Re: Bruce Murphy's "Pundits Ponder the Hole in Scott Walker's Resume" (1/29/2015): Publicly criticizing Gov. Walker for his lack of a college degree is a risky political tactic if one's goal is to denigrate him in the eyes of the public. No matter what one thinks of him (and I think very little), he is a very effective campaigner, one who has been shown to have a Teflon hide and an ability to turn chicken shit into chicken salad.
The "no college degree" criticism will play right into his victimization shtick. Remember in 2011 when he was the schoolyard bully, leading his newly minted autocracy with the Legislature, judiciary and executive branches all under his banner? With tens of thousands of legitimately aggrieved constituents flooding the public square in Madison, he pinned the bully label onto those he had pushed into the mud puddle and rode to recall reelection aided by a largely sympathetic voting public galvanized by the vituperative personal attacks on Walker's character and person.
Just as calling Gov. Chris Christie "fat" will bring him an allegiance with sympathetic everyday citizens in a country where 60% of us are overweight, so will calling Gov. Walker "dumb" in a country where a significant number of college graduates are having to mutter "Do you want fries with that?" in the only jobs they can find.
This may be blasphemy in a county that nurtures one of the great universities of the world, but it is important to remember that having a college degree proves one has achieved a significant personal accomplishment. It is not, in itself, proof of intelligence.
Bill Sumner (via email)
Eye of the beholder
I appreciated the article on the Freedom From Religion Foundation (1/29/2015), but did the cover designer bother reading it? The sub-headline "One group's lonely battle" hardly seems to apply considering that FFRF is reported in the article to have 21,500 members, and to be the "Nation's largest association of atheists, agnostics and religious skeptics." Apparently they are also "not the only national organization dedicated to the separation of church and state" and have just added a $3 million building expansion to provide room for their many employees. Doesn't sound very lonely to me. Is this just poor communication on the part of Isthmus staffers? Or was someone hoping to use the cover to portray the organization as a lonesome loser -- and forgot to confirm that the article did the same?
Jennifer Friedman (via email)
I have lived in Madison for 30 years, and this week's issue has the best cover art of any issue I've ever seen. Great work!
Dmitri Bilgere (via email)