Out come the knives…but they’re pretty dull

From my email inbox comes this:

SHEBOYGAN – Former Democratic State Assembly candidate Asher Heimermann is calling upon Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate to resign Wednesday.

“We intend to bring pressure to force out Mike Tate for his leadership and structural failures at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin,” Heimermann said. “Due to his failed leadership, Tate caused Mayor Tom Barrett and four State Senate Democratic candidates to lose tonight.”

AsherPAC has launched a Facebook Page to call for a new direction at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin at www.facebook.com/rebuildtheparty.

The press release sent out by Heimermann was sent out literally minutes after Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett conceded the gubernatorial recall election to Gov. Scott Walker, and despite attempts to contact Heimermann to find out how exactly he feels Mike Tate caused Tom Barrett and three (not four) Democratic State Senate candidates to lose their elections, but he did not respond to my emails.

For the record, I do think there’s plenty of room for Democrats/liberals/progressives to do some self-examination about how we can move forward and what lessons can be learned from Tuesday’s results, but I’m not sure that scapegoating solves anything.


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17 thoughts on “Out come the knives…but they’re pretty dull

  1. Not being a Democrat I have only seen or read a few things regarding Mike Tate and I really think he bears little to no responsibilty for Barret losing on Tuesday.

    Just one humble conservatives opinion but if progressives want to improve the approach, message or whatever you are looking to do, Graeme Zielinski is the loose cannon you need to dump. That man really seems to bring very little to the table other than anger. Why is he allowed to speak for the Dem party in public as much as he does baffles me.

  2. Holding people responsible for their actions is not scapegoating. Here’s hoping for new progressive leaders, both among unions and the Democratic Party. Two rounds of incredibly expensive and contentious recall elections … and the result? Solid ratification of Gov. Scott Walker’s performance in office and the Pyrrhic victory of taking the majority in a Senate that won’t do anything until after the regular round of fall elections. Progressives deserve better leadership than that.

  3. No, Mike Tate bears no responsibility. But he sure needs someone to clean up his writing. Everything I read from the man is poorly written and unfocussed.

  4. Ok … here is my take for what it worth. The dems need to fight they need realize that this is a life or death level fight. The republicans alway go for the jugular vein.

    Why do we ask the rank and file dems to “help us fight”? Why do we put them in the trenches collecting signatures, donating money, GOTV drives, phone banking, etc, etc, etc. AND then when the moment of truth is at hand i.e. election night we FOLD OVER and OVER.

    Kerry, Klopenberg, now Barrett. There were still people standing in line when Barrett conceded. Dam-it if we are in a fight lets fight. Take no prisoner, give no ground. I for one am done. Not one minute, not one dime will I ever again give a party that folds over and over again. Just once, ONCE I want to see a “you’re not taking me alive” attitude.

    Don’t misunderstand my language I’m not calling for blood except to speak metaphorically. It is a fight. Lets start fighting back. Find me combat vet who know the difference between “lets win” and “to the last man standing”.

    The republicans have figured us out they know we will play by the rules and we will fold.

    When you’ve found that leader i may rejoin the ranks.

  5. No, Wisconsin Veteran. Not true. Stop with this Charlie Sykes myth. Read the paper.

    Mayor Barrett checked first with City Hall to be sure that the last voter had voted. That had happened at 9:30. He did not concede until more than half an hour later.

    By the way, voters all over this city can vouch for many times when, if polling places have problems, Mayor Barrett has personally headed there with staff and supplies and has stayed, helping too, until he’s sure that all is solved for his constituents. I have voted for him for more than 20 years for that reason: (No pol I know, for more than 40 years now of voting, ever has cared more, listened better to, or worked harder for his constituents in the trenches here . . . in addition to his many characteristics that make him a marvel. And I’m going to keep fighting back against this blaming game that you are joining.)

    Now that your head has exploded at being exposed for your sources, tell us your real reason for venting your spleen as you do here — and your real reason for allegedly leaving the party, if ever you were a Dem. Or continue to be misinformed. Your call.

