If the presidency were awarded on the basis of avoiding accountability, twisting facts and blaming others for your own failures, there is a chance that Scott Walker could get a unanimous vote of the Electoral College.
Luckily, records still DO matter, which is why it is almost breathtaking to watch Scott Walker, while at the right-wing CPAC jamboree last weekend, openly flirt with the idea of a run for president (while not committing to fill out his full term if re-elected in 2014.)
Scott Walker has governed as though going down a Tea Party checklist and with predictable results.
After Republican assistant leader Glenn Grothman went on CNN Wednesday to double down on his bigoted attacks against the Kwanzaa holiday, Scott Walker's Republican Party has remained silent in the face of the virulent assault on tolerance and religious liberty.
For those watching at home, here’s a little mood music to get you started for tonight’s Wisconsin Senate Debate. If you have a song you want to dedicate to Tommy, post it in the comments below.
Scandal - Goodbye to You
Barbra Streisand - The Way We Were
Gotye - Sombody That I Used To Know
Hall and Oates - Out of Touch
The Beatles - Yesterday
Frank Sinatra - September of My Years
Hilary Duff - So Yesterday
Taylor Swift - We are Never Ever Getting Back Together
Kelly Clarkson - Since You Been Gone
Depeche Mode - Wrong
Jethro Tull - Living in The Past
Fleetwood Mac - Never Going Back Again
Tom Petty - Don't Come Around Here No More
Beck - Lost Cause
There couldn’t have been a more dramatic contrast between the Republican convention of wealthy businessmen claiming they built America and President Barack Obama’s triumphant, positive Democratic convention asking ordinary Americans to join him in finishing the business of moving the country forward out of hard times.
All Republicans offer, Obama said, “is the same prescriptions they’ve had for 30 years. Have a surplus? Try a tax cut. Deficit too high? Try another. Feel a cold coming on? Take two tax cuts, roll back some regulations and call us in the morning.”
The upbeat convention inspired Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who previously ran for president themselves, to give the best speeches of their careers.
Kerry, a Vietnam hero whose military career was trashed by Republicans, called out Mitt Romney’s convention oversight: “No nominee for president should ever fail in the midst of a war to pay tribute to our troops overseas.”
And few conventions could ever have a more moving moment than former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, recovering from a brain injury from one of America’s mass shootings, leading the Pledge of Allegiance.
The last breakfast of the Wisconsin delegation to the Democratic National Convention honored retiring Sen. Herb Kohl and former Gov. Jim Doyle and welcomed the next generation of leaders headed by Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin who will speak to the convention before President Barack Obama’s acceptance speech tonight.
John Nichols, associate editor of The Capital Times, brought the delegation to its feet by recounting Wisconsin’s historic progressive role at the 1964 convention that helped pave the way for Obama’s election. The Wisconsin delegation, headed by now-State Senate president Fred Risser, gave up their seats to Fanny Lou Hamer’s integrated Mississippi Freedom delegation allowing them to sit in front of Mississippi’s segregationist Democrats.
Baldwin portrayed her race against former Gov. Tommy Thompson as part of the modern battle to prevent Republicans from writing government rules for their own benefit.
As Georges Bush’s Health and Human Services secretary, Baldwin noted, Thompson wrote the rules that then made him a millionaire representing pharmaceutical companies.
As carefully scripted as modern conventions are, organizers only hope for some real moment that electrifies the audience and raises excitement to a level that can’t be pre-planned.
Such an unforgettable moment at the Democratic National Convention was the surprise appearance of President Barack Obama on stage embracing former Democratic President Bill Clinton after Clinton renominated Obama with perhaps one of the best speeches America ever heard from a man who loves speaking.
Clinton is not one to stick to scripts anyway. Wisconsin delegates sitting to the right of the stage could see the teleprompter repeatedly come to a halt as Clinton soared free-style with some of his best lines.
Not only was there point-by-point refutation of dishonest Republican budget claims, but Clinton raised the usually unspoken issue of racial hatred for the country’s first African American president.
“Though I often disagreed with Republicans,” Clinton said, “I never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls the Republican party seems to hate this president.”
