A controversial incumbent hangs on and retains his job despite fierce opposition in a bad economy. Sounds like a hopeful scenario for the Obama campaign, right? Instead it was Republican Scott Walker’s impressive victory in Wisconsin. If President Obama is smart—and he is nothing if not that—he will go to school on Walker. Here are some lessons he has probably already absorbed.
I'll just list the 'lessons' - Money Matters Most, Ground War Can't Counter Air Superiority, The Base Ain't Enough, Go Ugly Early, and Class Warfare Has Already Begun - to reassure my readers that the Democrats (well, Paul Belgala) haven't actually learned a darn thing from Wisconsin. No, that actually covers The Base Ain't Enough: Paul Begala seems to think that the President doesn't need to move any further to the right to keep independents, which is funny as all get-out. Just like the thought that the President learns lessons; but that's not what I want to get into. What I want to get into is what's missing from that list of lessons.
I could emulate Begala and try to come up with a cute, snappy bullet point for the aforementioned missing - Lost - Lesson of Wisconsin... and why not? I will. Be Right. And you can take it either way: the baffled fury of liberal pundits to the contrary, conservative fiscal arguments and policies are in fact resonating with the rest of the country. And the reason why such arguments and policies resonate is because they work. Even the recall movement admitted this when they quietly dropped the issue of collective bargaining reform as their reason for said recall; the reforms worked, teachers kept their jobs, the bleeding stopped in communities across Wisconsin, and the voters all thought that was just fine. Recall forces got forced to end up arguing that Scott Walker needed to be recalled because he didn't take them seriously.
Can't imagine why Governor Walker thought that, really.
Anyway, here's the reason why Scott Walker won. It's not because the Democrats were outspent (they weren't), despite the Democrats' superior ground game (it wasn't), the electorate defines Walker and Obama as having the same ideological position (...REALLY, Paul Begala? Have you no shame?), the Republicans were uglier in the election than the Democrats were (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA), or because there's a class war out there (which Paul Begala's firm will be happy to help foment, at a quite reasonable price*). It's because that when you have a strong, sincere belief in something, and you have enough backing from your party and your compatriots to make success possible, and you're ready to go out and fight for your beliefs, and you go out and do all the unglamorous things needed to win that fight, AND YOU'RE RIGHT... you win. Because this is the country where the Good Guys get to win.
Here endeth the lesson.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*No, seriously, Paul Begala embedded - in his opinion piece - an ad for the Super PAC that he works for. Il nous faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace!