You know how sometimes you receive a notice from a manufacturer indicating that the fuel injector on your model 2001 Chevy Crapmobile could develop small cracks, which could lead to fuel leakage and in the presence of an ignition source may lead to fire, so please take it to the nearest dealer for servicing? And you're like, screw this recall, it's an hour's drive and there's a 16 and Pregnant marathon on TV, I'll just take my chances dying in a fiery wreck?
Basically, that's what happened last night in Wisconsin. Except instead of a notice from the car company describing the problem, the recall was preceded by millions of dollars in advertising explaining how the fuel leak was a feature that made the car go faster — in fact, it was a job-creating fuel leak — and the replacement part was even more defective, because it was soft on crime and would raise your taxes.
So it's no wonder that with 99% of precincts reporting, Republican incumbent Scott Walker took 53.2% of the vote to Democratic challenger's Tom Barrett 46.3%. The exit polls revealed some glimmers of hope for Democrats. The same electorate that chose not to recall Walker also said, by 51% to 44%, that they favored Barack Obama for president over Mitt Romney. Obama received the support of 17% of Walker voters, while only 6% of Barrett voters favored Romney. And a narrow majority of voters, 51%, said they had a favorable opinion of public-employee unions, while 45% said they had an unfavorable opinion.
Such results were an indication that Walker and his Republican allies were able to make a procedural case against the recall, with 70% of voters saying that recalls should never be used or be reserved for cases of official misconduct. Sure, the thinking goes, this defective fuel injector is somewhat disconcerting, but don't I have a regularly scheduled maintenance appointment every four years? If the vehicle to go through a recall every time something goes awry, it would never take any trips except to the dealer.
Still, Democrats were a little too quick to spin a 7% defeat into a moral victory. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's statement was typical, "Despite the disappointing outcome of tonight's election, there is no question that over the past year this recall effort sent a message to Scott Walker that his brand of divisive politics is offensive and wrong." It makes you wish Napoleon had a Democratic spokesman at his side: "Despite the disappointing outcome of today's battle, there is no question that over the past year this war effort sent a message to Wellington." We need a clearer system for sending messages.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images
Tags: Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Recall, Scott Walker, Tom Barrett, Wisconsin