Recall Evers at election time

Here is my column that ran in the Washington County Daily News this week:

Governor Tony Evers is proving to be one of the most partisan, nasty, incompetent governors in modern history. Our state is worse off for him having been elected. But we elected him, and he is our governor for at least the next 28 long, long months. The burgeoning attempt to recall the governor, while well-intentioned, is an affront to our system of government and social contract. We elected him. Barring something criminal, we are stuck with him, and that is as it should be.

This is certainly not the first time that Wisconsinites have attempted to recall a governor. In fact, there have been attempts to recall the last two governors. In 2009, after almost two terms of lies and sleaze from Governor Jim Doyle, an intrepid band of earnest citizens attempted to recall the governor. The ill-fated attempt ended as it should have, in failure, and Governor Doyle announced his decision to decline to seek re-election three months later.

Of course, with the taste of recall blood in the water, the liberals in Wisconsin tried the same tactic to remove Governor Scott Walker two years later. They were upset that Governor Walker had the temerity to champion public policies with which they disagreed. They were successful in collecting enough signatures to trigger a recall election and proceeded to rend the political and social fabric of Wisconsin for the better part of a decade.

The process to recall an elected official exists for the citizens to remove a politician who has so abused the public trust that he or she must not be permitted to finish the term. There is no legal or official standard for what action, or lack thereof, defines the threshold for the recall of an elected official, but prudence and respect for representative government demands an extraordinary standard. In the case of Governor Evers, that standard has not been met. It is true that he advocates for policies that are destructive to Wisconsin. It is true that Evers is foul-mouthed, unprofessional, and duplicitous in his dealings with people who do not agree with him. It is true that he is feckless and makes poor decisions when responding to emergencies that afflict our state. It is true that Evers lacks the interpersonal skills to compromise or find common ground. He is a case study for the Peter Principle. All of that is true, but Governor Evers has not done anything for which he deserves to be recalled. He is just a bad governor.

The problem with a recall is that it destabilizes our political system by challenging the will of the people. It is like the people saying, “Yeah, we elected him, but we changed our minds.” The uncertainty that the attempted recall of a governor creates ripples through the state. It roils the electorate and unsettles the economy. The stability of our political system relies on the orderly transition of power and the relative certainty of regularly scheduled elections. The whipsaw of reactive recall elections subverts that stability and risks roiling our state in perpetual turmoil.

The thing with Governor Evers is that his incompetence, dishonesty, poor social skills, and laziness were on full display before the voters elected him. It was obvious to anyone looking. But in a fit of cantankerousness, the good people of Wisconsin elected him anyway. As the old saw goes, elections have consequences.

The frustration that some people are feeling over our governor is a healthy reminder that elections have consequences. The governor is not a boorish house guest that can be shown the door when his behavior becomes too much. We invited him to stay the night and we are stuck with him until morning.

We choose our elected leaders during orderly, regularly scheduled elections. That is where we must spend our time, money, and energy. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Good choices during an election prevent the damage bad choices inflict. Recalling a governor should be reserved for only the most egregious and criminal of transgressions.

Focus on the elections. They matter.

27 Responses to Recall Evers at election time

  1. Tuerqas says:

    You have said similar things before.

    It’s funny, I could swear I remember liberals calling you(Owen) out during the Walker recalls saying that if a Democratic Governor were being recalled you would be crying it forward.  Not so much, I guess.  Huh, integrity after all, eh?

  2. jjf says:

    No chance it can happen in the pandemic, right?  Why would Owen cheer it if there was little to no chance of it happening?

    Owen’s just queuing up the Kleefisch campaign, right?

  3. Jason says:

    >No chance it can happen in the pandemic, right?  Why would Owen cheer it if there was little to no chance of it happening?
    >Owen’s just queuing up the Kleefisch campaign, right?
     

    Ah the piece of shit has smeared more shit around.  John Foust can’t be honest or respectful – ever.

  4. Owen Owen says:

    I opposed the Doyle recall attempt. I opposed the Walker recall attempt. I oppose the Evers recall attempt. I opposed them all for the same reasons and only one attempt occurred during a pandemic. I actually believe stuff.

  5. Merlin says:

    How much worse can he get? A recall would require too much time and treasure be spent on a guy who already has an expiration date. When the time comes nobody will turn out the Republican voters like Evers himself.

  6. MjM says:

    Wizard sez: “When the time comes nobody will turn out the Republican voters like Evers himself.”

    The question is, turn out for… who? I’ve not heard of any suitable contenders. Suggestions welcome,

  7. Jason says:

    Like Tuerqas said Owen… Integrity, something John Foust has no concept of. Oh he thinks his little parody website shows integrity, but what he doesn’t realize is that it shows what a dick he is.

  8. Merlin says:

    MjM:

    Who is a card that doesn’t need to be played publicly for another year. The next couple of years are going to be a nightmare for weak Democrat incumbents everywhere. The CRT zealots are going to destroy them. In the meantime let Evers continue to blame everyone else for why he’s constantly stepping on his own balls.

