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StellaRay posted a good diary yesterday: A tale of two governors: so similar and so different, looking at Christie vs. Walker.  And just a day later, the story of Walker his criminal, hateful, petty, racist, sexist, crass cronies and sycophants has faded from the national radar screen (see puddytat's Wisconsin Media Starts Riding to Scott Walkers Rescue).  That is life in Wisconsin, away from the national and coastal media, and in the clutches of the reactionaries' media machinery.

StellaRay stated in one of her comments:

I just don't understand what's happened to the state I grew up in, once a leader in progressive governance through Robert La Follette. And the word "progressive" here is not another word for liberal. It's a word in this context that used to mean transparency, fairness, and accountability.
So I attempted to answer the question:  What happened to Wisconsin?  (Or as Thomas Frank might have put it: "What's the Matter with Wisconsin?").  Slightly embellished:
1.  White flight out of Milwaukee turned the collar counties into sprawling enclaves of wealthy, white, conservatives.  The city floundered, and the suburban money didn't care.

2.  The Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee both fed and fed on this demographic/geographic shift and became one of the major forces in national, reactionary, neo-conservative politics.  Especially riding the school voucher issue.

3.  The media in Milwaukee -- newspapers and hard right radio -- fed the anti-urban, anti-liberal, and, yes, anti-black attitudes of their suburban white audience.

4.  The Democratic Party establishment has long been completely clueless about how to respond, caring only about how to get to 51% in Madison and Milwaukee, and ignoring small town and rural Wisconsin in elections.  It's infuriating.  The Democrats have no plan for rural Wisconsin.

5.  Connected to this:  the Democratic Party stopped running people in local races outside Milwaukee and Madison.  No farm team now, no major leaguers in the future.

5.  Smart progressive young people have left the state.  In earlier generations they stayed and lived in the smaller cities and towns and rural areas.  For a generation or two now, they have gone to Chicago or the Twin Cities or out west.  They left behind their more conservative family members and schoolmates.

6.  Agriculture changed, and rural Wisconsin's economy and culture changed with it:  fewer farmers, fewer family farms, bigger farms, more corporate ownership.  All of that translates into a different local political culture.  Rural progressives diminished.  (Except, thank goodness, they have held on in the SW Wisconsin driftless area.)

I could go on....

I was encouraged to cut and paste and post my comment to stimulate discussion.  May it do so, because we really need to talk.  Scott Walker really, really wants to be your president, and the big money really wants him to be your president, too.

Originally posted to strobusguy on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 01:52 PM PST.

Also republished by Badger State Progressive.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I didn't grow up in Wisconsin (6+ / 0-)

    but grew up in Illinois and we took quite a few family trips to Wisconsin when I was growing up. It's sad what's happened to the state. And I hope Walker isn't the Republican nominee for President--I don't think many people by then will have remembered the massive protests in Madison. I'm afraid he could end up as President.

    So many books--so little time. Economic Left/Right -7.88 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian -6.97

    by Louisiana 1976 on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:11:16 PM PST

  •  Thanks for doing this strobusguy. I knew you'd be (8+ / 0-)

    great and stimulate valuable discussion to help us develop better strategies for turning Wisconsin back into a blue state.

    Keep on truckin'

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:28:28 PM PST

  •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, side pocket, rubyr, Puddytat

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 02:30:07 PM PST

  •  Thanks for this. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nadd2, rubyr, jorogo, Puddytat, ER Doc

    I grew up in Wisconsin and have been scratching my head trying to figure out what happened. The thought of Walker as president makes me sick.

    Ceiling Cat rules....srsly.

    by side pocket on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 03:12:44 PM PST

    •  I don't think Scott Walker is a serious national (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bearsguy, nadd2

      candidate and I don't think the big money that has backed him in WI thinks so either. Scott Walker isn't ready for the national stage.

      In the 20th Century we had only two Presidents who didn't graduate from college, #25 McKinley who was a lawyer, and member of the Ohio bar but did not earn either a bachelor's or law degree and #33 Harry Truman who attended college but never graduated. I don't think American voters are ready for a college dropout.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:01:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think your list would apply to Missouri (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    strobusguy, rubyr, jorogo, Puddytat

    as well.

