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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Democrats in the Pumpkin Patch | Main | Democrats in the Pumpkin Patch Part II »

November 18, 2009

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Alderman Steve

As if the original Sarah Palin wasn't cringeworthy enough, now we have to deal with ersatz Sarah Palin wannabees...Oy vey iz mir...

As Fred Friendly once advised Daniel Schorr when he started doing television at CBS: "Sincerity. If you can fake that, you've got it made."

Ty O'Mara

" I like what John Wayne said at the Alamo...."

Makes me wonder.....50 years from now, will John Wayne actually replace Davy Crockett as the historical figure?

We need regulation for political advertising to protect us from ourselves. Freedom of speech needs some tweaking. Not one issue raised in that political advertisement; just easy to understand stereotypes to explain things to us. Sure it failed to live up to Fred Friendly's advice on sincerity(for you and me), but what about the voters who see it as sincere? Their votes negate ours. Who wins??? Whoever can fake it the best, whoever can brand themselves the best, whoever gets the best political stategist. The United States of Madison Avenue.

The unfriended

Katrina

I can't wait to see who the other guy is connected too. Or do we just assume it the devil?

Belleville

Paul, its clear your heart is in politics, as a lifelong democrat from Milwaukee, lets just say we have some similar acqaintenances.. I beleive you should give serious consideration to running for LT. Govenor. Its a great way to raise your issues and raise the position power of that particular elected office....

Brian

Note to Terri:
We don't live in a republic anymore; not with 800 plus military bases worldwide. Are you suggesting that, should you be elected you'll propose shutting down most of those bases? I can't wait for that.

And you complain about the political class in Washington, but the power of that class is rooted in corporate America and, increasingly the finance and real estate sector, which happens to warm the bossom of the current president. Are you now going to start critizing that powerful class, when they most likely have similar policy views as yourself?

Katrina

It would be interesting to have two former mayors as governor and Lt. governor.

Dale

My how progressives hate women they can't control....

Wisconsin’s Palin? No, McCormick’s better than that
Story Discussion Font Size: Default font size Larger font size By JOHN NICHOLS | The Capital Times | jnichols@madison.com | Posted: Sunday, November 22, 2009 6:00 am | (4) Comments

Democrats across Wisconsin are sad indeed that former Assembly Speaker John Gard does not plan to mount a third run for the District 8 congressional seat.

Why are Democrats sad that Gard, a stalwart Republican, is not trying once more to challenge Congressman Steve Kagen, D-Appleton?

Because Gard was so beatable.

A career politician with a charisma deficit and a mean streak — he once got in a political fight with the mother of a diabetic kid — Gard was a dream foe.

The only political players who ever thought Gard was a viable candidate were party strategists who looked only at his ability to leverage his speakership and his political contacts to raise money.

Because of that, GOP insiders never quite noticed that they had a candidate in 2006 who might well have been able to hold a generally Republican seat. Former state Rep. Terri McCormick entered the primary, but was dismissed by party bosses. Gard won and McCormick went off to lecture, write books and engage in freelance activism.

Now McCormick is back in the running, having just entered the crowded GOP primary to challenge Kagen.

McCormick’s a conservative to be sure; she’s even shown some sympathy with the tea party crowd. But the former legislator has always been a maverick. Some have even referred to her as Wisconsin’s Sarah Palin.

In the best of senses, that may be true.

Like Palin in her early days, McCormick has been something of a reformer. But McCormick goes a good deal further than the Palin of today.

The Wisconsinite’s been willing to criticize GOP compromises; she’s been outspoken in her discomfort with the whole of the political process; and she’s willing to hold herself to account — promising to live by self-imposed term limits if elected.

McCormick is not a candidate who can be “managed” or “controlled.” In that sense, she’s like Kagen, an appealingly independent congressman who has held the 8th for the Democrats at least in part because of his determination to put district concerns first — even if that sometimes requires him to break with party leaders.

Kagen’s challenges to sending more troops to Afghanistan, his opposition to bad trade deals, his noisy criticisms of bank bailouts and the Chrysler bailout — which paid the auto company to shut plants and lay off U.S. workers — all mark him as a Democrat who is willing to say “no” to the White House and congressional leaders when they are wrong.

So the 8th might experience something rare in American politics: a contest between two genuine mavericks who disagree on a bunch of fundamental issues.

A Kagen/McCormick race would be exciting, maybe a bit edgy.

And that’s what Wisconsin needs.

Contests between careerists depress turnout because voters recognize that the choice is of little consequence. A contest between two engaging mavericks would be great theater, and great politics.

John Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times, Wisconsin’s progressive daily online news source, where his column appears regularly. jnichols@madison.com


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