Governor Scott Walker, the match that lit the progressive fire nationwide, will finally be eligible for a recall on November 15. His Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch and 3 GOP Senators will also be subjected to simultaneous recall attempts. As I was watching footage from the Occupy movements all over the country last night, I couldn’t help wondering how Walker feels about his pivotal role.
Walker must know that all of this began with his symbolic “Budget Repair Bill”, which succinctly articulates the Tea Party agenda. His bill, introduced in February 2011, was the spark which elicited hundreds of thousands of protestors to descend on the Capitol in Madison. Those protestors and the 9 recall elections which followed, were watched and discussed all over the world. We brought our energy to our own communities and spent months circulating petitions and running elections. By the end of the summer, 5 of the 9 recall elections in WI went in favor of Democrats, or Progressives. You see in Wisconsin - Progressives, protestors, and Democrats are one in the same. (Wake up national Democratic Party.)
At first glance, 5 for 9 may seem underwhelming.
But consider this recent example.
Immediately after recall paperwork was filed against Gov. Walker, a new bill was introduced into the state legislature forcing each recall petition to be by notarized. The bill would also make the new Republican-friendly legislative boundaries, drawn by the Walker admin, effective immediately. These new districts would greatly benefit Walker. But, because of the dissent of one Republican Senator (Dale Schultz) and the results of the first wave of recalls which effectively shrank the GOP majority from 19-14 to 17-16, this bill was dead on arrival.
That, my friends, is what democracy looks like. It is not the knock out punch that our fast-food society often demands. It is slow, tedious, who-wants-it-more democracy.And we want it more. And you do too. I can feel it. Early in the year, many of you have sent encouragement and money to Wisconsin. Now you are going to Occupy movements and you are getting your chance to stand up. And you should know that you are inspiring us in Wisconsin to keeping on going.
Watching all of your energy, is giving us the energy to fight again. Thank-you so much for not letting us down, as so many said you would. Instead, American protestors fulfilled our greatest hopes in WI and grabbed that baton. You turned our little campfire into a roaring timber fire that threatens the entire forest!
And fellow American protestors - in case you aren’t aware of your impact on us in Wisconsin, let me give you this example.
There was a huge internal debate within the WI Democratic Party about the Walker recall. Some believed that Wisconsinites were too burnt out or it would cost the party too much to run another recall cycle so soon. Others said that “we’d never get Walker” and should focus energy elsewhere. Still others said that we should be strategic and wait for the right time to recall him.
But the people spoke. The people said - recall Walker as soon as legally possible. Period. Why? Because we see you. We hear you.
And you threw some gasoline on that fire…