Is this recall election fair?
By now, you probably know how I feel about the politics of Gov. Scott Walker, but for the purposes of this blog, the decision on who I'll vote for on June 5 doesn't really matter.
What I'm struggling with this week is whether the upcoming recall election is warranted in the first place.
As far as I'm concerned, recall elections were designed to deal with politicians who have committed acts of gross malfeasance. People like former Sheboygan Mayor Jim Ryan, who was apparently in a constant state of breaking the law, come to mind. He was tossed out office, and rightfully so.
But while some are alleging shady business on behalf of the governor, the reason most people want to recall Walker is because they don't like how he's governed in the last year and a half.
Well, they should've tried harder to keep him from getting elected in the first place.
It's true that Walker didn't really campaign on the premise that he'd make such partisan, divisive pro-Tea Party decisions right out of the gate. Compromise was never in his vocabulary, but it wasn't part of his game plan as County Executive, either.
Walker didn't exactly hide his motives, mind you. Had more people – union workers of all stripes, specifically – paid attention in the general election, Walker may not be sitting in Madison right now.
Really, had more than half of Wisconsin's voting age citizens turned out, the results could be different, too.
It's not unfair to say that Wisconsin's Democrats and independent moderates are now paying for their apathy.
That, of course, extends to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who never seemed like he really wanted to be governor. That still seems to be the case. If he's trying to win, he's certainly not acting like it. Presumably talked into running by President Obama, he's the least aggressive candidate I've seen in a long time. I think he just likes being mayor, although I think he'd be a fine, moderate governor if elected.
But does Walker deserve to be recalled? If the argument is that he's a horrible governor, tearing Wisconsin apart, reworking laws for political gain while destroying the state's future and national reputation, then the answer is, reluctantly, no.
Or is the recall warranted because some think that once he was elected, Walker turned into a different person, drastically moving so much father right on key issues that even moderates would've never voted for him? Maybe, but just barely.
On the other hand, it doesn't really matter, since if the situation was reversed, Republicans would be doing the exact same thing. Jim Doyle just wasn't that polarizing, though; Republicans didn't like him, but they could live with him. Up until now, that's been both parties' line when they lose an election: we'll get 'em next time.
Now, Wisconsin is in a virtual civil war. Neighbors won't talk to neighbors. Civility is out the window, and this administration took its political capital, and for right or for wrong, rammed its ideology through the legislature, leaving behind a wake of destruction. Wisconsin is a mess.
But not voting on June 5 out of ideology serves nobody. The political landscape is changed, and I expect recall attempts on every subsequent governor for some time. At least until Wisconsin can cool down a little.
Is this a fair recall election? Probably not, but it doesn't really matter. Wisconsin is a laughing stock, and no matter what happens on June 5, the rest of the country won't stop laughing any time soon.
The largest problem I am seeing with "frivolous" recall elections like this; is the fact that we the tax payers get stuck footing the bill for these. How much is this gubernatorial recall going to cost the taxpayers of Wisconsin? Nine million dollars or more!! That is our money, that could have been much better spent on anything from health care to education to the highways. Stop wasting my money!!!
Why do you think we're the laughing stock? Look at history, Democracy is dirty & gritty. People have every right to speak up for them selves when they don't fell they're government is working for them., but in fact working against them. I agree, more people should be paying attention so we can avoid situations like this recall. But it's not exactly easy to find the facts through media anymore. We're being manipulated as much by media,as wer are Super PAC's, & the candidates themselves.
Andy, why did you sign the recall petion if you feel this way? Also, what "illegal" things did the former Mayor of Sheboygan do to deserve to be recalled? I didn't think having a drinking problem was illegal. This blog makes little sense.
Ok, so people believe recalls are only for gross misconduct and/or criminal activity. I seem to remember a couple of guys who were unhappy with how Tom Ament was running things as Milw. County Executive, so they initiated a recall. The recall election would have taken place had Ament not retired. One of the "recallers" was eventually elected County Exec., and his name is Scott Walker. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, I just think too many people conveniently forget that the process that arguably got him to where he is today is being touted as unfair once it's used against him.
@nmballer thanks for sharing. I hope those on the right have your same measured reason in the future and do not continue the recall cycle.
Show me the other 7 Talkbacks
12 comments about this article.
Post a comment / write a review.
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.