  9. jjf says:

    Three cheers for your integrity and consistency, Owen.  It’s too bad there are no archives that would show what you said about the Doyle or Walker recalls.

    And Jason…  What’s all this you’re prattling about?  Don’t be sad.  Don’t be jealous.  In time you too can learn enough database and HTML and writing ability to make your own sites some day.

  10. Mar says:

    jjf, have you learned how to use a data base yet?

  11. Jason says:

    >Three cheers for your integrity and consistency, Owen.  It’s too bad there are no archives that would show what you said about the Doyle or Walker recalls.

     

    Only your kind of stupid comes here and says that, and yet comes back every day, day after day. Only a neckbeard like you would complain as much as you about the owner, and the regular participants of a website, and yet post day after day.

  12. Owen Owen says:

    Oh, you mean this column that ran in May of 2009?

    Don’t Recall Doyle

    There is an effort in Wisconsin to recall Governor Jim Doyle.  While I understand and appreciate the motivations behind the effort, I can’t support it. 

    Wisconsin law allows for the citizens to recall an elected official if the requisite number of signatures can be acquired.  The one caveat to that is that the elected official cannot be recalled within a year of his or her election. 

     The purpose of the recall process is to allow the citizens the power to reverse a poor decision at the ballot box and remove a bad choice from office.  The legal provisions of the statutes do not put any restrictive standards on the requirements needed to stage a recall election.  Basically, a recall election can be held at any time as long as the requisite signatures are attained. 

     But despite the lack of any requirements or standards for a recall election, I have always understood a recall election to be the last recourse to remove an elected official from office who is corrupt, incompetent, or otherwise unfit for office. 

     For example, Governor Rod Blagojevich, although not convicted, is obviously utterly corrupt to all rational observers.  By the same token, Nero or Eliot Spitzer or many others were certainly known by thinking people to be corrupt.  These are people who would have been ripe for a recall election. 

     Governor Doyle, one the other hand, doesn’t fit into this category.  He is a liar, but not anymore so that many politicians.  He promised that he would not raise taxes, but he has several times over.  He has been very generous in using taxpayers’ resources to reward campaign supporters like the Tribes, teachers’ union, and trial lawyers, but there haven’t been any confirmations that her broke the law.  In the end, Governor Doyle is a politician who seems to operate in that gauzy gray area between the letter of the law and the intent of the legislators who passed those laws. 

     There is, however, an ultimate break point for the electorate the voice their support or opposition about an elected official.  That break point is called an election and we have them on a regular basis to decide who should or should not represent the people in our government. 

     For example, I do not support Governor Jim Doyle.  I also do not support President Barack Obama.  Each of them, however, was duly elected to serve the people in elected office.  Neither of them have committed blatant crimes against our society or rendered themselves otherwise unfit to serve in office.  Because of that, there really isn’t any cause to remove them from office prior to the next election.  While it is true that I vehemently disagree with both of these men when it comes to specific policies, that is an entirely different threshold than a special election to remove them from office. 

     

    In the end, this serves as a very good lesson to remind us that elections matter.  I disagree with President Obama and Governor Doyle, but both of them were elected by a majority of the people to serve in elected office.  I strongly opposed their elections at the time and continue to oppose the majority of their policies and initiatives.  Irrespective of my personal opinion, both men were legally elected into office.  Absent any outright illegal behavior, they have earned their offices.

     Recall elections are a valuable and necessary tool for the Wisconsin electorate that has been used effectively over the years, but it is also a tool that should be used selectively and sparingly.  The latest effort to recall Governor Doyle is certainly well-intended with the best interests of Wisconsinites in mind, but it is also misguided in that it seeks to recall an elected official based on severe policy deficiencies as opposed to illegal behavior  

    Assuming Doyle runs, our time to recall him will be next November.  Instead of trumping up reasons to recall Doyle, let’s just make the next election count. 

  13. Jason says:

    Now there’s some fucking Integrity right there.  Is there anyone here smarter than John Foust who wants to call people liars to their face?  I guess Foust doesn’t know how to use Internet Archives either – poor little Liberal baby.

     

    https://web.archive.org/web/20111115215504/http://www.bootsandsabers.com/index.php/weblog/permalink/a_conservatives_respnse_to_the_recall_drive

     

    What a dumb ass you are Foust.

  14. jjf says:

    Thanks for playing, Jason, but I have friends who work at Archive.org and I was helping a number of related archive efforts even before Archive.org was formed.  If only we knew of anything that you have done that has attracted anyone’s attention.

    Thank you, Owen, I suspected you kept your own columns.  In my comment I was referring to any online source where we all could see it in its original form.

  15. Owen Owen says:

    That actually is it’s original form – as I wrote it. Whatever is online is after the editor at the time tuned it and put whatever headline they wanted on it. But they are usually only different in form, not substance.