Clinton said Obama obviously could work with honest political opponents because he hired several cabinet members who supported Hilary for president. “Heck, he even appointed Hilary.”
When you see the diverse coalitions Democrats display at their convention, you have to wonder why polls show the election so close except for the power of one factor.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who visited the Republican convention to tell the truth about Paul Ryan, quoted a tweet describing the GOP color scheme: “The floor was all red, the seats were all blue and the faces were all white.”
Milwaukee Congresswoman Gwen Moore told the Wisconsin delegate breakfast racism was a luxury no ordinary American could afford anymore when Republicans actually plan to return to pre-FDR, pre-LBJ government.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack’s secret plan to win the election: Simply telling white, rural voters about the fast-growing farm and small town jobs programs Ryan Republicans are killing by blocking the president’s farm bill.
Vilsack’s personal objection to a Ryan lie was the congressman’s recent shaving of an hour off his marathon time. Vilsack’s run five marathons and says every marathon runner knows his exact times.
“It’s the little lies that get you,” said former governor and presidential candidate Howard Dean, sporting new, youthful, dark hair and the same old ability at electric speechifying.
The deciding poll question in the election, Dean said, is 70% think Romney cares only about the wealthy. I wonder why.
Tuesday was the night of the beautiful people at the Democratic National Convention. And ever since President Barack Obama changed history, beauty among Democrats comes in all different colors, ages and physical attributes.
Stunning appearances included the dynamic keynote speaker Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio and his impressive identical twin brother Congressman Joaquin Castro, Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth running on two prosthetic legs for an Illinois Congressional seat and that tough old lady Lily Ledbetter who refused to accept a US Supreme Court decision saying it was okay for employers to pay women less than men for the same work.
The one who really rocked the house was First Lady Michelle Obama, whose beauty goes way down deep. In a soft-spoken, almost intimate voice, she honestly confessed her concern four years ago about how achieving the presidency might affect those she loved most.
She says she learned: “Being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are. . . I didn’t think it was possible, but today I love my husband more than I did four years ago.”
Love was the theme too when a jammed LGBT caucus session gave Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin two standing, chanting ovations in support of race against Tommy Thompson for the US Senate.
Wisconsin’s delegation to the Democratic National Convention may party just as hard as most Charlotte conventioneers but it has this rather startling custom of beginning each day with a 7 a.m. breakfast with speakers firing up bleary activists. The millionaires at the Republican convention probably had a little gift-wrapped enthusiasm delivered to their luxury suites.
Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, and cross-border neighbor Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar hit many of the women’s health and respect issues that somehow didn’t make the Tampa agenda.
State Sen. Matt Miller and State Rep. Peter Barca, Democratic leaders of the Wisconsin legislative battles against Scott Walker’s dismantling the state’s progessive legacy, were cheered for their valiant resistance.
Barca described the Republican convention as “talkin’ trash, talkin’ to chairs, talkin’ in tongues.”
Milwaukee Congresswoman Gwen Moore will be a featured speaker at the Democrats’ opening session Tuesday night. Moore speaks several languages including street, so it should be more coherent and a lot more honest than anything uttered last week.
In more than four decades as a journalist, often writing about politics, I was never assigned to cover a national political convention. Editors liked my column with its provocative, liberal point of view, but for serious political coverage, it might bother many conservative readers.
That’s not a problem blogging for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and the legions of Wisconsinites who care more about working people than Scott Walker and are more honest than Paul Ryan.
So it was a joy to arrive in Charlotte to be serenaded by a rock band fronted by actor and honorary “dude” Jeff Bridges with flowing hair and beard. Right-wing Republican morality czar William Bennett hurried through the crowd to escape the taint of Bridges’ radical rock cause of fighting childhood hunger.
When the rain hit, the restaurant I took shelter with a friend from (naturally) NPR. We were surrounded by national journalists and once or future political leaders such as Gen. Wesley Clark.
Every table seemed to filled with laughing people in high spirits and most of them weren’t even drunk. Then I got back to the hotel in time to welcome Congresswoman Gwen Moore and the state’s next great Democratic Senator, CongresswomanTammy Baldwin to Charlotte.
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