Thursday, March 17, 2011
Two Political Giants of Wisconsin
Paul Fanland, the editor of the Capital Times, posted a poignant article in the CapTimes on-line edition on Tuesday comparing the ability to cooperate for the public good and the humble character of two political giants of Wisconsin, Gaylord Nelson and Melvin Laird, with the traits and political motivations of our new Governor and legislative leaders.
Money quotes from the article:
"As governor, Walker set out on a mission that diminishes every public employee in our state not because it was necessary, but because it was possible for his party's union-busting political gain."
. . . leave it to Walker, the Ronald Reagan wannabe, to acknowledge, as he did in remarks last week, that if forced, he would humbly accept history's validation. Ponder his words: "But if along the way we ... inspire others to stand up and make the tough decisions so that they too make a commitment to the future ... I think that's a good thing, and a thing we're willing to accept as part of our legacy."
Outrageous, arrogant and so profoundly sad for those who recall Wisconsin governors actually worthy of a legacy and who, to a person, would have been too classy to suggest one for themselves."
If Governor Walker's legacy was honestly recorded in history books today, it would be as someone who lied to get elected, who purposefully demonized people doing some of the most important jobs in our society, who discussed with legislative leaders sending in thugs to create disturbances in demonstrations by citizens that were wholly peaceful, and, when he could have shown restraint by compromising on collective bargaining as the vast majority of the voters in Wisconsin wanted to see done, chose to be an unmitigated ideologue. He will continue saying that what he did was necessary for the good of the state, but the majority of Wisconsin voters aren't going to be buying what he is trying to sell.
We can only hope that his legacy won't, in fact, be defined by what occurred in Wisconsin in February and March, 2011, but instead by what occurs in 2012.