Suppressing as much schadenfreude as I could, I called my friend and worthy adversary Bill Lueders immediately after reading his story Thursday on Brett Hulsey's love affair with the camera and microphone.
It amazed me that the Democrat's party colleagues would unload on him on the record -- including their Assembly leader, Rep. Peter Barca.
I do not intend to pile on except to say we saw the same thing on the county board -- the guy loves to see his name in print. I well recall the late, great Lyman Anderson telling the freshman supervisory class of 1994 -- Brett came along two years later -- that we should be seen but not heard for the first 12 months. I followed his dictum to the letter but probably made up for lost time ever after.
The veterans hate it when the newbies think they are Daniel Webster right out of the box. Brett will learn the hard way that he has to pay his dues. Legislating is a team sport.
But the guy does deserve credit for reaching out to save -- and I don't think that is too strong a word -- Sen. Glenn Grothman from the unrented mob on March 1 during the darkest days of the Siege of the Capitol. (I blogged it here -- "You can hear the obscenities and the menace and the insistent pleas to "Calm down, calm down" and link to it here.)
But Hulsey is taking flak from the Far Left for doing so.
Chronic campus malcontent Kyle Szarzynski actually suggests that Hulsey is in cahoots with the dark side and was "feeding the Fox narrative" that conservatives must fear liberal violence. (Funny how that keeps happening.)
But Hulsey wasn't the only one who felt a need to urge restraint. The tape shows others trying to calm the mob, which was baying for Grothman's hide.
On the Progressive Dane political party's unofficial blog site, Szarzynski tries to shift the blame to the victim. Apparently devoid of any sense of irony, the young radical calls the state senator "a profoundly creepy individual."
Sen. Grothman, explains young Kyle, ".... had spent countless hours, walking through protesters, insulting and provoking them in the most demeaning way."
He had it coming
The young fellow's account contradicts the videotape and is counter-intuitive. I asked the young fellow, exactly how did Senator Grothman insult and provoke the protestors "in the most demeaning way." What exactly did he say? Was he shouting slogans? Using profanity? Did he make obscene hand gestures? What were they? Did he carry insulting signs? Wear a provocative T-shirt. Shove and push. Make loud noise in order to drown out others? Oh, wait a minute. That's you guys!
Kyle responds by asserting that the senator's "insistence on provoking protesters is common knowledge by now," citing as one example, "his insistence on showing up to M&I to make a transaction on precisely the day the firefighters were staging their protest."
Well, Kyle, that seals it for me! Imagine someone trying to make a deposit in his financial institution when the public employee unions have declared the premises off limits to capitalism that day!
Szarzynski is not alone in seeing only what fits the progressive left narrative. The Marxist historian Allen Ruff is also on task to dehumanize the intended victim. It is a time-dishonored tactic to stifle dissent, the better to justify the ensuing pogrom:
When Hulsey seemingly appeared out of nowhere that day a crowd cornered Glenn Grothman outside the Capitol, he did calm those who understood what kind of vile creature the senator is.
Get it? A "vile creature." Tell me, history class, where does language like that lead?
'Bad for business'
Doesn't sound like a scene right out of the Sopranos!? A gas station operator in Sheboygan gets an anonymous telephone call -- a not-so-veiled warning to stop doing business with a certain customer, or else.
WBAY-TV2 in Green Bay tells the tale:
The answering machine here in the back of the store was left on from the night before and was recording the entire conversation.
Caller: "Can you verify that was Senator Leibham at the gas station this morning?"
Gas station clerk: "Senator Leibham?"
Caller: "Yes. Do you guys support him?"
Clerk: "I have nothing to say about that, I am not politically involved."
Caller: "Alright, well you can tell [the owner] he's not good for business, I'll tell you that."
Shocked over the 26-second conversation, [the gas station owner] quickly traced the call -- only to get surprise number two. "And it turned out to be coming from the Sheboygan area district school office," he said.
Sure enough, it was a school district employee, unnamed in the story, who argues that, although a district telephone was used, she did it on her own time -- as if that is any excuse.
Sorry to interrupt your filibuster
Some common sense from former radio newsman Tim Morrissey on his engagingly entitled blog, Rifles at Dawn:
... The speech of ALL is protected. That includes Sarah Palin. What's so hard to understand about that? ...
A Facebook friend of mine (John Roach) ... engendered a string of amazing and revealing comments, some of them from people who apparently think it's just fine to try and shout down Palin. Roach [commented] that the Unionists have had the pulpit on the Capitol Square for two months, and no one has shouted them down.
As the op ed writer in the April 21 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes, "The new democracy is if you don't agree with me, I will try to destroy you."
Do you own a Che Guevara T-shirt? Have a Mao poster on your office wall? Own a Jane Fonda workout video? Let me know. I want to make sure that everyone who disagrees with you on these issues boycotts your business. If you don't have a business, we'll stand on the sidewalk in front of your house.
Still waiting for the Democrat(ic) adult in the room to call out such intimidation.
History repeats itself
As the debate between President Obama and Rep. Paul Ryan heats up, a blast from the Democrats' past (no, it's not Billy Carter, RIP) provides the gift that keeps on giving.
Sure enough, The Capital Times picked up a WaPo piece by Walter Mondale -- remember him? It's title: ""How to Raise Taxes Without Losing Votes" -- "a subject on which Mondale would not seem to be an expert," as James Taranto observes in the on-line Wall Street Journal. Given that Mondale is the only major-party American politician to have lost elections in all 50 states.
When you put the ball on a tee like that, Taranto is going to send it into the bleachers:
Obama wants to raise taxes. So does Mondale. Obama won't tell you. Mondale just did.