Welcome to the dark side, Chris Rickert

This is State Journal columnist Chris Rickert’s coming out party.

After straddling the fence like the 19th Century mugwump (Their mugs are on one side of the fence, their wumps on the other) columnist Chris has joined the dark side — that vast, underground conservative conspiracy. Here is your robe and Glock, now bend over for your initiation rite and repeat after me …

The Squire of the Stately Manor has ridden Mr. Rickert pretty hard. Think the J.K. Simmons music instructor in the movie Whiplash. Not my beat, Mr. Rickert.

fencesitterChris Rickert

But there are signs Herr Rickert is coming out of his stupor. Faint stirrings that he is throwing off the Madison liberal torpor. Renouncing the creed of collectivism. Escaping the Cult of Victimhood.

Advice from the Policy Werkes: Insure yourself to the inevitable accusations of white privilege because, Brother Rickert, you will be called a racist. Comes with the territory.

For Mr. Both-Sides-Now has come out of the closet as a conservative. Junior third class, to be sure. But a conservative, nonetheless.

Yes, Chris Rickert, you are ruined in Madison.

Today, Saturday, August 26, 2017 (a day that will live … in INFAMY) the Page Two Pontificator called out Madison’s mayor and 19 of the 20 alders for their soft-on-crime, blame the police policies these last two years. No, he didn’t mention the $400,000 probe of suspected police officer racism. But Herr Rickert did hold up to the light of mean-spirited ridicule the $400,000 earmarked for the 15-point Focused Interruption plan and its $50,000 down payment.

Mr. Rickert’s cri du coeur:

Madison do-gooders haggled over shootings police stopped

I have no idea whether the people targeted for this kind of non-law-enforcement attention have enough better angels left for the attention to make any difference. These are people, after all, who apparently haven’t been helped in any meaningful way by any of the millions in donated and taxpayer dollars spent every year on welfare, community development and educational programs.

Koval doesn’t think the shootings have stopped for good. But given how much police have been able to accomplish in a few weeks of targeted effort and overtime, it’s hard not to wonder whether violence could become less prevalent if the mayor and City Council were slightly more receptive to Koval’s calls for more resources.

The well-intentioned social progressives who run Madison don’t like to consider it, but there may just be some hardened criminals who can’t be reformed by anything paid for by government or carried out by Madison do-gooders.

Madison do-gooders spin wheels! Millions of Great Society government dollars, ineffective! Cops stop crime! More cops!

(But what’s Madison city government’s response? Another community center. This one in Elver Park. And tear down the memorial stone at Confederates Rest cemetery.)

Rickert also smacked the Madison School Board upside the head (albeit in his white-gloved style). Yeah, the school board turned down yet another charter school that could have helped close the racial performance gap.

In a district that’s long failed to close achievement gaps between white students and students of color, it effectively opted for more of the same. (Madison’s “risk-averse school board”)

At least Rickert I.D.’d the school board’s no voters: TJ Mertz, Kate Toews, Nicki Vander Meulen and Anna Moffit. They’re not risk averse so much as they are teachers union toadies.

Wish that he had done so with the Madison do-gooders piece. The Focused Interruption boondoggle is the work of Alders Matt Phair and Mo Cheeks.

Buzzkill alert: The courageous on-line headline got watered down majorly in the print version. The valiant “Madison do-gooders haggled over shootings [that] police stopped” somehow became, in this morning’s fishwrap, the cowardly “Peer support, policing not either-or.”

Baby steps, Chris. But you’re getting there.


About David Blaska

Madison WI
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6 Responses to Welcome to the dark side, Chris Rickert

  1. Chris gives one hope that at least he can publicly stand up for what works and doesn’t work in Madison. Especially calling out a bad Mayor Soglin and the alders, something his own paper refuses to do in its effort to protect the ineffective and damaging status quo. Chris will be called a racist, true, so was I just for running for alder. Those in power don’t take criticism or challenge well – something his own paper should address more, shame on them for failing to do that!

    Madison leaders would rather blame and marginalize their critics and any effort to fix things. Take the unresolved emergency detention issue that pulls 300 plus MPD cops off Madison streets every year costing taxpayers near $100,000 a year! Instead of just trying to find a better solution that helps all of us, our leaders waste time doing everything from tearing down headstones of our war vets to renaming city buildings to redesigning city flags. We do not have problem solvers in Madison city government – what we have are cry babies and lazy government leaders. This is what happens when people don’t vote, they get city leaders that don’t care! I would argue that the dark side is our city leadership. I invite everyone to write their alder and mayor just to see if they get a reply. If your experience is like mine, you won’t hear a word back, even after multiple tries. Mayor Soglin especially is a terrible communicator with his voters, taxpayers and constituents. He should be fired. All he is is a piss ant! That’s him, piss ant Soglin without the title. A big thank you to Chris for trying to keep it real and speak up against the craziness here. I can only hope more will come, but I won’t hold my breath, for the media seems to fear the piss ant!


  2. Alan Potkin says:

    Not to mention His Excellency Mayor Soglin being a Shonda fur die Yidden!


  3. Patrick M O'Loughlin says:

    I noticed that Soglin and the council are all in on a multi million dollar community center at Elver Park, under the logic that criminals are created because they don’t have anything to do after school. Of course, there are already three other small neighborhood centers in the area. I live in the neighborhood, and I never see a crowd at any one of them. And I don’t think the young men out there shooting each other are going to suddenly choose to take another path, because there is now a bigger, nicer facility. Neither are their younger brothers. They are beyond midnight basketball I’m afraid.


  4. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    Liberals are too thickheaded (and self-absorbed) to understand a lot of things, but one thing they’ll NEVER understand is that some people–let’s call them criminals–CHOOSE to live their lives outside societal norms–especially the norms of sanctimonious upper-middle class white liberals of the kind that populate Madison. And no amount of high-minded do-gooding will change that. But in Madison, that’s kinda beside the point, because here it’s not so much about DOING the right thing as BEING SEEN to do it. So the same old formula repeats itself: violent crimes increase, white liberals wring their hands and authorize more taxpayer dollars for community centers, midnight basketball, bike-repair clinics, restorative justice, neighborhood festivals where cops paint kids’ faces, etc. etc. Meanwhile cops are vilified as racists and trigger-happy bullies on the lookout to harass minorities (who are always blameless and misunderstood, just waiting for salvation by the uplifters touting their latest harebrained schemes).


  5. madisonexpat says:

    The soft bigotry of low expectations.


  6. Lest we forget besides the added taxpayer cost of building this new center, the community center also removes another property from city tax collection and thus adds that unpaid debt to everyone else’s taxes. Madison taxpayers are very generous with their money..


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