There's palpable disappointment in Madison today after last night's election results, but let's take a moment to take stock of where we're at.
Two GOP senators have been replaced by Democrats leaving the Republicans with the narrowest of margins in that house. I'm confident the Dems will win the two remaining recall elections next week. That means that moderates in the GOP caucus will have a lot more leverage and it means that next year all the Dems need is one more seat to take it back.
While the Dems may have come up just short of their goal, they still pulled off something historic. There had been a total of 20 recall elections for state legislators in the entire history of the country, and six were forced on one day in Wisconsin. That's a powerful indication of a reaction to the policies of the governor and the legislative majorities.
And don't forget that Joanne Kloppenburg came within a whisper of beating an entrenched incumbent for the Supreme Court when she was given no chance of even coming close before the events of February and March.
I know it's frustrating to come so close in both cases. (Believe me, I understand something about the pain of coming close to winning.) But it would be a mistake and it would ignore reality to lose heart. Actually, progressive forces made great progress and had real accomplishments in the last few months. Far from being a momentum killer, it should be an inspiration and a sign that we can do more.