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Politics

Consequences, Accountability, Repentance, Redemption

David Frum, writing of Trump & Trumpism in The Conservative Cult of Victimhood, observes that There is no redemption without repentance. There is no repentance without accountability. There is no accountability without consequences. He rightly concludes that for the Trumpists, the absence of a moral order of accountability and repentance has meant that Even as Trump commits…

Local 2021 Races in the Whitewater Area

Update: this post about local politics, with an optimistic final sentence, was published before the morning and afternoon events in Washington. It has always been true – and always will be true – that what harms the country harms the city; what stains the nation stains the city. Every moment of opposition to Trump and…

Aside

Having descended nationally into a dead-end assemblage of ‘pardoned felon, adherents of the QAnon conspiracy theory, a White House trade adviser and a Russian agent’s former lover,’ versions of the same yet scheme for local office. As there is nationally, there is also a need to oppose Trumpism down to the local level as it moves – walking, crawling, or slithering – to the detriment of small and beautiful cities. 

Ron Johnson’s 12.16.20 Senate Hearing on Election Security

Yesterday, Sen. Ron Johnson held a hearing as the (outgoing) chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. A video of the full hearing appears above. Johnson may run for a third term, and even if he doesn’t, his role in support of Trump and his affinity for a Trumpist outlook make him a subject of…

Trump and 2024

Trump may now float the prospect of a 2024 run, but his manifest deficiences are also political impediments. An ideology along the lines of Trumpism will go on (and require relentless opposition), but Trump, himself, faces a legal and economic reckoning. See Man and Movement.

Probable Wisconsin Political Issues for 2021

Although one can confidently doubt that ‘everything changes’ after the pandemic, there are in any year prominent political issues. Some are national, some statewide, some local. One can guess correctly that the new year will entertain at least three notable statewide issues, each summarized below. These are statewide issues that will reach deep into every…

They’ve Become What They Once Despised

The greatest tragedies are injuries inflicted on the innocent. There are, however, other sad moments of our time, among them the collapse of responsibile conservatism into Trumpian irresponsibility & dishonesty. So many conservatives have become what they once despised. A local example would be proud conservatives who now insist, nationally or locally, that government is…

In Whitewater, Three Recent Trespasses Against Public Comment

Whitewater’s public comment periods are lawful rights worth defending, and there has never been a time when respecting public comment – humbly and gratefully – has been more important for the city. Since June, there have been three meetings during which Whitewater’s current council president has deprecated public comment, or wrongly set the order of…

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Helpful Advice for Whitewater, Wisconsin

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is rightly celebrated as a masterpiece. It also offers useful political advice, even for small town officials. From that musical’s Washington on Your Side, consider this sage observation on the limits of intra-institutional reform: If there’s a fire you’re trying to douse, You can’t put it out from inside the house. There’s…

Whitewater’s Local Government: Always Literally, Not as Often Seriously

It was the Trump apologist Salena Zito who, by way of defending Trump, suggested that his words should be taken ‘seriously, not literally.’ (She offered this defense in a deceitful effort to absolve Trump from the plain meaning of what he said, at any moment. Instead of considering his statements, one was supposed to take…

Social Capital and Hardship

What role does social capital play in a community’s health? Adam Gopnik, in The Paradoxical Role of Social Capital in the Coronavirus Pandemic, ponders whether there’s a relationship between communities with high social capital and a community’s public health. Gopnik uses a traditional definition of social capital as the “parts of society that, without being…