Monday, April 9, 2012

Don't Trust A Republican Waxing Philosophical About Democracy

It's awfully sad that the Journal Sentinel has sunk so low they need to publish hacks, like Christian Schneider of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, and claim they're furthering debate, clarifying the issues, or even practicing journalism.

Yes, those darned "union sympathizers" have mucked up our sparkling democracy. Never before, claims Schneider, have things gotten so messy.

Rather strange that the party (Republicans) which prefers shouting and heckling at town hall meetings, mudslinging instead of debate, and sabotaging elections (tearing up recall petitions, running Republicans as Democrats in democratic primaries, creating the phony voter fraud issue, etc.) is suddenly up in arms over the sanctity of the process.

Mr. Schneider wants us to know, "The current use of the recall is far different from what the original drafters had envisioned ... In Wisconsin's history, only two state elected officials had been successfully recalled before 2011. Nationally, only two governors have ever been recalled from office. Yet in 2012, Wisconsin will be seeing its 15th recall election in the span of one year."

He forgets the numerous uprisings in our history where vast numbers marched and rallied, and forced politicians to do as the majority of citizens wanted.

Now we're actually going through the drudgery of the whole recall process. That seems sophisticated considering what once was.

As Schneider points out, "At the time the recall amendment was adopted [1926], supporters believed the threat of recall would keep elected officials representative of the people. As the argument went, officials would be more responsive to the public than to special interests if their constituents could pull them out of office for corruption. Numerous progressives argued that recalls would aid in keeping the influence of money out of politics."

He then, with keen misdirection, claims the recall efforts are at fault for the flood of money in our electoral process. Seemingly oblivious to the recent Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court. You know, the decision that made corporations people and ruled it's OK to funnel limitless money to a Super PAC to fund campaigns without transparency.

Schneider then, astoundingly, cackles "The modern recall is being used in a way that its original supporters never expected or likely would have endorsed. As recall supporter and progressive leader Robert M. La Follette Sr. once said, "the supreme issue involving all others is the encroachment of the powerful few upon the rights of the many." The modern use of the recall demonstrates that to be true."

Over 41 percent of the number of people who voted (2,158,723) during the last gubernatorial election signed recall petitions (900,938). Hardly just a "powerful few." But I guess that's part of the civilized Republican response to this messiness - blame it on the "thug" "union sympathizers" and pretend it's some small-numbered fringe interest group.

Nevertheless, all of the smoke and mirrors used by Schneider and the WPRI can't hide the truth - Scott Walker is being recalled because the policies he has pursued since being elected do not match up to those which he campaigned on, nor are they the policies many citizens want. Concealed carry, ending the Equal Pay Act, ending collective bargaining ... if Walker's radical agenda was made clear during his initial gubernatorial run, he never would have been elected.

No comments: