The great divide
Former Mayor Dave Cieslewicz's "A New Approach for Democrats" (6/15/2012) was a well-articulated set of big ideas. Besides ditching the "solidarity" vocabulary, the libs should also ditch the unseemly "blue fist." Both communicate old-fashioned communism, the latter not a winning icon for independents to rally around.
Sorry, Dave, but I don't buy it. You seem to imagine that the Democrats are as far left as the GOP is right. You must know the last 30 years have seen the right move farther right and the center move right. There is no far left to speak of. The "third way" or "new approach" that you are talking about sounds a lot like the Dems since Clinton. They've moved right because Rush Limbaugh and FOX have controlled the terms of debate. When Peter Barca or Mark Miller talk about common ground, they meet the GOP halfway. When Walker or Fitzgerald talk about common ground, they mean that Dems should take their medicine and get in line with the GOP agenda.
I agree that we need to get out of our neighborhoods, not to imitate those DeForest shoppers but to remind them that a strong middle class, built by well-paying jobs, helps us all. We need to talk to those store employees making minimum wage and listen to their stories, and get them talking to one another.
We need other, non-electoral tactics to force a reasoned debate. Boycott, strike, sit-in, move your money. In order for your third way to have any chance at all, you need an ideological, militant movement to open up some space.
Don't mess with recall
In "Now That the Wurst Is Over" (6/15/2012) Judith Davidoff neglected to mention why Wisconsin citizens must retain an unfettered ability to recall. If an elected official breaks the law, s/he can be impeached. S/he can also be recalled if the Legislature fails to impeach.
If, however, an official doesn't break the law but fails to represent the will of the people, the only remedy is recall. The recall process should be challenging to do so it is only used in egregious circumstances. That is what we have now.
I worked very hard to recall Gov. Walker because he has aggressively undermined our health care, schools, right to organize, local control, environment, fair taxation, equal wages, energy policy and our reputation for open, clean, collaborative government.