The Party of Cynicism
April 5, 2012
We thought former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk set a new high-water mark for cynicism when she volunteered to sell the Wisconsin governor’s office to the teachers’ union for campaign contributions and an endorsement.
Government for sale is not without precedent, though making the offer with a plain-English promise to veto any state budget that doesn’t repeal collective bargaining reforms may be.
But now comes Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and if his cynicism is not on such a grand scale, it makes up the difference in sheer brazenness.
Barrett used the Walker reforms to balance his city budget and crowed about the money he was saving for taxpayers. Now, apparently without blushing, Barrett attacks the very tools he used.
“We have spent 15 months in this state in a civil war,” Barrett said in Wausau Sunday, according to WisPolitics. “The person who started this civil war is Scott Walker and I am here to end it.”
Well…a brief word, if we might:
There are reasons why the state’s biggest unions explicitly and publicly rejected a Barrett candidacy months before there was one.
This is Tom Barrett’s third run for governor. He failed in a primary contest with Jim Doyle. He failed in the 2010 general election against Scott Walker. Now he wants to try again in a race on which the unions are betting the ranch. ‘Nuff said. Except…
Except there’s one more thing: Barrett did use the Walker reforms to extract union concessions in a move he undoubtedly thinks made him look good. Right or wrong, the unions have obvious reasons to find that offensive. The rest of us have our own reasons to find it offensive when Barrett takes advantage of a reform and then runs against it.