    And I am tired of the dems resting on their laurels and not recruiting young people to run in every county and precinct.

    ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

    by glitterscale on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 03:23:59 PM PST

  •  Umm It May Have Something to Do With (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rubyr

    teh FEAR of the black man... in the white house.

    "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

    by Superpole on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 04:30:11 PM PST

    •  Sure, but... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Kahlow, jorogo, jan4insight, nadd2

      It started long before that.  The symptoms have been there and building for twenty years.  Wisconsin has actually continued to vote Democratic in presidential elections -- every time from 1988 on.  But the state and local offices are different, precisely because the state's Democrats and leaning independents don't turn out in non-presidential elections in the same numbers.

      •  And I've Been Saying Here for Some Time.. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        strobusguy, jorogo
        Democrats and leaning independents don't turn out in non-presidential elections in the same numbers.
        as I've been saying- this is one more indicator of just how weak the democratic party is.

        why can they not get Democrats and dem leaning independents to the polls for mid term elections??

        "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

        by Superpole on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 02:46:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because they don't campaign (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Superpole

          on the platforms that their membership builds for them. And they don't get that most of those "dem leaning independents" are leaning Dem not from the phantom "middle" the Party percieves, but from the left of Dem membership.

          "All war is stupid" - JFK

          by jorogo on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 07:38:02 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  BEENGO!!! (0+ / 0-)

            the fact is the democratic party doesn't campaign on much of anything of substance... it's mostly "we're not them" (the GOP).

            "We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense." Gore Vidal

            by Superpole on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 11:06:22 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Grew Up In Madison (8+ / 0-)

    And I think you nailed the trends.  Even in Madison, the aggressive liberalism has diminished over the years into a more introspective liberalism.  There's a lot of pats on the back for building bike lanes and LEED certified luxury apartments.

    Madison led the nation in pushing for affordable housing, in protecting urban green spaces in low-income communities, and providing a high quality public education to most residents.  Although it was a union stronghold, it's safe to say it's still a public sector union stronghold at this point.

    However, something's changed in the last decade, and I can't put my finger on it.  Madison's always been a target for conservatives, but I think it really started to work as an electoral strategy because:

    1) Madison's biotech boomlet, which was based on jobs for the highly educated, didn't ever translate into a "new economy" for the state.

    2) As I said earlier, Madison's politics became a discussion about affluent things, like bike lanes.  I remember David Horowitz coming to campus and Paul Soglin arguing that Madison's economic success showed that liberalism worked.  It plays into the notion that wealthy elites are liberal and can't contemplate why those rural bumpkins can't also build a biotech industry.

    3) UW-Madison became an East Coast safety school (OK, maybe not a Syracuse, but certainly not the Brown that their parents were hoping for).  The university has admitted more and more out-of-state students, while making it very difficult for some good, but maybe not outstanding, in-state students to be admitted.  I know the state cut funding, so maybe there's nothing that can be done, but it's hard to make that case when the UW is also simultaneously building, like, a gazillion new buildings downtown.

    In other words, what common message have Madison politicians been saying that would appeal?  But, I can't get too depressed.  There's Tammy Baldwin!  There's still quite a bit of hope.  And I can say from personal experience (my wife's from the Green Bay area) that when President Obama ran in 2008 there was some genuine, progressive excitement in deep red areas.  

    Sorry for the long rant!

    •  On target (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jorogo, nadd2

      Yes, the changing role of the UW is very important.  And the statewide university system.  If we did not have that, then Madison and Milwaukee would be even more isolated.  

      Also on the positive side, the food movement makes a real difference.  It certainly does out here in the Driftless.  It crosses the rural-urban divide, which to my mind is the fundamental political faultline -- yes, even more than race or income -- in Wisconsin, and across the country.

      •  I'd like to know more about the "food movement", (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ranton, strobusguy, nadd2

        especially in your beautiful corner of our state.

        We were very proud that we banded together with enough energy in this traditionally Republican county to open our own Recall office. And now, just the other side of Marquette County's only stoplight, a couple of our local progressive folks have opened a natural food store/cafe (the MORE name is for "Mobilizing Our Rural Environment"), where you can get some of the best coffee in the Northern hemisphere and be certain that anything you buy or eat there is organic, and as much as possible, local.

