The final two Wisconsin senate recall elections ended in victory for Democrats on Tuesday, so hooray for that because it is good, and also maybe now is a time to reflect on the fact that this series of nine recall votes cost “candidates and outside interest groups” an estimated $31 million. What is that, like 600 annual teacher salaries? Probably “somewhere down the road” after the history of the post-civil war American sell-off to the Chinese has been written, people may begin to reflect that the U.S. flushed itself down the toilet shortly after it started spending serious amounts of money on state-level governance questions like “should we elect the woman who believes that public schools indoctrinate children with Nazism to represent us, or the Democrat?” That is the description of one of yesterday’s recall races, which the Democrats won, thank God. Besides that weird and depressing thought, what is our other takeaway?
Both Democrats and Republicans were claiming victory on Tuesday in a series of nine summer recall votes in which Democrats unseated two incumbent Republicans but fell short of winning control of the state legislature.
Democrats had hoped to win a majority in the state senate following a fierce battle with Governor Scott Walker and his Republican allies earlier this year over public workers’ union powers that involved mass protests, legislative maneuvering and court challenges.
“This was a political Rorschach test in that anyone can read anything into the result,” said Mordecai Lee, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee governmental affairs professor and former Democratic lawmaker. “Politically, it was a draw.”
Yes, but it was a $31 million dollar draw, which feels more satisfying. [Reuters]