The Republican Party is sometimes called “the stupid party,” but this time they’ve outdone themselves. When the story was first broken by the LaCrosse Tribune of phony Democrats getting recruited to run in the Democratic Primaries in the recall elections, silly me, I thought it was just a bunch of cranks. Instead it turns out to be a real operation by the state GOP.
It reminds me of a National Review editorial about an attempted assassination of former Indonesian President Sukarno. “The attempted assassination of Sukarno last week had all the earmarks of a CIA operation. Everyone in the room was killed except Sukarno.”
It’s a stupid, dirty trick. Yes, I know the Democrats did the same thing when State Representative Bob Ziegelbauer ran for re-election last year. I would just like to remind the Republicans: 1) they condemned it at the time, 2) it backfired against the Democrats, and 3) the double-standard still applies. Republicans may be the victim of that double-standard by the media, but at least they can claim to be held to the higher standard. That is, until they decided to abandon the moral high ground in the recalls to buy a few more weeks for State Senators Randy Hopper, Dan Kapanke and Luther Olsen.
Maybe if the Republicans had been more concerned about offense in the recall process and made sure the Democrats faced as many recall elections, they wouldn’t have to worry so much about the sick members of the herd.
I’m not naive about hardball politics. I understand the Government Accountability Board (GAB) is playing favorites by setting up the Republican recalls first. Perhaps the Republicans never should have supported creating the GAB. I understand the Democrats are abusing the recall process over a single vote in the legislature. Maybe a few more Republicans should have been a bit more vocal opposing CRG when they tried to recall Governor Jim Doyle or State Senator Jim Sullivan.
Recruiting Republicans to run as Democrats in the Democratic Primaries is the kind of sophomoric trick you see in college government elections. This tactic is not only wrong, but stupid. When it backfires, Republicans will only have themselves to blame.
Update! Cross-posted at BizTimes.com. Som more comments over there, too.