Things aren’t looking good for opponents of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and their efforts to recall him. InTrade has Walker as a 94% favorite to win tomorrow’s election. It’s entirely possible that the oddsmakers are wrong, but the polling trends clearly favor Walker. I’m saddened to witness from afar the venomous partisanship that has engulfed the state where I grew up. Wisconsin politics could swing between bold progressivism and staunch conservatism (Tommy Thompson was governor for much of my childhood), but the state’s political system generally reached consensus on the important issues. Much of the blame for the current state of affairs lies with Walker’s scorched-earth ideology, but I’m not sure the recall is the best strategy to effect change. The resources poured into this campaign might have been better spent on electing Democrats in November; a Walker win tomorrow could leave Wisconsin’s left dispirited and weakened. And using the recall process for purely political purposes seems like begging for trouble in the event that Wisconsin elects a truly liberal governor in the future who encounters fierce conservative opposition.
I hope I’m wrong about all this, but I have the sinking feeling that Wisconsin Democrats are playing right into their opponents’ hands.