For good reason!
“Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” — Samuel Johnson, 1775.
“The race card is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” — David Blaska, 2022.
The cover of Sunday’s New York Times Magazine features a young woman named Leah Spicer. She’s running as a Democrat for State Assembly in the rural district centered around Dodgeville (just west of Madison WI) against moderate (and gay!) Republican incumbent Todd Novak. Remember how Hillary Clinton treated Wisconsin as flyover country? The NY Times piece details how national Democrats ignored the grass roots — leading to the current 61-37 GOP advantage in state legislative chambers — by betting their money on high-priced, Washington-based consultants. Party chairmen like Wisconsin’s Ben Wikler are trying to recuperate.
Wikler seems miscast to engineer a 72-county Wisconsin strategy. The young man returned to the west side of progressive-blue Madison after making his bones on the D.C. Beltway at MoveOn.org. Regardless, the magazine piece should be required reading for political science majors. It’s all about recruiting candidates, raising dollars, and mobilizing voters.
By October, WisDems had pulled in more than $28 million in individual donations, about two-thirds of which came from outside the state. … By contrast, the equivalent figure for Arizona was about $8 million.
Good stuff, but the analysis steers clear of issues — and that is what is killing Democrats here and nationwide in 2022. You want issues? (You can’t handle the issues!) Let’s start with NY Times columnist and moderate conservative Ross Douthat:
The Democratic Party … has delivered the worst inflation since the 1980s, … the southern border’s highest-recorded rate of illegal crossings, [and] … a multi-year spike in homicide rates that has erased at least 20 years of gains.— “In 2022, reality has a conservative bias”
Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes could not defend the State Capitol during the riots of 2020! They and the city’s Democrats told police to stand down, allowing BLM crazies to smash windows, knock down statues of a slavery abolitionist who gave his life in the Civil War and that of a feminist icon on the opposite side of the Capitol. They sided with the criminal Jacob Blake and allowed Kenosha to burn.
And dysfunctional schools!
Not to mention (because we will), failing schools led for the past 14 years by Evers, first at the Department of Public Instruction and now as governor. (That Milwaukee high school where Barack Obama rallied for Barnes and Evers 10-29-22? Only three of every 10 students read at grade level; only 9.5% are proficient in math.) Public schools now teach hateful critical race theory and protect — if not promote — gender dysplasia.
Q. Which leaves Democrats with … what? … for issues. A. The race card! It’s Willie Horton all over again! The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — all in for Tony Evers — prostituted itself by swallowing whole a tip from the far-Left SIEU union that the construction company owned by challenger Tim Michels has no black supervisors. Now THERE is a racist dog whistle! The newspaper had to run this correction:
“Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that public documents showed Michels Corp. does not have black employees in management positions. … The company … says that across the corporation’s full slate of subsidiaries, 17.3% are either women or minorities.”— Wisconsin Right Now reporting.
Not that the pool is deep. Nationally, only 5.1% of construction workers are black. (Source here.) John Nichols of the Defund-the-Police Capital Times also carries water for Mandela Barnes:
The Republican attack ads have been vicious this year — especially the ads that portray Barnes, the first black Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin, as “dangerous” and “different.”
Like Pavlov’s dog, Nichols can’t resist the “dog whistle” cliché. In his Sunday WI State Journal Barnes puff piece, Nichols avoids the words “crime,” “police,” and “public safety.”
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Back to that NY Times Magazine article. We agree: “Yard signs … do vote because your neighbors see the signs, and the more signs they see, the more inclined they are to consider why you have the sign out there.”