    1. Migosh…..

      so you’re sure every voter in every polling place in Wisconsin got to vote before yet another dem conceded. You’re sure all the absentee ballots were counted after the machine tallies. You do know that Wisconsin is bigger than “the city”? If you took five minutes to realize that I wasn’t attacking Barrett, but rather the democrats in general for years of conceding to quickly. You do know who Kerry is right? Barrett was just the last in a line. Correct me if I’m wrong Barrett was running for a statewide office. How he respects his potential constituents is the point here.

      Now who is my “source” this Sykes guy? Well I guess the fact that you live in “the city” you think it’s a fact that everyone in Wisconsin listen to Sykes. Well no one here in Ashland County that I know of gets Charlie Sykes. We do live nearly 300 mile north of the cities. So don’t assume “my sources”. Now that you know I’m in Ashland County let me point out that it was Ashland, Bayfield and Douglas counties that voted blue yet again.

      So try and get this through you thick skull. There are life long Democrats that are angry with the Democratic party and yes it’s candidates. For not fighting until the last vote is counted. I don’t care if it was 9:30 or 11:59. There were places in the state that were still tallying the votes. Everyone is entitled to know there vote was COUNTED.

      i was born in 1947. I turned 18 in 1965. I have voted Democratic in every election since my first vote in 1965. That make 47 years. My father was a democrat and a union man. In fact within the last what 6-7 weeks i voted for Barrett TWICE. This last vote i can even prove as i voted absentee ballot.

      You personally have no idea how angry life long democrats are. Until you and folks like you who deflect our concerns and anger by denouncing us as Charlie Skykes republicans. Charlie Sykes doesn’t speak for me and I don’t parrot his words.

      The last thing I am is misinformed. I’m a pissed off LIFE LONG Democrat. So pick your fights with your real enemies and if you and your buddy Barrett et al don’t start really listening Barrett and other dems will be relegated to second place finishes. Not good enough! Get it?

      1. Mr Migosh let me add one small additional point. I know this is a very small sampling and a non-scientific one at that but I would note that of the dozen comments (at 7:15 PM) to this post it appears that my position in my original post has more “likes” (3) than you would give credit to. Start listening!

  6. My comment has nothing to do with Asher.

    Who does carry the responsibility?

    Who was Mayor Barrett’s campaign advisor or manager?

    And just for the record…there is NOTHING impressive about Tate.

  7. Asher Heimermann is a Sheboygan teen who has little impact and even less focus. He asked me for my advice on several political matters, including his own attempted run, and then he ignored my advice. After that he was upset with me for not supporting his attempt to win an assembly seat after spending more time on facebook than knocking on constituents doors.

    The poor kid has no focus, no adult guidance, no job and lots of time on his hands.

    What he does have, is enough savvy to write a press release to get the news media to pay attention to him.

  8. I find it awkward lending credence to this fellow’s Hue and Cry, but in the interest of recognizing another point of view, I’m in. Heaping Barrett’s loss on Mike Tate doesn’t seem altogether reasonable to me. The DNC plays not too small a role in Tate’s abilities to respond to the recall effort. DNC disconnect and denial post-recall tells me that little to nothing will change soonish or ever. Unions themselves bear a brunt of responsibility, I’m sorry to say, in failing to translate the effort into broader terms and into self-reflective transformation. It would be wrong to say there was no effort made, but somehow they just did not transcend. Barrett’s message didn’t transcend well either, to some extent from his doing, but to a greater measure it was the disinformation campaign which silenced any message he put forth.

    With that said, no, let’s leave the Tate skewers aside but engage instead on what so many of us continually descry (well what I continually descry) – structural transformation, goal mapping, and codifying a progressive platform. What is the change we want to see, how do we want to get there, and let’s add one more thing from Zach’s bench posting – how do we cultivate and energize our progressive citizenry into responsible public servants/legislators?

