Saturday, November 18th, 2017

Wigderson and his critics, again


This appeared in Saturday’s Sound Off section in Waukesha Freeman:

Wigderson column

Why is blogger and columnist James Wigderson the way he is? Why is he always arguing, complaining, grumbling, fault-finding, condescending, gossiping and repeating bad reports? Why does James Wigderson use words and language like “go down in flames,” “without constructive help,” “had to find the cuts,” “screw things up,” “practically vacant,” and “blew off ?” Doesn’t he realize what he’s revealing? The fact is that a person’s words and language reveal a person’s heart. James Wigderson, based upon his writings, appears to have a heart that is alone, isolated, insecure, needing to prove itself and needing to establish its worth by being negative and personally attacking others.The ironic part of all of this is that people do see James Wigderson for who he is.

When I read this I was in a cabin at Winter Camp surrounded by friends, many of whom were willing to take credit for sending that particular Sound Off in. Given the spartan nature of our barracks and the lack of privacy, I’m not sure “alone” and “isolated” applied.

Meanwhile, I received a text message from someone working for the legislature in Madison, “Alone? Isolated? Insecure? The Sound Off reads like a Cialis commercial.”

With friends like these…

As for my choices of words and phrases, I have a confession to make. They write themselves. (That Mayor Jeff Scrima is my muse may be a problem when he is not re-elected.)

I’m not going to speculate too much on the identity of the Sound Off caller*, but whomever it is, it’s funny that their Sound Off was more of a personal attack than anything I wrote.

But since this was in response to my most recent column for the Waukesha Freeman, I thought I would give the context for each of the objectionable phrases:

go down in flames“What did I do after watching the proposed garbage fee for the city of Waukesha go down in flames?”

Well, it did. Like the Hindenburg.

without constructive help
“While I was away (did you notice my nifty tan?) the city of Waukesha Common Council finally settled on a budget without constructive help from the mayor.”

My tan looked good until I got back to Wisconsin. The mayor wasn’t constructive. Sorry.

had to find the cuts
“Last year the council had to find the cuts to the budget to reach a goal of no increase in the levy after Scrima’s incompetent search in the transit budget. This year they had to find the cuts after Scrima declared that there were no cuts to be found, justifying the garbage fee.”

The record speaks for itself.

screw things up
“Perhaps next year the council won’t wait for the mayor to screw things up before solving another budget crisis.”

For the record, I didn’t say the council screwed things up by waiting for the crisis caused by the mayor’s screw up.

practically vacant
“When they find a new city administrator they should make it very clear to that person that the office of mayor is practically vacant until the moment that is most inconvenient to the governance of the city, so the new city administrator shouldn’t expect much help in finding cuts.”

Good thing the secretary is there.

blew off
“Speaking of two years in a row, this is the second year that Mayor Jeff Scrima blew off the Christmas parade, perhaps the biggest civic event of the year in Waukesha.”

It’s a family newspaper. “Gave the finger to” would have been inappropriate.


On the other hand…

George asked, “My heart keeps coming back to this… Wiggy, my friend, do you need a hug?”

Thanks George. I feel hugged already.

From the other side of the aisle, Burr Deming wrote,

  • James Wigderson doesn’t much care for Wisconsin protesters but objects to a new permit law that would allow the Governor to force them to pay huge amounts to exercise their right to peaceably assemble. That’s what I hate about Wigderson. He’s not only a superb writer, he has the capacity for thoughtful positions. He is one of several conservatives who seem to willfully violate the usual caricature.
* Judging from the tone and subject matter, I would speculate female family member of the mayor wrote it, but that’s just a guess.
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