        Food really does make a difference, connections not only across rural-urban divides, but both within and across political ideologies that you just can't make through campaigns alone.

        "All war is stupid" - JFK

        by jorogo on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:14:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, exactly (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jorogo, nadd2

          It takes a hundred forms:  farmers markets, local food production and processing, organic farming, community-supported agriculture, urban agriculture, seed saving, farm-to-school programs, slow food....  For SW Wisconsin, it's the role that Organic Valley plays; it's the big upcoming Midwest Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse; it's the local farmer's markets in almost every small town; it's the excellent Viroqua Food Co-op; it's younger people coming into the area and trying to make a go of it in all kinds of different food-related  operations.  On and on.  

          If we were serious about sustaining healthy economies, landscapes, and people in rural AND urban Wisconsin, we would pull out all the stops on this.  We would create a responsible economy with good food at its base.  We would foster an alternative to trashing our land, our soil and water, and our future through frac sand mining, mining the Penokee Hills, building monster CAFO dairies, and cooking corn ethanol.  We would promote sustainable energy production in every community across the state.  We would spare no expense in protecting and restoring our waters.  

  •  I have lived in WI (6+ / 0-)

    All of my life (~60 yrs).  I agree completely with your assessment, strobusguy.  I will be moving within the year; I can't take it anymore.  What Walker has done to WI is nothing short of criminal.

    Wisconsin: It's war, you know. We didn't start it, but we'll keep fighting in it until we win

    by isewquilts2 on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 06:38:35 PM PST

    •  Wish you would stay... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike Kahlow, jorogo, nadd2, ER Doc

      ...but I understand.  Who among us have not had that inclination.  It shows how deeply Walker has ruined what used to be a set of shared valued among Wisconsinites.  But maybe he's as much effect as cause.  
       

    •  I wish you could stay. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jorogo, nadd2, ER Doc

      But I understand. I've had friends who have left for "across the river" (we're 7 miles away from MN), and others who may due to marriage rights.

      I think the spouse & I are too deeply entrenched in this state and our community. We may not save Wisconsin, but we will man the ramparts to save the pieces we can.

      Screw John Galt. Who's John Doe?

      by Mike Kahlow on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 07:59:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have lived in WI almost as long (0+ / 0-)

      And hate to think about leaving (have moved back here 3 times).  BUT....

      Where are you moving to?

      If Walker or one of the other Tea Party types (and it disturbs me that Walker is being talked of as a mainstream type) achieves national office, it might not make a difference what state we live in.

      •  This is silly politically, I know (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ER Doc

        But we just bought a home a few miles from the Gulf of Mexico...in, of all places, Alabama.  If I am going to be living under GOP wing nut rule, I might as well be warm!
        Seriously, our property taxes there are 1/10 of what we pay here in WI.  We have no kids in school.  No snow.  Tax climate much more favorable for retires like me.

        Wisconsin: It's war, you know. We didn't start it, but we'll keep fighting in it until we win

        by isewquilts2 on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 10:44:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I'd expand on #4 a little (6+ / 0-)

    4.  The Democratic Party establishment has long been completely clueless about...

    4A) Dems don't communicate well.  And in that I don't mean unified messaging, I mean they have learned nothing in the last 30 years about modern communication theory.  Republicans have.

    Case in point: during the recall campaign the Dems put up a bunch of billboards with Scott Walker's picture.  Now, there was writing on the signs - facts about Walker and all the fucked up stuff he was doing - but come on, unless he has horns or a Pinocchio nose you're just reinforcing his image no matter the verbs you throw on it (unless it's a one or two word meme like Prick or Bullshit Artist).  

    When was the last time Ford put up billboards featuring a Chevy?  Sure, in a Ford teevee commercial you'll see a Chevy (it will be getting out done in some way) but never, ever is the Chevy the closing image - that is reserved for the take-away - the product you are hawking, the Ford.  And a static image on a sign?

    4B) Dems need to learn about framing from George Lakoff.  

