Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Buzzing with Pridemore

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As I expected, last week’s column for the Waukesha Freeman about State Representative Don Pridemore’s run for State Superintendent for the Department of Public Instruction generated a little buzz, including from the good folks at RightWisconsin.com. Some liberal buzz, too.

Pridemore responded in a comment on my site,

As usual Mr. Wigderson writes about me without even trying to communicate with me and then quotes from a story from the left leaning AP. Had blogger Wigderson reported the story accurately, it would have gone something like this:

Rep Pridemore answered a survey 2 years ago that asked the question: If Wisconsin had a law on the books that made it illegal to establish ObamaCare exchanges in the state of Wisconsin, would you support arresting these federal officials? My answer was, yes, If anyone breaks our laws, it is up to our state law enforcement to arrest those individuals. Period. End of story. Apparently the AP and now Mr. Wigderson think I am too conservative for this job and feel they need to take old news and spin it to make me look bad. Who is the extremist in this story?

The correct answer, of course, would have been to toss into the garbage any survey that suggests arresting public officials for trying to carry out federal law. Instead, Pridemore chose to go the full-fledged political graveyard route. Doing it two years ago doesn’t make it “old news,” as his confessional makes it abundantly clear there is no repentance.

That’s fine, and the world needs back-benchers, too, but conservatives should resist any impulse to tie a positive education agenda to a campaign that’s failed before it starts due to the candidate’s unsoundness.

It’s not a matter of being “too conservative.” It’s a matter of a candidate who is not up to the task of recognizing good conservative ideas and discarding bad ideas that aren’t really conservative at all.

(Despite what believers in “nullification” say, trying to effect a local coup de tat by embracing a doctrine that was never accepted as constitutional, and will never be accepted by the general public as legitimate, and then adding a touch of Fort Sumter drama by arresting federal officials, is not a conservative idea.)

There will be other campaigns and other candidates. Let’s not drag down the good work of conservatives on education in this state by tying our agenda to this candidate and this campaign. I’m not endorsing the incumbent Tony Evers, or even saying that conservatives should vote for him. I am saying that the Pridemore campaign will founder and we should let it founder on it’s own.

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