In the course of grocery shopping and running errands yesterday (Saturday) I counted 16 spots where people were gathering signatures for the recall petitions. They were along the busy portion of Fish Hatchery Road through Fitchburg; set up on corners in the newer, residential sections of Fitchburg; three spots on Park Street between the Beltline and the Capitol Square; even one set up in – heaven forfend – the McMansion segment of Seminole Highlands. Or Highlands of Seminole, whichever is correct.
Last week the organizers announced they’d garnered over half a million signatures, of the 540,208 needed to force a recall election. They announced they hope to have nearly three-quarters of a million signatures by Friday the 13th of next month.
My observations yesterday are certainly not scientific, not a representative sample, but the most clear impression I am left with is that the people out there in the cold holding up signs and trying to flag cars down are full of energy. A lot of energy. If I would give a “thumbs-up” sign or toot the horn when I approached their location, they’d jump up and down or wave or return my thumbs-up. They were all smiles and very animated, at every location I saw.
I’m still not going to predict the outcome of the recall election….which I now believe is going to happen, after all the lawyers for the Republicans do everything they can to delay it….but if the side that wants the recall can hold their energy, it’s going to be a real close election.
Looking a bit farther down the road, one of the many things that troubles me is that regardless of the outcome of the recall election, I believe the partisanship will do nothing but increase. With dweebs like that Fitzgerald boy wanting to make it a FELONY to sign more than one recall petition, and the fact that the Democrats demonize everything the other party does, regardless of the election’s outcome it will drive the sides even farther apart.
If Walker stays in office, he’ll have carte blanche to continue granting favor after favor, exemption after exemption for the big-business interests that support him financially. If he’s tossed out, and some Democrat takes over, I believe their agenda will be to try and undo everything Walker has done, from Act 10 to privatizing many of the state’s former cabinet bureaus.
The “us versus them” mentality isn’t going away. If anything it will be getting stronger. And that’s a BAD use of energy.