Normal human decency was Tony Evers’ secret weapon

Trump’s nastiness doomed Tim Michels
who rode Tim Ramthun’s dirty trick.

One of America’s great legal minds, Jim Troupis (who retired as a Dane County circuit judge), would tell his clients that civil court juries have to like them first. The law and the facts can follow, but his litigants have to be liked to win.

That dictum is just as true in politics. Disdain Tony Evers’ progressive policies (as we do), but you got to swallow Drano to work up real bile against the guy. You almost expect the Democrat(ic) governor to come through the door, exchange his suit coat for a comfortable sweater and sing “Won’t you be my neighbor?”

(One of the late-night TV Jimmys skewered Evers when he claimed to be “jazzed” election night over his victory. “The skim milk must have kicked in.” Holy mackerel! )

“At the end of the day I also know that there are issues that transcend politics.” — Tony Evers. 

The tweet from hell

Which is why many (but not us) who supported Rebecca Kleefisch in the Republican gubernatorial primary left Tim Michels’ box unchecked on November 8. A political rival did Becky dirty. Explains why Kleefisch never endorsed — much less campaigned with — Michels. Helps explain why  Michels under-performed fellow Republican Ron Johnson — winner of his U.S. Senate race — by 68,667 votes. (Not enough by itself to make up his deficit to Evers unless some of RoJo’s voters crossed over to Evers.)

Trace the intra-party enmity back to a widely circulated Tweet that pictured two teenagers headed to high school homecoming: Kleefisch’s teenage daughter on the arm of Brian Hagedorn’s son. That would be WI Supreme Court Justice Hagedorn, the deciding vote against reversing Donald Trump’s defeat for the state’s electoral votes. 

Trump’s pettiness is poisonous

The revengeful Trump, according to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Daniel Bice, brought up the tweet in his April meeting with Michels at Mar-a-Lago when he decided to endorse the eventual nominee.

A political ally then retweeted the post in the run-up to the August partisan primary election, suggesting it was the beginning of a ‘Hagedorn-Kleefisch political dynasty’ in Wisconsin,” Bice reported this past summer. Interestingly, that tweet has been taken down.

Michels campaigner Paris Procopis told the Werkes today: “It could have been a Ramthun supporter. They were absolutely crazy.” Brian Hagedorn’s father Sam Hagedorn confirms it was Ramthun all along. (The My Pillow Guy campaigned for Ramthun.) But it was Michels’ sponsor Trump who set the mean tweet in motion. Lay down with dogs …

That’s of a piece with Trump’s congenital nastiness, a trait increasingly emulated by his minions. After attacking the successful Florida governor as “Ron DeSanctimonious” he threatened to drop “nasty” information on his rival. Now he is trashing another potential opponent, the Virginia governor, as  “Young kin . . . Sounds Chinese, doesn’t it?” 


“I sense that the former president is losing his grip.”

— former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy at National Review.

Trump sqeaked through the electoral college six years ago only because he was fortunate to run against the one candidate even less likable: Hillary Clinton. (Contra Obama, she wasn’t likable enough.) Trump has been on a losing streak ever since: losing the House in 2018, his presidency in 2020, the Senate in the Georgia runoff inJanuary 2021, and likely, the Senate again in 2022. (Just lost Blake Masters in Arizona and Adam Laxalt in Nevada, and will lose — it sez here — Herschel Walker in Georgia 12-06-22.)

Blaska’s Bottom Line: Always-Trump apologists maintain Becky K should have tougher skin. Tell you what: you attack mama bear’s cub, you better expect to get scratched. At some point, some national figure will say to Trump what Joseph Welch said to Tailgunner Joe McCarthy:

“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? 
Have you left no sense of decency?”

Who will be that courageous Republican?

About David Blaska

Madison WI
This entry was posted in Donald Trump, Election 2022, Governor's race, Tony Evers and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Normal human decency was Tony Evers’ secret weapon

  1. Rich says:

    I’m sure many Repubs DID leave the Michels oval open, but isn’t the lesser of 2 evils better than the evil?
    I also believe many Dems voted R in the primary and filled that Michels oval in instead of Becky’s.

    Thoughts?

    Like

  2. Gary L. Kriewald says:

    Countless people on both sides of the political aisle have said to Trump what Welch said to McCarthy–sometimes in much saltier terms. The only problem is that such denunciations, however justified, simply roll off Trump’s skin. He is constitutionally incapable of being shamed no matter how shameful his behavior–if anything, attempts to shame him only enflame him (apparently I’ve been watching too much “Gutfeld!”). He’s already using the tactic that served him so well in the 2016 primaries against the likes of Rubio and Cruz. The problem is that back then it all seemed new and edgy; now it seems stale and desperate. If DeSantis keeps his cool (which he seems temperamentally inclined to do), he’ll beat Trump fair and square come the ’24 primaries.

    Liked by 2 people

    • David Blaska says:

      Joseph Welch’s retort rolled off Joe McCarthy’s back, too. But it was a tipping point, from which McCarthyism never recovered. (BTW: just because Joe couldn’t shoot straight doesn’t mean there were not squirrels in the woods.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gary L. Kriewald says:

        Very true. Back then, however, a retort like Welch’s had resonance; today, with the unrelenting, high-decibel invective, today’s retort gets swallowed by tomorrow’s, all of them disappearing into the media’s maw after a few seconds of notoriety with little or no impact on the intended target or his supporters.

        Like

  3. dekerivers says:

    Best column I have read regarding the outcome of midterms in Wisconsin. I noted leading up to voting something that was most clear to me. One of the striking similarities I heard in many conversations after the August Primary was how some self-defined Republicans were upset with how Tim Michels came into the state with huge amounts of money and undid all the painstakingly grassroots efforts of Rebecca Kleefisch. In each of these conversations from stores in Madison, to a Spring Green outdoor theatre, and online chats each of these voters had one thing in common. Each was a woman. They were not able to support the Republican nominee.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lhh says:

    Yep, your title says it all.

    Like

  5. Lhh says:

    Also, I think Michels performed terribly in the debate. He was awful and ridiculous.

    Like

  6. bob dohnal says:

    Michels campaign was run by idiots like John Pudnucker and other rookies who had no idea what to do when it ws 48/48

    Like

  7. Bob Dohnal says:

    Kleefisch/Walker, where were they in election. Typical Walker people, only interested in them selves.

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