    Case in point: Here's an example where a Dem did it right - Senator Warren's epic smack down of ThirdWay on Social Security cuts.  When she smacked back she used a two step communication process.  Step 1 - establish a moral and emotional basis. (Warren, "This is about who we are, what kind of a country we want to make for ourselves and how we are going to treat our Seniors.)  Step 2 - support your case with facts.  Here is where the R's start lying, but Dems can stick with facts (Warren then goes through the more dry aspects about SS being solvent through 2030 and with tweaks 2050 and beyond).  She hooked them with moral emotion (pride, stewardship, responsibility, duty), then gave the dry facts.  Previously, Dems answer (see Obama, Reid, Pelosi, any Blue Dog) was, "We'll make Granny eat cat food half as often as the R's because we're the good guys."  What kind of moral stand is that??  And what happened since Warren smacked 'em?  Obama pulled CPI; R's messaging is a mess.  It works.

    •  WI Dems - "We don't suck as bad as the repubs" (4+ / 0-)

      And they're still working with that. I'm on the party's FB feed, and while there's some positive stuff on Mary Burke, just so much of it is "Walker bad".

      Which brings me to the question - What does the Democratic Party stand for? The republicans rattle off "low taxes, halting the growth of government, jobs, jobs, jobs", etc., etc. - What is our party's message?

      Don't tell me what you're against. Tell me what you're for.

      Screw John Galt. Who's John Doe?

      by Mike Kahlow on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:10:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tell me what you're for. (4+ / 0-)

        And not only that, show me what you're for.  Even if you lose, show up for the fight.

        When Dems don't even show up for the fight, the good fight (win, lose or draw), non-wonk working people reply in kind - they don't show up on election day.

        Call them crazy, and they are, House R's did accomplish something by voting to cancel the ACA 500 times (once would have met their goals maybe twice, hence crazy).  What is their goal?  They showed their misguided base that they'd at least try.  Again, lots of baggage with that example, but with each vote they ensured their followers will turn out on election day.  Dems just don't get that.

        Instead Dems do this to their base: (from Huff'n'Puff)

        When Democrats want to protect food stamps, or Head Start, or women and infants' nutrition, and Republicans say, fine, but you have to pay for it by cutting elsewhere, how many Democrats say, ok, fine, let's retire an aircraft carrier, like the Pentagon suggested? Crickets. Judging from their public actions, Democrats in Congress love the 11th aircraft carrier more than they love food stamps, Head Start, or WIC.
        WTF?  "We made half as many children hungry than the R's proposed.  We could have tried to make NO hungry children, but we bought bullets and corporate welfare instead."  Do they think this helps Dems turn people out on election day??
    •  Another messaging problem (4+ / 0-)

      that the Democratic Party at state and national levels doesn't get, but Republicans do, is the phantom "swing voter".

      The Democratic Party is stuck on the theory that there's a huge "middle" in political ideology which "swings" back and forth between voting Democrat or Republican at the slightest whim, when in fact, the so-called "middle" is comprised primarily of two groups of independent voters who are at least as polarized, if not more so, than dedicated conservatives and liberals.  It's more up and down than back and forth as voters within each of these two main groups of independents are either motivated by messaging targeted at their base ideology to get out and vote, or uninspired by a muddled middle-of-the-road message and so stay home.

      This voter motivation factor is regularly exploited by the Republican Party and denied by the Democratic Party. They both know who their base is, but only Republicans will commit with a clear message to them.

      Elizabeth Warren is a great example of the exception that proves the rule.

      "All war is stupid" - JFK

      by jorogo on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:20:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Spot-on: phantom "swing voter" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jorogo

        And somewhere along the way this framing was set:
        R's appeal to their core - that's good technique (and it is in that it works)
        D's appeal to their core (if it were ever to happen beyond Sen. Warren) and it's POPULISM!  Ahh, ahhh, ahhhhhhh!

        That framing thing works and somewhere along the way populism got tagged as bad.  Like liberal with Dukakis in 1988.

        Time for a reframe.  Something that draws on previous frames: Main Street, stewardship, fairness.  Suggestions?

        As far as the Dem 'race to the middle', 'swing voter', 'capitulation', at some point you gotta ask: Is that really a bug or is that a feature?  Most Dems, but particularly Right Wing Democrats feed at the same Corporate Graft Troughs as the Republicans.  Sooner or later you gotta conclude 'swing voter' is simply light blue wrapping paper covering a glowing red core.  Dem Leadership is not that stupid - no one is that stupid - it's a design feature.

