Daily Bread for 2.8.22: The Leading Democrats Running Against Ron Johnson

  Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 43.  Sunrise is 6:59 AM and sunset 5:18 PM for 10h 18m 18s of daytime.  The moon is in its first quarter with 50.8% of its visible disk illuminated.

The Whitewater School Board’s Policy Review Committee meets at 9 AM, and Whitewater Fire Department, Inc. holds a business meeting at 6:30 PM

 On this day in 1993, General Motors sues NBC after Dateline NBC allegedly rigs two crashes intended to demonstrate that some GM pickups can easily catch fire if hit in certain places. NBC settles the lawsuit the next day.

Writing from Washington, Jennifer Rubin observes that Democrats cannot afford to blow it in Wisconsin’s Senate race:

Ben Wikler, the state Democratic Party chair, tells me: “Sen. Johnson has opposed relief for small business, support for Wisconsin parents and children and now family-supporting manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin. The one thing he’s actually for? The huge tax break for himself and his biggest donors that he inserted into Trump’s mega tax giveaway to the super wealthy.”

Democrats, therefore, have a golden opportunity in the critical swing state. But with a crowded Democratic primary, the party’s moderates are increasingly nervous that the front-runner, progressive Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, is setting up Democrats to blow a real shot at winning the seat. Nominating Barnes might play well before national left-leaning donors and marquee politicians, but it gives Johnson the chance to run against “socialism” and escape his own record.

In January, the Cook Political Report noted, “Barnes has embraced progressive positions, including Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. … [A] former Wisconsin Democratic officeholder said they certainly worry that Barnes could miss out on appealing to suburban and rural voters and the state’s small slice of independent and swing voters.” Cook quotes the official’s warning: “If you’re just driving the ultra-liberals to the polls, you’ll obviously lose.” Barnes’s defenders claim he isn’t all that progressive, although he is plainly to the left of President Biden, who barely won the state.

Democrats have plenty of options, including Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry and State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, who has made her appeal in rural areas a key argument for her campaign. Godlewski recently unveiled an extensive plan to boost rural Wisconsin. As the Associated Press reported, “A key part of Godlewski’s five-point plan calls for making broadband Internet, which she called ‘essential as electricity,’ a public utility. … Her plan also emphasizes ensuring that rural Wisconsin residents have access to quality medical care, including hospitals which were struggling to survive even before the pandemic increased the strain.” She also wants to expand Medicaid.

I’m not a Democrat (and neither is Rubin): we are among those who support Democrats in a broad coalition against Trumpism. Democrats, mostly, will decide on their nominee to face Johnson in November. Others can vote in the primary for one of the Democrats (as I will), but party regulars will be the lion’s share of voters in their primary. Any of the Democratic candidates would be preferable to Johnson, so the fall election offers an easy choice.

Rubin mentions the main (and best-funded candidates), but there are others, including Tom Nelson, running.

I have, as yet, no favorite from among this primary field. For me, supporting the strongest possible November challenger to Johnson matters most. I’m not sure which candidate that might be, however.  (It’s clear Rubin worries that Lt. Gov. Barnes is too progressive for the 2022 contest. I don’t know.)

It’s only February, and the Wisconsin primary state offices is not until August 9th.  There’s time to decide, and immediately after the primary to support wholeheartedly the collective choice against Johnson.

 A Whale and Dolphin Off Oahu:

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