BREAKING: State Senator Bob Jauch calls on Solidarity Singers to get a permit

This article is two weeks old,  but given some of the back and forth here on Blogging Blue about this topic it seemed like breaking news to me.

Jauch has been a stalwart progressive legislator from the north woods for 30 years. He took Tim Cullen and Dale Schultz up to visit the La Courte Oreilles Harvest and Education Camp after the Iron County Forestry Committee recommended that the full county board pursue criminal and civil charges against the camp organizers. Jauch is no moderate democrat. He’s a pragmatic, north woods progressive. So am I.

The Solidarity Singers should get a permit or go home.




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46 thoughts on “BREAKING: State Senator Bob Jauch calls on Solidarity Singers to get a permit

  1. Jauch is perfectly entitled to his opinion, and so are you.

    The capitol police need to be pragmatic, and realize that people wish to come and sing, per their rights.

    If David Erwin is truly concerned about everyone, he’ll realize that the singers have already stated through action their commitment to moving and accommodating any other events.

    This is just another powerplay by Walker and Erwin, declaring emergencies and blocking the political action of Republican opponents.

    Do you really not realize this?

    1. Mal,

      ” This is just another powerplay by Walker and Erwin, declaring emergencies and blocking the political action of Republican opponents.”

      Are you serious? You can’t be serious. What political action are they blocking? The singers were getting to Walker so he just had to step in and crackdown? Really? Is there something in the water down there?

      This is a false drama manufactured by a relative handful of Madison lefties and it’s a distraction that should stop. We should be talking about how to defeat Walker in 2014, not how to defeat his “cops” on the floor of the rotunda so that 20 people can sing without getting a ticket.

      Do the readers of this blog really believe that this issue is our ticket to victory in 2014? You people live in a bubble down there. Nobody outside of another relative handful of Madison/Milwaukee people or the left blogosphere gives a rats ass about the Solidarity Singalong. They might actually be hurting our chances in 2014. Snap the F___K out of it.

      1. Your level of argumentation is revealing.

        As is your caricature of an organic and evolving group of people who wish to express their opinions – through song in this instance – and then come back, or not, and do it again the next day.

        And no, I don’t believe the singers are engaging in electoral calculations; nor would I place blind faith in the assurances of Democrats in electoral politics in Wisconsin.

        But this is beside the point: I would point you go the events in March 2013 from a piece by Steven Elbow and Jessica Vanegeren in The Cap Times:

        Another state-backed crackdown on the persistent Capitol protesters is likely to begin after April 1 (2013).

        According to a “statement of scope for administrative rules and emergency rules,” obtained by The Capital Times Monday, the state is planning to promulgate emergency rules — a fast-tracked method to pass a new law quickly without public input — to once again define what sorts of permitted activities are allowed in the Capitol.

        The statement of scope document was approved by Gov. Scott Walker Friday.


        Yes, I am serious; “emergency rules” are the words of GOP hack, DoA Sec. Mike Huebsch’s words.

        The first singing began after Walker declared a “budget emergency,” that just had to fixed by Act 10. That this is political speech is clear.

        Read the last two years of Wisconsin political history and check your facts.

        There is a GOP effort as well to cleanse Wisconsin history of references to the capitol as an open space for public and cultural gatherings.

        1. Mal,

          If the singers or the people reading and commenting on this blog don’t have electoral calculations then they’re not serious about reclaiming the capitol, which is what a spokesperson for the singers has stated to the press. They want to reclaim the capitol but don’t have electoral calculations?
          Help me understand the thinking here. There’s something I’m obviously not getting. They want to reclaim the capitol, just not the senate or assembly chambers, or the governor’s office? They just want to reclaim the floor space under the rotunda?

          1. “Reclaim the capital” – the singers are referring to the actual capitol building, not offices or electoral majorities. They refer to the capitol as a public space, belonging to the people.

            When they talk about “reclaiming” it, they are referring to the fact that it is supposed to be a public space, open to the public, and that they are engaging in completely legal and protected public activity.

