Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The New Wisconsin Culture

By Jeff Simpson

Dave Zweifel had a great piece in the CapTimes detailing the Wisconsin race to the bottom and how we are perceived nationwide.   

But that's what happens when the voters decide to turn state government completely over to a governor and a lapdog Legislature intent on dismantling decades of laws and programs that were long hailed as models for the rest of the nation.

States that are making it harder for citizens to vote? Wisconsin, once a model for getting high turnouts at election time, now ranks right up there with the worst. States that have made the biggest cutbacks in education aid for local school districts? Take a bow, Wisconsin. States that have the worst record in job creation over the past two years? Wisconsin is in 32nd place. States that have done the most to weaken environmental regulations? Again, Wisconsin can proclaim it's doing well in that race.

The ideologues have control and they're doing everything possible to take advantage of it, no matter the long-term damage it does to the state.

Then after browsing some blogs this morning, I came across this piece on DailyKos about the Wisconsin  3rd CD Democratic Convention.   I do not have time to attend these things but like to see what happens from the perspective of people not involved in the party.  One thing REALLY stood out to me(emphasis mine). 

Amy Sue Vruwink (70th AD, incumbent). My wife shadowed Amy Sue in 2012 as part of her Emerge Wisconsin training, so we know her. Rep. Vruwink got the shaft in the redistricting, the mother of all gerrymanders. Not only that, but we heard about how republican staffers go up to her tell her “You know, you’d make it so much easier on yourself if you just quit. You’re our top target.” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Dis) asks Dems “how Amy Sue’s doing, knowing that she’s screwed”. Amy Sue is diminutive, so these guys think they can bully her. What Amy Sue lacks in height she makes up for in spirit.
I’m not one to normally use these words in print, but Robin Vos is a fucking asshole. Please contribute to Amy Sue Vruwink to help her win re-election.

What kind of state, fosters the culture where staffers feel they can openly bully and try and intimidate elected representatives of the opposite party?  Who would employ someone who did that?  That would be like the manager of the Wisconsin Badgers, going up to John Calipari and talking smack before the game.    How quickly before Bo Ryan would have that person on the first flight home never to step foot near his program again?   Now it is common practice in the republican controlled legislature!

Also, along the same vein, when you are the leader of the majority party, should you not have some kind of level of maturity that goes beyond a third grader?  When your politics are personal gain, pettiness and revenge, maybe you are in the wrong profession.   I do not get how sane people on the republican side can continue to condone such actions.    DO you think things will get better or worse by condoning these actions?  

For those who are unaware, this is Amy Sue Vruwink:

As a democratically elected representative does she deserve to come to work and perpetually get bullied and attacked by people from the other political party?   Is the politics of personal attacks the way to move our state forward?  Did they really redistrict our state with the intention to "screw" specific representatives?  

I guess when the leader of your party governs with this philosophy, this is what we should expect.

While it might play well in the land of hate radio and white Wisconsin it does not speak very well for our future!  


  1. Robin Vos is such a G-I-R-L and a wimp.

  2. No question, Wisconsin is in a state of moral, ethical, and intellectual collapse. Why are so many Wisconsinites so content to live down in the muck?

    1. Why? Because racists/bigots now have a Republican forum in which to hate, and, Republican men can promote "control" of their women.
      All under the guise of Christian "American Exceptionalism" designed to recognize and reward blatant racism/bigotry & misogyny.

      Those white male conservative Christians are a dying breed and they do. not. like. being in the minority.

  3. Why do you assume the average Wisconsin voter knows what the Republicans are really about? Most media outlets are controlled by Republicans AND the GOP has personal contact with voters through conservative churches and gun-rights organizations. They have a party machine that beats anything the nation ever saw in the past. Democrats have little personal contact with voters. Voters are not emotionally invested in the party because did not see obvious improvements in their lives when Democrats were in power. That's why attack ads are so effective. If someone made you sit through a million dollars' worth of attack ads against someone you know well, would you change your mind about that person? Probably not, because you have other sources of information and can easily determine when the attack ads are lying or distorting. Democrats will continue to lose if they avoid direct contact with the people and depend on advertising to get elected.

  4. I was involved in the recent County Exec election here in support of Curt Green vs ultra-conservative ex State Rep Bob Ziegelbauer. Bob won yet again despite having stripped the county down to the bone. Everyone says how much they hate Bob and Curt was a very good candidate and sitting office holder with a good business rep. He even had TEA and rural factions supporting him despite his self identification as a Democrat. But as I told Curt before the election, Dems do NOT SHOW UP for elections unless there is a big national race going on. In my own primary race 2 years ago the entire Dem primary vote was only about 1/4 of the total Republican vote. Until Libs and Progressives learn the value of every single election up and down the line the current trend will continue. Thats just the way it is folks! "80% of success is just showing up!" Woody Allen.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I have to agree. This needs to be the focus of the party for the next -- well, maybe forever.