        It's all very WWE-escue, with Vince McMahon played by the 1%ers, the incurious Mean Gene Oakerlund played by the 1%ers' Media, two steroid pumped & emotion filled gladiators (white shirt, blue tie, nice haircut white guy RWD & Repub) enter the ring (the whole DC circle jerk) and the predetermined result is acted-out in real time.  Battle Royal: Beat Down in the Beltway!!  The money paying crowd cheers - deep down they know it's bullshit, but the drama has them mesmerized.  Meanwhile, Vince McMahon has a $7.25/hr worker rub his back after his ceremonial 'he got his' bit, pays the wrestler-entertainers a small percentage, then has the worker lift his wallet into the trunk of his Maybach and speed off before the spell wears off the crowd only to return next Monday night when he does it all over again...

        •  Well, if it is a design feature, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GreatLakeSailor

          the data the design engineers missed is that many of those percieved pastel-wrapped "swing voters" have a core of blue light that Dem leadership would find blinding, if the corporate graft didn't require them to rationalize through heavy UV sunglasses.

          "All war is stupid" - JFK

          by jorogo on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:40:54 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The "phantom" swing voter (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GreatLakeSailor

            idea is not something I can take credit for. There were several good articles (none of which I can find anymore) written in the aftermath of and attempting to explain the debacle of 2010 which brought us the likes of Scott Walker and Ron Johnson. It's still only speculation, given the difficulties of researching voter trends with both the secret ballot and the loss of confidence in exit polling, which "mysteriously" fell from a record of extreme accuracy to total unreliability following it's predictions that both Al Gore and John Kerry would be the next duly elected Presidents of the United States.

            But it's speculation that makes a whole lot of sense to someone who is a "leaning Democrat", and leans toward Democratic candidates from a position far left of their Party. Is it so hard to see that the "leaning Republican" voters are mostly our tea-party right-winger counterparts, or that the Republican Party has seen inexplicable success in playing to that wing?

            You can also reference Jim Hightower for his views on just what's in the middle.

            "All war is stupid" - JFK

            by jorogo on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 10:49:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Two things (0+ / 0-)

              "Sooner or later you gotta conclude 'swing voter' is simply light blue wrapping paper covering a glowing red core."

              should have been

              Sooner or later you gotta conclude chasing the 'swing voter' as political strategy is simply a way Right Wing Pols put light blue wrapping paper over a glowing red core.

              but I think your take-away was accurate even if my words were a little kittywampus.

              Second, I have written off the holy center for some time now, but for different reasons.  A) it has been a thirty year unmitigated disaster judging by the net effects and B) there are SO many people that don't vote, coupled with the well documented relationship linking higher turnout with Right Wing defeat - the obvious conclusion is mine the gold where it lays.

              My term of late for these folks that would vote Progressive but mostly don't show is non-wonk working people or NWWP.  The question is can Dems get them to show?  If NWWP see an economic advantage they'll show anytime any where: 12k showed for 600 open positions at a new Walmart (I hate Walmart, they probably do too, but money is survival), NWWP camp out to hit a 3AM sale at Target, etc., etc.  If, and that's a big if, NWWP see Dems, Progressive Dems, fighting the good fight and showing up and giving it their best, well loyalty begets loyalty.  NWWP know when they're being had.

              One thing we do know through painful experience: chasing the 'fading-to-the-right' middle does not result in a better life for most folks.

  •  Spot on with the DPW. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jorogo, strobusguy, Puddytat, nadd2

    They're trying, but many (not all) in the party would rather spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to see which progressive candidate wins a Madison district than help out an Assembly candidate outstate.

    There's an element in the DPW that would rather lead the party as a minority than share power in a true statewide coalition.

    This needs to change, and if Walker wins this year I foresee in 2015 a bloody fight for the heart and soul of the DPW. And I'll be in the middle of it.

    Screw John Galt. Who's John Doe?

    by Mike Kahlow on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:03:43 PM PST

  •  Not that your other points aren't totally valid, (4+ / 0-)

    but this is spot on.....

    The Democrats have no plan for rural Wisconsin.
    I grew up in Milwaukee, and I live now in rural Wisconsin. The people here are very nice - always exceptions, as anywhere, but good people you can really engage if you try. But you are so right, there is no Party representing us out here. Republicans exploit us, just as they do any non-wealthy working class, and Democrats sell us out for the numbers that the demographic math calculates.

