Burkeing Bad

Hey all you Blogging Blue readers. I was just sitting around the other day and suddenly got this great idea for a dramatic TV series, so I thought I’d run it by all of you to sort of ” workshop ” it as they say in the writing game. Here’s a synopsis of the first three seasons.

The story centers around a young man, Mick Taint, who’s a politically progressive, late twenty something politico living in the capitol city of a purple Midwestern state. After a few years of involvement in a handful of issue campaigns and some electoral work Taint is well positioned when an extremely popular presidential candidate captivates the nation and comes to power. In the heady months after the election he becomes the state chairman of the Democratic Party and brings on board a host of young, fresh faced folks who, along with the popular new president, are expected by party regulars to usher in a new era of progressivism both statewide and across the nation.

But things go quickly wrong. Blinded by hubris and a stubborn determination to resist input from grassroots progressive activists, Taint and his staff insulate themselves within the euphoric bubble created by the popular president’s legion of supporters and never see the conservative backlash coming. Consequently, the next mid-term election cycle hands the entire state government back to malevolent and marauding conservative forces led by a governor who is the puppet of Libertarian billionaires.  The new governor’s policies trigger a series of recall elections and general uproar the likes of which few have ever seen.

Up to his political ass in zombie alligators, Taint suffers one loss after the next as his career ambitions start to fade, and is given only a slight reprieve when he jumps on the coat tails of the popular presidents successful re-election campaign, which results, yet again, in Taint’s re-election as state party chair. But the faint “victory by association”  for Taint is fleeting.

Faced with a likely set of losses in yet another midterm election which could well end his career, Taint has a decision to make. Will he hold true to the progressive values of his youth and attempt to rally his people toward a stunning upset over the billionaire owned governor, or will he put career considerations first? In an agonizing moment he chooses the latter and hatches a diabolical plan.

Quietly, and out of view, he and his cohorts coax a multi-millionaire and very politically moderate tricycle heiress into running for governor, fully aware that the outcry from progressives around the state will be loud and long. The heiress loses the election in a landslide as Taint publicly blames the loss on progressives whom he has repeatedly accused of dividing the party.  The first three seasons come to an end when he’s offered a very nice six figure job in Washington DC by party bosses who like his savvy and style.

That’s it! Thoughts, anyone? I think it’s absolutely bursting with dramatic possibilities!

Now if only I could think of a catchy title. 🙂


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104 thoughts on “Burkeing Bad

    1. The storyline would never sell, too unreal.
      You’d need to add that the party has a process called resolutions, which if anyone followed in their campaigns, or when elected, would make this the most progressive region in the world; nuclear free, health care for all,etc, but is used instead to keep activists spinning in circles between the times they are needed for leafleting. Instead the term progressive is used to apply to person who thinks exporting jobs and raw materials, and importing finished goods is ok for our people (the classic definition of colonialism).
      Also include that when we can’t beat the republicans we act like them, instead of doing some serious introspection about why too many of the working/middle class of this state vote against their own best self interests.
      The part about the few picking the winners (losers) for the many needs to demonstrate the parallel from the last race, when the gubernatorial candidate was chosen as the front runner (twice) before he committed to the race, while a couple other very qualified people were running their hearts out.
      Finally this story is not about the qualities of the candidates. All of the recent folks desiring this office very possibly would have/could do a fantastic job. The story is about a large “D” democratic organization that has so lost the small “d” democratic function it aspires to, as to become meaningless to the voters living in the edges between the power centers. The last and near term elections have been, and will be, won or lost in the areas between the organization centers. Choosing an urban person without a clear plan or platform, without connecting to those most disaffected by the whole process makes this story a tragedy in the classic sense; we know it and we’ll do it anyway.

  1. Your negativity is getting tiresome. Mike Tate has been re-elected party chair and Mary Burke is the only declared candidate for Governor. What exactly are you trying to accomplish? Your posts continue to give aid and comfort to the Republicans. Is that your intention?

    1. Stu,

      If you’re tired go lie down awhile. Take a nap.

      And you sound just like John Ashcroft after September 11th, 2001, with your ” aid and comfort ” business. You’re not going to waterboard me are you?

  2. If you are going to write, write well. If you are going to try to be funny, make sure you’re funny to begin with. This neither is written well, or is funny. It’s so polemic and, frankly, boring. It has all the sense and anger of a toddler’s fart. It informs nothing. I don’t even care about the sentiment or the belabored message (MARY BURKE IS BAD, HAHAHAHAHAHA), I’m just offended at how bad it is in the main.

      1. Graeme,

        ” It has all the sense and anger of a toddler’s fart” . Let’s examine this sentence a bit.

        A toddlers fart has sense, sort of. A fart makes sense to a toddler, implicitly, in the same way it does to an old man, or anyone for that matter, in that to not fart when one needs to is both nonsensical and perhaps even unhealthy. So I don’t understand this particular critique of yours.

        And are farts angry? Do toddlers fart out of spite or vindictiveness? My sense is that they do not, rather, it’s more likely a simple function of their metabolic processes. But do old men fart out of anger? Hmmmmm. You might be on to something here, but again I think this is unlikely. To rely solely on farting as an expression of anger would seriously hamper one’s ability to express anger spontaneously since few can muster flatulence at will.

