TAKE THE CLUE TRAIN: On recall, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's false equivalency rears up again | Wis.Community

TAKE THE CLUE TRAIN: On recall, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's false equivalency rears up again

[img_assist|nid=129253|title=Take the clue train|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=200|height=176]Here we go again, reading newspapers that imagine objectivity or at least fairness dictates treating all sides of an argument with equal weight, no matter the quality of argument, the facts, or the truth. This morning's paper included an editorial on the allegedly expensive (compared to what?) campaigns to recall Gov. Scott Walker and some more Republican state senators, concluding:

It's too late to stop the train. But voters can sharply watch the ads, the campaigns and the machinations on both sides - and hold accountable the parties responsible for this mess. In the end, our guess is that most will agree that the recall efforts weren't worth the time or the money.

Wait a minute. The "parties" that are responsible for "this mess"!? Let's go to instant replay:

Repubilcans rammed highly unpopular bills into law last year at light speed -- discarding open meetings laws, judicial ethics and proper adherence to long-established legislative procedures along the way.

Citizens including aggrieved public employees protested in mass and recalled two Republican state senators. Now, still dissatisfied, they're on the verge of recalling Walker and more senators. What mess did they create? They are using their constitutionally engraved rights in an effort to install new lawmakers more to their liking.

Is that expensive? Kind of, although $9 million is chump change compared to the billions of dollars of lost income and tax revenues and jobs and school aids that Walker Inc. has wrought. Is that "messy"? Well, only in the sense that democracy itself is messy. You want ultraefficient government, keep Republicans in power. But ultraefficiency is not the same thing as wise, just, legal or inexpensive. In any case, you'll now have a choice.

The Journal Sentinel's editorial writers pretend that Democrats have caused as much of a mess as Republicans. That's clearly untrue. In an effort to slow or derail the metaphorical recall train that the editorial speaks of, Republicans and their supporters have resorted to all manner of dubious legal assaults, untruthful innuendo about Democrats submitting phony signatures (only some Republican supporters are known to have plotted this), sending nastygrams to signers, making physical threats to signature collectors, ripping up of petitions, demanding taxpayers pay Walker's bill to examine petition, which the law clearly states is his duty, not the state's, and much more.

This is not a mess the Democrats created or exploited. They and their partners in the recall effort have, in fact, operated pretty much above all of the GOP interference and obvious chaos-making. For instance, you've never seen a story in the Journal Sentinel that shows how the recall campaign has used hundreds of staffers in striving to check every signature, and how the campaign has either crossed off questionable ones or gone out door to door to fix honest errors on petition forms.

Nope, to hear Republicans tell it, the recallers are busy forging bogus papers to illegally strip Walker and the senators of their rightful positions. And mainstream news media for the most part have been letting them get away with such nonsense.

But most of all, the recall campaign has already proved it was worth the time and money. The Republican money train is chugging along, but the party's ideology-driven lawmaking engine has begun to sputter as GOP lawmakers realize they may be in deep doo-doo and need to look more moderate. Hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents (not union bosses from afar) have signed official petitions to send them home. That's slowed them down. Not much, but some. Which is why we now have to finish the job.

Dear Journal Sentinel: It is indeed too late to stop the recall clue train, and the only unfortunate thing is that you have decided not to climb aboard. 

Published

January 14, 2012 - 3:22pm

Author

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