The urge to purge

Revenge of the Repudiated

Remember when Tommy Thompson vowed to defeat Republicans who did not swear personal fealty to him? Neither do we. The governor this writer once served would begin every speech with “Isn’t it great to be a Republican!” He would even appoint Democrats like Senate majority leader Tim Cullen to his cabinet. 

Remember when Ronald Reagan said either you’re with me all the way or it’s the highway? Neither do we. Instead he preached the gospel of inclusion. “The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20 percent traitor.”

Closest Reagan ever got to vindictive was “There you go again!”


Which is why it is so distressing that some of our friends are using the airwaves to demand RINOs be purged. And counter productive. We heard this recently:

“You have to take over the party, you have to get the party purged of the interests that are antithetical to a constitutional republic — the Liz Cheneys … Even if you have an abundance of Marjorie Taylor Greenes who believe in QAnon conspiracies taking over these parties, its still better than what we have now.”

And this:

“I don’t like to say ‘purge’ … but when we purge the party of people who just want to get along, we win. When we stand for something, we win. … The days for compromise are over.”

Scorch not the earth

Our friends are taking their cues from a one-term President bent on recrimination and revenge. Never a winning message. The centerpiece of this man’s speech February 28 to CPAC was the recitation of an enemies list of 17 — all Republicans that he would primary (verb, transitive) out of office. Richard Nixon would be so proud. One might wish that the former President would campaign FOR Republicans in seats held by Democrats. One might be naive.

⇒ Republicans need only flip five in the House and one in the Senate but this guy is going after proven winners!

If anyone thinks you can beat Susan Collins with a Maine-grown Matt Gaetz, well, God bless you!

Politico reports: “Republicans are sounding the alarm that his attempts to meddle in primaries could hurt the party’s efforts to win back the majority.”

The chairman of efforts to elect a Republican House majority said he planned to urge the former President to refrain from playing in primaries. “That’s not going to be helpful,” he said. “It’s probably better for us that we keep these people.” They were able, after, to get elected. (Which is more than a certain disgruntled former President can say.)

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Too many Republicans want to reverse Michael Kinsley’s observation that “Conservatives are always looking for converts, whereas liberals are always looking for heretics.”

Would YOU pass a political purity test?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
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9 Responses to The urge to purge

  1. sentient7 says:

    Terrible column IMO. Here’s why.
    #1 You did not name names. Whom are you quoting? To whom are you referring?
    #2 What is your implicit bias in this “debate”? Are you supporting the James Wigderson faction — ? Do tell. I strongly disagree with Wig-man’s ANTI-Ron Johnson crusade, both in print and on Madison TV programs. Johnson may be the great US Senator of all time.
    #3 Too many legislative members refuse, absolutely refuse, to even consider taking actions to purge the UW of Marxists and other 5th-column types. They are afraid of protecting Free Speech on campus. They refuse to fight PC-fascism — aka diversity training. Or, in more polite terms, too many Rep legislators refuse to hold the UW faculty accountable for ideological ‘diversity’ within their respective departments.
    #4 Since your bud, Tommy T, now runs the UW, where are his initiatives to preserve free speech on campus? OMG, the sound of one hand clapping, though you must, as a good friend, defer from asking such painful questions. Where has Tommy provided transparency about what the UW does in the name of Diversity Training for incoming students?
    #5 What brave Rep legislator even considers curbing the one-party rule of the WPR propaganda machine? Who will purge the radical socialists and Democrats from the Wis Ed. Comm Board? Who will police the WECB for ideological diversity? Not the Repubs like Cheney…the ones who raise the white flag 2 weeks before the battle begins. I don’t know all those current Rep reps that deserve assistance, but Nass and Strobel are two that have courage.

    My unsolicited suggestion — get serious before you publish other ad hominem columns.
    in my next post, I’ll tell you what I really think 🙂 ]

    Liked by 3 people

    • John Popanz says:

      Nice !! concise and to the point, thanks


    • David Blaska says:

      Whom am I quoting? Friends that I would like to keep as friends. As for UW speech codes and the dominant progressive message, who else has fought longer or harder than the head groundskeeper at the Werkes?


      • sentient7 says:

        Yes, in the battle to preserve Free Speech, you and I are team-mates. Friends, I think, can and should be honest in conversations. Sure, no need to un-necessarily press the point of the spear into the rib cage, but everyone should respect candid speech and honesty,
        I know two folks in the Wis Assembly who will not initiate change at the UW, though both admit the problem of Marxist, anti-capitalist professors has created a HUGE long-term impact on state politics and voting behavior. Yet, they refuse to initiate change because the local voters do not understand this strategic idea with the same passion that they would toward a county road repair. But if the rural legislators will do nothing because the rewards reforming the UW are asymmetric, then to whom can we turn to preserve Free Speech?
        As I witnessed on the sidewalk up Bascom Hill, post-DOW, the message in chalk remains in my memory: Be Realistic; Demand the Impossible. I’m still with the strident minority that refuses to compromise on principles.


  2. Golfnut says:

    The last time I remember doing a political purity test I think my answers were judged as 90% or higher on the conservative side, so I hope I’m qualified to post an opinion on this esteemed blog.

    IMHO, allegiance/fealty to Donald Trump (who I voted for twice in the general elections but not in the 2016 Republican primary) will lead the party to more electoral defeats in both 2022 and 2024. He is not doing or saying anything that will win back the 40,000 voters in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Arizona that swung the election. I actually think he is driving away some of the very voters who elected him in the first place.

    The more the Republican Party hitches itself to Trump, the happier the Dems and the media will be. He is ballot box poison. The only reason he was elected in the first place in 2016 was he was incredibly fortunate to run against someone who carried even more baggage with the public than he did. It’s time to turn the page, Republicans. Any GOP candidate who is perceived as being too close to Trump will be branded by the Dems and the media as being his puppet. That will likely happen anyway, but to have any chance at all I think GOP presidential candidates should stake out policy positions that voters will embrace and keep a safe distance from Trump.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jimydandy says:

    What about “Mittens”?


  4. michaelmcconnell45 says:

    Golfnut says Trump is ballot box poison. Trump won. Trump beat Hillary. Trump held the senate until Democrat shenanigans in Georgia. Trump in defeat has extremely high popularity among Republicans. The Republican party is no longer George Bush – Tommy Thompson.

    So, what’s the plan? Mitt? Jeb!? Kasich? Cheney girl? Who is going to beat the Biden juggernaut in 2024?


  5. old baldy says:

    ” Johnson may be the great US Senator of all time”. One could look at that statement as hilarious in its absurdity, but it is really more tragic that anyone could think that, let alone believe it. But you were probably a fan of Joe McCarthy as well.


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