By Ruth Conniff on October 27, 2012

If you are a Nate Silver addict, as so many people seem to be, you are watching tight polls all over the country, and hearing both campaigns making their case that they have the electoral votes to win the Presidential election.

No doubt about it, it's going to be tight.

Nowhere is this more true than in Wisconsin.

The Obama and Romney campaigns reported on Thursday that they had raised about $1 billion each (Obama slightly over the $1 billion mark, Romney slightly under it). We are seeing and hearing the effects of all that cash--and the untold millions raised and spent by outside groups as well--as Wisconsin towns and cities are deluged with advertising, robocalls, and constant candidate visits.

Both campaigns put their own spin on why they will win Wisconsin.

Obama campaign manager Jim Messina told Politico this morning that early voting and same-day registration will help Obama win Wisconsin, where the latest Rasmussen polls shows the President tied with Mitt Romney 49-49.

Romney's political director, Rich Beeson, had an interesting take in Politico's Playbook on how Romney will win this historically blue state.

Not only does the Romney campaign predict that Paul Ryan will "peel off blue-collar Democratic votes" (memo to campaign: have you talked to any auto workers in Janesville lately?)

Beeson goes on to say of the Romney campaign: "We're going to run better in Madison, Milwaukee, and Green Bay than Republicans normally run."

Why? Because of the Etch-a-Sketch strategy!

"In the primary, we were called the ‘Massachusetts moderate,’" Beeson notes. "[That’s helpful in Wisconsin’s] urban and even close-in suburban areas … Same thing in Madison, Green Bay, and Milwaukee. . . . that's where we won the Wisconsin primary… Romney runs better in those urban areas than the Republican presidential candidates have for the last two cycles."

Holy cow.

If Wisconsinites buy Romney's ever-shifting position on the issues, and view Paul Ryan (who voted against extending unemployment benefits to displaced auto workers in his hard-hit district) as a champion of blue-collar workers, the cheese state will turn from blue to red.

How's that for cynicism?

If you liked this article by Ruth Conniff, the political editor of The Progressive, check out her story "Conservatives Forgive Mitt's Me-Too Debate Performance."

Follow Ruth Conniff @rconniff on Twitter

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After the voter ID ruling, progressives try to reclaim politics for ordinary people

His bombing campaign is legally weak, and his rhetoric weaker.

By Harvey Wasserman

 

The most hopeful, diverse, photogenic, energizing and often hilarious...

By Wendell Berry

Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more 
of everything ready made. Be afraid 
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery 
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card 
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something 
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know. 
So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord. 
Love the world. Work for nothing. 
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it. 
Denounce the government and embrace 
the flag. Hope to live in that free 
republic for which it stands. 
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man 
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers. 
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.


Say that the leaves are harvested 
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus 
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion—put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come. 
Expect the end of the world. Laugh. 
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts. 
So long as women do not go cheap 
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy 
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep 
of a woman near to giving birth? 
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head 
in her lap. Swear allegiance 
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos 
can predict the motions of your mind, 
lose it. Leave it as a sign 
to mark the false trail, the way 
you didn’t go. Be like the fox 
who makes more tracks than necessary, 
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry is a poet, farmer, and environmentalist in Kentucky. This poem, first published in 1973, is reprinted by permission of the author and appears in his “New Collected Poems” (Counterpoint).

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