At The Front
I did my duty yesterday: I volunteered for a shift at a drive-up recall petition signing station. I am of course referring to the recall of our proud leader, Scott Walker, and his loyal sidekick and former television personality, Rebecca Kleefisch.
I stood at an intersection in the freezing grey off-and-on again mist holding a large recall sign. A really busy intersection.
First mistake: believing a weather report that said it would be sunny and 40 degrees and dressing accordingly.
Three hours of sign waving allows plenty of time for observations: way too many people run red lights. Way too many people use cell phones while driving. Way too many people still don’t wear seat belts. And it’s astounding that we don’t have way too many more accidents caused by the hordes of idiots driving and using cell phones while running red lights. And a 5 pound sign feels like 50 after holding it over your head for 3 hours.
And Walker supporters are illogical and very angry people.
Mind you, we weren’t exactly being confrontational. We didn’t chase people down, push a pen into their hand, then hold a gun to their head (which might tend to invalidate the signature anyway).
Nope, we stood on public property with signs and clip boards waiting for people to come to us. We aren’t trying to convert anyone, merely offering an opportunity to people who want to exercise their right to sign to do so. (We live in one of those wacky states with a constitution protecting the unconditional right of voters to recall elected state officials: Article XIII, Section 12.)
Yet Walker supporters, seemingly affronted by the notion of protected rights, feel compelled to shout things their mothers would not approve of, wave their middle fingers, gnash their terrible teeth and roll their terrible eyes and show their terrible claws. (And rev their terrible engines to make terrible clouds of exhaust to choke the obviously terrible recall volunteers.)
Recalls apparently are something Walker and his supporters don’t like when he’s the one being recalled. (Otherwise they are just fine. When he became Milwaukee County Executive because of a recall, Walker gushed enthusiastically about the process: “You saw people standing up shoulder to shoulder, neighbor to neighbor and saying we want our government back. And in doing so the real emotion on display was about hope.”)
So he doesn’t like it now, even though it started when one of his own supporters filed recall paperwork with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board (GAB, which handles recalls). Yes – you read that right. No you aren’t hallucinating. A Walker supporter filed the paperwork ten days before the anti-Walker recall would start. Yes that seems nuts. Until you learn it triggered an exception to the limits on campaign donations: the incumbent in a recall may collect unlimited amounts (none of that wimpy $10,000 per person maximum nonsense). So his supporter gave him an extra 10 days to pass the hat, allowing rich Texan conservatives to send him $250,000 checks.
Making sensible people wonder why rich people from Texas would give him money.
The illegal fraud by Walker supporters concerned voters who wanted to make sure their signatures would be counted, so they took the perfectly legal step of signing again, which caused Walker supporters to accuse them of fraud (and ethically-challenged Wisconsin legislator, Jeff Fitzgerald, to propose a law making it a felony to sign more than once).
This all seems perfectly logical if, in fact, you belong to the fact-challenged Flat Earth Society. Or are an ethically-challenged Wisconsin legislator with the last name of Fitzgerald.
The illegal actions by Walker supporters continued with damaging recall signs, damaging recall petitions (in more than one place) – sometimes ripping them up and walking away, or ripping them up then driving away, or calling themselves George Washington.
Sometimes supporters attack recall volunteers while shouting seasonal greetings like, “I’m going to kill that blankity, blank, blank” – and destroying personal property. Other supporters express their unbridled enthusiasm for Walker through “a torrent of abuse and obscenities” and unwanted physical contact.
Not to be outdone are supporters who advocate illegally signing petitions as “Adolph Hitler” with a home address of “666 Hell Street (your city),” while falsely claiming it’s perfectly legal to do so.
Now if none of this was enough to convince you that Walker supporters might be illogical and very angry people (if not completely unhinged) consider this: recalls are perfectly legal. Why would anyone interfere with a legal process – unless they feared the outcome. Desperately feared it.
Even though Walker and his supporters insist “it’s working” as Wisconsin hemorrhages thousands of jobs month after month, and even though Walker and his supporters insist that the vast majority of voters overwhelmingly support Walker and that Walker would win in a landslide.
So of course they have nothing to fear and could let the recall proceed without disrupting or interfering with it because Walker cannot lose, right?
Which would mean that Walker would decry the illegal actions of his supporters and demand that they cease and desist and not resort to unlawful conduct. And would mean that he would never have found it necessary to his job security to sue the GAB to slow down or subvert the recall process. If what Walker said was true. But his record for “truthiness” is dubious at best.
Even the less than fair and balanced PolitiFact determined that nearly 70% of the 38 Walker statements it examined are false. He seems to live in an alternate universe where just saying things makes them true. For example in a recent letter, he falsely claimed that, because of his actions, “Wisconsin is debt-free for the first time in a decade,” when in fact, Wisconsin continues to carry billions of dollars of debt.
Which may be why Walker supporters who aren’t billionaires are all honorary members of the Flat Earth Society, fanatically denying the truth and doing anything – including committing felonies and harassing recall volunteers – to stop a recall they “know” Walker can’t lose.