The results are in, and we managed to recall two of the six Republican senators we targeted. This is widely being reported as a failure, since the Republicans retained control of the State Senate, but nothing could be further from the truth. These are six Republicans who won their local elections in a year  in which the Democrats swamped the Republicans state-wide in the presidential contest. They were thus in solidly Red districts. Overturning two of them is a triumph. I say "we" simply because I gave money [more than I could really afford], not because I actually did any work. But there is a place for people who give money, just as there is a place for people who make phone calls or knock on doors or enter data in computers.
One blog commentator asked whether the enormous outpouring of money and energy on the left was "worth it." I am afraid too many people imagine that changing the world is easy -- that it requires nothing more than bestirring oneself just once, before lapsing back into customary sloth. The fact is that all real change takes enormous effort, over and over again. We on the left must fight one battle after another, defeating every troglodyte we can and electing the most progressive candidates available. Remember, this is not rocket science or brain surgery, it is a long, hard slog. A blue dog Democrat is better than a Republican. If that is the best we can do in a district, it is worth doing. A moderate Democrat is better than a blue dog, a progressive Democrat is better than a moderate, and a Socialist is better still.
The most important single fact about the Wisconsin recall elections, to my mind, is that they were about union rights. It has been a long, long time since progressives got really energized about union rights, and I am afraid there is precious little emotion among Democrats in Washington on the subject. But with all Democracy's faults [and I am the expert on that subject], it is still the only weapon we have. Bloody riots, like those now going on in England, are, as the English would say, bloody useless.
So, celebrate what we won, mourn what we lost, and continue fighting.
La Lucha continua no terminara facilmente
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
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Thanks, Professor Wolff. I was a bit down about the recall results, and this post perked me up. And revolutions always sound best in Spanish.
David Harvey - CUNY Marxist - on the riots in England:
I like the expression "feral capitalism", and the Harvey piece. I haven't been able to stop smirking at the idiocy of the expression "nihilistic and feral teenagers". Thanks for the link.
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