Is Wisconsin Really a Battleground?

After the effort to recall Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker failed, there were noises that the state was now competitive for the GOP in the presidential race.  President Obama carried Wisconsin in 2008 by 14%.  He consistently leads in polls there by 6-8%.

The GOP hasn’t put their money where their mouths are because so far they’re not running ads in Wisconsin.

As Journal Sentinel reporter Craig Gilbert notes,* Wisconsin is being treated as a second-tier state for the GOP, below places like Nevada, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, Florida, and New Hampshire.

I think Obama will carry Wisconsin again, although not by 14%.  But it’s still the same number of electoral votes.  The electoral college map just doesn’t favor Mittens.

* “Wisconsin:  a very quiet presidential battleground.”

Y’All Can Die, Cause Perry’s Running for Prez in 2016

About 25% of Texans don’t have health insurance,  the highest rate in the country.  This is one area where Texas shouldn’t want to be bigger than everybody else.  This high number of uninsured is because states set eligibility based on the poverty line, and Texas sets theirs really low — at only 27% of that line.

By contrast, the Medicaid expansion under Obamacare would cover people up to 133% of the poverty line, which in states like Texas would make an enormous difference.  The cost to Texas for such an expansion?  Zero for the first three years, and then ten percent thereafter.

Sounds like a good deal, right?  Except that Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he won’t participate.  He’s going to hold his breath until all the uninsured turn blue.

Besides refusing to participate in the Medicaid expansion, Perry says he won’t set up an insurance exchange to help people buy coverage from competing private insurers.

This is all about Perry setting himself up to run again for president in 2016, this time without the back surgery, pain pills, and “oops.”  Of course, if he does need more back surgery and pain pills, no problem.  He has health insurance.

But ultimately I believe Perry, and other refusenik governors like Rick Scott of Florida, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Nikki Haley of South Carolina, will cave.  They will be under too much pressure from their hospitals and their citizens will not be pleased to watch so much federal money flowing to other states.


Dem Wins in Wisconsin!

When the recall votes were initially counted, it looked as if the Republican state senators up for recall along with Gov. Scott Walker had all survived their challenges.

But final results show that Dem John Lehman defeated Republican Van Wanggaard, giving the Dems a 17-16 majority in the State Senate.

Wanggaard is demanding a recount.

Who Kidnapped the Real Scott Walker and What Have They Done with Him?

Who is this guy pretending to be Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker?

Scott Walker’s Big ‘Obamacare’ Reveal

 From “Scott Walker’s Big ‘Obamacare’ Reveal,” Brian Beutler, TPM:

“Walker met with reporters today, and basically admitted that if the ACA [Affordable Care Act] disappears, states like his could step up and make sure people with pre-existing conditions aren’t excluded from the insurance market. A pander, yes, but it opens an exquisite Pandora’s box.

“In response to the obvious followup — how could you do that without a mandate? — he sort of waved his hands, but crucially he admitted it’s something individual states could and might implement themselves. This wasn’t Jerry Brown talking, it was Scott Walker. More than just about any GOP governor, he’s the face of the anti-Obama insurgency. And what he’s suggesting is that many states (either out of desire or political necessity) will implement some of the key features of ‘Obamacare’ even if it’s struck down or repealed at the federal level.”

I encourage you to read the whole story.

Mitt on Walker’s Coattails

For the first time, Rasmussen shows Mitt leading Obama in Wisconsin, 47% to 44%.

That’s a huge swing from March, when Obama was up 52% to 41%.  In May, Obama led Mitt 49% to 45%.

I really have a sense that the tide is turning for Mitt, with plenty of time for it to turn again (and again and again), but with lots of bad news coming for the Prez.

What a Recall Vote Means

Sometimes I just want to shake David Brooks.  Today, after reading his column “The Debt Indulgence,” is one of those days.

He writes “A vote to keep [Wisconsin Governor Scott] Walker won’t be an anti-union vote.”

Huh?  Walker wasn’t content to get concessions from the public unions, which they readily gave, he was determined to crush them.  This wasn’t about balancing Wisconsin’s budget now, it was about talking away collective bargaining rights forever.  And Walker has admitted that his “divide and conquer” strategy was to first go after the public unions, then the private unions, and turn Wisconsin, birthplace of the progressive movement, into a Right to Work state.  He’s working for the Koch Brothers, who want to destroy unions across the country so they can’t provide campaign contributions to act as a counterweight to those from conservative groups.

So I don’t see how you can interpret a vote for Walker as anything other than an anti-union vote.

Brooks warns that a vote against Walker isn’t a vote for the idea of keeping unions alive, it is somehow a vote against reducing deficits:

“[I]f he is recalled that will send a broader message, with effects far beyond Wisconsin.  It will be a signal that voters are indeed unwilling to tolerate tough decisions to reduce debt.”

This is not true.  The public unions themselves were willing to tolerate tough decisions to reduce debt.  If Walker were recalled, it would be a signal that voters are not willing to tolerate unfairness and bullying and over-reaching.  Walker didn’t run in 2010 on a platform of stripping public union rights.  He went way beyond what the people of Wisconsin expected and elected him to do.

I agree with this guy:

“I’m not a complete fan of the way Walker went about reducing debt.  In an age of tough choices one bedrock principle should be:  We’re all in this together.  If you are going to cut from the opposing party’s interest groups, you should also cut from some of your own.  That’s how you build trust and sustain progress, one administration to the next. … Walker didn’t do that.  He just sliced Democrats. … Walker’s method was obnoxious….”

That’s David Brooks, in the same column!