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.
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:
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.