Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wiggy say don't

It's time to walk back from the ledge, everyone. Step away from making that plunge to the sidewalk. Come back to the window. Back inside where it's warm. As tempting as jumping into a recall of Governor Doyle sounds, just don't.

This is an incredible waste of time, money and volunteer effort. Making matters worse, nobody has made the sufficient case to recall the governor.

I am not a fan of Governor Doyle.

His latest budget is the most radical state budget in Wisconsin history. I wish I were writing about that instead of the recall effort. Doyle is literally putting criminals back on the street, reducing money spent on law enforcement, taking money for the general fund that does not belong to the state, taxing old people in their nursing home beds, taxing sick people, punishing wealth with a new tax bracket, creating a pseudo gay marriage status, and raising state spending by 7 percent in the middle of a recession. He is a horrible governor.

However, he has not used the state police power to investigate opponents. He has not been found guilty of any crimes despite repeated investigations. Nobody on his staff has been found guilty of any crimes. There is no single issue of wrongdoing that compels a bipartisan effort to oust him. This is a policy dispute, not a case of personal misconduct in office.

Worse, pursuing a recall now will only cause the Democrats to reflexively defend the governor and his budget. We should be focusing our energies on getting the Democrats in the Legislature to make a choice between the governor and the people on several key budget points. If the recall goes forward, any criticisms of the governor or the state budget will be seen in the light of the politics of the recall and not on their own merits.

This proposed recall is the wrong tool at the wrong time applied the wrong way.

You know, if you spent just two quarters today on the newspaper (not even the cost of a Snickers bar) not only could you have enjoyed the tremendous sensation of holding newsprint in your fingers, you could have seen my handsome face on the front page promoting this week's column. Now that is a bargain. Or at least a cheap thrill.