        I guess the take away here is that if you’re going to write, write well.

    1. Graeme, I respect your experience and service, but I have a sense of deception and unfairness by our leadership in their handling of the two candidates, one declared and one not.

      I’m new to state politics and still learning, but my ten-plus years of analysis and commentary on the national scene provides me with a gut level sensitivity that something just isn’t right about a phoney poll, the entry of a Marywho, and Tate’s words and deeds in this political “affair.”

      I’m probably the oldest on BB, but I’m still willing to learn. FYI, I was a zealous Hillary guy, but went along with the Barack guy in the finals although I think she could have done better than he.

      1. Well said Duane. I don’t have a problem with Mary Burke getting in or ultimately being the Dem candidate if she is worthy, but I have a major problem with the behind-the-scenes work by Tate and co that makes this look like an anointment, instead of a job interview.

        That’s why I want a serious primary challenge (and I think Vinehout would be an excellent candidate to do so), because I want to see if Burke can handle the heat of having to work to win an election, and I don’t need to be finding out the hard way in November.

        It’s the process, not the candidate. If you don’t understand it, you need to be quiet until you do.

    2. I thought it was pretty funny, and stiff, humorless responses from the targets of the piece add to the humor immensely. Ah, but I forget– it is not sullen self pity that I see here– you just object to the writing style.

  3. I find this disgusting. Tate is exactly right if he is calling out people like you who try to divide the party and it’s why we lose! Despicable!

    1. That is ridiculous. You can’t run a candidate on a platform of “no promises” who takes no serious stances on the issues and then blame the progressive wing of the party for sticking to their principles. It is predictable and intentional. I feel like Burke is trying to alienate the Left of Wisconsin to try and show the 4% of undecideds that she is their candidate and then rely upon the hate the Left has for Walker to make us support her on election day regardless. The same losing strategy that Barrett pursued by the way. We are just doing our part by participating

      Plus, I laughed

      1. Change the names and you sound like a bagger. And their days are numbered precisely because they never learned you don’t get everything you want all the time but rather you play a long game and you disregard empty words and promises. This post today by Steve simply unmasks the misogyny, jealousy, and pettiness you’ve all directed towards Burke from day one. Just because someone is Progressive, doesn’t mean it’s OK to check discipline, focus, patience, wisdom, and decency at the door. I was on the fence and prepared to listen to Vinehout despite misgivings about her clear lack of a plan or preparation. But really, why bother? After multiple screeds across Democratic blogs and scatty behavior from Vinehout herself, Burke and the DPW appear to be the only adults in the room.

        1. “Misogyny”? Where the hell is Steve making any issue about Burke being a woman? That’s weak sauce and you should be better than that.

          Deal with the charges that exist, Emma, but don’t go making crap up. I find Steve’s whiny and immature, but it’s not sexist.

          1. Heiress? She’s a business executive. But reading comprehension, Jake. The words “since day one” are sort of a clue as to frame of reference.

            1. Burke’s parents DIDN’T found Trek? C’mon Emma, you should like whiny Hillary supporters circa February, 2008, trying to hide behind gender as an excuse for why their candidate isn’t resonating with what Dem voters are looking for.

              1. To condone the use of misogynistic language such as “heiress” and “anointed” is beneath responsible progressives.

                Both imply that Ms Burke didn’t work, rather she was handed things and therefore she should belittled is idiotic. Burke didn’t work for years at Trek? Burke hasn’t been campaigning and building relationships? Or has she been at home napping for 50 years wanting for the moment when the boys in charge told her it’s time to run?

                Neither Burke nor Vinehout should be treated like this.

                It’s hard enough to get qualified people to run for office, it’s even harder to get qualified woman when this is the atmosphere we allow on our own side. We are better than this.

                And I’ll reiterate, this blog is the most idiotic and shameful thing I’ve seen all year on the left. That should be the topic at hand.

                1. “Anointed” is a misogynistic term? Whaaaat? And heiress= a woman who inherited something.

                  Name what’s not true about those words? And if it hurts your wittle fee-wings if we bring this up, the righties are going to say a whole lot worse about Burke’s background, so deal with it. Steve’s post may be stupid, defeatist and immature, and doesn’t help. But you gotta grow some skin or get out of the fire.

                  1. So you are essentially stating that the use of this rhetoric to belittle the only major declared candidate against Walker is just fine.

                    You’re stating that the party officials have anointed Burke, instead of her making a personal decision to run, and doing the work to build a team & relationships?

                    You’re stating that she didn’t work and wasn’t a key part of growing Trek into a global company?

                    I’ll state again, I find the use of such poor judgement against Burke or Vinehout to be beneath our standards.

                    1. OK Jeff, thanks for your point.

                      But in this discussion let us not forget the purpose behind anyone wondering about Burke being the best candidate, aside from being the only candidate at this point.

                      Taking credit for the, “financial success and growth,” part of TREK’s dominance which indicates this person’s incredible business savvy and intelligence, CANNOT ignore or minimize the path taken by the company with their manufacturing decisions as that has or might have had regarding labor in Wisconsin or the region.

