Dear 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.
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:
- Gubernatorial Andy Gronick “an out-of-touch con artist” and
- 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 Wisconsin” Democrats.
There, now it makes sense.
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