Day 4 of the Peoples' Rebellion
Passenger rail is Wisconsin's version of the national ObamaCare debacle. Nobody asked for it, but we got it anyway. It was forced upon us by career politicians, meeting behind closed doors on weekends and at night.
The RTA Commuter rail from Middleton to the Town of Burke. The high-speed passenger rail from Madison to Milwaukee. DOA. Passenger rail is the energizer bunny of state politics.
It helped elect Scott Walker as governor just as surely as ObamaCare elected Ron Johnson to the U.S. Senate. It will defeat Scott McDonell's bid for county executive because no one with an ear so tin, so insulated in the downtown isthmus politics, can hope to win the majority of the county that lies outside the city of Madison.
It symbolized the arrogance of the ruling liberal/progressive elites who know what is best for such poor deluded souls as we. Still dissing the tea party, are we? Astroturf?
All evidence is that the Left has learned not a thing. President Obama proved as much in his press conference Thursday morning.
That arrogance can be summed up by this money shot; this is The Capital Times weeping over Russ Feingold's defeat:
"The Wisconsin progressive tradition is too rich, too vital, too important to this state and this nation to let it be diminished by election results."
Doesn't that say it all about Progressivism? Why let a little thing like "election results" "diminish" the "Progressive tradition?"
Does it still feel 'fake' and 'phony'?
Dane County Board chairman Scott McDonell infamously called the RTA commuter rail referenda "fake" and "phony." Why, because he did not approve of it. Blocked a countywide vote through his henchman, Matt Veldran. So elected officials in 45 towns, villages and cities throughout Dane County -- virtually all but Madison, Fitchburg, and the Town of Dunn -- staged their own referenda.
Forty-four of the 45 communities (only the Town of Madison) said NO to commuter rail and higher taxes. In total 71 percent of voters said NO. Consider that every one of the 61,245 NO votes (to 24,550 yes) is a vote against Scott McDonell in next February's primary for county executive.
"RTA Chairman Dick Wagner said yesterday in a Wisconsin State Journal article that results of our little irrelevant referendum would likely mean a shift from commuter rail to expanded bus service. I guess that means we won!" referendum leader Mike Thomsen told me.
If Dane County wants to run the bus system it may do so. Scott Walker runs the bus system in Milwaukee; yes, it's a countywide system. The RTA was always a scheme to raise taxes (up to $42 million a year) without a single elected official having to take a roll call vote.
Tuesday's RTA commuter rail referendum is the last word on the subject. The next move is to have the new Republican Legislature, controlled 19-14 in the Senate and 60-38-1 in the Assembly, to rescind all references to Dane County in Chapter 66.1039 of the Wisconsin Statutes as created in 2009 by Wisconsin Act 28 by Assembly Bill 75. I believe the new governor will sign it.
BTW: here is how the succession plays out. The Kathleen will tender her resignation, effective December 28. Scottie McD, as board chairman, will then appoint an interim county executive by the name of Kathleen Falk.
Milwaukee to Madison
Just as successful U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson campaigned against ObamaCare, Governor-elect Scott Walker campaigned against the $810 billion, Madison-to-Milwaukee high-speed rail boondoggle.
So good Democrat and progressive Jim Doyle hunkers down in the bunker with his union boss transportation secretary Frank Busalacchi over the weekend. they write as many checks and sign as many contracts as they can. Then word leaks out at the most inopportune time, on Tuesday morning -- Election Day! -- that the fix is in.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting that the reticence of federal officials, not Jim Doyle's missing conscience, was behind Thursday's temporary halt to the full-speed-ahead mode. I got to think that J.B. Van Hollen red-tagged the process, as well.
This is a governor whose first act was to swear his people to secrecy oaths! His transportation secretary's first act was to discharge a respected legal counsel, a long-time civil servant.
Where are the editorials? Where are Mike McCabe, Ed Garvey, and Bill Kraus? Where is the outrage?
Is this is what "Progressivism" has come to?
'A recoil against liberalism'
No, answers George F. Will. It was always its purpose. Will writes in the Washington Post:
The point of progressivism is that the people must progress up from their backwardness. They cannot do so unless they are pulled toward the light by a government composed of the enlightened - experts coolly devoted to facts and science.
The progressive agenda is actually legitimated by the incomprehension and anger it elicits: If the people do not resent and resist what is being done on their behalf, what is being done is not properly ambitious.
TGT used to say that the good Lord gave us one mouth and two ears and we should use them in that proportion. A good leader listens. When a good leader wants to take the people to a better place he uses his powers of persuasion. If no one follows s/he cannot be leading. For neither the local RTA commuter rail nor the Milwaukee-to-Madison high speed rail did the ringleaders even try to persuade the people.
Here is what George Soros' liberal front group is telling its demoralized members:
Dear MoveOn.org member,
There's no sugarcoating it. The election results overall are devastating. Progressive heroes like Russ Feingold, Alan Grayson, and Tom Perriello stood up for everything we believe in. But they were swamped by voter frustration and corporate cash. ...
But when I'm tempted to throw up my hands and walk away, I think of folks like Steve Nathan, an amazing MoveOn volunteer leader in Pennsylvania. Since Steve got laid off months ago, he's been splitting his time between hunting for a job and helping organize hundreds of other MoveOn members.
Then, two weeks ago, Steve arrived home from four hours out knocking on the doors of Democratic voters to find a foreclosure notice taped to his own door.
Uh, Steve? Lost your job "months ago?" House foreclosed just two weeks ago? And your answer is to elect still more Democrats? Earth to Steve ... when in a hole, stop digging!
Did you know?
- Three Iowa Supreme Court justices lost their seats Tuesday attributed to their 2009 decision that allowed same-sex couples to marry. Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and Justices David Baker and Michael Streit polled less than the simple majority needed to stay on the bench. It is the first time an Iowa Supreme Court justice has not been retained since 1962, when the merit selection and retention system for judges was adopted.
- Keith Olbermann donated to three Democratic candidates in violation of NBC ethics -- including one candidate the day he appeared on the O-man's MSNBC program!
- Radio guy Jay Weber of Milwaukee WISN 1130 asked his listeners to write the newly elected state government's agenda. Here are the top 10 with a bullet on #7:
1. Pass voter ID
2. Eliminate same-day voter registration
3. Pass conceal carry
4. Join the national lawsuit to repeal Obamacare
5. Repeal combined reporting and pass a package of pro-business legislation
6. Kill off the high-speed rail project and all wasteful commuter train projects
7. Kill off the Regional Transit Authority Board. Don't create any boards that have taxing authority
8. Bring back TABOR or some taxpayer bill of rights
9. End the minimum markup law
10. End all state mandates and subsidies for Ethanol.
I'll add two more:
1. Take over the Milwaukee public schools.
2. Appoint a board of regents that will insist on intellectual diversity in our university system, not just racial.