Around 11:00 p.m. CNN called the U.S. senate race in Wisconsin for Tea Party favorite Ron Johnson, finally ending a nail-biter that saw incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold projected at within one half of one percentage point of Johnson shortly before polls closed at 8:00 p.m. local time.
During that three-hour window of opportunity we held a breathless deathgrip around that slender hope over at one of Russ’s suburban canvassing centers.
The crew had literally worked their asses off for Russ — at 17 calories per minute, our 12-hour shifts of non-stop door-to-door troop rallying, we’d shed about a pound each day.
I figure that I alone must have knocked on over a thousand doors during this election cycle, reminding folks not only of what Russ has done for Wisconsin, but what Johnson’s Tea Party threatened to do to it, and why it all added up to an unequivocal imperative to support Russ.
And with many votes yet to be counted,* and rumours that those were concentrated within the most traditionally Democratic districts in the state, we seemed to have good reason to hope.
Russ rejected the TARP bailout. He voted ‘No’ to the Iraq war. He opposed the Bush-era glad-handing of the U.S. Treasury to the wealthiest 2%. He supported legislation against predatory recission against premium payers by Big Insurance. Russ is a True Progressive Hero.
And what has Johnson done? What’s HIS track record of public service? Well, he doesn’t really have one. He essentially inherited his business, directly deriving more than a quarter of all its revenues** from his in-laws megacorps. That and licensure as a certified public accountant provided him with the thin plastic veneer of economic authority to curry the patronage of Big Finance, the Koch brothers, Club for Growth, and the state AICPA. Essentially Ron Johnson is a millionaire dilettante.