Thursday, April 21, 2011

"Wisconsin Is Just The Beginning"

Wisconsin's been all over the national news, whether it's the recalls of the Republican 8, the controversial Supreme Court election, or Paul Ryan's budget plan. I think all of this focus on Wisconsin is helping us move Forward past the ridiculous plans of Scott Walker and the Republicans, and it's also helping to spread Wisconsin values across the nation. Some of these national news shows have been doing great reporting on Wisconsin, and I'd like to share with you some very interesting and informative reports from Wednesday evening.

The Rachel Maddow Show ran two segments on Wisconsin. In the first, Rachel discussed the latest news on the Supreme Court election and summarized its ramifications. She ended the segment saying, "the Democrats in that state are turning political outrage in their state into political outcomes in their state."

In the second segment, Rachel discussed how the momentum in Wisconsin is gaining and spreading beyond our borders. Rachel showed a very informative map of Wisconsin indicating all of the counties that voted more for Kloppenburg than they did for Walker just a few months ago. There was very little momentum gained by the Republican-backed Prosser, and almost every county in Wisconsin voted more for Kloppenburg than they had for Walker. In fact, the districts that swung against Walker include all of the districts of the four Republican 8 expecting a recall election. This is significant, but elections and particularly a small election like this one are not good indicators of overall state mood.

Rachel's interviewee, Dante Chinni from Patchwork Nation, said Wisconsin contains many "service worker centers." Chinni defines these places as having lots of good jobs in the public sector with fewer in the private. He said he thinks the momentum is coming from the attacks on those jobs by politicians, particularly collective bargaining. Chinni said, "Wisconsin is just the beginning." They called it the "Wisconsin Effect" and said that Republicans are very afraid. In Wisconsin, we've been calling the "Wisconsin Effect" the Wisconsin Wave.

Later, Ed Schultz showed the most footage from Paul Ryan's town hall on his The Ed Show on MSNBC. Ed shows a very great question from a resident, Ryan's response and the reaction from the crowd. Ryan got "smacked down" by the residents for giving tax cuts to the rich while asking others to pay more.

Ed interviewed the person from ThinkProgress who shot the video, Scott Keyes. Keyes gave a very informative account of Ryan's town halls. Laura Flanders said, "It's the super rich against everyone else," and Ed noted that it appeared Ryan supporters were at the meeting trying to tell him he's wrong. Keyes agreed and said he saw "a lot of anxiety there in the crowds." Later, Flanders said, "The seniors are not buying what Ryan is selling."

Then, in another segment, Ed continued his coverage of politics in Wisconsin. Ed said, "I'm not gonna get off of this story because I think fundamentally this is one of the biggest stories in America. This is change. This is change you can believe in."

Ed attacked Walker's statements that the recalls are being driven by Madison, and then interviewed Adam Green of the Progressive Change Committee. They discussed the recalls, the process, and possible ramifications. Then Green said there will be a really important conference call Thursday at 9:30am from Mike Tate, head of the Wisconsin Democrats, regarding the Republicans' efforts to collect recall signatures for Democrats. He said that Tate will be alleging "outright fraud."

It sounds like this conference at 9:30am will be interesting. I was wondering why the Republicans were holding off on their announcement, waiting until enough signatures were collected for three Democrats. Just didn't seem politically intelligent. Now it sounds like they may have been holding back because of nefarious actions.

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