Thursday, September 09, 2010

Doing Clarke's Dirty Work

The Journal Sentinel just can't bring itself to address the issue of David Clarke's blatantly false declaration of himself as a Democrat on the primary ballot for Milwaukee County Sheriff.  But they are all over Chris Moews' attendance at a Junior Bush rally in 2004.  Pictures in Bush T-shirts and everything -- they even drag one of his kids into it.  Dan "Bulldog" Bice (with apologies to the original Bulldog, who knows who he is) nails it. Moews went to a Bush rally, alright.  Case closed.

Bice's piece was an easy triumph for the Clarke campaign, which no doubt threw the photo over the transom in the quiet empty halls of the Journal Sentinel building on State St.  And the J-S was all too willing to take the bait and do some pro-Clarke spinning in advance of the laughable editorial board's expected endorsement of the arrogant, grandstanding Clarke any day now.  Who cares if Clarke is a pretend Democrat when Moews can't possibly be a real Democrat after attending a Bush rally six years ago?  I mean, everyone knows you forfeit your identity as a Democrat by walking in that door, right?

Well, no.  Some true Democrats -- especially law enforcement -- have been supporting Republican presidential candidates since Nixon.  Republicans have always put up a phony macho posture on issues of war and crime and a lot of folks unfortunately fall for that bullshit.  They vote for Democrats down the the rest of the ballot, but sometimes falling in with the GOP presidential candidate because, no matter what they do ("John Kerry, reporting for duty!"), the Dems somehow always get out-butched by the patronizing posturing of empty Republicans.

But that vote for the Republican at the top of the ticket that one year (Moews gave Bice photos of him at a Clinton rally -- where were they in the piece?) doesn't make Moews less of a Democrat any more than the millions of Republicans who voted for Obama in 2008 are less so.  The headline of the Bice piece says that Moews is only a real Democrat "sometimes".  Wrong.  He's a real Democrat, remained so when he walked in and voted for Bush in 2004, and was still a Democrat when he walked out. 

I think he was wrong to vote for Bush.  But I'm not going to single-issue him for that when there is much more at stake in this race than electoral purity. The unfortunate thing about this kind of Clarke-generated non-issue is that it peels away the support of those who will turn away Moews and fail to recognize the strong victory a Clarke defeat would bring in this difficult year.  This kind of story does the double damage of not only letting Clarke off the hook for his fraudulent election tactics, but also diminishes the enthusiasm we should have for this race. 

The important issue is that Moews is a real Democrat and will act like one in office.  He will respect the collective bargaining process and follow the resulting contracts with his deputies, therefore increasing morale throughout the agency.  He will cooperate with, rather than dictate to, other law enforcement agencies in the county.  Chris Moews will not spend half his day phoning in to wing-nut talk radio shows or clopping around the courthouse in cowboy boots, looking for the next opportunity to make a bigger name so he can embarass himself by running for mayor again.

And, in the Bice piece, he follows the rest of the paper's lead by glossing over Clarke's radical-right Republican identity.  "The incumbent also receives many donations from Republicans. He also has met with Bush and many of his top operatives at the White House. He even spoke at a tea party rally in Milwaukee last year."  Left unsaid, because it conflicts with other Journal Communications properties, is that Clarke is a darling of right-wing talk radio hosts like Charlie Sykes. 

There can be no question that David Clarke wants nothing to do with the Democratic party, other than to get a D next to his name on the ballot so he can get his sorry ass elected again.  Chris Moews, on the other hand, has embraced Democratic ideals and the party itself.  For the Journal Sentinel to pretend that there is even a question about Moews' Democratic identity makes it a knowing pawn in David Clarke's dirty campaign.


xoff said...

The JS has become the easiest way for the right-wingers to get out their opposition research (well, maybe not quite as easy as Sykes). Check recent McIlheran columns trashing Chris Larson and a Democrat running for the Assembly up in Medford (!). Printing the negative stuff gives the Repubs a news clipping and citation to use in negative campaign materials this fall.

Bice may have gotten used on this one. McIlheran, on the other hand, is a willing co-conspirator.

Anonymous said...

"Moews went to a Bush rally, alright. Case closed."


"I think he was wrong to vote for Bush."


"...Moews is a real Democrat and will act like one in office."


Anonymous said...

You are unbelievable. You say one thing, then you say another, how many sides do you have. Clarke is the better candidate hands down, and that is why you are making lame attempts at bringing up irrelevent issues with party preference.

Anonymous said...


Rudy said...

Your claim of "useless deputies" is a foolish one. The few that remain are carrying this agency on its shoulders.
The sheriff's office is a shell of what it once was. Staffing is at dangerously low levels in the courts and freeway. Disaster, no longer an "if" but "when" it will strike this agency- hopefully it doesnt take the life of a deputy with it.

So Anonymous, whether you're one of Clarke's underqualified promotions, or one of his right wing supporters/'s time to emotionally prepare yourself for a new sheriff. The right wing/ independent Clarke base will be supporting Walker/Kleefisch/and Johnson.

Anonymous said...

Obviously, Plaisted is a racist, repeatedly criticizing Clarke, who is black.
He refers to his 'sorry ass,' which is a clear allusion to a donkey, which has been used historically as a 'beast of burden,' which is just another term for a 'slave.'
So, using this logic, this is racism, pure and simple, at its core.

Rudy said...

Ha! Plaisted a racist? Obviously scored an "F" in logic. Did you subscribe to the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon School of Deducing/Logic?

Shouldn't be surprised here- Conservative logic is as useful as an appendix. I guess the Earth was made in 7 days too, Anonymous?

Nice too see Clarke's Tea Party supporters at least know how to reply on blog posts. That's progress!!!

Anonymous said...

How is the JS doing Clarke's dirty work? It is a FACT that Moews voted for Bush attended a rally of his in 2004 and then endorsed McCain in 2008. That's quite relavent considering that Moews has made being a 'real democrat' the centerpiece of his campaign. Had that not been his main plank this would be a non-story. And do some homework, Bice has NOT been kind to Clarke in the past.

Mike Plaisted said...

Moews has not made being a real Democrat the centerpiece of his campaign. He had made not being David Clarke the centerpiece of his campaign. Moews attending a Bush rally means nothing in terms of him being a real Democrat -- he is.

Clarke lies every four years when he pretends to be a Democrat on a public ballot. Clarke makes it quite clear in the way he conducts himself in office and his public comments during tea-bag events and on talk radio that he hates everything Democrat. If he found out a friend of his was a Democrat, he would disown him immediately.

The Clarke campaign tries to dodge the fact that he falsifies his nomination papers by shifting the spotlight to a six-year old Bush rally. The Journal Sentinel is too willing to assist by investigating Moews and ignoring Clarke's essential electoral lie.