  16. Jason says:

    >Thanks for playing, Jason, but I have friends who work at Archive.org and I was helping a number of related archive efforts even before Archive.org was formed.  If only we knew of anything that you have done that has attracted anyone’s attention.

    So you think you can brag your way out of this?   You just got shown up by people you don’t like and people you insult every day.  If you were any smarter you would be embarrassed.  Congrats on being the dumbest person we’ll interact with today.

  17. Kevin Scheunemann says:

    Jjf,

    Did you sign Walker recall?

  18. jjf says:

    Jason, I’m well aware of Archive.org.  Yes, I have apparently accomplished more than you in life.  Not sure why you’d need to call me “poor little Liberal baby.”

    Not sure where you think I was calling anyone a liar…  was it when I wrote that bit about “no archive?”

    I was referring to the way that B&S only has its posts back to August 2014.  This site existed before that, but the earlier material is not online here now.  Again – maybe there’s a backup, and then there’s Archive.org.   Even the comments here disappear after a few months.  July 2020 is already gone.

    And I appreciate that Owen showed his old piece.  He does seem to have a consistent and restrained position about recalls in general.

    My point about this recall not making much sense in a pandemic has been made by many others, including those who’d otherwise support it.

    And read the Archive.org copy you linked to, and compare it to what Owen writes here.  In the Walker recall, it’s about the (fully legal and correct) procedural checks Owen wants to enforce, and all the ways he can hinder anyone’s efforts.  In the Evers recall, it’s just a bunch of complaints about Evers.

  19. jjf says:

    Kev – I’ll answer the way Jason Mar does.  Can’t you operate a database?

  20. Jason says:

    Kev, I’ll answer since Foust is a chicken.

    http://iverifytherecall.com/Images/sw/sw027767.png

    >In the Evers recall, it’s just a bunch of complaints about Evers.

    Wrong.

    >I was referring to the way that B&S only has its posts back to August 2014.  This site existed before that, but the earlier material is not online here now.  Again – maybe there’s a backup, and then there’s Archive.org.   Even the comments here disappear after a few months.  July 2020 is already gone

    You weren’t, but you pivoted to it, just like you pivoted to “I was asking for an online source”… after you called Owen a liar and got punched in the mouth for it.  It’s the same with you every day, you say stupid shit, get caught, pivot and twist, and run away if you’re held to it.  Or act like a victim – that you’re being bullied or doxxed – even though you’re the only one here who thinks that.

  21. jjf says:

    Didn’t call Owen a liar, didn’t get “punched.”  Such weird fantasies you have.  And when you called me a baby, your intention was what?  Not to bully, right?

    As for “wrong” it would be easier to quote the sentences of Owen’s piece that aren’t complaints about Evers, than to highlight the parts that are.

  22. Mar says:

    “Didn’t call Owen a liar…”
    Bullcrap.
    “It’s too bad there are no archives that would show what you said about the Doyle or Walker recalls.”
    You most certainly did. You questioned his integrity. You were hoping he wouldn’t find the articles.
    But you were busted and smacked down.
    How uncivil and a bully you are jjf.

  23. jjf says:

    Again, Mar, I was referring to the fact that Owen deleted the old B&S from view.  Sure, maybe Archive.org has it (although it’s spotty) and maybe Jed made a backup, but a great deal went down the memory hole.

  24. Owen Owen says:

    Here’s where the world in your head, jjf, doesn’t match reality. You seem to think that there is some sort of nefarious reason behind why the B&S archive only goes back so far.

    Yes, there is an archive. No, it is not public. Frankly, Id’d have to spend some time to figure out how to access it.  After our pause for a couple of years, we redesigned and re-platformed the blog. As part of that, we didn’t want to spend the time or pay for the storage to migrate the old blog into this one. Also, there were considerations for blog performance to carry forward all that data. The same is true for the reason that old comment threads disappear after a while. I don’t remember the setting for that, but it happens automatically as a way to keep storage manageable and keep the blog performing well.

    You might remember that this blog is a hobby. I do it for fun. Frankly, it seems that you spend more time on it than I do lately, but the moment it becomes “work,” I’ll hang it up again. There’s no conspiracy to hide things or silence people. There is a limited amount of time, energy, and money we are going to spend on it because it’s a hobby.

  25. jjf says:

    Nope, I didn’t mean to imply any nefarious reason.  Where did I suggest that?  The nature of software is a good enough reason for me.  Contrary to Jason Mar’s belief, I do know a bit about databases, blogs, and web sites.

    As with many things, maybe it could’ve been possible to migrate it all, but that takes time and expertise (which is fueled by desire and money when it comes down to it) and it has an effect on performance and storage and again that only gets cured with money, and that’s a trade-off too.

  26. Mar says:

    And jjf lies again.

  27. Kevin Scheunemann says:

    jjf,

    You ashamed?

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