Monday, March 7, 2011

Saving Face (In the Budget Battle)

A week ago I posted a rant, titled “Stalemate”, about how I thought the 14 Democrat senators had essentially painted themselves into a corner by decamping to the Land of Lincoln. OK with you if I change my mind a bit on that one?

Most of the recent polls, including those done by right-leaning organizations, show that gradually more and more Cheeseheads are unhappy with Governor Walker’s intransigence and his insistence on dismantling public employee unions. Walker’s numbers are down, and are continuing to fall as more people outside Madison become aware of what’s really going on here.

Outside agitators (no, not Joe the “plumber”) like Michael Moore say the fight to maintain collective bargaining rights for public employee unions is being won, because other Republican governors are now backing away from similar plans to bust the public employee unions. Channeling Charlie Sheen, Jesse Jackson says the Democrat senators are “winning.”

I’m a born-and-raised Wisconsinite, and have lived much of my adult life here. I’ve lived in small, medium, and large communities in this state, and even though it may belie the Germanic steadfastness (read: stubbornness) that permeates much of our common ‘sconnie culture, we don’t like bullheads. And the lefties are apparently succeeding in painting Scott Walker as a bullhead, who refuses to compromise.

Anyone who’s ever been in a successful relationship with another human being has learned that in most conflicts, discussion leads to compromise, which leads to happiness. The protesters are succeeding in painting Governor Walker as a person who will not discuss or compromise.

Here’s the thing, though. If the 14 Democrats (and their supporters) want to “win” this conflict, they have to figure out a way to do it so Scott Walker doesn’t lose too much face. If he thinks he’ll be seen as “caving in”, he won’t budge, because it would further damage, if not destroy whatever’s left of his ability to “lead” the state.

And that’s something politicians have not been very good at for the past couple decades. They’d actually have to work together toward a common goal to end this stalemate, something none of them have demonstrated much ability to do.


  1. It appears there won't be any "winners" in this prideful contest of wills unless the word is redefined.

    Politics is aptly described as the art of the possible. If Casey Stengel were there he would doubtless ask the pigheaded practitioners in the state Capitol ... "Can't anybody here play this game?"

  2. 1) Walker cannot negotiate with liars.

    2) Walker will not back down. Maybe, perhaps, possibly, he will change some tiny terms of the "representation vote". No more than that.

    I'll repeat this for you Madison folks: Walker does what he says and means what he says. He also says what he means.

    He is not TommySpender, nor the execrable Doylet.

  3. Dad, oh Dad.

    Point 1. There's plenty of outright lying on both sides, even to the point of perjury (7.5 million suddenly becomes 350 grand when somebody from the press bothers to ask "how'd ya come up with that figure?").

    Point 2 supports the assertion in my last paragraph quite nicely.

    BTW, are you ghosting Scott Fitzgerald's letters?

    Damn, there's a lot of anger out there....

  4. The $7.5MM was in a sworn statement?

    Well, yah, Walker might give away a meaningless provision. Underline and repeat "meaningless,' as one expects the unions will conduct fraudulent elections anyway. They do that in actual real-life civic elections in Milwaukee already.

    Don't know Fitzgerald, and since I think the State Patrol should be abolished (except for truck-inspections) I don't think I'm on his "hire-able" list.

    Yes, there's a lot of anger out here. That's another thing that Madistan friends of mine do NOT understand at all.

  5. Perjury: the willful act of swearing a false oath or affirmation to tell the truth, whether spoken or in writing, concerning matters material to a judicial proceeding.

    Yup, I'd say that $7.5 million statement given under oath in testimony last week was perjury.

    But then again, I never did get around to getting an actual license to practice law in Wisconsin.

    Dammit, Dad, I gotta get some work done today...

  6. Didn't know that it was sworn testimony.

  7. Walker will not back down because he cannot back down. He's owned by the Koch brothers; bought and paid for. He made a Faustian bargain and his soul had been claimed. He is among the walking political dead. He will be remarkably ineffective as governor because his willful duplicity and deceits are obvious and have cost him his legitimacy. He will likely go down as the worst governor in Wisconsin history.

  8. Yada yada yada yada yada.


    Or was that template-typing?