                      So be outraged all you like, but be careful about claiming the high ground on, “our,” standards. By using, “OUR,” I am assuming you’ve just switched to defending DPW and party members throughout the state.

              2. Oh, I’m no Hillary supporter and I’m too disciplined to whine. Quit projecting your littleness onto other people. Pretty clear you lefty loser types are too emotional and dumb to make any meaningful contribution to defeating Walker and improving the lives of Wisconsin families.

        2. Emma, you continue to be relentless on the gender issue even with a complete lack of evidence to support your position. On one hand you accuse Steve of being utterly in the bag for Vinehout and then accuse him of hating women. Can you not see the contradiction there at all? Or are you so unfamiliar with Kathleen Vinehout that you missed the fact that she has a less than masculine first name and secondary sexual characteristics that are not the same as Steve’s? The whole sexism argument in beneath contempt because it isn’t grounded in facts at all and is totally untenable when the candidate everyone on the Left is pushing as an alternative to Burke is also a woman. You want to rail against Steve’s positions, be free, I’ve disagreed with him often enough, but do it from an intellectually honest place at the minimum.

          1. So in your universe it’s not possible to deride one woman on the basis of gender yet offer support to another who, huh, most agrees with your own opinions? Where is this place precisely? Cause in the real world women face the selective rage of men quite often.

            1. Quoting your own post, he supports a woman who “agrees with his opinions”. Yes. Because it is about policies and opinions NOT gender. Mysogyny is the hate of women, not just women you disagree with. Please just accept the fact that people dislike Burke for the sake of her positions, policies and style or her utter lack thereof, not because of chromosomes.

              1. Please just accept the fact that if someone wished to disagree with a person’s policy position, they’d cast their disagreement in terms about said position. But that didn’t happen here. It’s not unlike the baggers who can’t stop themselves from putting down President Obama in racist terms.

                1. Emma, this whole post is about the DPW chair, not the candidate. Two lines about the “heiress” who is framed in political terms as a moderate does not make her the focus of the diatribe, regardless of the title. I’ve also seen a lot of smart critiques on the Burke platform and campaign so far and seen you comment frequently regarding gender simply because someone is critiquing the female candidate.

                  1. You’re lying now. I thought long and hard before I called out the sexism in the continuing Burke-bashing from Steve. I have criticized his Burke posts relentlessly but not for this until I was quite sure. I’m sure. And you’re another loser who apparently can’t read. I clearly chose words that referenced multiple posts across a wider timeframe than today. Again, this is all bagger-type behavior. Tell me, do you also use GPS to find a bathroom in a McDonald’s? When you hear the name Hillary in any context, do you scream Benghazi and foam at the mouth? Do you think science is just a liberal conspiracy?

                    1. This post today by Steve simply unmasks the misogyny, jealousy, and pettiness you’ve all directed towards Burke from day one.

                      So I cut and pasted that from your post, the one I replied to, since there is no quote feature here. “This post” is a singular statement. Maybe that is me being relentlessly focused on grammar but to those of us with high school educations or better it highlights how ridiculous your argument happens to be in this case.

                      Frankly, feel free to question me about my bathroom habits or baselessly accuse me of doubting science rather than addressing the facts of my arguments or even call me a “bagger” even though my posts are reliably politically to your left but it doesn’t change the fact that far too many Burke defenders leap immediately to claims of sexism when anyone mentions her name in any critical light. I’ve said it before and I will say it now. If that is your main line of defense she has already lost the race for Governor because when Walker attacks her and people start throwing around “sexist” allegations it is going to make her look weak and she is going to lose that apparently precious blue collar centrist vote faster than you can blink.

                      Finally, I absolutely foam at the mouth in regards to Hilary. She is too Right wing for me. I want to see President Warren as the first female president and I think she could actually win.

                    2. Paul,

                      W/R/T your 8:15

                      I agree about HRC: “Hillary Clinton Raked In Around $400,000 Speaking At Goldman Sachs.”


                      That doesn’t even rise to the level of “chump change,” when you consider the welfare trough Wall Street feeds from:

                      “Bank of America dumps $75 trillion in derivatives on U.S. taxpayers with federal approval”


                      To put $75 trillion in perspective, US GDP in 2012 was around $16 trillion. Very conservative estimates are that we blew $6 trillion in Iraq and Afghanistan.
                      Social Security’s Trust fund is $2.3 trillion.

                      Bank of America’s isn’t the only Wall Street bank with derivative exposure that they want to “socialize” onto the taxpayers. No one knows how much exposure there is. I’ve seen estimates of $700 trillion

                      Haven’t heard complaint one from the former Sec. of State about chaining the CPI,….

                      Would love to see Sen. Warren run.

                    3. This post unmasked the sexism for what it was because Steve overtly used of sexist terminology – he hadn’t before. Even more obviously I wrote about the misogyny, pettiness and jealousy you’ve all directed towards Burke from day 1 thereby referring to multiple posts across multiple dates. But I guess I can’t make it more clear to a mouth-breather who admits to foaming at the mouth when he hears Hillary’s name versus working constructively and thoughtfully towards alternatives. Same old, same old – lots of mindless spew from a commenter bereft of discipline and sense.