            So, no, they don’t have electoral calculations. Their protest is simply emphasizing and exercising rights they feel are protected by the US and Wisconsin Constitution. Simple civil disobedience. It seems that you spend so much time examining political shennanigans that it has warped your perspective.

                1. Arthur,

                  No. I just got tired of repeating the same things to different commenters over and over and over again. That particular comment was especially exasperating because the commenter seemed to exalt civil disobedience over what he described as ” political shenanigans ” which made me wonder just how in the hell does he think we’re going to defeat Scott walker without some indulgence of ” political shenanigans “.

                  You were the chair of the campus progressives at UW Lacrosse, Arthur. You, more than anyone down there except maybe Matt Rothschild, should know that Bob La Follette didn’t practice civil disobedience. He organized people to win elections. He traveled the state talking to average people about what was being done to them in Madison by politicians in the hip pocket of powerful corporation. He didn’t run symbolic campaigns, get arrested, or sing.

                  I hope that answers your question.

              1. Andy M,

                To my knowledge there is currently no legal authority that agrees with the singers interpretation of either the state or federal constitution, including the Wisconsin ACLU. Apparently courts have held that governments have at least some regulatory authority over public spaces and that requesting permits are reasonable. Is it your contention that various groups of people should be free to interpret the federal, or a given state constitution, as they see fit?

            1. IANAL, but afaik, there have always been exceptions to the FA. “Crying fire in a crowded room,” may be the most famous.

              Westboro Baptist exercised their FA rights against GLBT at high profile funerals. Other Americans exercised their FA rights to insulate the families of the deceased from Westboro’s protests.

              Walker’s wingnuts could only find supporters to counter the Solidarity Singers for one day.

              I suspect this has big implications for labor. If Walker can force the Solidarity Singers to get a permit, does it enlarge Wisconsin owners ability to force labor to get permits to block scab labor from being bussed into a work site?

              A lot of us would like to exercise our FA rights in front of Scott Walker’s Wauwatosa home, or Charlie Sykes’ Mequon mansion, or one of the Koch brothers mansions…. A lot of wingnuts would like to exercise their FA rights in front of the home of anyone who moves into their neighborhood who is not 100% European-American.

              Below is a Tweet this morning from the managing editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

              @geostanley Our world needs more of THIS: @JamesMartinSJ: Muslim men protecting a Catholic Church in Egypt during mass.”

              That’s “Freedom of Assembly” protecting “Freedom of Religion.”

  2. Will someone please tell Senator Jauch that the solidarity singers are not an organized group but a leaderless and spontaneous daily gathering at the Capitol merely exercising their right of assembly, petition,and speech protected constitutionally both at State and Federal level. Duh!

    Walker has instituted a new rule, if not an illegal challenge, requiring a permit that is directed to stop, restrict, and/or punish such as the solidarity Singers and innocent supporters and bystanders for being constitutionally “uppity” or the like.

    And does anyone but Senator Jauch believe that if the Solidarity Singers would compromise their freedom rights and obtain a permit that it would satisfy Walker? Within hours, Walker would “change the rules” faster and funnier than Phil Mayer.

    I’m pragmatic too, but dealing with a governor who is a “crude and vindictive” zealot offers few if any options at compromise, only complete and absolute surrender.

    C’mon Senator Jauch, get real!

    1. Duane 12,

      Tell him yourself. He’s got a telephone number on his website. Bob’s a pretty chatty guy too. He’ll talk your ear off if you let him.

  3. Steve, without access to quality polling, I’m reluctant to say anything definitive.

    My sense from Twitter is that Wisconsin Dems are losing YOUNG people to thriving Socialist and anarchist movements.

    What are Dems selling?

    They’ve been branded as the party of higher taxes and “pity liberalism.” I’m not sure that a lot of millenials holding two jobs, renting, postponing having kids…. even have time to notice the Solidarity Singers aka the VISIBLE part of the liberal/progressive wing of the Democratic party. The fact that they are willing to be arrested to me shows a lot of resolve.

