While Mitt Romney and other right wingers are rabidly insisting that we view the failure of the Wisconsin recall election as a “lesson”, the only real lesson I took from it was that it’s how much money you can raise that really matters since the Citizens United ruling.
That said, I liked what Rude Pundit had to say about it (emphasis mine):
1. It was a failure. By nearly any measure (other than the mostly symbolic state senate victory), the recall election of Scott Walker was an abject failure. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise, who tries to sell a narrative of "one step at a time" or "we unified people in the effort," is trying to convince you that it's okay to nail the whore with the mouth sores. It is a lie to say anything other than "It was a failure."
2. Accepting our failures does not mean that we cannot learn from them. For, yes, yes, the lessons are clear and they ought to be mighty kicks in the head to the Democratic Party.
3. For one, shitloads of money will win. We knew this, but we still clung to the perverse notion that unified people can overcome shitloads of money. The fact that Walker and Republican interests outspent Tom Barrett nearly 10 to 1, with 70% of the pro-Walker funding coming from people like Karl Rove and the Koch brothers is just another clear example that the Citizens United decision was merely a pretext for rich conservatives to flood the zone with cash. It can work on our side - remember, Barack Obama kicked John McCain's ass with fundraising. But the world is different now, and wealthy Democrats will have to construct a machine that's stronger than the bulldozer of the right.
4. Democrats can't unify worth shit. No, it's not that the President needed to campaign in Wisconsin, but howzabout Biden? Howzabout someone with some authority behind them that's not David Axel-fucking-rod? Howzabout spending a little time educating the many people in Wisconsin who didn't sign the recall petition as to why the recall was a good thing, since exit polls showed that most badger-humpers didn't want it in the first place? Jesus, howzabout a small demonstration that the union vote shouldn't be taken for granted?
5. We have to nut up and go after them with a savagery that would make a tiger shark shit itself. How bad does it have to be? You might have read about or seen Barrett condemning Walker for a particularly harsh ad. Did you check out the actual ad about crime in Milwaukee? A blurred photo of a dead two year-old? That's some terrible shit. And it didn't appall people enough to turn against Walker. No, it worked. So we have to be at least that brutal. And don't be a pussy and say that we shouldn't stoop to their tactics. You use the tactics that succeed or you lose.
6. But, really, at the end of the day, it all comes down to shitloads of money.