Darlings, we don’t think this is going to work

Criminy, two separate Wisconsin State Journal editorials in one week! Two editorials about rigged voting districts first on Sunday and then on Wednesday (paywall, believe it or not).

A sensible argument

The State Journal has rarely if ever shown such determination on an issue, so it’s especially nice that this time they’re on the right side of it. We’ve been delighted from the start. They have now made this same, sensible and popular argument in 6 or 7 recent editorials. (We’re losing count! It’s an editorial barrage!)


But the thing is, we just don’t think sensible arguments are gonna work here. Sure, the Iowa model of redistricting by independent, technocratic, non-partisan methods would surely be better for the public. It would produce more competitive elections. We’d probably get more representative, uh, “representatives“. Better governance! Better democracy! It would even save money.

But is that what our current crop of elected officials want? Not really. In fact, not at all.

Does Assembly Leader Robin Voss (R-Rochester) want greater difficulty getting himself elected, and re-elected? Does Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald want more and better opposition in Senate campaigns? No, of course not. That was the whole point of rigging the voting districts.

  • That’s also why they went straight to work implementing new, shall we say, “Southern style”, voting restrictions. The wrong citizens were getting to the polls.
  • That’s why they took a straight razor to the public sector unions.
  • That’s why they’re proposing higher limits for wealthy campaign contributors and less public information about who’s giving.

In short it is very, very clear that Wisconsin Republicans are helping themselves, at the expense of the voting public. They clearly thought about it, and then acted. Quite decisively.

Now the State Journal hasn’t opposed most of these anti-citizen, anti-voter initiatives, but it’s great to see them oppose at least one of them (the rigged voting districts). Good luck to you, State Journal, and to all of us. We love these little flashes of idealism on your editorial page.

But darlings, we really doubt that well-intentioned pleading is going to work.