It is the never-ending election. The April 5 election that good progressives declared was a do-over of the November 2 general election must now itself be parsed, poked, and palpitated.
There will be a recount of the state supreme court race at a probable cost of $1 million, the challenger, Joanne Kloppenburg, has decided. Because a 7,316 vote margin is just too "uncertain" despite the Government Accountability Board's verification of the election.
Certainly, more uncertain that 204 votes, which was enough to get the injudicious Kloppenburg to declare the day after the election, "the people have spoken." Except, as it turned out, the people of the city of Brookfield, who apparently sat out the election. No one there voted. Must have been a neutron bomb. Maybe they're still on the Julian calendar.
As Charlie Sykes tweets, "Kloppenburg's progressive math: 204 votes decisive; 7,316 votes oddly suspect." A little history: never has a statewide recount turned around any more than 489 votes.
In seeking the recount on Wednesday, Justice un-elect Kloppenburg "made her call confidently," writes an admiring John Nichols in today's on-line Capital Times.
Given her record of making calls, it's amazing that she has any confidence left. Writes Comrade John on April 21:
She has taken a stand on behalf of the full, fair and accurate accounting of the results of a close and critical election. This is not just what democracy looks like. This is what democracy demands.
This is what sore losers look like
But it was not "what democracy demanded" the day after the election, when Kloppenburg celebrated "the people have spoken" vote margin of 204 -- unofficial, before the canvass, wafer-thin, a rounding error, really.
The Capital Times/Nation columnist who wrote on April 6: "Success does not come much sweeter than this" now two weeks later revises history to declare, in effect, that recounts do not come much sweeter than this.
Nichols, in that heady hour of the 204-vote lead, contrasted his gracious, wise and confident liberal choice with that thug of an incumbent, who doesn't know when to get out of town ahead of the posse.
Prosser, a brass-knuckles pol, is unlikely to accept the gratitude and exit gracefully. He can be counted on to demand a recount. [TCT: Kloppenburg wins more than an election]
My how democracy can change when the wrong person is validated by the voters and by the Government Accountability Board.
I could call my comrade John Nichols "cynical," but that word implies sinister motives and I have no way of looking into a person's soul to discern motives. So, in the spirit of UW-Madison professor William Cronon (doing his best Joe McCarthy imitation by disavowing any comparisons with a name he just dropped) I will not invoke Sen. Stuart Smalley, D-Recount, or Al Gore (although I just did). Nor will I call John cynical, although that is his favorite pejorative.
But he is a partisan advocacy journalist, no less so than Rush Limbaugh but perhaps more accomplished than yours truly.
The Squire is not fooled by fools
Imagine my surprise to pick up my weekly copy of Isthmus today to find a letter claiming that "Blaska is no conservative."
My first impulse was to throw up the deflector shield around the Stately Manor.
I would cite the number of times I had defended unborn life. I would hyperlink my blogs and cover magazine stories on restoring law and order to our neighborhoods. I could remind readers of my tomes on lower taxes, less spending, smaller government, entrepreneurship. Highlight my jeremiads against redistributionism, quote my denunciations of communism and progressivism. I could point to blogs featuring U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, Grover Norquist, or Vicki McKenna.
Then I said, Naah!
For who the hell is the author of that Isthmus letter, one Gregor Mieder by name, to pronounce judgment on the Squire? He is no Tommy Thompson! (I know Tommy Thompson. Tommy Thompson was a governor of mine.) Yet, unless Mieder claimed the mantle of righteous rightward brotherhood, what credibility could he have?
Sure enough, this Gregor Mieder claims to be "a sort-of-conservative myself ..." and therefore well positioned to determine who shall pass through the eye of his needle.
That's an old trick, worthy of Saul Alinsky: try to discredit someone by pretending to be a comrade in arms. It appears to be part of an overall strategy that has emerged of late to discredit conservatives, including Miss Vicky, by means other than, y'know, actually debating the issues.