    Watch the front-page of the JS. Aside from Barrett, when was the last time a Dem got their photo above the fold? IMHO the JS is telling Dems that Scott Walker helps them sell newspapers. Part of that equation is that Walker helps sell to Dems, because his negatives are so high, but this is still a very big problem.

    Until some other Dems can drive the narrative, I’d stick with the Singers. At least they’ve got a little media traction and imho, they’re the only thing preventing Walker from looking “moderate.” That’s part of why the JS keeps featuring Walker, he’s slightly less crazy than the rest of WIGOP.

    I think your point is that older, established Dems don’t like the “dirty hippy” image that the GOP’s been able to brand onto the Singers. It’s a fair point and I don’t have a good response.

    For me a big issue is that the GOP cannot match the Singer’s ground game. They cannot get their people to demonstrate in support of Walker. IMHO the sooner the Solidarity Singers fold up, the sooner the GOP declares victory over those dirty hippies and union thugs.

    Dems need high quality polling of different age groups, demographics to make a good decision on this and my guess is they can’t afford it.

    1. John,

      My point is not that older, more established Dems don’t like the ” dirty hippie ” image. My point is that progressives outside of the bubble you people inhabit have a much better feel for what the average Wisconsin voter thinks. This is a ridiculous fight to take up. The only concrete victory possible here is the right to sing in the rotunda without a permit during the noon lunch hour. Period.

      The down side is that a lot of average Wisconsinites are sick to death of protests in the capitol. How many times do we have to lose elections before these things start to dawn on us. The story has already gone statewide and it’s generally not favorable. Just read Rickerts article for chrissakes.

      1. Steve,

        IMHO in 2014, WIGOP’s gonna crush Dems in the eight (8) Congressional (House) races. Ads about Obama and the Democrats voting for the largest tax increase in U.S. history will be everywhere. They’ll target some districts with the Obamacare vote, other districts with the fiscal cliff vote/ending the holiday on the payroll tax. That was Tammy Baldwin’s last vote in the House. The next day she was sworn in as a U.S. Senator. A lot of districts will see both to see which works better. I am betting that ending the holiday on the Payroll Tax will work better for them.

        IMHO, those GOP Congressional ads will be designed to “trickle down” and hurt Dems statewide.

        Reasonable people can disagree about what was the “largest tax increase in U.S. history. IMHO it doesn’t matter, because those ads will only further cement Democrats as the party of high taxes. What reasonable people cannot disagree about is that the 1 January 2013 vote ended the HOLIDAY on the extremely regressive payroll tax. That meant 8% LESS “go home” pay for every working American.

        Republicans will state correctly, that Dems voted to RAISE a tax which only affects people making less than about $108,000/year. Every dollar earned above $108,000/year is NOT subject to the payroll tax. That’s what makes it so regressive.

        This is from February 2013, but it show how quickly the 8% loss in purchasing power (from ending the holiday on the payroll tax) hit Walmart.

        As the sequester takes increasing effect, it’s also depressing CONSUMER demand and it’s the real “job creator.”

        IMHO, Wisconsin Dems have to run on LOWER taxes. That is very difficult to do, because it means running against Obama and in favor of the FEDERAL government spending MORE. In other words, I’m NOT in agreement with Republicans about “shrinking government.” I think we are in a deflationary spiral and we need counter-cyclical investment from the FEDERAL government. IMHO a minimum wage FEDERAL Job Guarantee for every able-bodied person who wants to work, would be a good replacement for unemployment insurance. It’s explained well and briefly here

        I think we need much greater investment in infrastructure.

        IMHO, that investment will help the OUTPUT deficit.

        The only way to pay DOWN deficits is to put people to work.

        IMHO @deficitowl is really good on this stuff. She’s an Economics professor at UMKC

        She’s a fan of Warren Mosler whose a self-made guy, not like Ron Johnson who married the daughter of a billionaire, or Abele who inherited his wealth.

