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Someone to vote for

Come visit my lovely state of Wisconsin for a few minutes. It's a beautiful place. Great cheese. Go Packers.

Let me introduce our state's Governor, Tony Evers. That's him, over there ⟹, and he's as boring as he looks.

He's a Democrat, which was a relief when he won, because he defeated the Republican primordial ooze incumbent, Scott Walker. Being not-Walker was enough to get me to vote for him, same as being not-Trump was enough to make me vote for Joe Biden. Seems to happen every election — there's no Democrat to vote for, but always some Republican to vote against.

Evers, like Biden, is a glass of milk when you need a shot of whisky. He is devoid of ideas, and as exciting as butter, our state's leading export. His first and probably only term as Gov is winding down, and still the best thing to be said about him is that he's not Walker.

To be fair, there's not a lot he can do — our state tilts Democratic, but it's gerrymandered so Republicans always control the legislature. Republicans also own the state's Supreme Court, with a near-certain victory for the right-wing and/or corporations on any issue, so they always rush to bring complaints to the state Supreme Court, which always concurs.

That said, living here and reading the news every day, simply nothing comes to mind that I'd call an Evers accomplishment.

As soon as he won the election, the Republican legislature passed a bill stripping the Governor's office of key powers, and of course, the Republican lame-duck Governor quickly signed it. Evers quietly said this was a bad thing to do, and he was party to a lawsuit about it, which was promptly decided in the Republicans' favor by the Republicans' Supreme Court. Since then Evers has never mentioned it, and never made more than the slightest waves against anything the Republicans have done.

On every issue that arises, Evers is unfailingly polite. When Republicans accuse him of tyranny, Evers says nothing. He'll take a metaphorical punch in the face, drop to the dirt, welcome a few more punches to the head while he's down, and then he'll reach up and hope for a handshake. He never hits back, and there's never a whisper of outrage. Like almost all Democrats, he believes in "working across the aisle" even as he's repeatedly tripped and tricked.

Evers was among the last Democratic Governors to respond to COVID, when President Trump refused to do anything on the national level. He eventually issued a state-wide mask mandate, but Republicans took it to their Supreme Court and had it tossed on some made-up pretext.

After that, some advocates for common-sense suggested re-issuing the mandate under a different state-constitutional authority, which again would've clearly been legal. It would've come back before the state Supreme Court and doubtless been struck down again, but it would've at least bought some mask-mandated time. To that idea, Evers famously said, “We really don’t know if I have the authority to do that."

In the gerrymandered state legislature, nothing Evers proposes can possibly be passed, but he's always remained cordial about it. He vetoes most of the horrors that Republicans pass in the legislature, and that's nice, but as recently as a few days ago he held a press conference announcing his optimism about working with Republicans on several fronts in 2022.

I don't understand how any unblindfolded person can still foresee Republicans working with Democrats on any issue whatsoever. But Mr Nice Guy, our Governor Tony Evers, does.

For this year's re-election campaign, it looks like he'll be facing Rebecca Kleefisch, who's much younger than Evers, even further to the right than Walker, and an attractive woman, which doesn't hurt among Republican voters. I don't believe Evers can beat her. Being not-Kleefisch won't be enough, and he has nothing else going for him. 

I don't want to vote for Evers again, but Kleefisch will probably pledge something so Nazi that I'll have to. That's what always happens. There'll be zero enthusiasm on the left or even in the center, though, so Democratic turnout will not be enough for Evers to win.

Seems every time I vote (D) it's only in hopes of keeping (R) from power. I'm not sure there's ever been an exception to the rule. Always it's a Democrat who's somewhat aware of the problems but lukewarm on the solutions, running against a Republican who's terrifying. When Democrats win, nothing much changes. When Republicans win, everything gets worse.

That's taken America further and further to the right, until now we're facing problems that threaten everything from an ordinary weather forecast to the future of democracy, and yet, here comes another election between a (D) who wants nothing much to change, and an (R) who promises to make everything even more awful.

There are exceptions, I've heard, like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Everywhere I've lived, though, for any office at the city level or higher, there's never been a Dem candidate who wanted anything to change beyond their name as the new incumbent. Always I'm voting against someone, almost never for. The few candidates I've voted for were only in primary elections (where they lost) or in futile gestures beyond the two-party duopoly. 

Outside of the deep red South, Democrats would win almost any election in a landslide if they gave Americans someone to vote for. Instead we get only candidates as bland as a blank blackboard, running against whatever walking atrocity is on the Republican ticket. Someone with smarts and charisma, someone who wants to solve problems, always finds his/her most fierce opponent is not a Republican — it's the Democratic Party.

And so it goes. The Democrats will continue running candidates whose grandest hope is to do nothing, because that's the Democratic Party ideal. Republicans will continue running to blow everything up. When Dems win they'll continue doing nothing. When Republicans win they'll continue blowing stuff up. 

And me, will I vote to re-elect Tony Evers as Governor of Wisconsin? Cripes, I want to say no, but probably, yeah.

12/31/2021  

itsdougholland.com 

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26 comments:

  1. >Anywhere and everywhere I've lived, though, for any office at the city level or higher, there's never been a Dem candidate who wanted anything to change beyond their name as the new incumbent.

    Were you still in SF when there was a runoff for mayor, and Tom Ammiano was up against Willie Brown? I voted for Ammiano, enthusiastically.

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    1. Yeah, I must've been there, because I remember Willie Brown being the ex-Mayor. I don't remember anything about Ammiano except I think he was gay, and seeing his name today doesn't infuriate me, so I probably voted for him too.

      Did he win and was he good?

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    2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_San_Francisco_mayoral_election

      Nah, he came in second of three in the main election, then second in the runoff. He was a write-in in the first election, so pretty impressive feat.

