Dave Zweifel: pls stop making civility a partisan issue

Letter to edDear Dave Zweifel:

Thought I’d write. It’s been awhile. Wanted to say thanks for putting up with me those 12 years I worked for you at The Capital Times. Have always admired your essential human decency.

Read your latest column in The Capital Times, as I always do. We agree that Donald Trump has coarsened the public discourse. I’ve said so many times. But I must object to your partisan blinders.

You maintain that “the political low road runs through Wisconsin” — all engendered by The Donald. You cite two examples (and only two), both from the state Republican party spokesman, who supposedly called:

  1. Gubernatorial Andy Gronick “an out-of-touch con artist” and
  2. Candidate Mike McCabe a “phony.”

Wow! Rough stuff! (Snark alert!)

Characteristically, Dave, you cite no examples of coarseness coming from the Democrats. Saints be praised! That’s what I mean by your blind partisanship. So allow me to add one word at the end of your headline:

The political low road runs through WisconsinDemocrats.

There, now it makes sense.

‘Jeffrey Dahmer’?

Well before Donald Trump descended that staircase at Trump Tower, the Democratic Party of Wisconsin employed an official spokesperson named Graeme Zielinski.

We’re not talking some liberal radio shock jock named Sly. (“Aunt Jemima” anyone? The guy who alleged that Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch performed fellatio to get elected. Your John Nichols was a frequent guest on Sly’s show.)

No, Graeme Zielinski, the official spokesman for a major political party for several years earlier this decade!

This is a guy who tweeted: “It’s Medicare’s 45th Birthday. Celebrate by punching a Republican.”

PolitiFact called out his mendacious linking of the governor with “boy rape.”

Zielsinki called one female campaign operative a “war profiteer” and “gas bag.”

Chronically referenced then-radio host Charlie Sykes (ironically, a never Trumper) as “adulterer Charlie Sykes.” UW pollster Charles Franklin (who does the respected Marquette Law School poll) was a Republican “hack.”

But his greatest hit was likening Scott Walker to serial murderer Jeffrey Dahmer. (” … better lawyer.”)

Did you ever say Word One to chastise Graeme Zielinski or the Democrat(ic) party for funneling its message through that human sewer pipe? No you did not.

Or the Democrats portraying Paul Ryan pushing granny’s wheelchair off a cliff?

Or bullies disrupting a conservative speech on the UW-Madison campus? (Cue Simon and Garfunkle.)

No nooses is good nooses

Never mind the little Hitler mustaches that the Act 10 protestors drew on Scott Walker’s photo. The nooses. Death threats. If you weren’t cheering them on you were making excuses and if you weren’t making excuses you were ignoring the outrages. (Worth noting: Never once did Scott Walker respond in kind.)

Dave! If I had a dime for every time The Capital Times called Tommy Thompson “King Tommy,” (payback for the people of Wisconsin electing him governor a record four times?) or caricatured him with a sinister Nixon/McCarthy 5 o’clock shadow, or mocked his manner of “speakin’ and talkin’ ” … Another decent man who loved Wisconsin like few could: Tommy Thompson. While he was governor those 14 years, you never had a good word to say about him. Always the mocking and over-heated rhetoric about how he was ruining Wisconsin. Do you still think Tommy Thompson ruined Wisconsin? (Just wondering.)

In closing, my point, Dave, is that civility is not a partisan issue. Making it so is … not civil. 

Hope you are doing well. Still read you faithfully. And thanks for linking to the Stately Blaska Manor. You drive me some eyeballs and I am happy to return the favor.

/s/ Squire Blaska of the Stately Manor


About David Blaska

Madison WI
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5 Responses to Dave Zweifel: pls stop making civility a partisan issue

  1. Kevin Wymore says:

    Regarding civility and political discourse, I’m still waiting for the Madison Common Council to “make their meetings safe for democracy” by ensuring a meaningful “sergeant at arms” role at their meetings.

    Of course, it was outside a Common Council meeting in 2016 when a grieving and irate adult female was allowed to accost Police Chief Koval in a manner that was loud, angry and offensive.

    Was the aggressor at the very least prevented from continuing her tirade down the steps to a lower level? No, it was Chief Koval who was charged with (aptly) describing the offender as a “raging lunatic.”

    So, if the City Hall elite wants to get ownership of “civility,” they have work to do at City Hall. They could do worse that actually hiring a person to ensure civility and decency in an near the Council environs.


  2. old baldy says:

    “Bubba Clinton”.

    Wow, you call out Zweifel then do it yourself. Short term memory loss? Or just plain hypocrisy ?


    • David Blaska says:

      Read for Comprehension: I called out Dave Zweifel for turning a blind eye to incivility when committed (and committed most egregiously) by Democrats right here in Wisconsin well before Trump (which Dave posited as the source of all vituperation) descended the escalator. As the record shows, The Squire has directed withering fire at Republicans, especially Trump, for their excesses. Really, Baldy, “Bubba” is the most offensive you could find? Did you forget “The Hildabeast?”


  3. old baldy says:

    “Flesh eating zombie” was one of your better ones. Nonetheless, you are the pot calling the kettle black.


  4. Pingback: The gloves are off; let’s rumble! | Stately Blaska Manor

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