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The Grand Old Party..Or….Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves?

Dan Bell says we should be taking advantage of these recall elections to right the course.

We are going to have a recall election.

Six Republicans and three Democrats. At stake is control of the legislature and the ability to dictate the agenda for the state. We get a second chance to decide whether we want a legislature that deliberates and compromises to get things done, or one that has the power to ram through whatever they want without proper checks and balances.

Right now the Republicans have absolute control over both houses and the governorship. More precisely, they have absolute power - and they like it that way. There is an old saying that goes; “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Which brings me to the much-publicized strategy the Republicans plan on using for the recall.

It is times like these some people call character-building events. I couldn’t disagree more. These events don’t build character – they reveal it. And what is being revealed to us is something quite ugly. The Republican plan is to run phony Democrats to force a recall “primary.” What this strategy reveals to us is that they are nothing more than a party of gypsies, tramps, and thieves; bankrupt of decency and clearly afraid of competing on their record and in the area of ideas and governance.

It is a delay tactic, designed not only to cost the Dems money, but also to confuse the electorate. This strategy isn’t designed for governance, but a desperate grasp to retain power. The Republicans are unabashed, unashamed, and so profoundly arrogant that they have gone public with this – speaking openly about this strategy. It is as if they want the world to see just how clever they are, forgetting that cleverness is not wisdom.

What got us to this place of recall elections and the use of phonies as a purposeful strategy? Apathy, pure and simple. The 2010 election saw 50 percent of those who could vote stay at home. Of those who did vote, it would seem that emotion and social group norms held sway over individual thinking and assessment. The recall gives us a “do-over” a “mulligan” – a second bite at the apple.

Plato said; “The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” I don’t know if the men are evil, but what they are doing is completely dishonest and a deliberate attempt to mislead voters. It is the actions of the Republican “intelligencia” that is evil.

We should be asking ourselves a few questions like: If the ruling party’s ideas are so good, why can’t they just run on them? If these ideas are so good, why do they have to resort to deceitful and injurious strategies? If everyone is so enamored with their leadership, how is it that tens of thousands descend on the capitol in opposition?

The Democrats are now being counseled to use the same strategy on the Republicans. I hope they do not. I hope they think better of it. I want the voters to have a clear choice of principled, honest governance over power-grabbing at all costs.

Let’s use this “buyer’s remorse” to full advantage. Let’s send the message we want honest, principled governance.

