GETTING BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM VERY FEW FRIENDS…. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) union-busting efforts have, obviously, generated pro-worker protests the likes of which we haven’t seen in many years. Tens of thousands of activists have made their voices heard in Madison and persuaded much of the state that their cause is just.

And then there’s the other side. It’s not fair to say Walker and the right have no activists on their side; it is fair to say Walker and the right are bolstered by meager activism that’s hard to take seriously.

A regular reader in Madison emailed me this message on Sunday, which I’m republishing with permission.

I received a robocall yesterday evening from (according to the caller) “Joe the Plumber” touting Scott Walker’s budget and urging attendance at a Walker “bus tour” rally here in Madison at 1:00 p.m. today at taxpayer-owned Alliant Energy Center (known as the Dane County Exposition Center until naming rights were sold a decade ago). The call was sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and included a shout-out to, which takes you to this location.

Think of the money involved when a robocall campaign doesn’t have to screen its call list to weed out opponents. Just dial sequentially, folks. […]

New motto (with apologies to Bill Maher’s “new rule”): Wisconsin — open for business, closed to sanity.

Yes, to rally the troops, the Koch-financed Americans for Prosperity turned to … Joe the Plumber. What’s more, the long-forgotten prop from 2008 was the featured guest at a pro-Walker “rally” in Madison on Sunday afternoon.

Josh Green joked soon after, “Let’s agree that, like buzzards, Joe the Plumber showing up signals imminent death of whatever he’s supporting.”

Agreed. Americans for Prosperity is backed by billionaires, and Walker’s anti-union efforts have garnered enthusiastic support from conservatives nationwide. With the pressure on and the polls showing the public turning against the governor, it was time to show Wisconsin and the rest of the political world that Scott Walker and his agenda have real support. The working families on the left aren’t the only ones who enjoy grassroots backing.

The result: “several hundred” people showed up to see a flailing governor and D-list “celebrity.”

I don’t imagine Walker’s team wants my advice, but they’re probably better off just giving up on pretending to have grassroots support. No rallies are preferable to bad ones.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.