I have spent the last few weeks in full curmudgeon mode, grumbling to anyone who asked, about how ridiculous this whole recall thing seemed and how I wasn't going to participate in the process.
No voting for me, I said. I'm staying home.
Then I read a column this week written by Andy Tarnoff, who is too young to really be a curmudgeon, but he has potential.
He wrote about how he felt the way I had been feeling. It was stupid, he wrote, to have a recall election over policy differences.
I've been telling people that a recall should be reserved for a politician caught in a hotel room with marked dollar bills stuffed in his underwear and an underage kid in the bed. Now, that's recall material.
Then I began to look around Wisconsin. And I realized that I am really sad about the state of my state. And while I blame a lot of people, much of the blame falls squarely on the Boy Scout shoulders of Scott Walker.
What we have in Wisconsin now is a sense of hopelessness. It's an unhappy place with a future as bleak as my chance of ever winning a Pulitzer Prize.
And Scott Walker has created this climate.
Like right wing talk radio, he loves the combat of "us versus them." He wants there to be an enemy and he wants to fight the enemy. He doesn't want to find a way for us to live together. It's his way or the highway.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that Wisconsin lost jobs last year. Then all of a sudden, the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development comes up with numbers that show Wisconsin gained jobs last year.
Let's see, the Department of Workforce Development works for Walker. Walker is unhappy with those federal statistics. He's in a tough election. And all of a sudden these new numbers show up.
Does he think we just fell off he turnip truck or something?
That's one of the terrible problems we have. Walker has a gazillion dollars and he's running more ads than Geico. And they bear only a vague nodding acquaintance with reality.
I want a governor who gives it to us at least partially straight. Tell us that the state is in bad shape and that we've got problems. Tell us that in order to solve those problems we need to cooperate a little bit. Take those extremists and send them to the sideline, never to enter the game again.
The problem with Scott Walker is that his "Man The Ramparts" program cuts off half the population from participating in the quest for a great state.
He puts us in the corner. And, as Johnny says in Dirty Dancing, "Nobody puts Baby in a corner."
I'm Baby and I'm not staying in the corner anymore. I'm voting.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.