Mar 3, 2017

Republican Push to Limit HealthCare Hits Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin

Madison, Wisconsin—An out-of-state organization seeking to repeal ObamaCare to benefit health insurance corporations took out a half-page ad in the Wisconsin State Journal, (Madison, Wisconsin), this week to blast Sen. Tammy Baldwin, (D-Wisconsin), for backing people over insurance companies.

The ad is part of an early multi-state TV blitz in an effort to target Democratic senators up for reelection in 2018, (The Hill). 

One Nation is a massive SuperPac, affiliated with Republican senate SuperPacs and funded heavily by the health insurance industry.

Thirty-three U.S. Senate seats are to be contested in 2018 and the Democratic Party has to defend a whopping 25 of those seats, (Red State).

Republicans think they can flip Wisconsin's first-term Democratic senator, Tammy Baldwin, but they know it's a fight.

Here's their strategy:

Republicans excite their base by repeatedly messaging their healthcare is earned, as opposed to the blacks' healthcare which comes out of your pay-check. [Sure it's crazy, but so is racism.]

Blacks and browns are making your healthcare rates soar, (by some manner too mysterious to note with no mention of, or accountability by health insurance companies): Fucking Obama catered to these people with Obamacare and made your life bad. White folks just don't have a chance. 

This is what One Nation is accomplishing, and they want to reach white swing voters.

This appeal is of course ludicrous. But the idea is to tie every issue to race with the compelling message that some manner of The Other is taking yours and getting paid for it no less.

In Wisconsin, appeals to race work and have for many decades. Whether the race-baiting politicians are natives like Tommy Thompson or transplants like Scott Walker and Donald Trump, the ole-time religion of blaming the black and browns is home-cooking in the Badger State.

The Tammy Baldwin v. Republican 2018 race will offer a leading indicator showing if Democrats have figured out how to prevail on an issue they should own: Healthcare.

Shouldn't be that hard and Baldwin is better than most Dems as witnessed by her defeat of Tommy Thompson in 2012 that saw Baldwin successfully define Thompson as what he is: An opportunistic hack who turned his back on Wisconsin. Baldwin won 51 percent to 45 percent.

The turnout in 2018 will be in the 55-percent range. Republicans have worked hard to suppress that urban vote in Milwaukee.

What's the early prediction on the Baldwin reelection race? There is none, Wisconsin folk are utterly unpredictable.

I'll make one observation that will inform the race.

Baldwin was first elected to Congress in 1998.

Magic 98

In 1998 I worked as a poll worker at the then Gordon Commons on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus at a voting precinct serving the southeast dormitories, (mostly freshmen and sophomores). The city-wide turnout wildly exceeded predictions, and the southeast dorms led even these turn-out numbers.

At the polls we ran out of ballots about 5:00 P.M, as students were coming to vote and being told to come back. I personally sprinted to a polling site at a Dayton Street school about a half-mile away and was told they too were out of ballots and to try the Memorial Union polling site. Sprinted to the Union. I picked up about 100 or so ballots, sprinted back to Gordon Commons and was shaking too much to counter-sign the ballots. Serious fun.

Baldwin defeated one Josephine W. Musser, 52 to 46 percent. It was a race many recall with fond memories. [That same 1998 race saw Sen. Russ Feingold narrowly defeat a rightwing Evangelical Mark Neumann by some 37,000 votes. Neumann blamed the Dane County turnout, so did many in Dane County, especially Madison's Isthmus neighborhoods. Read one homemade sign on an East Dayton Street house months later in the heart of the Isthmus in the spring of 1999: "one neighborhood" beat Mark Neumann. Milwaukee County with all those urban types also gave Feingold electoral breathing room.]

What happened in 1998? Baldwin captured the public imagination who saw in her candidacy the hopes and possibilities of people. It was that vivid. Everyone doing field work saw the same thing, but political consultants didn't see the throngs of people turning out as they did. This phenomenon was electoral magic—something that cannot be explained or predicted.

Twenty years later the 2018 race will feature Baldwin against a Republipuke who will run a campaign asking in effect, 'are you gonna let the niggers win and take your healthcare?'

Rightwing thinks anti-healthcare message is a winner in 2018
U.S. Senate races. Who needs healthcare?

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