                    4. Shucks Emma, if you gonna bring up my family, (I got “mouth breathers” on both sides,” ) I reckon I’ll just link to some old home movies.

                    5. Emma,

                      You’ve got to expand your insult repertoire if you’re going to be effective here.

                      Calling people ignorant, petty, jealous, sexist, mouth breathing misogynistic losers is a good start, but you’ve left out witless, knuckle dragging, Neanderthal, fart sniffing, piss guzzling, cro magnon booger eating morons. You see what I mean?

                      If you use the same old vicious, unfounded insults over and over again people will stop taking you seriously.

                    6. Yes, we are very different, Steve, and Democrats are supposed to be good at being different. They’re not and there’s clearly no place for women nor dissenters to so-called pure Progressive thought. It’s been an interesting exercise.

  4. This is neither humor nor is it satire.

    You referred to the three-time duly elected state party chair as a “taint” eight times and again played the misogynistic “heiress” card. That level of comedy rivals a Christian Schneider hit piece.

    This level of dreck only injures the credibility of you and BB. The left is better than this.

      1. Oh, it’s for real and I’ve held back over several Steve’s posts to think carefully on it. No more.

    1. Jeff, perhaps there are some people who consider Mike Tate’s tenure as DPW Chair to be a taint on our party.

      I understand your reflexive desire to defend Tate, given your standing within the DPW, but not everyone has a high opinion of the job Tate’s done.

      1. It’s fine if people don’t like Mike. In fact the nature of that job is that some people are going to dislike you, as you can’t please everyone in politics.

        But to refer to the state party chair as a “taint” eight times and falsely qualify it as “humor/satire” is intellectually disingenuous. Sorry, but Steve is very out of line here.

        1. I’ll tell you what’s very out of line here, Mr. DPW guy, and that’s Tate posting on someone’s facebook page that Ed Garvey is a straight up hypocrite and an abject liar. So when you’ve provided some evidence that you’ve uncorked your bullshit outrage in Tate’s direction then maybe, maybe, you can come back here and have some credibility with your ” misogynist” this, and your
          ” disingenuous ” that.

          And just for the record, I never called him ” a taint “. The word has meaning beyond what you’ve obviously only learned from the Colbert Report.

        2. Jeff, Emma, ….

          Rhetorical, has Ms. Burke asked PIMCO’s Bill Gross for a donation?

          “…And back to my original point. Developed economies work best when inequality of incomes are at a minimum. Right now, the U.S. ranks 16th on a Gini coefficient for developed countries, barely ahead of Spain and Greece. By reducing the 20% of national income that “golden scrooges” now earn, by implementing more equitable tax reform that equalizes capital gains, carried interest and nominal income tax rates, we might move up the list to challenge more productive economies such as Germany and Canada….”


          I ask in part, because I think this is great coverage of Ms. Burke from the Cap Times.


          That doesn’t mean I agree 100% with every nuance, but she comes across as a strong, viable candidate. Wisconsin exports a lot and I thought she did a nice job of straddling the “fair trade vs. free trade tension. Positioning herself as an advocate to the FEDERAL government on trade issues is imho really big and it’s why I mention Gross. She’s using the media traction that running for Governor gives her. Applause, applause, applause.

          Bill Gross isn’t the only oligarch who “gets it.” Warren Buffett: “Actually, there’s been class warfare going on for the last 20 years, and my class has won. We’re the ones that have gotten our tax rates reduced dramatically.”


          Billionaire Nick Hanauer:

          “Raise Taxes on Rich to Reward True Job Creators”

          “……When businesspeople take credit for creating jobs, it is like squirrels taking credit for creating evolution. In fact, it’s the other way around.
          It is unquestionably true that without entrepreneurs and investors, you can’t have a dynamic and growing capitalist economy. But it’s equally true that without consumers, you can’t have entrepreneurs and investors. And the more we have happy customers with lots of disposable income, the better our businesses will do.
          That’s why our current policies are so upside down. When the American middle class defends a tax system in which the lion’s share of benefits accrues to the richest, all in the name of job creation, all that happens is that the rich get richer.
          And that’s what has been happening in the U.S. for the last 30 years. ….”


          I bet those three of those guys would donate money to her campaign and campaign with her. They want to distance themselves from the rest of the robber baron oligarchs, because they see the “social destruction, that income inequality breeds. “Drive-by shooting kills two members of Greece’s Nazi-inspired Golden Dawn party and wounds one”


          There are an increasing number of Wade Michael Page types out there.

          The laws of supply and demand are like gravity, we ignore them at our peril. Physicians, lawyers, tenured professors, have all proven that “collective bargaining,” works. It’s PRO-CAPITALISM, because it’s consumers with money to spend that drive the economy.

          “Journal Sentinel Sunday circulation dips 5.7%”


          IMHO, Ms. Burke should advocate strenuously that we phase out welfare and unemployment insurance with FDR’s solution, a FEDERAL job guarantee.

          “…The program would offer a job to any American who was ready and willing to work at the federal minimum wage, plus legislated benefits. No time limits. No means testing. No minimum education or skill requirements….”


