The only truly serious way to get a politician’s attention

This week The Cap Times published an editorial headlined, If J.B. Van Hollen doesn’t change course, he needs to go. That’s exactly right on the legal issue — Wisconsin politicians can’t flout the open records law because they’re wink, wink, “in session”… an amazingly dumb, new, legal theory from Attorney General Van Hollen. And it’s also exactly right on the justifiable election time consequences. He’ll need to go.

Seriously, that’s the way it works, or is supposed to work, in a representative democracy. If it’s a big-deal issue, either you get it right, or we start working to defeat you.

Now this makes us think of the recent unusually GOOD editorial campaign in the Wisconsin State Journal against gerrymandering. We predicted it would almost certainly fail, even though it was asking for just a little teensy foot in the door to good government. We predicted it would fail, because the levers of power in the state capitol are wielded by, well let’s just say it, sorry assholes driven by self-interest. Ouch! Such language. True, however.

Now, what’s supposed to happen to sorry assholes in public office — when we clearly see who they are, not always clear at first — is, we vote ’em out. So here comes the moment of truth for the Wisconsin State Journal. Will their unusually good campaign against gerrymandering continue? They’ve made two, nice, strong Sunday punches so far, and equally important, they’ve been coordinating with other Wisconsin newspapers.

But will it last? Will it continue? Will there be a third round, and a fourth? And if that doesn’t work, (and it won’t), will the State Journal do what the Cap Times did this week so easily and naturally? Will the State Journal call for removing the road-blocking Republican leaders?