    I’m not a member of the Democratic Party so I haven’t the greatest insight on Tate; my impression is he’s pretty astute. I don’t think it would be wise to force him out. I would be more interested in establishing dialogue and working toward finding out what the obstacles are for the party.

    “Nowadays, anyone who wishes to combat lies and ignorance and to write the truth must overcome at least five difficulties. He must have the courage to write the truth when truth is everywhere opposed; the keenness to recognize it, although it is everywhere concealed; the skill to manipulate it as a weapon; the judgment to select those in whose hands it will be effective; and the running to spread the truth among such persons.”
    ― Bertolt Brecht, Galileo

    1. Very nicely done. You’ve essentially summed up how I’m feeling today about things. I don’t think Mike Tate is the problem; I think this recall movement was always too fragmented between the various players with a stake in things.

      1. @Mr. Wisnieski: Mike Tate might not be the problem, as I won’t pretend to know how things work high in the workings of the state party. But the past many months have proven at least one thing: Democrats can no longer count on get-out-the-vote efforts and huge advantages in Dane and Milwaukee counties to carry the day. That might mean voices outside the Madison-Milwaukee axis might be useful. We’ve been warning for a long time that many people outside that axis are less than fond of public employees and don’t mind seeing them take it in the shorts … and that it takes more than righteous indignation to convince these voters that a vote for Walker isn’t in their best interest.

        1. Marc, I’ll agree that Democrats can’t simply count on GOTV efforts in Milwaukee, Racine, etc. as a means of overcoming a gap in money, because Tuesday proved that may not be a winning strategy.

  9. After last summer’s round of recalls, a group of Northshore grassroots activists that had done the heavy-lifting – both in terms of financial backing and volunteer effort – in the SD8 campaign to recall Alberta Darling asked for, and had, a meeting with Tate.

    He had all the excuses in the world, and cared little for what a group of professional, educated, monied Democrats living in SD8 had to say about what our moderate, solidly upper-middle class neighbors failed to hear during the election. We expressed our concern that the GOP’s message of fiscal responsibility was solid, and resonated with the residents of our suburban communities.

    Neither did he have any interest in hearing our concerns over the failure of the Party to spend time and effort engaging Ms. Pasch’s black electorate, who couldn’t put a face to a name and showed up in less than enthusiastic numbers on election day. There were enough votes in those wards alone to swing the election in her favor. But – just as they had in Nov. 2010 – the city residents stayed home. No doubt failing to understand that they had a dog in the fight. That wasn’t the candidate’s fault as much a party apparachicks who just don’t understand how to reach, engage and involve the various constituencies that make up the party.

    How many elections will be lost under his watch before party members acknowledge that Tate is a nice guy, but out of his league with regard to strategy and messaging? And Zielinski is a flat-out embarrassment.

    The bone-headed direction to focus on Walker’s impending John Doe troubles instead of fighting him on the issues and helping Barrett present a strong Democratic vision of the governorship cost the election. One had only to listen to Bill Clinton’s half-hour speech to a fired up crowd at Pere Marquette Park to understand what was missing. But, alas, it was too little, too late.

    Personally, Mike Tate is a nice guy. Perhaps he can learn. But he’s had his three strikes, at least as far as this poster is concerned.

    1. Part of this comes back to the problem that most of the people who gathered the recall signatures assumed the righteousness of the cause and felt no need to convince anyone else, despite the fact that the first round of recalls failed to turn the Senate. What’s needed? One-on-one conversations with people in that vast middle, people who have no strong leanings either way (many of them are socially somewhat liberal but fiscally conservative), explaining that the fact that teachers and other public employees make marginally better livings than many of the taxpayers who pay their salaries isn’t what wrecked the economy … that to balance Wisconsin’s budget on their backs was patently unfair … and that doing so did not result in a tsunami of jobs. (That’s presuming that Walker’s prediction of a wild hiring orgy by the “job creators” now that the recall “uncertainty” is behind us turns out to be false.)

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