The Capital Times gave up persuasion long ago in favor of reinforcing the ignorance of its readers.
Not until after he left office did “Dane County’s progressive voice” have a good word to say about Tommy Thompson, four times elected by the people of Wisconsin. History is recording Tommy as the most consequential governor of the last half of the 20th Century — and much the beloved.
So it came as a surprise that the publication actually yanked a political cartoon after conservatives complained. The cartoon depicted the president of a conservative legal organization as a hangman lynching potential Wisconsin voters. RightWisconsin explains:
At issue is a state law requiring the Election Commission to remove voter registrations if they have reason to believe a voter has moved and the voter does not respond to a mailing from the Election Commission asking for information within 30 days. … An editor’s note now accompanies [a Dave Zweifel column] online: “A cartoon previously published with this column was determined to be in poor taste and has been removed.”
W.I.L.L president Rick Esenberg called the cartoon “offensive” and “nasty and ignorant.” He could also have added “Stupid.”
Updating voter lists is equivalent to a racial lynching?
A conservative fights back
Rick Esenberg on that Capital Times political cartoon:
Our case does not seek to deny anyone the opportunity to vote. It is possible that a relatively small number of people who have not actually moved will have to return a prepaid postcard saying so or, if they fail to do that, re-register to vote online, by mail or at the polls on Election Day. But they will all get to vote.
To say that what we are doing is somehow the moral or metaphorical equivalent of having a mob pull you from your home and hang you from a tree is fever swamp insanity. … It trivializes real evil and portrays everyday political opponents as monsters. …
Before people like [Dave] Zweifel and Konopacki engage in unctuous and performative throat clearing about social justice, they need — to paraphrase the left — to check their own hatred.
Perhaps this was Esenberg’s first exposure to The Capital Times. Cartoonist Mike Konopacki is nasty and ignorant for breakfast and hateful the rest of the time. Blood-drenched capitalist fat cats (always men) press their wingtips onto the necks of the proletariat in Konopacki world. As subtle as a May Day parade in Red Square.
In other words, no different from your average Capital Times editorial. In the same edition this headline brays over a name-calling editorial:
“Trump and his toadies fear Wisconsin voters”
Here is how that editorial seeks to persuade:
Donald Trump is a pathetic shell of a man who fears a fair fight … [a] sad story of a son of privilege who could never succeed on his own.
Does getting elected President of the United States count as succeeding? If so, that pathetic shell of a man can thank the deplorable toadies who swung Wisconsin his way over Hillary Clinton in 2016. (And who still leads, or is within a few percentage points, of the top Democratic challengers this time around, according to the Marquette Law School poll.)
No, if anyone has reason to kvetch about unfair fights, it would be Bernie Sanders. (Just ask Donna Brazile.)
Did you notice? While Democrats on the WI Elections Commission refuse to expunge invalid voter registrations as required by law, the same board is considering spending $260,000 to assure voters that elections are on the up and up.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Political cartoons are supposed to be offensive. But kudos to conservatives for turning the tables on the perpetually grieved. A dose of their own snake oil.