        Mosler gave this speech to conservative Democrats in Dallas in 2010. Unions won’t like his position on free-trade, but the rest they will.

        “…With unemployment rising, real wage growth falling, and GDP now growing at about 4%, who’s getting that increased GDP? Not the millions who voted Democratic who are losing their jobs and their homes, and watching their wages fall. That real wealth being created is instead rising to the top, due to the Obama administration’s impossible trickle down policies. This administration was not elected to enrich the bankers, insurance executives, drug companies, and union leaders at the expense of the rest of us, in a perversion of true core Democratic values. But it’s clearly happening, and all because they don’t understand the monetary system, the don’t understand how and why government spends and taxes, and the don’t understand why we don’t owe China anything more than a bank statement.

        The door is wide open for an enlightened, populist Democrat to lead the way to a new era of unsurpassed national prosperity.

        If Mike Tate wants Wisconsin Dems to run against Obama, he’s going to lose his job. Since consider Obama a tool of the elites, I hope Mike stands his ground.

        The GOP wins because they promise (don’t deliver) lower taxes. I think that lower-tax message resonates with a lot of young voters, especially young males who face job prospects that do not rise to the level of “bleak.” The poll numbers I’ve seen suggest don’t care about sexual orientation, or abortion, the driving issues to them are getting on a track to earn enough to buy a home and start a family.

        IMHO, the Solidarity Singers will not determine any Democratic races in 2014. IMHO Communicating a message of confidence and economic growth for the 99% will. Integrating that message with green infrastructure is critical. Pointing out that Facebook is building a $1.5 BILLION dollar data center in Des Moines, because of the access to renewable energy is critical. Microsoft’s investing about 1/2 of that in Iowa

        Why isn’t “Big Data” investing in Wisconsin?

        Pointing out the damage Walker did by turning down Federal money for high speed rail is imho another winning strategy.

  4. Agree with the author and Jauch. Get a permit or go home.

    Nothing “spontaneous” has a consistent start time each day. They’ve had the run of the place for two years…the kids on field trips to the capitol have nothing to do with Act10…move on already! I promise you, Walker has.

    Great blog.

    1. If you trust that Ben’s plugged into what the GOP thinks, do the opposite.

      IMHO, GOP has excellent polling/messaging. For example, Walker’s not against abortion, he’s “pro-ultrasound.” That was his soundbyte, straight from GOP strategist/focus group guru Frank Luntz , something to the effect that “people are comfortable with ‘ultrasounds.'” Sure, “ultrasounds” sound medical and caring. It’s just something to provide more information.

      It’s designed to distract low-information voters from the fact that Walker and the rest of the WIGOP are shoving really big, intrusive government into the uterus. Walker doesn’t want to face the inherent contradiction between his “get government out of the way,” and trampling all over individual liberty.

      Reasonable people can disagree about abortion. I’m not trying to hi-jack the thread over to “choice.” I’m trying to point out that the GOP writes legislation based on soundbytes. They want to appease their anti-choice base, but the legislation was written after a lot of very expensive focus-groups. Dems need to do the same.

      You want to win elections, effectively communicate your message to low-information voters. That’s incredibly difficult, but it’s what wins.

      If the GOP wants the Solidarity Singers to fold-up, and the arrests certainly point in that direction, then by all means, send the Solidarity Singers more money, and provide whatever support they need.

      1. John,

        “You want to win elections, effectively communicate your message to low-information voters. That’s incredibly difficult, but it’s what wins.”

        I suggested a week or so ago that the ten thousand hours spent by the singers in the rotunda would have been better spent talking to low information, low wage voters about cuts to Badgercare, Foodshare, etc. It’s what we all should be doing every week starting yesterday. My wife and I can’t do it all by ourselves.