      Delete
    3. Oh, that's excellent. I'd remember that Willie Brown beat the awful Frank Jordan, but forgot that Jordan came in third.

      Also loved reading Amiano's Wikipedia page. A stellar man.

      Delete
  2. I don't know Evers but he sounds just like Biden, & Biden won't win reelection either.

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  3. That's the worst piece of political analysis I've ever heard, and I've listened to Trump a little. Do you know the demographics of Wisconsin? Do you know the difference between a state executive and a federal executive? Do you have any idea that they're elected entirely differently -- by electoral vote vs by popular vote? He sounds like President Biden, so he won't win?

    Sorry, I intend no disrespect. We have trivialized our politics and our elections, and that's obviously not your fault. Maybe you know the counties and voting blocs in Wisconsin. If so, and you can use them as building blocks to predict an election outcome, I'll be the first to listen.

    John

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    1. Sorry Frank. I think the assessments of Biden are way off and that the Republicans are more likely to pay the piper than the press thinks. I shouldn't have taken out my anger with the dipshit press on you. Again, sorry.

      John

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    2. Ah, this all made me smile. I *absolutely* recognize your frustration — share it often — and greatly respect your apology, too, though I ain't sure it was necessary. We're all entitled to blow our stacks once or twice per reality.

      That said, I tend to agree with Frank on this, though of course I hope he's wrong.

      Delete
    3. Just to be clear, the apology was mostly to you. This is your site, and driving people away should be in YOUR job description, not mine. When you start selling the Snickers bars, maybe you'll cut me in for a nut or two.

      I just fuckin' crack myself up. I know it's unbecoming, but there you have it.

      Johnny

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    4. Haven't driven anyone away yet. I keep trying, though, every morning.

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    5. I wrote a single sentence a little impatient with Joe Biden and it's THE WORST PIECE OF POLITICAL ANALYSIS YOU'VE EVER HEARD ? You've never read David Brooks? https://www.nytimes.com/column/david-brooks

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    6. I apologized. I wasn't mad at you. I was peeved at the press who think that a reasonable, soft-spoken man is somehow doomed to lose the presidency. I think they're wrong. If you want or need another apology for my venting about that here it is.

      I get a little crazy when people are willing to give up on intelligent, calm approaches to governance. It happened to Harry Truman in 1948, and even to Richard Nixon in 1962. I know that seems a long time ago to you, but in the scheme of things it was post-modern politics. The 70% who counted both men out for good were, quite simply wrong. Not evil, just wrong. Sorry you were in the way when I vented about that. I hope you continue to comment on Doug's site. He agrees with you and I disagree with him. Somehow, Doug and I remain friends when we disagree.

      My best wishes,

      John

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    7. Dewey defeats Truman, and it's bizarre to think but in many respects Nixon was a good guy. He was a crook, but he was George Washington compared to QAnon or anyone the Republicans have today.

      Yeah, I am more pessimistic than you, but optimism is a prescription drug and I need it.

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    8. Well, I'm not licensed to prescribe in your state, but I'd consider shipping you some Seattle Slew, grown in the only temperate rainforest in the country and shipped to your door with a box of rain in case you're a Deadhead, and in violation of about 20 federal laws that were even enforced by Obama, a former toker. Man, that sentence had more nested clauses than Gay Santa.

      I'll be here all week.

      And optimism is a choice.

      John

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    9. Yes it is! I choose it less often now that my wife is gone...

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    10. John the Basket, apology accepted but also no big deal. I am here for fun not arguments about the wisdom of the ages.

      Delete
  4. > Haven't driven anyone away yet. I keep trying, though, every morning.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sTz7nABgIH4

    jtb

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  5. Hicks was a marvel and it's a great song. Also love the Charlatans' sound, his earlier band.

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    1. And I'm not the world's biggest Merle Travis fan, but he sounds a little like Mr Hicks on Merle's best days. In any case, the first song the band of stoners who performed at my first wedding played was, "If You Want Your Freedom PDQ, Then Divorce Me C.O.D.".

      Took eight longish years, not all of which sucked, partly because she did.

      John

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    2. I may have never heard of Travis Merle until this moment, but I Googled and like that song.

      Old-style country sounds like folk, and usually I like folk. Guess I'm folksy.

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    3. Yeah, Travis Merle was sort of Big Hat Country before that meant Garth Brooks and other shortdick assholes singing bad songs very loudly. The important thing about Mr Merle is the fingerpicking style he invented, which I won't try to describe here, which he passed down to, among others, Ike Everly, who taught it to his sons, who arguably helped integrate Country with rock & roll, and brought Country slowly out of its collapse after Hank Williams' death. Five years later Ray Charles recorded "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music" and aided the cause (as well as aiding the cause of the Civil Rights Movement) but that's a whole nother story.

      Raise one to Mr Merle who died recently in 1983. I'm just sayin'. . .

      jtb

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    4. ... "died recently in 1983." Sounds poetic.

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    5. Doug, his death was so traumatic that it switched his first and last names. Now that's going out the hard way.

      John

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    6. Unlike most of my mistakes, I noticed that one in advance, but it make me smile so I stuck with it.

      My wife said the same thing about me.

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    7. I hope you know I wasn't mocking you at any speed. I could tell you were inside the joke rather than outside, and with an audience size that is small (but growing) I figured nobody else would bother to read our rants and correct us. My best and worst feature is that I crack myself up. I've seen you do the same, although I don't know you well enough to know whether that's a feature or an aberration. Be careful. It's contagious.

      Delete
    8. Yeah, I laugh at myself often, and almost as much as I deserve.

      Delete

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