Are you here for the party? If so, which party would that be? Is it the Republican Party or the party on King Street on weekend nights? Either way, we have you covered this week in our multimedia enterprise.
In the paper, our cover story charts the long and determined rightward course of the Grand Old Party. The party is still old (it will turn 150 next year), but it is certainly not holding on to its past. The story is titled, unsurprisingly, "Republicans: Moving to the Right," and is written by Phil Hands, a UW journalism student and frequent contributor of editorial cartoons to the Wisconsin State Journal.
Traditionally concerned with limiting the scope of government and fostering the health of free enterprise, the Republicans have in recent decades embraced a strategy of "family values" that pundits portray as "God, Guns and Gays." It has been electorally successful in capturing government positions, but in the process has eschewed governmental restraint and come to rely on very big business, and quid pro quo, to finance its activities.
Hands interviews members of an endangered species, the moderate Republican, to inform his article. Most of them relate to a vanished political reality and can find no acceptance in their chosen party. He also writes that the party's present stance on social issues creates a dilemma for younger Republicans attracted by the GOP's worldview but repelled by its increasing insistence on a stringent cultural orthodoxy.
As for King Street, yes, it is a party on weekends, a party that has started to go bad. The increase in disturbing incidents has prompted a number of city/proprietor/property owner consultations, the latest taking place this week.
Isthmus has been a proud and happy resident of King Street since 1992. We've witnessed the growth of the area as a bustling late-night recreation mecca over the years, but we're the day shift, not part of the night scene. We've had our ups and downs with the night activities, mostly in the form of minor property damage and graffiti, but what folks are talking about these days is lawlessness of a different order. We touch on the subject in this week's paper, in the "Online" excerpt column, but the real reportage is at our Web site, TheDailyPage.com. There you will find TDP editor Kristian Knutsen's real-time blog from Monday night's summit meeting and a further report on the announced plans to put Club Majestic up for sale. You can also check out The Daily Page Forum to get the talk of the town on the subject.
One last reference to parties: We're having one. On page 5 of this issue you'll find the announcement of our annual Madison's Favorites Block Party, to be held Aug. 19 on East Main Street. We'll preview the Favorites, listen to some bands and enjoy the hospitality of the Main Street clubs. We're not afraid, and neither should you be. Honest.