2012, Already?

With all due respect to the Hermantator – 2012 gets real today.  And by real, I mean not interesting at all.  Newt Gingrich might announce that he is going to fundraise to test the waters to see if he has the support to set up an exploratory committee.  Or he might not.  We don’t know, but we’ll waste everyone’s time anyway.

I blame the news media for encouraging this.  Mr. Gingrich is desperate attention seeker and tends to “think” about running for something whenever he needs to sell a book.  He may be a former Speaker of the House, but he resigned when after a mutiny in his party.  Sure, he can raise money, but this from the New York Times is baffling – “With Mr. Gingrich on the move, other serious contenders may feel pressure to make their intentions known.”  If Mr. Gingrich is a serious candidate then the Republicans are in trouble.

Then there is this, from the National Journal, “As the first major presidential hopeful to make it official, he could prompt the beginning of the end of what so far has been an under-the-radar presidential contest.”  Under-the-radar?  How many reports on trips to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina and all of the straw polls that includes before something registers on the radar?


It seems that Fox News is finally getting hip to the fact that it’s bias is showing when it pays Republican presidential candidates for appearance.  Yesterday the news channel suspended the contracts of Mr. Gingrich and Former Senator Rick Santorum.   It’s more sleight-of-hand than a principled decision from Fox.  They didn’t suspend former half Governor Palin or Governor Huckabee.  They also didn’t suspend John Bolton, but Yosemite Sam is even less serious than Mr. Gingrich, so that doesn’t matter.   Mr. Santorum and Mr. Gingrich are certainly going to make noise, but they’re not the guys.  On the other hand, Governor Huckabee is a strong candidate and Sarah Palin is Sarah Palin.  What Fox News gets to do here is pretend to take the highroad, while giving both former Governors plenty of airtime until they formally announce over the summer.


These Democrats in Wisconsin might just be ensuring they’ll continue to be elected in perpetuity while Governor Walker and his Republican allies are floundering.   Governor Walker is using his Department of Administration to control the number of people allowed into the people’s building.  After locking the building and then losing in court to the tune of a restraining order requiring the building to be opened, the DoA is back in court fighting the order.  Meanwhile, Democratic Assembly Members have set up offices outside.  It averages 20 degrees in the afternoon this time of year in Madison and Democrats are meeting with their constituents wherever they can.

Meanwhile, even it’s getting worse and worse for the Governor Walker.  The most recent Rasmussen poll finds 52% of Wisconsin support the Democrats and 56% percent find themselves with the unions.  More than half also don’t support stripping collective bargaining rights.  Rasmussen tends to skew Republican, this is bad for the Governor.  The only other shoe to drop would be for a Luntz poll to find support for the unions and the Democrats.

Will this make the Governor and the Republicans back down?  No.  They have staked their political life to this bill and they are going to do everything that they can to pass it.  The Governor’s budget reflected that.  He slashed support for municipalities and used it as a threat to get the Democrats back.

“It’s true we are reducing aid to local government by just over one and a quarter billion dollars, but we are providing almost $1.5 billion in savings through our budget repair bill. If the 14 Senate democrats do not come home, their local communities will be forced to manage these reductions in aid without the benefit of the tools provided in the repair bill.”

The Governor is not backing down.  As Rep Paul Gosar (R-AR), a Tea Party candidate said, “There are a lot of freshmen that just don’t care about the consequences of not being elected”.  The Governor won by appealing to the desire to shrink government and get it off of our backs.  That’s what they’re doing.  They have two years to work because they won.  This has changed the dynamic for 2012, but it begs the question – where was this energy in the fall?  Let’s all show up next time.


At least certain Republicans in Ohio get it.  Even though the union-busting bill passed the Ohio Senate, 6 Republicans did not vote for it.  While they list off myriad reasons for not supporting the bill, it’s safe to assume that they made a political calculation about the 2012 race and the challengers they may face.

Chalk that up as a victory for Wisconsin.  As always, more to come.


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