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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Closer Conservatism Gets To Conservatives, The More They Reject It.

It’s true and it’s not only a Janesville phenomenon.

Just look at the massive $425M+ corporate welfare deal public private partnership Scott Walker struck with the Milwaukee Bucks. The entire MKE business community led by the city’s business chamber pulled hard to make that deal happen. Of course those are the same CEO’s who vote for Scott Walker and give his economic "reforms" high approval ratings. To be blunt, they vote GOP nine out of ten times and I'd bet if you ask them, they identify themselves as conservatives.

But national conservatives, those not from Wisconsin, were watching and were much less forgiving of the GOP presidential front-runner’s government driven economic growth proposal. To them, it reeked of insiderism.

In case you didn’t notice, Walker’s fall from the top perch happened during the final throes of the Bucks deal. Just a coincidence? Perhaps.

I’m not saying the MKE deal did the trick alone, but it certainly looks like it helped convince Iowa conservatives that Walker is not their guy. Even Walker later said that being governor hurt his campaign. Was he referring to the leadership role he played in the Bucks deal? It's certainly food for thought.

For more proof of conservatives rejection of their own policies when it affects them, and demand for principled conservatives when it doesn't, look to Wisconsin’s red counties and rural areas. Many of these folks know they’re being short-changed state aid for their roads and education. To this date however, I haven’t seen one red county elected official come out boasting about the economic prosperity gravel roads and shuttered schools will bring to their communities. In fact, I recall one rural official complaining that locals have 61% of state roads but get only 33% of funding from the state to fix them. These conservatives don’t want dirt road austerity for themselves and I don’t blame them since they pay their share of state taxes.

Then we get to Janesville. It’s no secret that the local business establishment led by Forward Janesville and heavily propagandized by the Janesville Gazette are in-the-tank Scott Walker and Paul Ryan supporters. Yet they're screaming that they want no part of conservative-driven austerity for themselves.

Since Scott Walker was elected, Janesville’s conservative establishment, after receiving substantial tax cuts and tax credit transfer gimmicks for themselves, endorsed every tax hike proposed for the Janesville population. Oddly, the conservative principled Gazette has repeatedly editorialized how they prefer a “progressive” community for their own backyard and Forward Janesville, bless their hearts, said that if residents are unwilling to accept higher tax obligations, the local economy could death spiral.

Funny how they equate a progressive community with higher taxes and higher taxes with prosperity. But since these are obviously conservatives speaking, higher local taxes are clearly a conservative driven lobby.

Conservatives rejection of their own nationalized rhetoric doesn’t end on taxes alone. Not when reality sinks in.

In Janesville, the Gazette along with the establishment also strongly opposed placing restrictions on local spending so much …that they would not even allow a citizen's petition for a referendum asking residents to vote on the question. The Gazette at that time wrote, "In our representative democracy, we elect officials to be visionary and make good decisions for us."

And now? They support a GOP initiative for local referendums that would remove elected officials from the mix by placing the tax raising decision to fund roads in the hands of voters. It's "local control" they suggest ...and who would be against that? I couldn't make this stuff up no matter how hard I try.

There’s no question about it. The closer conservatism gets to conservatives, the more they reject it.


RNR - Local Tax and Spend Fiscal Phonies Lobby Madison On Tax Day


Peter Felknor said...

But this isn't conservatism. It's Tea Party "Dumbo-Con," that cancerously confused political cesspool practiced by mssrs. Walker and Ryan and their apologists throughout Wisconsin. Remember that a chief tenet of classical conservatism is personal responsibility. Puh-leeze.

Lou Kaye said...

The Ryan/Walker local chamber and the self-described conservative local newspaper would never align themselves to the tea party. I would agree they are co-opting the same "cancerously confused political cesspool" that support them. There is a lot more going on here locally with conservatives than to simply justify their agenda to raise taxes as an effort to instill personal responsibility.

I don't disagree with your view, but I think rigidly enforcing or sticking to one or two prime principles as a purity test to identify true conservativism becomes impossible when reality presents itself.

Peter Felknor said...

I meant that it is the "conservatives" who are being irresponsible by promoting tax hikes to cover for the results of their own austerity/idiocy.

BTW love your blog. For my money one of the best political blogs out there.

Lou Kaye said...

I figured that but made the wrong assumption you were heading that way. But "Conservatives" in Janesville are indeed (newspaper and social media) trying to make that personal responsibility talking point to justify raising taxes.

Thank you for your input. It's appreciated.

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