          Not only is it good policy, it’s good politics. Dems get killed, because we’re the party of “pity-liberalism.” If you can’t make it on your own, vote for the donkey. Making the federal government the “employer of last resort,” goes a long way toward getting that monkey off our backs. It also might give pause to so many young, un/underemployed who either aren’t going to vote or aren’t going to vote Dem.

          OT, if Ms. Burke’s having trouble raising money, and that seems pretty obvious, I would strongly encourage a few simple questions, “if Scott Walker thinks full human life begins at conception,” why hasn’t he sponsored legislation that every miscarriage be investigated as a homicide, that a death certificate be issued, and that there be a burial?

          I those questions generates national press. They would put her and Wendy Davis (D-TX) at the head of the choice movement.

          Make Walker and the rest of the wingnuts explain their craven hypocrisy to their base.

          1. You’re right, John. I think Burke could also position herself as lobbying for federal corporate tax reform and lower corporate rates overall while raising taxes on MLPs, REITs, Private Equity, etc and in general going after the $67 trillion plus shadow banking market. WI corporations and more importantly small/mid-sized businesses would love it. A State Democrat who understands how destructive America’s high corporate tax rates are and what the effects have been on creating economic inequality? Wow, right? The donations would follow – especially if she also advocates modifications to Sarbanes-Oxley. More screaming from some here at BB but the lack of business and economics knowledge of certain bloggers and commenters approaches tea bag levels of ignorance. Reproductive rights, same-sex marriage and legalizing and regulating marijuana are all important issues to advocate and also give her good excitement-generating positions to create separation, turnout, and donations. Walker’s people won’t be able to attack her if she starts carving out her business platform so I hope she tackles that right now.

  5. Wow, Vinehout must really have nothing given your continued screeds. When she said grassroots activists should prepare for the campaign of a lifetime, I didn’t realize Vinehout was directing you to spew as much littleness, spite, and jealousy you can muster. At this point, Vinehout’s fitness and maturity for leadership (if not for her current role) seem questionable at best given the strategy you’re so merrily employing on her behalf. Apparently I can change my plans and put away my checkbook – no point in attending the Rhinelander town hall – why get to know a candidate doomed by her own nutty supporters?

  6. Steve’s being obnoxiously negative, but he’s on the right track. Keep the first four paragraphs of Steve’s story, but then it goes like this.

    “Quietly, and out of view, he and his cohorts coax a multi-millionaire and very politically moderate tricycle heiress into running for governor, fully aware that the outcry from progressives around the state will be loud and long. Partly as a result of this, another candidate emerges from rural Wisconsin, with a strong, vibrant progressive message. It leads to a Democratic primary that has both candidates coming out strongly for Obamacare and its expanded Medicaid funding, and both candidates call for a variety of reforms, including independent redistricting, disclosure of every dollar of election-related spending, and a demand that the state’s failed voucher system be ended.

    It leads to serious momentum to the Dems after the primary, as the winning candidate has received a lot of individual attention, and it insulates the candidate from a lot of the lies from the Walker campaign. This confuses Taint, whose DNC handbook says candidates win by running boring, pro-corporate campaigns with mushy stances designed to reach a small portion of allegedly moderate and undecided voters.

    The momentum continues through the next 3 months after the primary, helped with more revelations of Walker Administration corruption and more Obamacare and budget meltdowns by the Tea Party GOP in Washington. The Dems win a landslide in November, not only getting back the governor’s seat, but control of the State Senate, and pick up 7 seats in the Assembly.

    Mr. Taint gladly takes credit for the huge victory, even though it was in spite of his “strategy”, and not because of it. As a result of this success in a purple state, the DNC picks Taint to be its top Midwest official for the Dems’ 2016 campaign, and both Wisconsinites and Taint end up better off.”

    THAT’S the way this can play out, if insiders like Stu and Graeme are smart enough to let it.

  7. Good morning,

    My experience says there is a considerably wide divide in the, “party,” already, and not discussing it is not going to form a needed coalition of the party to work together for a desired goal, ousting Walker. Many independents and grassroots Dems, peoplewhose support will be needed to beat Walker, likely find the perceptions of top-down dick-tates equally disgusting.

    William Black discussing party politics, “…70 House Democrats support gutting…” Dodd-Frank. Tell me some more about the, “party,” loyalty to small “d,” democratic traditions, someone please.


    Can we once and for all, please get by the false meme of any real differences between party leadership and agendas for the 1% at the top and realize that there is no war here, but class war. No apology for being a broken record.

    1. To try to blame anyone for “dividing the Democratic Party” is absolutely nonsensical. Even in a highly-polarized state like Wisconsin, the Democratic Party is a big tent. Tammy Baldwin (progressive), Mary Burke (corporatist), Kathleen Vinehout (rural populist), and Rowan Viva (far-left) come from four completely different schools of political thought, but they’re all Democrats.

      You can’t blame anyone for “dividing the Democratic Party” when the party is a big tent.

  8. Huh! And here I thought it was a fairly accurate description of the current state of affairs. Guess I’ll jump on the Tate/Burke bandwagon now. Anyone know where I can get a couple yard signs?

