Wisconsin GOP chair Brad Courtney is trying his darnedest to put lipstick on a pig.
The Dairy State senate recall elections resulted in "a united Republican majority,” he said in a statement.
Never mind that the GOP edge has slipped to 17-16. Forget that one Republican senator sided with the Democrats and voted against GOP Gov. Scott Walker's public employee union-busting bill.
"The state Senate as now constituted would NOT have approved Walker 's extreme, divisive assault on the middle class and working people,” said Wisconsin Democratic party chair Mike Tate, also in a statement.
The GOP enjoyed a 19-14 edge over Tate’s party when Walker rammed home his bill. So if it came up for a vote today and the sole Republican naysayer stuck to his guns, the governor would lose by one.
But who can blame Courtney for trying to pretty up the porker’s puss? But, I doubt even that lipstick line called "Sensational Effects" would do him any good in promoting porcine pulchritude.
To be sure, the Democrats and the unions were hoping to unseat at least three of the half-dozen Republicans they targeted for recall. That would have given them the majority.
But Democratic dobbers aren’t down. Two Republicans got toppled.
On the other hand, the GOP mounted revenge recalls against a trio of Democratic senators. The Republicans wound up 0 for 3.
So out of nine recall elections, the Democrats won five and the GOP four.
After the August 9 recall round, the New York Times editorialized that while the Democrats were a tad short in their bid to take the senate, knocking off a pair of Walker's soul mates "…was still an impressive response to the governor’s arrogant overreach.”
The Times editorial put the elections in perspective, explaining, “recall elections are extremely difficult to win; only two had succeeded in the state in the last 80 years. The districts lean Republican, and getting people to turn out in an unusual off-year election is always a struggle. Had Democrats won one more district, they would control the Senate, but they were also trying to send a warning to Republican lawmakers around the country who are trying to break public employee unions. In that, they succeeded.”
The editorial concluded: “Republicans will not admit this, but the numbers showed significant strength for Democrats even in the districts they lost — strength that could grow if lawmakers continue cutting spending and taxes while reducing the negotiating rights of working families. In one rural senatorial district that had not elected a Democrat in a century, the Democratic candidate reached 48 percent of the vote. Another race was also close, and…the overall results suggest that a contemplated statewide recall of Mr. Walker himself would be too close to call.
“….It was probably a stretch for union supporters to go after six incumbent senators, rather than concentrate their forces on the most vulnerable. Nonetheless, voters around the country who oppose the widespread efforts to undermine public unions — largely financed by corporate interests — should draw strength from Tuesday’s success, not discouragement.”
Never is heard a discouraging word from Phil Neuenfeldt, Wisconsin State AFL-CIO president. He was especially pumped after the last recall round when the Democrats went two for two.
Neuenfeldt said that taken together, the elections show “that the people of Wisconsin are looking for a check on Scott Walker’s reckless and radical agenda.” He added, “This turning tide shows that voters in Wisconsin are sending a clear message: the rubber-stamping of Walker ’s extreme agenda by the Wisconsin Senate is not the way forward.”
This union-card carrying Hubert Humphrey Democrat from Kentucky -- where Steve Beshear, our second-term-seeking, union-endorsed Democratic governor is up two dozen points over his Scott Walker-wannabe Republican challenger in a recent bellwether poll -- hopes Walker 's "way forward" will include a recall election that will unemploy him, too.