To the editor:
Well, the much anticipated Wisconsin recall election is over.
Gov. Scott Walker won by a comfortable seven-point margin. And the results have Republicans — especially right-wing extremist, faux patriotic, Tea Party types and corporate titans like the billionaire Koch brothers — jumping for joy, while crestfallen Democrats and liberals are wringing their hands with anxiety.
Now, there is no denying the recall in Wisconsin has national implications.
Walker's victory, almost immediately, had some whispering his name as a possible vice presidential pick for Romney.
It was also a harsh blow to organized labor in the short term, but Walker's victory may yet prove to be a positive watershed moment for not just organized labor, but progressive causes in general in the long term. Here's why:
The recall election in Wisconsin ripped the scab off of the lie the American Right has long promulgated about labor unions — namely that they are evil forces of barely disguised socialism looking to destroy American capitalism and democracy and replace it with a system dominated by foreigners looking to impose a New World Order that will subjugate patriotic Americans to their European style socialist dictatorship.
Well, the Wisconsin recall election proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that labor unions are not awash in unlimited amounts of cash with which they are buying elections, whether that cash is "socialist" or not in nature. Organized labor and its supporters could not compete with the tsunami of right-wing, corporate cash that flowed into Wisconsin on Scott Walker's behalf.
The Koch brothers alone are said to have spent more than $10 million in Wisconsin for Walker via one of their "Super PACs," thanks to the right wing members of the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision.
The end result was Scott Walker outspent his Democratic opponent, despite the Right's claims it is those evil labor unions that are awash in cash and using it to corrupt our political processes, by a margin of 7-to-1.
Now, with all due respect to Gov. Walker, I suspect Moe, Larry, Curley, or even Shemp, could have survived a recall vote with that kind of funding advantage.
Wisconsin was just a dress rehearsal for what is coming in the months ahead in the buildup to Election Day in November. It is all well and good that John McCain has condemned the Supreme Court's "Citizens United" decision. It is all well and good that former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens recently said "Citizens United" will not stand the test of constitutional time.
But in the meantime, our nation is in grave danger of becoming little more than a plutocracy where those with the most money call the shots while hiding behind the curtain of "democracy" — not unlike those right wing, corporate-run countries to our south that we in the U.S. long disparaged as "banana republics."
Democrats on Cape Ann, be they liberal or more centrist, along with those who view themselves as Independents who are uncomfortable with the dramatic swing to the right the GOP has taken over the last few years, and especially in this election cycle, need to take a close look at the Wisconsin recall.
They need to give a close look to its implications not just for that state, but for the nation as a whole if those who bought Scott Walker's governor's chair for him succeed in doing the same thing at the national level.