So the long awaited Wisconsin recall occurred this Tuesday. Now, honestly, as a life long Democrat, supporter of Unions and former Wisconsinite, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't extremely disappointed with the gubernatorial results. I didn't like Scott Walker when he was my State Senator, I didn't like him as Milwaukee County Supervisor, and I sure as all heck hate him as Governor of my former home state.
But what happened is what happened. We shouldn't be lamenting, but instead asking the question "Where are we going?" Quo Vadimus indeed.
Tuesday's results weren't all bad. There's good news in all of this darkness, and that's Democrats took back the Wisconsin State Senate.
Now, this sounds a little more impressive than it is, as half the State Senate is up for re-election in the fall and the legislative body is out of session until after these elections. This means that, frankly, we're not going to get anything done with this new found majority.
But it's not an unimportant one - frankly, the Republicans haven't been above calling a "special session" and pushing through law when you wouldn't expect them to. By having a Democratic majority in the State Senate, you guarantee that this can't happen.
In other words, they can't make it worse.
What amazes me is how the national media keeps talking about how this may reflect on how Wisconsin votes in the Presidential election - and in truth, I think it does nothing more than prove how little the national media understands Wisconsin Politics. This Recall election was a battle of Partisans. The split ticket voters, frankly, stay home for days like this.
They don't stay home for Presidential elections.
You have to remember that in 2004, 50% of the vote went to John Kerry in Wisconsin while 53% went to Russ Feingold. While there was likely some downticket falloff (and some Nader voters), it still means a sizable percentage of people voted for both George W. Bush and Russ Feingold.
Puzzle that one out for a minute.
What I'm saying though is that while Walker remains in office, it doesn't even come close to meaning any improvement of Mitt Romney's chances in the Dairy State. This literally indicates nothing in regards to what will happen in November. Frankly, any data taken this early in a state so split down the middle is meaningless. Make your predictions come October, and until then, you're just reading tea leaves.
So, in wrap up, while the Republicans held their ground in the biggest race, they still lost ground. It's not the victory we wanted, but it's the victory we got -- and the key is to move forward.