  9. While I appreciate Steve’s attempt at humor, I didn’t find this that funny. I’m also not a huge fan of referring to Mary Burke as an heiress. While in the strictest sense of the word she may in fact be an heiress, as others have pointed out here and elsewhere the word seems meant to minimize her.

    1. Minimize her? Of course it does, and rightfully so. As substantial argument has been advanced for Burke’s candidacy other than her wealth, pointing out the fact that her wealth is an accident of birth is hardly irrelevant or unfair.

      1. Ed- Could be because Herb built Kohl’s and ran it (he also allowed unions and paid a fair wage to employees). By comparison, I frequently hear Jim Sensenbrenner called a Kimberly-Clark “heir”, and rightfully so.

        That’s a bad take.

        1. Ms. Burke actually worked at Trek and helped it grow…I don’t believe that Rep. Sensenbrenner spent a moment working for Kimberly-Clark…I purport that Ms. Burke’s experience has far more in common with Senator Kohl. So I suggest your Rep. Sensenbrenner is a bad take…

          1. If John Burke was running for governor as a republican what do you think we’d be calling him? ” Heir” would be the nicest thing coming out of our mouths. We’d be slamming him relentlessly as someone who’s had everything handed to him in life.

            But because Mary Burke is a woman and, ostensibly, on our side, we have to overlay our Gender Studies class syllabus across the top of any and all remarks about her such that ” anointed ” and ” heiress ” are condemned as misogynistic. What a crock of bullshit. An extra large crock to boot.

            Someone please hand me the kind of money Burke has ( she can afford to throw away 5 million on a longshot governor’s race ) and you can call me an heir, an heiress, or any damn thing you please, and if my fragile self esteem suffers because of your taunts I’ll just hop on down to the Caribbean for a couple of months and I’m sure I’ll feel better soon.

            1. “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow!
              You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
              Till you have drenched our teeples, drowned the cocks!
              You sulphurour and thought-executing fires,
              Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
              Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
              Strike flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
              Crack nature’s molds, all germens spill at once
              That make ingrateful man!”

            2. I took no offense, Steve, at your opening shot at Burke. I used “Queen Mary” and “her majesty” and took some slings and arrows for my “sexist” statement. If it had been John Burke, I would have used “King John” and “his majesty.” I treat all royalty equally regardless of gender. 😉

              Maybe it’s because as a kid in the Great Depression, my boyhood family was on the dole after my father broke his shoulder in an auto accident. No Badger Care back then in the 1930’s! Or was there sick leave pay! Sometimes, if not always, I feel as if Walker and his lockstep, Alec legislators are taking us back to those bad old days.

              But I’m moving on and will treat Ms. Burke with the respect due her for answering the call to serve the people of Wisconsin selflessly and to the best of her ability. But even if she is my Democratic sister, I am in conscience compelled to point out her weaknesses compared to sister Vinehout. Compromise is okay, but not denial of a truth.

              Oh, not to change the topic but, before I forget; get well Emma. We need you! I love ya like a sister, but have difficulty with some of your judgements and language. You bring back memories of oral battles with my younger sister in a rented upper flat on forth and Scott of south side Milwaukee in a bygone era when a French-Canadian family was an exception in a German-Polish neighborhood. The neighborhoods have changed since then. In some cases we are no longer divided ethnically, but mostly politically or degrees thereof. So too our family; my sister is a Republican while I am a Dem.

              My message here is simple and twofold; Vive la difference,” and may the best man or woman, win.

  10. “You’re stating that the party officials have anointed Burke, instead of her making a personal decision to run, and doing the work to build a team & relationships?”

    Given that Mike Tate said “we have a candidate in mind” 6 months ago, but Mary Burke refused to show up at ONE Dane County Dem meeting in the meantime, yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Too bad if that hurts your feelings, but the DPW is more than your little club, you know.

    Given that Burke’s main 2 attributes for running seem to be 1. Business background and 2. Major amounts of money on hand to combat the Kochs, then she needs to be able to answer questions related to that, and realize that it’ll be a target of the Koch machine. I don’t want to see her SwiftBoated like Kerry in 2004 by the ReThugs, so it’s a lot better that we address these concerns now as opposed to having them distorted by the right-wing lie machine.

    It’s not like any of us here won’t be on board Burke’s candidacy if she’s the candidate that comes out of the primary (WHICH DOESN’T HAPPEN FOR 9 MONTHS, BY THE WAY), but we want the Dem candidate to be the best one out there, and the one that’ll drive people to get to the polls and end the Era of Fitzwalkerstan.

    Maybe you should take some toughen-up pills and have Ms. Burke answer the questions, and meet real Dems instead of people paid to be there.

  11. Pretty funny. Burke can’t win folks: She’s a horrible candidate. And for all you twits that think she’s going to outspend Walker and company, think again. She’s only putting in 5M and that ain’t gonna put a dent in the 60M Walker spent on the recall.

    1. There must be a thread developed here that my browser can’t load in which commenters express great confidence that Burke will outspend Walker. Huh. Where oh where are those comments?

      1. Emma, nobody, at least to my knowledge, claimed that Mary Burke had the ability to outraise and/or outspend Scott Walker. However, Burke’s whole electability argument rests on two weak points:

        1) She can use a significant amount of her own money on a gubernatorial campaign.
        2) She was an business executive for Trek Bicycles.

