Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's Over. Get Over It.


One of the news stories I wrote for my day job involved an interview with the executive director of a non-partisan watchdog organization that keeps track of campaign spending, and he said Wisconsin is probably going to be “darn near ungovernable” in the next few months, until things settle down a bit more. 

125 million dollars – the total spending for political ads, flyers, robocalls, yard signs, t-shirts, you-name- it – involving all the recall elections in Wisconsin in the past year and a half.  That is simply insane.

A few thoughts.

New Rule: No candidate for public office is allowed to mention his or her opponent in ANY way in ANY political ad.  This rule shall be universal.  PACs and SuperPAC’s, since our politicians don’t have the backbone to accomplish any meaningful campaign reform, will be required to identify which candidate the PAC supports, and shall be forbidden from ANY reference to the opposing candidate.  No PAC, SuperPAC, nor any other organization or individual, shall be allowed to do any “issue” advertising.

In other words, the candidates will be forced to talk only about what THEY will do if elected.

This will prevent the sort of rhetorical dynamic that pervades and pollutes the political scene today.  In other words, if candidate X says he prefers to eat his breakfast cereal dry, opposing candidate Y will be enjoined from saying “Candidate X hates dairy farmers”.

I know this New Rule violates a number of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions.  Too bad.

A word to the Solidarity Singers, drummers, and hangers-out at the Capitol: go home.  Find something else to do.  You’re not helping.

A word to the listeners of shout radio, hate radio, and other forms of talk radio: limit your exposure.  The people who do these shows can’t help themselves.
A word to hard-core lefties like Brett Hulsey:  in case you haven’t been paying attention, the Democrats just got their ass kicked.  Hard.  One win out of six recalls is an ass-kicking.  So, when Governor Walker says now that the recalls are over, he’d like to work with the opposing party, your response “I’ll believe it when I see it” sounds petulant.  Try something like “we welcome this move by Governor Walker and are eager to work with him.”  The fact that Walker talked about a “burgers, brats, and beer” get-together for legislators won him a lot of points with regular folks.

I’m an independent, born and raised in the Fox Valley.  There are a lot of people like me in this state, and we’re the ones that really decide elections.  We’ll vote for Democrats like Bill Proxmire and Russ Feingold, and we’ll vote for Republicans like Lee Dreyfus and the OLD Tommy Thompson (as opposed to the lobbying Washington insider Tea Person Tommy has morphed into).

My lefty pals will hate me for this, but the 14 state senators who decamped for Illinois are not heroes.  To a lot of Wisconsinites, they looked and acted like anything but.  Disrupting the Governor, regardless of who the Governor is, when he’s talking to a group of Special Olympians, is just plain stoopid.  Jumping in front of a TV live shot with a t-shirt that says F*CK WALKER is a no-class move.  Pouring beer on somebody’s head, in many parts of this state, will get you a trip to the ER and a huge dental bill.  Here’s a news flash: the clenched fist symbol does NOT sit well with a vast majority of Wisconsinites.

Don’t get me wrong.  Remember, I’m an independent.  And as far as I’m concerned, the brothers Fitzgerald are two of the most arrogant asses ever elected to public office anywhere.  Glenn Grothman is a huge national embarrassment.  Becky Kleefisch’s comments about gay people place her squarely in the middle of the 14th century.

You know how you get rid of people like that?  You defeat them in the next election.

You have a lot of work to do.

8 comments:

  1. To paraphrase a bit...

    Tommy is not now, nor ever has been, a Tea Party member, nor has he knowingly associated with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know it's fruitless to discuss this point, Dad, since as we all know the Tea Party does not exist as an organized entity; you can't join and get a membership card; there's no initiation fee; there's no membership roll to sign; you just say you are a member of the Tea Party - OR - act like one, and you ARE.

      This link

      http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55108.html

      will take you to a Politico story about Tommy's early days campaigning for Kohl's Senate seat. In the photo at the top of the article, a photo that can be found in several places and accompanying several print-media articles (including Isthmus, the Madison weekly), you can clearly see the Tea Party flag flying behind Tommy. The photo was taken in Madison at a Tea Party rally over a year ago. Tommy was the featured speaker. Featured. I know many of the Tea People in Madison, and many more in the Fox Valley. I know the reporter for the San Francisco Examiner who is assigned to cover the Tea Party. Ask any of them, and they'll tell you Tommy is a Tea Person, and can give specifics (date and place and circumstance) where Tommy has actively courted their support.

      You can assert in defense that politicians running for office will speak anywhere to any group at the drop of a hat, just to get the exposure, and that Tommy was "just there campaigning" at the Tea Party rally in Madison where the photo was taken.

      The convenient non-organization of the Tea Party makes it so convenient for politicians to assert or deny their membership in the Tea Party.

      Be careful about using the last clause of your sentence above ("nor has he knowingly associated with them"). It's quite easily disproved.

      Delete
    2. Umnnhhhh...you are certainly correct in your observation that politicians will go anyplace and do (nearly) anything to garner support.

      But TT's entire modus operandi as Gov was "borrow and spend, spend, spend." Then borrow some more. A 100% increase in State employment during his reign ain't a good sign, either.

      The fact that he's attempting to co-opt "Tea Party" members--or that some Tea Party people are caught near him--doesn't change his rather ugly spots.

      TT is simply NOT a Conservative. He's a GWB with a Packer hat.

      Delete
  2. Well said Tim. Easily, and I mean easily, the most disgusting thing I have seen in this whole bru-ha-ha was the Special Olympics thing.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Agree with campaign reform regarding PACs, but the Citizens United ruling means it won't happen.

    Centrist Dems need to take the lead in the party, and the party needs to run better candidates. No more Falks. Someone like Ron Kind might appeal to independents and centrists; if the far left doesn't like it, screw 'em, their way ain't working.

    I'm cautiously optomistic that Walker really did learn from this and is willing to at least talk with the other side. Agree the beer and brat summit is a good idea. Let's put both Act 10 and the God, Guns, and Gays stuff aside and focus on the economy. There should be common some ground there. The rhetoric on both sides must cool down, as the current atmosphere is unsustainable. To the left, cut out the drumming and go home. What started out as protests by a lot of average people at the outset morphed into something that didn't help the cause and turned a lot of fence sitters off. To the right, cut out the teacher and public employee bashing. You have Act 10, be gracious winners.

    ReplyDelete
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