Gregor, Gregor, Gregor! Your side has got to be more clever! Even us conservatives know how to use Facebook. Let's us turn, shall we, to Gregor Mieder's Facebook page?
Gregor Mieder is the sort of conservative who lists, among his Facebook friends, the Green Party's Ben Manski. The sort of conservative who lists as his favorite TV show, "the Rachel Maddow Show." The sort of conservative who lists among his activities and interests the International Socialist Review (ISR), Noam Chomsky, and the Teaching Assistants union of which, I'm guessing here, he is a member since the fellow seems to be a teaching assistant at the UW-English Department.
Yeah, that sort of conservative. Nice try, my progressive-liberal acquaintances. (For you ARE ...)
Honest, the vuvuzelas weren't meant for Sarah Palin
Speaking of Ben Manski, as we must.
I like Ben personally, as he well knows. We've debated cordially on state radio.
Now Ben takes umbrage with a previous blog: "Blaska's Blog looks for adults among the Sarah Palin protesters to speak up for civility." (BTW: still no takers.) His particular beef is my statement, "the Wisconsin Wave, an umbrella group led by red- and hot-headed Ben Manski, sponsors of the tea party protest ..."
I suggested he post his objection directly to that blog but he protests that he is too busy. Not sure I understand that but in the spirit of fair play and glasnost, here is the guts of his e-mail to my personal account:
We organized a rally on the opposite site of the Capitol on the State Street side. We did not encourage people to show up at the King Street side. In fact, we encouraged people to avoid that side of the Capitol entirely. If those folks had not been there, the crowd surrounding Palin would have been much smaller than it was. Which as far as I was concerned, would have been a good thing.
There were many other groups and individuals who were encouraging people to protest Palin on Saturday, beyond the Wisconsin Wave. I realize that you need to a single ringleader to use as a pincushion. But that story you wrote was just that, a story you told yourself. And not a true story, at that.
I accept Ben at his word, that his rally did make such a statement. But I have to say that his pious disclaimer is like saying the only reason the arsonist lit a candle at the fireworks factory was because he don't believe in cursing the darkness.
I cannot help but note that your Wisconsin Wave website encouraged its audience to
BRING LIBERTY BELLS -- that means cowbells, dinner bells, doorbells, jingle bells, you name it, and let's ring in Wisconsin's independence from corporate rule!
I suppose you intended, Ben, to get those bells a-ringing in joyous anticipation of your event's emcee, the Sly-mer. I note also that your website focused on Sarah Palin:
Please share widely. The puppets are coming, the puppets are coming! Corporate puppets Sarah Palin and "Americans" for "Prosperity" are rallying at our Wisconsin State Capitol on 4/16. -- Counterprotest the Corporate Puppets: Dump Tea! Dump Palin!
Say what you will (and I will), Sarah Palin is like jam on bread, she attracts plenty of flies.
Did it come as much of a surprise when, as Capital Times reporter Jessica Van Egeren tweeted from the scene at 12:21 p.m. Saturday?
It appears pro-union forces think it us more fun to crash the tea party.
Were you dismayed by this observation at 12:28 from "Cog_Dis?
You should be thanking the people MT@cmschneid19 Deafening chants, bullhorns, and cowbells make it impossible to hear the speakers.
Those noisemakers sure came in handy! At 1:51 p.m, analieseeicher tweets:
Can't even hear Palin b/c #wiunion is drowning her out!!!!!
Tweeter ryan_rainey concurs:
These are all archived on TheDailyPage's LiveBlog of the event. Next time the libs do an event, fellow conservatives, let's do some engine-braking!
Now class, a parable straight from the Gulag that seems appropriate to today's theme of situational ethics.
One day, three men were sent from their Siberian concentration camp on a work detail deep into the frozen taiga.
"What you in for?" asked the first.
"I denounced Bukharin," the second answered. "And you?"
"I supported Bukharin," responded the first man, who turns to the third fellow, who announces: "I'm Bukharin!"