Good Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 45. Sunrise is 6:11 AM and sunset 7:37 PM for 13h 26m 19s of daytime. The moon is a waxing gibbous with 98.1% of its visible disk illuminated.
A few days ago, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski visited the Whitewater Unified School District’s Lakeview School, and thereafter issued a press release about a grant to the district. The press release, issued from Godlewski’s office on 4.12.22, made the rounds in Whitewater.
One day later and a thousand miles away, Jennifer Rubin wrote about the U.S. Senate race in which Godlewski is one of several candidates. See Democrats must make a strategic choice in Wisconsin’s Senate race. There is an unexpected, but happy, synchronicity in Rubin’s post: she reminds that local isn’t merely local. Wisconsin and America are enmired in a national conflict, the outcome of which will exert an influence greater than any local grant (however welcome).
Rubin is a former Republican, and since the emergence of Trump has committed herself (by intellect, industry, and insight) as a part of a grand coalition in support of the constitutional order (and so necessarily against Trumpism). Others of us, including this libertarian blogger, are also part of that coalition. While Democrats are most of this alliance, there are others of us who are not, and have never been, Democrats.
The outcome of this political conflict between Democrats and Republicans is not a matter of indifference to those of us who are neither.
And so, and so, Rubin and others of us wonder about the best choices that our shared alliance will make.
Rubin considers Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race:
The good news for Democrats is that their front-runner in Wisconsin’s Senate primary seems to be course-correcting. The bad news is that it might be too little, too late.
“Lieutenant Gov. Mandela Barnes has tried to stake out his place as a liberal candidate seeking the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate,” the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. “But Barnes is now distancing himself from two unpopular, far-left political movements — defunding police and abolishing ICE — despite support from groups backing these efforts and past social media activity referencing these causes.”
One can imagine that Sen. Ron Johnson, the Republican incumbent whom Barnes would face should he win his party’s nomination, would like nothing more than to make this a race against “socialism.” Johnson has a boatload of controversies and gaffes, including his latest flub when he admitted that the plastics business he owned, as well as some of his prominent donors, benefited from the small-business tax provision that he pushed for in the 2017 tax cuts.
It is not as if Democrats lack sensible candidates. Sarah Godlewski, the state treasurer, has run a savvy campaign appealing to all segments of the party, including rural counties (which she won in her treasurer’s race). She has mastered the art of advancing center-left ideas that work in Wisconsin with none of the firebrand rhetoric better suited for Vermont or Massachusetts. Meanwhile, Tom Nelson, the county executive for rural Outagamie County and former state assemblyman, has been called a “scrappy” underdog. His pro-union bona fides and working-class constituents give him the feel of a rural populist. Those two candidates, however, have a combined total of 17 percent, roughly 20 points behind Barnes in recent internal polling, although a large percentage of voters remain undecided.
It’s likely that Barnes will receive the Democratic nomination on August 9th. If so, Barnes will deserve and receive support from those of us who rightly see the unsuitability — indeed detestability — of Johnson.
And yet, and yet, some of us who are not Democrats, but no less committed to an alliance in defense of liberal democracy, worry about whether some candidates will prove capable of withstanding the well-funded, divisive onslaught Johnson is sure to undertake.
Would Godlewski fare better in the fall than Barnes? Some of us feel that she might. We will, of course, defend any of the possible nominees against Johnson, but an easier defense would be preferable to us than a harder one.
In any event, with so much at stake, how near-sighted it would be to think local is merely local.