Tom Paine wrote at the toughest moment of the American revolutionary struggle: “These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.”
Sarah Palin, the paid spokeswoman for the tepid Tea Party movement, jetted into Madison for what was supposed to be a victory party. Unofficial returns released Friday for the state’s highly controversial Supreme Court race show the candidate of conservative Republican Governor Scott Walker leading his until-recently-unknown challenger by a 50.2 to 49.8 margin prior to an anticipated recount. And, though implementation of Walker’s anti-union agenda remains stymied by a court order, the governor is freshly returned from a star turn before a Congressional committee in Washington where every effort was made to suggest that he had effectively overwhelmed the mass opposition that his proposals have inspired in Wisconsin.
That’s not much in the way of good news for Walker, whose personal approval ratings have tanked, and whose Republican legislative allies now face recall elections that could cost the party control of the state Senate. But the spin doctors were ready to claim some kind of momentum.
All that was needed was a great big rally to seal the deal, or so Walker’s allies and funders—particularly the billionaire Koch brothers, who paid for Saturday’s event via their generous donations to the group Americans for Prosperity. And Palin was brought in to pull the crowd.
As it happened, she did pull a crowd—but most of those present were critics.
Walker may have had Palin—even if the governor chose to attend a bridge-naming event outside Madison, rather than be photographed with the half baked Alaskan.