...are what an awful lot of folks are doin' this morning, now that the Wisconsin recall election is behind us.
The Left is straining to believe that it was defeated by something other than the genuine sentiments of ordinary voters. Leftists simply cannot abandon their creed; it's the bedrock of their self-concept, the foundation that keeps their assumptions of moral and intellectual superiority from sinking into their fever swamp. So they have to believe that Governor Walker, Lieutenant-Governor Kleefisch, and the four targeted GOP state senators were kept in office by chicanery of some sort -- probably interference by the evil Koch brothers. Drugs are often useful in creating and preserving such a fantasy.
The Right is equally eager to believe that Wisconsin is a harbinger of things to come in November. As a libertarian-conservative, I'd very much like this to be true. However, a little realism wouldn't be misplaced here:
- This was a state-level contretemps into which large amounts of out-of-state money and effort were injected by partisans on both sides;
- The recall effort was clearly mounted out of a desire to get revenge on the GOP for successfully curbing the collective-bargaining privileges of government-employee unions;
- The Democrats and their union affiliates didn't have a positive message upon which to plant their candidates, nor did they have attractive candidates to oppose the GOP's incumbents;
- There was a considerable degree of bad behavior by both Wisconsin Democrat legislators and the unions during the battle over the GOP's changes to union collective-bargaining privileges, which surely had some influence on voters' decisions.
I don't think these influences will be felt as strongly nationwide as they were in Wisconsin. Though government-employee unions are a problem everywhere -- including at the federal level, of course -- the ability of the GOP to marshal popular sentiment for correcting that problem is likely to be less nationally, given that no corrections have even been attempted yet, than was the case in Wisconsin, where a bitter contest has been fought and won over the issue. So, while it's pleasant to imagine that conservative-minded voters and independents tired of "progressive" oppression will be galvanized by the Wisconsin recall election, I think the effect will be rather dilute on a national scale.
Still, we can hope. I certainly do. America is right at the edge of the financial and fiscal abyss. Another step "forward" -- not a well-chosen campaign slogan, Democrats -- will take us irretrievably over that edge. Perhaps Americans have felt helpless to reverse our course without calling down some other kind of disaster on our heads. Perhaps Wisconsin voters' show of fortitude will lift our spirits sufficiently to turn our nation away from its current, calamitous course.
Perhaps. But wishing won't make it so.
Mitt Romney, the Republican Party's choice to oppose Barack Hussein Obama come November, is not a conservative, no matter how many times he claims that label. If he's installed in the Oval Office, it will be vital that he confronts a staunchly conservative Congress. Thus, it remains a matter of the first priority that voters send true conservatives to Congress, most particularly to the House of Representatives, where all appropriations bills must originate by explicit Constitutional command. If we are correct in our estimation that Romney is the probable winner of the presidential contest, then we should shift the greater part of our efforts to the legislative races.
(A possible rallying cry: RINOs belong in zoos! Or perhaps, Make the RINO an endangered species!)
Much work remains ahead of us. It's not time to celebrate quite yet.