  5. If one needs a permit to voice dissent with Walker’s turning Wisconsin government over to ALEC, WEALTHY DONORS AND CORPORATE EXECUTIVES then there is no “Freedom of Speech or Assembly”. The singers presence in the “People’s House” keeps front and center that we are guaranteed a government “Of, For and By the People” and a government dominated by special interests and money is a government disconnected from most people’s lives. In fact it has become a government that proposes policies that don’t help most people. The singers daily presence is a light shining on our diminishing rights that are being eroded behind closed doors in the dark of the night but re-emerging in an invasive budget bill that the majority party controls. One party rule can trend toward abuse of those our elected officials swore that they would serve. The singers stand for Democracy and that is what has been missing in the Chambers of the Capitol for the past two years.

  6. Check the definition of pragmatic. prag·mat·ic : relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters : practical as opposed to idealistic. Hold that against what you think of and define as progressive. Progressives are idealists. The two wordsdon’t go together, at least in my opinion. If you want to be practical rather than stick to your ideals, that is your decision but don’t claim to be progressive while saying that we shouldn’t stand up for civil liberties. The solidarity singers have every right under the Constitution I learned about from elementary school through my political science courses on Constitutional law to gather and be heard by their government and their peers and they should not have to identify a leader who accepts responsibility for damages done by third parties or unaffiliated individuals or who agrees to pay for extra police that serve no purpose but to put barriers around free speech.

      1. Thanks for the insightful response Steve. A far as I am concerned anyone demanding permits and supporting Walker’s administrative rules restricting free speech is beneath contempt. There is not one public good served by this permit process and supporting laws that limit civil liberties without serving the common good in any form is the opposite of progressive. Call it pragmatism if you want, but I consider it cowardice

        1. Paul,
          What’s insightful about your own “concerned-contempt” or blanket statements about common good?

          *To suggest that a progressive can’t be pragmatic is wrong, limiting, and quite condescending.

          *The US constitution does not mention singing. (No matter where you went to grade school.) You have a “right” to assemble, true! But that doesn’t mean every assembly is legal.

          And to Steve’s original point- there are more productive ways to make your voice heard. He’s trying to raise the level of discourse but many of you are deaf to anything that isn’t sung to you.

          In this example: Steve is the progressive. He’s adapting his tactics not his beliefs. And you, Paul, are a glimpse into the old, ineffective thinking.

          1. Yes, because that modern, pragmatic progressivism where Democrats cut corporate tax rates create profiteering on student loan rates, end Glass Steagall, spy on citizens without warrants and kill American citizens without trial is exactly what Bib Lafollete was fighting for.

              1. Steve,

                Another brilliant defense of corporate Democrats. Democrats trying to be “pragmatic” have ended up as a party to the political right of Richard Nixon. Every one of my concerns above has been ours as a courtesy of Democrats since the Clinton years. My iPhone typing my be awful, my ideas may be “old fashioned liberalism” and my failure to use my last name on a blog (which requires me to use my email which includes my last name of course) may be terribly intimidating to a man five + hours away, but none of that changes the fact that the permit process does not serve the common good and as an infringement upon civil liberties without just cause and without public debate.

        2. Paul,

          During the three years I chaired a successful anti-Walmart citizens group up here in the northwoods my wife and I got several pieces of anonymous hate mail, sometimes even slightly threatening, so I’m used to being insulted by people refusing to disclose their identity. I often felt like they must be cowards beneath contempt, so I understand your sentiments.

          Thanks for weighing in.

  7. SC,
    I agree with your observations regarding the current status of the Capital Singers, they’ve had their day, they did a good job and now it is time to move on. And yes, there are some folks, a lot of them who are sick of this stuff. I agree also that the situation is a distraction and a very few people are potentially making the larger group look not so good.
    Just because we can do something, doesn’t mean we should.

  8. Let them sing on! Ridiculous they need a permit but more ridiculous is the crackdown. This group had dwindled down and a good manager knows when to let something fade into oblivion. The heavy-handedness exposes a lack of tolerance and grace and also an inability to manage and lead properly – it’s a chink in the armor if messaged properly. Without data we simply can’t tell for sure but this has received sympathetic attention in my part of Wisconsin with little patience for the state’s mishandling. What probably matters more is developing a clear message of what Democrats in Wisconsin stand for and can do for WI families and getting a candidate(s) moving around the state. In The UK there is always an opposition leader, a face and voice to rally around and work towards. Funding is the challenge here, I know, but with a leader and message, there might be less apathy and more drive for change.

