Friday, November 24th, 2017

No more do-overs


Publication:Waukesha Freeman (Conley); Date:May 10, 2012; Section:Opinion; Page Number:8A

No more do-overs
Defeating Barrett will end the recalls

We’re in do-over territory now, a rematch of the 2010 election for governor. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is being challenged by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, the winner of Tuesday night’s Democratic primary.

You remember do-overs from your childhood, right? When a kid, often very annoying and obnoxious, did not like the result of some playground game he would yell, “Do over!” Then his pals would have to debate whether it was worth letting the crybaby have his way.

“Do over” has been the chant since before Walker even took office. Democrats began organizing for a recall effort before Walker put his feet under the desk in the governor’s office.

“Do over,” Democrats said when Republicans passed the Act 10 collective bargaining reforms, theoretically the cause of the recall elections. Thousands of protesters gathered at the Capitol, illegally occupying it, harassing legislators, and even shutting down schools while demanding a “do-over.”

The will of the voters in 2010 was not to be trusted or respected. “Do over” was the call, and even Democrats that tried to turn the recalls into more than that by backing former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk learned the hard way that this was all a rejection by the Democrats of the legal and proper 2010 election results.

We’ve allowed a mob of angry leftists and union leaders to overturn an election solely so they could have one more chance, a “do over.”

All of this effort for a candidate that had to be talked into running for governor in 2010. Now Barrett sees a purpose in running for governor that he did not see then.

Barrett is promising to end “the civil war” in the state of Wisconsin. In this, Barrett sees himself as a Christ-like figure attempting to heal the state. He even tells those that claim they regretted voting for Walker in 2010, “Go and sin no more.”

It’s a shameless blasphemy, one he says so casually that only an egomaniac could say it like Barrett without self-awareness creeping into the voice.

How would Barrett end the civil war? By not being Walker. Oh wait, there’s more.

Barrett claims he would exacerbate the conflict between red and blue voters even more by calling for a special session of the Legislature to repeal Act 10. Barrett claimed that Republican legislators would be too scared to resist.

You can almost hear Barrett and his allies if he gets into power. “Nice state you’ve got there. Be a shame if something happened to it, or you.”

That’s not healing. That’s a governor making an offer Republicans can’t refuse. It’s a threat of extortion, more befitting a banana republic.

Backing Barrett is a mob of protesters whose only claim to civility is that they have not hurt anyone yet. And if they get what they want, they’re only going to demand more until this state is headed to bankruptcy and moral collapse.

Barrett says he would end the civil war. What he neglects to mention is that the civil war was started by his side, and the easiest way to end this civil war is by Barrett’s sound defeat at the polls.

Defeating Barrett would put an end to the endless rounds of recalls and the permanent election cycle. It would disperse the ugly mob in Madison who would finally have to accept the election results of 2010.

A defeat of Barrett in June will end the tactics of the bullies who threaten and harass until they get their way. It would also finally mean looking at that collection of obnoxious children right in the eye to say, “No more do-overs. You had your turn. The voters in 2010 said it’s our turn now.”

That’s what this recall election is really about. It’s about respecting the will of the people. It’s about trusting that the voters made the right decision in 2010, and that the lawful election of Walker is to be respected by everyone.

That’s what democracy looks like.

(James Wigderson is a blogger publishing at and a Waukesha resident. His column runs Thursdays in The Freeman.)

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