Tuesday, June 14, 2011
I was neither born nor raised in Dane County, so maybe there’s some sort of environmental or dietary deficiency which makes me view some of the recent stunts at the Capitol as counterproductive.
Take, for example, the zombie protest a few days ago. A bunch of college kids put on zombie make-up and paraded between the Governor and the Special Olympics athletes he was honoring at the Capitol. That bit of poorly-thought-out lunacy engendered the ire of so many people across the state that some Democratic Party bigwig had to publicly disavow the event, which then drew outrage from a number of my Madison acquaintances.
Sometimes, my lefty Madison friends don’t seem to have a very good grasp on strategy and tactics.
If their mission is to defeat the Republicans in recall elections this summer, and then to defeat Governor Walker in a recall election next year, stuff like zombie stunts with Special Olympians and disrupting the discussions of the Joint Finance Committee do great harm to their cause.
If that’s not the mission….then excuse me, I don’t understand what you’re trying to do. “Showing solidarity” doesn’t win elections. “Walkerville” isn’t going to change anybody’s mind.
The real battleground is in the middle. I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, and said it again.
It’s a waste of time to think you’re going to convince Glen Grothmann or the Fitz boys or anyone of that ilk that they should suddenly adopt a bunch of pro-choice, environmentally friendly, liberal concepts. By the same token, you’re not going to convince Mark Pocan or Peter Barca or Brett Hulsey to start suggesting cuts in entitlement programs or that the proposed mine in Iron County is a good thing. Changing the make-up of the legislature, or the person in the governor’s office, may lead to some workable compromises.
But you’re not going to convince the voters in the middle…the soft-commit, Tommy Thompson Republicans…by putting on a freak show to disrupt a ceremony for Special Olympians that’s been held every year for many years, by governors from both parties.
Some of the younger folks who “live” in Walkerville and attend the rallies probably think it’s fashionable. It’s a cool thing to do, and to pretend you’re just as committed to change as your predecessors were in the 60’s. Peaceful demonstrations – mass marches around the Capitol, rallies, and speakers – help the morale of the troops and show the folks on the “other side” that it’s not just a few local loonies who are upset. But being removed by State Troopers from a JFC meeting in handcuffs is not a good image to present to the folks in the middle, who will be the ones who ultimately determine the outcome.
And stuff like the zombie thing – well, that’s just plain disrespectful and stoopid. And that’s the way it’s perceived in places like Rice Lake, Rhinelander, Oconto Falls, Gratiot, Menasha, and hundreds of other Wisconsin hamlets outside Dane County.
I’ll say it again: the real battleground is in the middle, not on either side. The middle.
Posted by Tim Morrissey at 11:01 AM