  9. EmmaR,

    “What probably matters more is developing a clear message of what Democrats in Wisconsin stand for and can do for WI families and getting a candidate(s) moving around the state. In The UK there is always an opposition leader, a face and voice to rally around and work towards. Funding is the challenge here, I know, but with a leader and message, there might be less apathy and more drive for change. ”

    Well said.

  10. AFAIK, the Tweets below are from a recent DePaul graduate. Unfortunately, it might matter to some that she’s 100% European-American aka “white.”

    Hope ‏@nwbtcw 3h

    First real day at the union job–I’m doing house visits to remind hospital workers to vote in their union election.
    Hope ‏@nwbtcw 19h

    So I got a job as a paid union organizer (desperate measures for desperate times) but no worries comrades, I won’t turn into a liberal.
    Hope ‏@nwbtcw 21h

    Hope ‏@nwbtcw 11 Aug

    F*ck Reagan.


    In mid-term elections, where turnout is really critical, it’s young people like this who will be significant in local elections. Will they even vote in a Democratic primary?

    If they thinks the winner is a captive to the oligarchs, DINO (Democrat in name only such as Cory Booker Wall Street – NJ) will they even vote in the general?

    These are the kinds of tough decisions that require incredibly complex and sophisticated polling; and then that has to be married with the messaging.

    Another plus for the Solidarity Singers is their emphasis on the First Amendment. The fact that the Teaparty is NOT coming to their support is another example of how phony most Teaparty leaders really are.

    AFAIK, three issues enjoy broad support among the far right and far left: Wall Street, ending the foreign occupations, and legalizing pot. Those are issues imho that national Dems should be trying to move forward on with the wingnuts. Legalizing pot is the only one where state legislators could get involved.

    1. In Wisconsin it shouldn’t too hard to craft a Democratic message attractive and inspiring to millenials advocating for working families, affordable education, access to affordable healthcare, job creation and entrepreneurship, small business and family and organic farms, and Wisconsin-manufacturing. Unless of course their candidate is a bit of a plutocrat… cough…Abele…cough…Burke. Awfully uninspiring to the young, I’d think. But to be fair, maybe the candidate to attract independents and moderate Republicans. Here’s the $64k question – where’s that message? Why wait? No time like present even if there’s really no candidate for the foreseeable future.

  11. Steve,

    I have been monitoring these comments and thinking about crafting my own reasonable argument in support of the Solidarity Singers, but your lack of respect for others who have tried to do the same thing (with the exception of EmmaR; I also agree that it’s important for Wisconsin Democrats to coalesce around an “opposition leader” and clearly articulate what they stand for) calls for a different approach.

    Progressivism is about standing up for what is right, even (and especially) when that requires setting a course against the prevailing political winds. If the fact that many “average Wisconsinites” are tired of news about protests in Madison is more important to you than fighting for progressive principles and defending the constitutional right to peaceably assemble and petition the government in a public forum, you are no progressive as far as I am concerned. (If you haven’t read the explanation of why the Wisconsin State Capitol is a public forum by the wild-eyed leftist Ed Fallone, please check it out here.)

    I am tired of “you people” who believe that Democrats can become more “electable” and appeal to “moderate voters” by moving to the right, using language that fits into conservative frames (such as “standing up for the taxpayers”), and avoiding positions that might appear to be “too liberal.” Go ahead and call yourself a moderate or a “pragmatist,” but we need fewer people like you and more Democrats like Rep. Chris Taylor, who not only supports the Solidarity Singers but joins them!

    Gov. Walker and Mike Huebsch created and amplified the current conflict at the Capitol by deciding to instigate a ridiculously heavy-handed crackdown instead of simply ignoring an ongoing protest that was gradually decreasing in size, energy, and volume. I find it very disturbing that progressives across the state are not united in their responses to the recent arrests and intimidation of the singers.

