The essential peevishness of Madison’s most influential editorial page was on full display today in a piece called “Let’s get this thing over with.” It’s about the recall elections. The State Journal is annoyed and impatient.
Normally we assume that daily editorials are effectively the work of editorial page editor Scott Milfred rather than the whole editorial board, but today we find the explicit language of “we”. So, disappointing as that is, we’ll take it as written. The editorial board writes
We aren’t fans of the recall process — regardless of the target. Voters elected Walker 16 months ago to a four-year term, not a trial run.
Oh, come on. No one is “fan” of the recall process. No one enjoys tramping about in the Wisconsin winter gathering signatures. People have plenty of things they’d rather be doing. Surely this is a feigned cluelessness about what has happened.
What has happened is that something went very wrong with the last election — the winning candidate forgot to mention what his plans were. That — need it be said? — is not the way our elections are supposed to work.
Of course, Scott Walker was elected with the presumption that he would serve a four-year term. But guess what? When you get elected and then start steam-rolling a divisive, demonizing, and previously undisclosed campaign against ordinary workers and citizens, you get some push-back. Add a layer of self-serving voter restrictions, secret redistricting, cuts to education, mining bills written by and for a mining company, and a too-cozy relationship with a handful of out-of-state billionaires. What happens? The people of Wisconsin are now more divided than anyone can remember.
What is the State Journal’s problem with recalls? Has the last year been much ado about nothing? Really?
The editorial dismissively calls it “recall mania”.
For some State Journal readers, calling it a “mania” passes without notice. For others, it’s a startling bit of tone-deafness.