    I was aghast when agents of the Democratic Party instructed us to avoid any mention of "collective bargaining" in our district's State Senate recall race - they told us unions are a liberal concept, and the demographics indicated that a liberal taint on their candidate wouldn't play well out here. What they did effectively, was to undermine the convictions and enthusiasm of the local progressive activists doing the day-to-day footwork in the race. The few loyal Democratic Party members around here continue to have difficulty motivating real progressives and liberals to re-engage with a soulless State Party machine.

    If you don't think the Democratic Party of Wisconsin is out of touch with its membership, read the State Party platform, which is an amazing compilation of progressive ideals voted in by its convention delegates, then try to reconcile that with the State Party leadership's campaign strategies.

    "All war is stupid" - JFK

    by jorogo on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:16:18 PM PST

    •  A thousand amens (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jorogo, ranton, Puddytat, nadd2

      Until our loose network of practical rural progressives across Wisconsin get together, we will be stuck in this same-old, same-old political polar vortex.  When the Madison Progressive powers-that-be moved Fighting Bob Fest from Baraboo to Madison, I knew we were in a heap of trouble.  Here's a pretty good and simple rule of thumb for rural Wisconsin:  if it is good for sustainable local economies, for the integrity of local schools, and for the health of your local land and water, then it will be good for all of Wisconsin.  Republicans don't care one whit for any of that, and Democrats don';t know how to talk about it.

      •  I was never able to put it in words, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat, nadd2

        and I can see the practicality of proximity to Madison infrastructure, but it gave me an ill feeling when Bobfest got snached from a place that felt so entirely appropriate to me. Baraboo is one fine example of the Wisconsin experience, as is Madison. We need them both to be complete, and a politically progressive convention/fest in a rural county fairground with a grassy field for a stage and wooden bleacher seating just felt like it was bridging worlds together.

        But then there's that conflict that's been brought up here - practical or appropriate - which makes your movement stronger in the long haul?

        "All war is stupid" - JFK

        by jorogo on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 09:47:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Trust your feeling (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jorogo, Puddytat

          For me, moving Fighting Bob Fest from its birthplace in Baraboo to Madison symbolized everything that is wrong with Wisconsin's vaunted progressivism and its Democratic "leadership."  The leadership is not somewhere "up there"; it is us.   And it has to be in every community across the state, not concentrated in comfortable Madison.  The easy thing to do is get together and pat each other on the back and cheer at speeches.  The hard thing to do is build a movement from the bottom up, one community at a time.  That's what FBF could have been and done. It failed, and retreated to Madison.

    •  That's what pains me about Kathleen Vinehout's (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jorogo, Puddytat, strobusguy, nadd2, ER Doc

      accident and decision to not run. She had the background and ability to help build the momentum for a rural, Progressive movement...very big sigh!

      Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

      by ranton on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 10:14:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The County Exec in Green Bay was (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bearsguy, nadd2, jorogo, ER Doc

        considering, too.  It wasn't the accident that pushed Vinehout out - or that County Exec.  It was Mary Burkes deep pockets and the knowledge that she was the state Dems hand picked candidate.

        If Walker wins re-election, it is an indication that the Democratic Party needs a clean out of its "leadership".

        There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

        by Puddytat on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 12:23:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Just to give you a link (0+ / 0-)

      to the DPW platform I found so impressive and thorough a collection of progressive values.

      Keep a copy handy as we watch our state's Democratic candidates' campaigns unfold in this coming election season. Make it so, DPW.

      "All war is stupid" - JFK

      by jorogo on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 09:09:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped, recced and republished to (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jorogo, strobusguy, Puddytat, ER Doc

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Fri Feb 21, 2014 at 08:43:40 PM PST

  •  Another Golden Age that never was (0+ / 0-)

    Wisconsin was the state that elected and re-elected "Tailgunner Joe", one of those few transformative figures whose very name becomes synonymous with an ideology, in this case, the reactionary, repressive witchhunting doctrine of "McCarthyism".

    "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." ~Frederick Douglass

    by ActivistGuy on Sat Feb 22, 2014 at 01:27:44 AM PST

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