The defeat of incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser reminds me of the famous bumper-sticker, “My karma ran over your dogma,” though in this case it appears that Walker’s karma ran over his own dogma and apparently Prosser’s too. The reason it matters so much of course is that the power to decide the ultimate legal fate of Walker’s and the Republican legislature’s anti-union laws rests with the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Rather than a conservative leaning 4 to 3 court, should the tally be upheld after an expected recount and legal challenge, the conservative block on the court will be reduced to 3.
Though much of the potential blowback from Walker’s and his pals’ strong-arming, missionary ideological fundamentalism, and rank hubris lies down the road in the form of recalls of fellow Republicans in the legislature and of Walker himself next year, this is a sign that like coca product over the border it is surely coming.
Witnessing the deserving end up on the shoe-bottom end of comeuppance surely is one of life’s sweeter experiences. In this case, one of the more satisfying aspects of it is how many counties won by Walker in the recent gubernatorial election flipped to support JoAnne Kloppenberg, Walker’s buddy Prosser’s opponent. In his press conference Walker’s response to what several months ago would have been an impossible outcome was a bitterness one can only savor for its delicious taste. He railed,
“You’ve got a world driven by Madison, and a world driven by everybody else out across the majority of the rest of the state of Wisconsin.”
And unless Madison has exercised eminent domain over a large chunk of western and northern Wisconsin, Walker’s as bad at geography and reading election results as he is at being governor.
The result is no fluke either, but an encouraging demonstration of what an awakened and riled and assaulted constituency can do to fight back. Retaliation is highly undervalued on the left side of the political spectrum as a moral and practical blow against contemptible behavior.
As the field of battle expands across Wisconsin in coming months, many a salient issue before the body politic of the country will be waged in microcosm. It’s difficult to draw any other conclusion than that the current breed of ideological apocalyptic post-dead zombies we have come to know as the Republican Party has declared a civil war, meaning the rest of us are now food. And in Wisconsin we’ll be seeing the early, but perhaps critical skirmishes. Republicans will have a pile of money as usual and the Koch silver-spoon twins are sure to parachute in whopping bags of financial emergency aid to Walker and buddies. Yet Prosser just spent twice as much money as Kloppenburg and was done in by the will, organizational skill, fortitude, hard work, hustle and savvy of union members, Democrats and progressives in the state. Give me that guerilla warfare over bucks any day (I’ll take some money too though if you have any).
But this outcome in the judicial race supports my contention that negotiating with Republicans in these times is wholly fruitless, and that slapping them hard upside the brain is the only wise course for a caring American.