        As I stated below, money is one of dozens of factors that determine electability, however, that’s the only one that the Democratic establishment in this country seems to care about. Regarding her business experience, while it makes her more than simply an heiress, simply touting the fact that she was a business executive as a qualification to be governor rings hollow to me. What is Mary Burke’s plan to revitalize Wisconsin’s economy? She doesn’t seem to have one.

        1. That’s certainly how bloggers might analyze it. Serious donors, media, and influencers? I rather think they saw her as possessing the start-up money to assemble a team and build out a campaign strategy. Likewise, they see her executive experience as a differentiating factor. She’s not some partisan hack feeding off the public trough her entire career but rather someone who has worked successfully in the private sector. You ask where her jobs plan is and uphold it as proof she’s a rotten candidate when all along Tate said the plan is to give the other side as little to attack as possible. We’ll see her gradually roll out more ideas but much like Baldwin, we won’t see any manifesto’s. Baldwin is unlikely to do much of anything for Labor in the U.S. Senate where it matters, yet so-called Progressive bloggers sing her praises. Burke’s campaign has barely begun and she’s under attack day after day. The latest attack is that she kept 1,000 jobs and some manufacturing in Wisconsin. (The horror). I don’t get it. No one else has had the courage to try thus far. Vinehout’s a mess. Why not give Burke’s campaign a chance? And even if bloggers still disagree, why not then put the time and energy into finding a candidate who can win? But that’s hard and takes work, apparently. So it’s more attacks on Burke.

          1. Wisconsin is simply too polarized of a state these days for a centrist like Mary Burke to get elected in a statewide race. Someone who is a technocrat, not a partisan hack, etc. isn’t going to inspire progressives and convince them to vote.

            Also, you described Mary Burke’s political base as being “serious donors, media, and influencers”. We need to take back our country from big-money campaign donors, the mainstream media, and political power-brokers, not cave to them like you want us to do.

            1. I didn’t describe Burke’s base, I described who the campaign strategy messaging was aimed at. And you’d better pray Wisconsin is smarter than you. No Progressive forced into positions palatable to the loony Democratic blogosphere is going to beat Walker.

            2. Emma,

              For someone who thinks so little of loony democratic blogs you sure do spend a lot of time here trying to get everyone’s mind right. What’s up with that?

              1. For one I’m on bed rest and there’s only so much TV and reading, I can take. For another, I notice few women comment here. If they are Susie sunshine, all well and good. If they try to challenge, they are piled on. What you and others did to Dayna a couple of weeks ago was sickening. Lastly, Mary Burke isn’t so different from me. I don’t have the successful family business background but I have worked and worked and worked to become an educated professional. I have reported to Republican leadership nearly my entire career yet remain a Progressive committed a more equitable, fair application of capitalism, strong safety net, tax reform, social justice, public education, etc. When I see you, other commenters here, Sly, Jud Lounsbury, Capper, and others mindlessly attacking Burke for market forces out of her control, DPW decisions, and her success, you’re attacking me, you’re attacking women like us and you’re telling us we don’t get to be Progressives. Well Steve, you and Sly and Jud and the brainless schmucks you attract who nonsensically echo your rants like monkeys picking fleas off one another, scratching themselves, and flinging their own feces at the wall, don’t get to tell Progressive women what they can or cannot be. Fuck you an’ you all.

                1. I sincerely hope your health recovery proceeds well. (As I’ve gotten myself real-time moderated here, check the time stamp this may or may not appear later)

                  Market forces beyond her control and all that, OK, but as “progressive,” has lost its meaning and now simply describes the slow and steady decline, the deliberate and full willingness by elites and upper corporate beneficiaries to simply write off those who are seen as excess baggage in a capitalist economy that by its very nature can neither be fair nor equitable is what is being questioned in the underlying concerns about Ms Burke. This isn’t misogyny or as you pointed out earlier, akin to racism from the left, as you earlier inferred much of Obama criticism is. Not sorry to attempt to burst that apparent necessity of capitalism bubble. Labor absolutely commoditized and otherwise valueless.

                  Questions being raised about Burke’s role in the family business reflect an increasing awareness among the general population the reality of the system and until the system is replaced, yes it will be replaced, those fewer and fewer in control will happily let the lower echelons of the poor waste away through deliberate neglect as so much unneeded, unwanted chaff. FACT.

                  People who would love to simply support Burke (for the immediate focus, ousting Walker) want to see at least a consciousness of the obvious business dichotomy debated, and some inkling of a desire to make a change from the way things are run now, some inkling that a transition from capitulation (oh how terrible, but that’s the way it is, winners, losers, haves and have nots) to at least an idea of here’s what a better future can be. Burke scores zero in relaying that message in any fashion so far.


                  No war but class war.

                2. Stay classy, Em- Maybe you should take a break from ranting here, being that you’re on bed rest and all.

                  And while you do take that break, maybe you’ll start realizing that a lot of people like me think your whole mentality of “organization and money over message” is the wrong one. We get what you’re saying, we just think it’s BS. As an alleged Obama 2008 backer, you should get this thinking more than most (but apparently don’t have the guts to).

