If Vinehout wants to hop on board the endorsement train, she needs to enter the race sooner rather than later. It still feels like posturing to me – this waiting until Burke has things so solidly lined up and then saying “oh, I didn’t stand a chance against the party machine. The train was already moving so fast I couldn’t hop on.” She should be getting pledges from everyone who says they’ll support her; will you knock on doors in Green Bay? Will you make phone calls? What do you mean, exactly, when you say 100%? Because it’s easy to say you like her more than Burke. But what are you willing to do about that? Voters looking to learn more about Vinehout have ample opportunity to do so. She’s doing grassrootsy meet’n’greets all over, including one tonight in Oregon at the Firefly that will stream live here at 6pm. Check her out. Decide for yourself if you think she’d be a good candidate. And kudos to the Oregon Area Progressives for hosting.
I myself would like to see Vinehout enter the race and am likely to vote for her if she does, because I think she really gets it about the effort to privatize public schools and I have not been satisfied at all with Burke’s generic and reformy appeals to “public/private partnerships” and “accountability” etc (though total kudos to AVID/TOPS. Great program). But she needs to outline her education agenda in a crystal clear way to get my vote. I think it will come down to this issue for me. But if she wins the primary, and I’m still not satisfied, well, then I just do what I can to try to influence and share and push and shape and fight the corporatist agenda, same as now, and support her in the general election. No brainer. Hey hey. Ho ho.
And here’s the other thing: I’m not convinced that money is the only thing progressive candidates need to win.
Neither Burke nor Vinehout can dream of matching the funds that will pour in to Walker from the gabillionaires already reaping returns on their record-breaking, John-Doe-instigating first-term investments. We can’t beat that money, no matter how many scandals emerge or how many Walker cronies are found guilty of doing his bidding. Messaging is what will win. Everyday Wisconsinites need to be able to see past the propaganda and have access
to the hard facts about how cuts to education, health care, and worker rights are ruining regular people’s lives all over the state. Facts. We need to get past the spin and to the heart of the values that connect us.
This is the message I want to see: Wisconsinites are good people, who deserve to be treated well by their elected officials. They deserve to be represented by these people, who should put their needs before the needs and desires of people and groups who gave them campaign contributions. Wisconsin workers are not thugs or users or losers or fools. They are decent, hard-working people, who deserve to restore their trust in the social contract. They work hard and deserve living-wage jobs and they shouldn’t fear that the tax money they gladly pay to support our excellent schools won’t be stolen out from under them.