Recall election seems anti-climactic

Posted May 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm

By KAREN PARKER | County Line Editor

Hang in there, friends and readers. In only a few more days, we will be free of the election bombast for, oh, possibly a few weeks, before we head into the fall primary, and then the general election.

With the exception of an occasional peak at the weather, I avoid turning on local television channels. After the 10th airing of a Walker or Barrett commercial, my mind starts to numb. One also needs to get out of the house to evade the robo calls. At least in this election, most of them are recorded, so you can hang up. Unfortunately, one cannot express one’s disgust by slamming down the phone. No one is listening at the other end.

I won’t be sad to see the big blue “We Stand with Walker” signs go to the landfill either. I find the language puzzling: The signs seem militaristic and threatening. I guess it would be worse if they proclaimed, “We March with Walker.” On the other hand, “We Sit with Walker” sounds rather engaging and implies his supporters would like to start a polite conversation.

I must concede the Walker signs are memorable, as opposed to the little, white pro-Barrett signs. For the life of me, I cannot recall the wording on those.

Few political-cause signs are as gracious as the “Decline The Line” signs, although the yellow and black color combination is a bit jarring. The word “decline” brings to mind a lady in ruffles politely refusing another cup of Earl Grey tea. The word “reject” is more in keeping with public opinion about the ATC high-voltage line, but it lacks the poetry of “decline the line.”

For all of the fire and brimstone created last year over the Walker administration’s handling of the collective-bargaining issue, the recall election appears rather anti-climatic. It seems like the whole thing ran out of steam.

After forcing myself to watch part of the gubernatorial debate last week, I think I may know why. Walker and Barrett could be the two most boring, uninspiring men ever produced in the land of cheese. They have not improved since they fought it out over the office two years ago.

Walker always appears to me as if he stepped out of a 1960s Brylcreem commercial

Remember the slogan?

Bryl-creem, a little dab’ll do ya,

Use more, only if you dare,

But watch out,

The gals will all pursue ya,–

They’ll love to put their fingers through your hair.

Ick – it gives me the willies just thinking about it.

Barrett is of my generation. He seems like a tired old man who hasn’t had a fresh idea in a couple of decades.

What exactly were the Democrats thinking about with their choice of candidates? “Let’s run the guy who lost last time?”

Wisconsin has a history of producing statesmen of vision and charisma. These are not statesmen. These are politicians, and it would be surprising if, 50 years from now, either one would merit more than a footnote in the history books. Or I should say, Wikipedia. Books will be obsolete by then.

One thing is for certain: This election is all about money. As of April 23, 2012, Walker had raised $25.3 million; and Barrett, a paltry $831,510. This appears to be shaping up as a David vs. Goliath match.

Who would spend that kind of money to secure a temporary job that pays $144,000 a year? You would have to be either a true believer or totally nuts. In either case, is this who we want for a governor?

In my fantasy, we would all stay home Tuesday. All of those fat cats who wrote checks would wake up Wednesday morning and hear that no one in Wisconsin bothered to vote because they were sick of out-of-state money trying to control the future of Cheeseheads.

Of course, that won’t happen. As good citizens of a democracy, we will trudge to the polls and pick our poison.

And, afterward, someone will end up in the statehouse. For most of us, it makes little difference in our daily lives who wins the governorship. But, then again, sometimes it does. Just ask the teachers and other public employees.