governor.  He intentionally took the microphone to divide.

In the end June 5th has proven that the division of this state has been lead by Democrats and their supporters.  It has also shown us the path to unity; a path that leads towards a joint effort with Scott Walker to enact pro-business fiscally responsible conservative legislation.  This recall election, Walker’s 2010 win, the votes in last years recall elections and the election of the Judge Prosser have all been directly related to Walker’s performance and the direction the state of Wisconsin should be headed.   It is clear the voters do not want to see Walker sacrifice his position on current government policy.  Rather the people of Wisconsin have said in four consecutive elections that they expect Democrats to join with Walker to fix the divide and bring Wisconsin together.  The next two years will show whether the Democrats truly stand with the voters of Wisconsin or if they wish to continue to pander to their union special interest as Mahlon Mitchell is advocating.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Bert June 08, 2012 at 06:57 PM
JB - Right, and if the economy doesn't take off, well that will just be Obama's fault. Of course, while Democrats are "duped" by unions, every Republican is a free-thinking master of logic, totally immune to misinformation doled out by massive info-tainment machines like News Corp. or talk radio! I mean, you NEVER hear right wingers use verbatim talking points directly from Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh when making an argument! (In other words, you probably don't want to use the "misinformed" argument... Something about glass houses...)
Bert June 08, 2012 at 07:00 PM
Exit polling from Tuesday's election showed Obama leading Romney by 7, 8, and 11 points (three different polls). Walker got 17% of the vote from Obama supporters. That was not an ideological vote, nor a vote in favor of Walker and his agenda. It was a vote against the legitimacy of the recall.
James R Hoffa June 08, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Spin, spin, and more spin. The real agenda has already been put on display - it's called fiscal responsibility, demanding efficiency from government, returning power to the local level, and limiting the size of government. What part don't you understand exactly? And that's what people voted for - the message! You honestly want us to believe that people who adamantly stand opposed to Walker's agenda and believe that he represents the worst thing in American politics today went out to the polls and voted for him anyway in some kind of symbolic vote and/or stand against recalls?!?! The koolaid in liberal land must be getting stronger instead of weaker! You may want to layoff your constant exposure to MSNBC and the Daily Kos - it's having adverse effects on your ability to reason and think for yourself.
Kenneth London June 11, 2012 at 03:54 AM
When Divide and Conquer is your mantra - bringing people together does not matter. It is all a game. But I do not think this is as dominating a victory as being portrayed in right-leaning blogs like these. 53-47%. And, as pointed out - many of the exit polls identified an anti-recall vote - not necessarily a endorsement of the union busting agenda. 17% of Walker supporters also support President Obama. And Racine County actually recalled Republican Wanggaard by 800 votes. So please - this is not a dramatic, catastrophic shift in ideology in this state. Just as Obama's victory did not mark the beginning of a new left-dominated national political scene - Walker's survival of a recall does not mark the beginning of some new conservative dominance in the state. Both sides are beholden to their special interests. Both sides are simple political gamesmen - some of them have a set of values that they actually believe in. Both sides, of course, feel they are right. It is not going to get more quiet. It will get louder. More money. More "digging in". In the end - no one really wins except the local radio and tv stations.
Kenneth London June 11, 2012 at 03:57 AM
LOL - wow - I almost pictured some sort of superhero figure with a shield and a spear. Actually - he's a politician. Always has been. Always will be. You can think he is liberating you - but really - he's just pushing his party's agenda just like Obama, Barrett, Tommy Thompson, George Bush, etc, etc. Thats what politicians do. Well, besides raise a lot of money.

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