Tom grew up in Milwaukee, bartended in Wauwatosa in the '70s and moved here in 1984.
Commentary, observations and musings about the outdoors, life in general and maybe Tosa politics and personalities will be the order of the day. He savors a lively debate as much as terrific cooking.
I shoot arrows with a couple of hunting buddies once a week and we go out for dinner afterward. Over dinner the conversation generally shifts from someone's crappy form or high score to politics. Anyway, it usually does. At least lately.
Last night Braumeister pointed-out that conservative pundits - radio and cable - were all lining-up to bash John McCain as not being conservative enough to deserve the Republican nomination for president. (For the uninitiated this phenomenon has been labeled: McCain Derangement Syndrome.) He was rather taken aback by this - at one point brandishing a meatball on a fork and sputtering, they've labeled McCain a liberal !
After puzzling over this persistent interest in the hijacking of the Republican Party by elements of the extreme right, replete with their collective anger-management issues, we shake our heads and conclude that this is the stuff over which elections are lost. Go figure.
There has been some very recent chatter over at the TTS about conservatives, liberals and government policy. It's interesting stuff and a remarkably civil discussion. You might want to read it and chime-in. I finally posted some observations last night as it seemed timely - considering the dinner conversation.
During my lunch break today, I read the New York Times while pounding out my miles on the treadmill and I absorbed a very compelling editorial by David Brooks.
Brooks argues that a funny thing has happened this primary season. Conservative voters have not followed their conservative leaders. Conservative voters are much more diverse than the image you’d get from conservative officialdom.
Brooks concludes that the Republican Party, even in its shrunken state, is diverse. Regular Republican voters don’t seem to mind independent thinking. There’s room for moderates as well as orthodox conservatives. Limbaugh, Grover Norquist and James Dobson have influence, but they are not arbiters of conservative doctrine.
It might be seemingly coincidental that three archery nuts, a Tosa message board and a Times columnist all opined upon such closely related topics.
I think not.
What I sense is a growing backlash among moderate Republicans and independent conservatives who have had their fill of a government that seeks to intrude into so many aspects of a citizen's private life, run-away spending by the current occupant of the White House (ostensibly a conservative) and the general name-calling and marginalization of anyone in the middle who doesn't unquestioningly embrace the extreme right's brand of political correctness.
That stinks and I figure I'm not the only person to hold that view.
So what does this have to do with the Tosa mayoral race?
I think it has everything to do with the tone of the debate as each of the candidates stake-out their positions leading up to the election - that is if there ever is to be a real debate. (That being another topic of discussion).
Last fall, the Didier Campaign's opening salvo was calculated to use conservative daytime radio in an attempt to exploit a largely phantom issue and turn it to the candidate's political advantage.
My guess was they figured conservative media would seize upon the opportunity to attack the incumbent Mayor. They would be correct.
In a couple of posts I called-out candidate Didier over this issue.
If you use the correct bait you usually get a bite. Sometimes you get to set the hook. What was revealing about the angry exchange that ensued was who the candidate's acolytes were.
Personally, I think it a tactical error as the Mayor sucker-punched them later with the announcement that she wasn't running for reelection. So chalk it up to inexperience.
Since then things have been quiet. At least I think they have. In the sweatshop where I work no one has the time to indulge in daytime conservative radio so maybe I've missed something.
Anyway, I'm hopeful that the campaign discourse remains civil and informative. Without Terry Estness in the race it is possible that we have been spared a record amount of vitriolic rage from the far right. Time will tell.
I'm still waiting for a series of debates.
Heck, I'd be satisfied with just one really big, city-wide debate - but I'll not hold my breath.