Politics of the personal
Sometime soon, Dave Zweifel will write about the good old days when Democrats and Republicans could sit down and get blotto together at the old Congress Bar off Madison’s Capitol Square. If the editor emeritus asks what happened to those days, ask him to read his own newspaper.
The Capital Times is up this week with an editorial opposing Ron Johnson. What else is new? Dog bites man. It’s Pavlovian, et cetera et cetera. The hyper-partisan “progressive voice of Dane County” attacks Republicans like mosquitoes at the church picnic. It is just what they do. Never said a kind word about Tommy Thompson in the 14 years he was governor.
We get political differences. But, more and more, the CT goes low where Michelle Obama would go high. Under the print newspaper heading “A sick and twisted man,” the publication calls Sen. Johnson “a sick and twisted excuse for a human being.”
We know Ron Johnson a little, have conversed with the man several times. More sincere than a thousand Kamala Harrises. Ron serves on the board of directors of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay even though he’s Protestant. He walks the talk on helping disadvantaged minorities through his largely unheralded work in the Joseph Project, a faith-based effort to help the poor become self-sufficient. Saw through the lies of the Russian conspiracy hoax. Asks the tough questions instead of going along to get along, like Wisconsin’s other U.S. Senator.
If there is a single lesson we can take from January 6, it’s quite simply that when you tell tens of millions of Americans that one political party is trying to steal an election, then some subset of those Americans will act like a party is stealing an election. They’ll do something about it…. It’s as if New Right activists believe the times are just too desperate for the Constitution. — David French, The Dispatch.
The Werkes happens to disagree with the senator on the same issue that drives the CT into the gutter. January 6 was, indeed, an insurrection. A failed insurrection and one conducted without firearms, as the senator notes. But it is clear that a core group of Trump supporters halted a democratic transfer of power as ordained by the Constitution, however temporarily. Maybe a 2 on a scale of 10 — ten being storming the Bastille. It is also clear that the insurgents acted with Donald Trump’s encouragement. Even today, the likes of retired general Michael Flynn are calling for an armed coup.
Our theory is that the establishment’s unreasoned hatred against Donald Trump produced its own irrational counter reaction. (If Trump says the Covid-19 pandemic originated in a Chinese laboratory then it must be wrong.)
Blaska’s Bottom Line: One of us — Blaska or the senator — is wrong about January 6. Maybe even dead wrong. Neither of us is sick or twisted.
The irony is the Capital Times’ scorched-earth rhetoric is the very thing that makes enemies out of opponents. That was one of Saul Alinsky’s strategems: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” It is the kind of hate that motivated the insurrectionists of January 6.