                  Also, the more you whine, the more we get convinced that Vinehout’s voice is needed in this race, and it makes the Burke people look lamer and lamer. So keep it up if you want, but you aren’t helping your candidate.

          2. Vinehout’s a mess?
            Because she is so educated?
            Or a dairy farmer (it’s the stuff on the boots)?
            Or she has reams of well written policy positions?
            Or she radiates a real human quality when meeting people?

            I understand this debate has been spiraling downward but it you need to explain ” a mess”

            1. We’ve already covered this ground thoroughly in past blog posts and comment discussions. You might want to read back stories and comments. Basically, she has made no preparations in term of setting up a staff, fundraising mechanism, nor campaign strategy. The only plan is for activists to share her web site, email her if they think she should run and send in $25. Now there appear to be town halls such as the one I would have attended yesterday. The day after the recall a motivated, committed, serious Vinehout could have quietly gone to work. She’d be in great shape and well-positioned today. Instead we get this utter disarray. This is Wisconsin’s top job. It is imperative Walker is beaten and the business of fixing the state begin. Playing at a run demonstrates a fundamental lack of seriousness. This is simply someone incapable of executing the basics of leadership.

              1. Emma, I’d actually have to disagree with two of your points. Based on what I know of the efforts Sen. Vinehout has made, she has absolutely made preparations in terms of setting up a staff and a campaign strategy.

    2. Actually, I think Burke certainly can win if she emphasizes progressive, shared values to voters. But the “back Burke because she has money” argument is one that makes no sense to me. So what if she has money, so does Walker and his puppetmasters. Besides, Walker won’t be able to blow as much as he did in the recall because there are contribution limits and because there are numerous races around the country that the Kochs have to care about.

      The MESSAGE is the key to victory, not the money. Anyway, you don’t think a whole lot of people around the nation would pony up to help any candidate knock Scott Walker out of power? Of course they would. The only way money plays in is that it has to be remotely competitive (so there’s a Dem voice out there), but it doesn’t need to be 1-for-1 matches.

      The only people who think money and organization matter most are the media, pundits, consultants and insiders whose living depends on close elections and increased campaign spending. The average voter could not give less of a damn about organization and money, except that they know it’s corrupting politics and screwing up our system.

    3. Oh, and your post on your own blog supposedly showing how Trek could manufacture bikes here was pretty thin on profit margins, costs, sales, distributor costs and mark up’s and so forth while long on supposition. But I guess actually using Trek data isn’t nearly as fun as writing crapola any rube filled with bile and envy will swallow.

  12. Jud, you just undercut a big part of Burke’s electability argument. Money is only one of dozens of factors that determine electability, and, even then, I’ve seen instances of candidates winning despite being massively outspent. The most famous instance of that I can think of is Paul Wellstone in the 1990 U.S. Senate race in Minnesota.

    1. I’m not saying Burke can’t win b/c she doesn’t have enough money to keep pace with Walker. I’m saying she can’t win b/c her two qualifications are that she worked for a family business that outsourced 99.5% of their bikes and being part of the administration of Wisconsin’s most unpopular living governor… and she has no real money on top of it, despite what conventional wisdom dictates.

    2. My point wasn’t that she can’t win b/c she doesn’t have the money. She can’t win b/c her two qualifications are that she worked in a family business where they outsourced 99.5% of their bikes and she worked in the administration of Wisconsin’s most unpopular living governor. I was Russ Feingold’s press secretary in 1998, when he was outspent 10 to one, so it can be done!

      1. Are you back in the game post-Citizen’s United with any state-wide wins using the same strategy? If not, then your experience, while worthy in it’s era, is now more of a hypothesis.

  13. I’ll make one final point here…Mary Burke’s campaign reminds me a lot of the gubernatorial campaign that Bill Daley tried to run here in Illinois, but Daley exited the Illinois gubernatorial race after campaigning for a few months. Daley gave very few positions on the issues and his whole message was basically the fact that he was running in the Democratic primary against incumbent governor Pat Quinn. Despite the fact that Quinn is wildly unpopular here in Illinois, even among fellow Democrats, Daley apparently couldn’t convince enough Democratic power-brokers to support his campaign, and he dropped out of the race.

    Burke’s main weakness is that the “powers to be” of the Democratic Party is the only group of people strongly supporting her.

    1. Steve, your post was a was a crummy, vindictive hack job unworthy of a Progressive blog. I don’t need a second job of course, but if I did, dismantling you online to end the noxious fumes you spew would be a worthy endeavor.

      1. Emma,

        When it comes to spewing noxious fumes I notice that you and Mary Burke have a lot in common with your views that American consumers are to blame for jobs being outsourced to China, though you seem to have advanced that notion here at Blogging Blue well before she repeated it in a recent interview.


        It must be very flattering when a gubernatorial candidate repeats your talking points a couple of weeks after you’ve written them in a blog comment.

        1. Steve, she said the same things because they are obvious truths about manufacturing, US Trade Policy, and American consumer behavior. American consumers vote every day – with their wallets. They have yet to prioritize American manufacturing jobs over low prices in critical mass.

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