Wednesday, May 7, 2014
What Matters And Doesn't Matter About John Doe
Conservatives are cheering a federal judge's decision to stop a state investigation into illegal campaign coordination between the Scott Walker recall team and conservative organizations across the state.
The Journal Sentinel calls it "a win for Walker." Yeah, not exactly.
Only those who actually believe in states rights will find the irony in that little victory. No matter, the decision will be appealed exactly on the premise that a federal judge can't tell a state what they can or cannot investigate.
The Siren doesn't think it matters one way or the other.
The 48% of people who say they approve of Scott Walker and would vote for him again no matter what a John Doe investigation turns up will do just that next November. They don't care if Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity pay Scott Walker's mortgage on his house. They don't care if they are on a conference call every damn morning from the Governor's office.
Believing that this John Doe investigation would make any difference is just a pipe dream.
In the last John Doe investigation, six people were arrested. Scathing emails were discovered sent on an illegal router system 20 feet from Scott Walker's desk. All that hasn't swayed the Walker faithful not even a little.
This John Doe investigation, even if successful, would be less clear and less lurid because basically most people don't understand why campaign coordination is illegal to begin with. They really don't care.
The Siren isn't saying editorial boards and political pundits shouldn't waste their time, we're just saying as a matter of electoral politics - it ain't the shit.
What does matter about the John Doe investigation, both the original and the sequel, is critical mass.
See, those very few voters who will make the difference in the election, will get tired. They may have felt sorry for Scott Walker in the beginning - thinking he was being scapegoated. Then the nasty details come out and more lawsuits and they watch their tax dollars being used in court case after court case.
Even if they don't know what it is all about, they start to get pissed. Why does everything this guy does wind up in court? Why is there no casino? Why are the roads so shitty? Why does my local elementary school not have any money? Why are these assholes in Madison talking about Voter ID and not about some damn jobs?
When the critical mass of too much bullshit and too few successes sets in, those people start to look for a change. Something new.
Whether the John Doe investigation goes forward or not - it isn't the investigation itself that matters. It is the appearance of a guy tainted by corruption and failure that will begin to sway the Obama/Walker voters towards something new and fresh.
It worked for Tammy Baldwin, it could work for Mary Burke.