Brian Dey June 12, 2011 at 01:57 PM
Answer to question 1: They did run on these strategies and won handily in November. That election was touted by election officials as a high turn-out in an off-Presidential year. Answer to question 2: There was nothing deceitful about the November election, and if you couldn't see what was coming, you weren't paying attention. Answer to question 3: The only ones not enamored by their leadership is the union leadership, some union members and the liberal media. Answer to question 4: The tens of thousands that descended upon the Capitol came from across the country sent by the Dems and unions, students that had no clue why they were there and college kids looking for an excuse to protest anything. I will admit that I think the proposed tactics by both parties amounts in my mind to election tampering and I am disgusted in the fact that my party is now stooping to democratic party tactics. They both need to stop and get on with the business of governing.
Emily Koehler June 12, 2011 at 02:43 PM
Really? We're still using the word Gypsy negatively?
Dean June 13, 2011 at 12:14 PM
It's funny Dan never complained when Doyle had "Absolute Control".
TJ June 13, 2011 at 07:08 PM
Hogwash! Inserting more Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt into an already muddled mess will not help advance our state. A fair election was held, the people spoke in loud, clear voices. Change is often difficult and pulling our state out of a previous administration's mess was never billed as being an easy road. Our elected leaders have a job to do (when they stay around to do it), and as citizens, we should be working toward compromise. I don't approve of everything that's going on either, but I certainly do not want to put elected officials into office where their answer to not liking something is to run away to Illinois and hide out until they get their way. That's not an answer either. "Of those who did vote, it would seem that emotion and social group norms held sway over individual thinking and assessment." I was one of those voters, and you do not have the right to label me as part of an emotional or social norm...I am an independent thinker, quite capable of analyzing my choices without group think mentality and I need no union or other formalized system to tell me how I should or should not vote. Can all those protesters who held our capitol captive while the Democrat leaders ran away from their responsibilities say the same? Who exactly are you accusing of being prone to group think, Mr. Bell?
artie June 13, 2011 at 08:25 PM
I seem to remember our President offered high end positions to keep certain people from running for office so as to allow an easier path for the Democrate opponent. Isn't he the leader of his party? I would consider that election tampering at its highest seeing as how he is in a position to make such offers. Please give me a break about underhanded tactics. Everyone knows who invented voter fraud and sneaky means by which to win a election.
Patrick C. Tetzlaff June 14, 2011 at 02:28 AM
Save us the Plato quotes please. The state needs reform and elected leaders need the ability to control it's budget. Public sector unions have held the taxpayers hostage for decades to the point where the state can no longer afford the lavish pension and health care benefits that have long since disappeared out of the private sector. I have no problem whatsoever with private sector unions where the consumer has a choice on whether to support union businesses or not. I will no longer sit back and watch the tax and spend and tax some more policies of the Doyle era that have sent business after business fleeing the state. As a taxpayer I am fed up with this situation. Since I am have no choice but to pay taxes, I and a majority of of voters in the last election spoke with my vote. So please put the rhetoric, class warfare, and scare tactics back on the shelf with your copy of Plato's Republic.
Kathy Aschebrock June 14, 2011 at 02:29 AM
The Democratic Party needs to lick their wounds, and move on, They have been carrying on since they lost the election, What a poor bunch of losers. It's about time we have someone in Madison, that thinks we need to be responsible with the tax payers money and stop wasting it foolishly. I have one question, just how much of union workers dues have been spent on all the grand standing?
patchreader 123 June 14, 2011 at 02:56 PM
Are'nt we trying to fix the budget? http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/news/123763069.html
patchreader 123 June 14, 2011 at 04:06 PM
Dan must simply be Cher fan.
Dean June 14, 2011 at 08:33 PM
Poor Heather, It's about time you all start paying your own way. All of us heartless bullies are tired of supporting your retirement & health care. Welcome to the REAL world!!!
artie June 14, 2011 at 08:43 PM
I was one of those who stood on the steps. Unfortunately I wasn't able to hear most of what the speakers there were trying to say because of very rude protesters who blew on horns and yelled in the faces and ears of those of us who attended. I wonder how that would have been recieved when they were having their rallies? It is a well known fact about the out of state money and people who showed up to cause any problems they could. There were all kinds of out of state Union Reps, and so called speakers "of the people". Like it or not the people had already spoke, by voting. You may not like the out come but it is what it is, "elections have concequences" as one of your great leaders said. It could be you feel bullied because of all the whinning being done by the losers . Just because you dont like whats going on doesn't mean its' bad. Has it ever dawned on you that you are now in the minority? There are reasons for what happened in November and in our own state elections. It is you turn to realize you lost and accept it like I did more than 2 years ago. That is what demacracy is about, you vote and you hope for the best. If it doesnt work you change it the next time around. That is what makes this country great, not whinning and making non- factual claims to support your opinion, or running away to another state to avoid doing you job.
Josh Lukkes June 14, 2011 at 09:44 PM
I like Dan's article. Enough said.
Brian Dey June 14, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Heather- The real world has been feeling the pain of cuts for years. I was at the steps of the Capitol and talked with teachers from Minnesota, South Dakota and Iowa. I talked with a firefighter from Illinois, a teamster from Indiana and an AFSCME steward from Wichita. Yes they came from all over the country. Funny, today was suppose to be an all Wisconsin protest and what, 25 people picketing? Guess if they don't get paid for it, they won't shop up. At least the lefties didn't get away with the shenanigans and Walker and the taxpayer's prevailed! Congrats to Walker and the legislature for doing the right thing!
Brian Dey June 14, 2011 at 10:58 PM
Really Heather, from what I saw on WTMJ 4, there's more people walking dogs on my street., lol. I didn't lash one insult at you, but let's just say that I really don't need to. You embarass yourself just fine.
Kay Collins June 15, 2011 at 06:08 AM
"Like it or not the people had already spoke, by voting" Yes, and they are speaking again with the recalls and protests. That's the beauty of being a citizen of this great nation ........we get to change our minds. We get to stand up and make our voices heard when we are unhappy with our government. Or would you take that right away from us? That's what it sounds like to me. You sound like you feel that once someone is elected than we are stuck with them and all they do until the next election. Except, of course, the democrats in the Senate with whom you disagree. This is the USA, you don't get to pick and choose other people's freedoms for them, thank you very much....but I intend on keeping all of mine! All. Of. Mine.

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