    If you’re going to not only criticize the Solidarity Singers but also treat their supporters with the disrespect I’ve observed on this page, perhaps you should think about getting yourself a job at Blogging Red. You might fit right in!

    1. Chris,

      I’ll head right on over to Blogging Red and apply for a job. I’m sure my support for single payer health insurance, closing military bases overseas and spending the money at home on education, infrastructure and a strong social safety net, a federal minimium wage of at least 12.50 an hour, the Employee Free Choice Act, raising taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and the creation of the Badger State Bank to get ourselves out of the grip of Wall Street, will be very welcome with my new colleagues. Thanks for the suggestion.

      1. For the record, there is no such thing as Blogging Red. (I’m a big enough geek that I checked)

        Having said that, I think there’s plenty of room for disagreement on the issues of the day, whether the issue is the Solidarity Sing Along, part-timing the Milwaukee County Board, or any other issue for that matter.

        Ultimately we’re all on the same side, and while we may disagree (sometimes passionately), we still need to remember that we’re on the same side.

        1. Zach,

          Yes, there is room for disagreement among progressives, even if that disagreement is sometimes passionate — as long as we can disagree respectfully. I criticized Steve for his extremely disrespectful treatment of several people who disagreed with his position on the issue at hand. On this page, I counted three instances in which his response to intelligent comments was “Bullshit,” two references to commenters and those who agree with them as “you people” who live in a “bubble,” and one dismissal of a certain group of progressives as “Madison lefties.” That sort of behavior makes Blogging Blue look bad.

          1. Chris, I absolutely agree, which was the point of my comment.

            “Bullshit” isn’t the kind of response I’d expect, because I know Steve well enough to know he’s capable of much more than that, and I’d hope that even when we disagree we can do so while still respecting each others’ opinions.

          2. Chris,

            One of the commenters you cite claimed that if we need a permit to sing in the capitol then there is no freedom of speech or assembly. That, frankly, is way overblown and could be construed as ” bullshit “. Another commenter you cite called me a coward beneath contempt. You called me a republican. All of you remain anonymous.

            The ” Madison lefties ” I referenced are a group of people, some of whom I’ve actually sat on a non-profit board with previously, who are adherents of Thoreau and seem almost to worship civil disobedience. And as far as I’m concerned they do live in a bubble down there.

            I’m an adherent of La Follette, who organized people to win elections. I’m unaware of a single instance in which La Follette was arrested for civil disobedience. If La Follette was here today I don’t think he’d be singing in the capitol rotunda. He’d be traveling the state talking to poor people about how it feels to lose their Badgercare while billionaires get tax breaks, which is what I’ve been doing over the last year, both as a paid organizer and as a volunteer. Hence, I am a progressive, not a Thoreauian. I think we should be organizing to win elections. I have no interest in getting arrested.

            So I don’t consider any of what I wrote to be ” extremely disrespectful “. The extremely disrespectful remarks were aimed at me, by the anonymous blog commenter defenders of free speech.

            1. I had no problem with the sentiment in your BS comment. It was right on. “extemely disrespectful”? C’mon….

              Perhaps balderdash (nonsense) would be acceptable to the masses.

  12. How is responding “bullshit” elevating the level of discussion in any way shape or form?

    Steve- I’m disappointed with your commentary defense. I had expected better of you.

    Respectuflly, CJ

    Everyone, don’t let the hyperbole be a distraction.

  13. Steve, awhile back, you appeared to take offense at my hyperbole that you are good at “starting wars on BB.” In one way, I meant that as a backhanded complement. You challenged me causing me to pause and to “think outside of the box” or consider your point of view. That is a good thing as long as at the end of an exchange, each can respectfully say, “let us agree to disagree.”

    Thanks for this great topic. Senator Jauch is one of the good guys, but I differ with him and you on how to solve a “freedom” problem.

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