Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Illusory Tenant Has Left The Building

Sad news from the blogosphere.  Just when we need him most, Tom Foley has headed off to gloriously greater climes, taking a good job in an exotic location and leaving the rest of us to fend for ourselves as the denizens of FitzWalkerStan kick and scratch and cheat to try to maintain their ungodly grip on Total Power. In a typically short, obtuse and self-effacing final post, he leaves us only with the glorious solo piano of Art Tatum playing "Over the Rainbow".  Which is where Foley is going, by the way.  I've seen pictures.

With all due respect to everybody else who is trying to make some sense and points with their various blogs out here, nobody holds a candle to Tom.  He is consistently brilliant, hilarious and right on-the-money.  A king of the short-form post, when he puts his mind and time to it, he can write a devastating long treatise on complicated legal subjects that entertain as well as destroy the pompous musings of a certain part-time law professor.

Speaking of Rick Esenberg, the latest winner of the Right-Wing Money Sweepstakes (his newly-minted "Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty", neither an "institute" nor much interested in law or liberty, is funded by the Bradley Foundation and other right-wing moneybags) tries to counter Foley's arguments by personally attacking him in his latest post.  The well-heeled Esenberg botches a snarky aside to Foley, writing nonsensically about a "law school graduate (and suspended lawyer)" without naming him, before lurching into yet another defense of the embarrassing middle-finger-to-ethics Justice Michael Gableman and how he didn't get the free legal services from Michael Best that he certainly got.  What are you going to believe, says Esenberg -- me, or your lying eyes?  Esenberg is obviously going to keep trotting out this line of apologist bullshit until somebody believes it.

Pointing out Foley's irrelevant state bar status is the kind of politics-of-personal-destruction diversion you expect from right-wingers who are losing the argument (which Esenberg always is).  The fact is that Tom -- who I have had the pleasure of showing around the Courthouse and could tell would have been a good lawyer if someone would have just hired him -- let his law license lapse when he realized he was moving on to better things.  The fact he isn't a current member of the bar doesn't affect his well-reasoned arguments on any subject one bit.  The fact Esenberg would resort to catty asides like this shows how weak he thinks his doomed position really is.

Tom Foley regularly had the goods on both Esenberg and Gableman -- not to mention Walker, the Fitzgeralds and everyone else making our lives miserable, locally and nationally.  I have encouraged him to use the wonders of what he called "the internets" to stay in touch with Wisconsin politics in this critical year and keep posting. Alas, he has declined, for now, not knowing the state of technology in his future slice of Paradise and figuring he'll be too busy working in the bright tropical sunshine.  But I hope he finds some time to share with us his unique and brilliant perspective.  Or at least drop us a line from time to time.

I'll miss his friendship and his bass and keyboard playing in my ad hoc semi-annual bands (we kicked ass on "Like a Rolling Stone" at Nod to Bob this year).  We'll all miss everything else -- his essential contribution to the Wisconsin conversation.  Terribly.


Zach W. said...

This is brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Damn it! This is no way to start my day!

Say you'll step in to help fill the void, Mike.

xoff said...

Well said. You'll have to take up some of the slack, Michael.

Rick Esenberg said...

I had intended to edit out the reference to Tom's suspension from practice. It arguably bears on the haughty and dismissive way that he tended to offer legal analysis that was often full of holes that he would not acknowledge. It was prompted by Tom's own snidery toward others, but it was one of those things that you write on an impulse and retract upon reflection. I regret that I failed to fully edit the post.

As far as the substance of your remarks, I don't agree but, then again, you knew that. Stay angry, Mike.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Mike, you're a prince (if I may swipe one of your own encomiums from a different context).

As for my ticket, that's a direct consequence of my being broke for the last little while and Esenberg's lame-ass ad hominem fallacy is both amusing and typical. If he wants to mock me for being broke, that reflects pretty poorly on him, not me. There's only a few hundred bucks standing between me and my ticket and that will get rectified at the earliest opportunity.

Several months ago Esenberg saw fit to announce to his mouth-breathing disciples that I didn't practice law at all, which was odd because when I read that particular lie I'd just got back from a resentencing hearing in an extended supervision case where I'd persuaded one of the most conservative judges in MKE Co. to show some mercy to my client who, the original sentencing transcript revealed, had had the misfortune of being represented by a pretty appalling argument (which I pointed out as delicately as possible and whose details I won't discuss here, obviously).

Esenberg never told me where he got his information from, but it was completely false. It's sad that Esenberg is known as a representative of the MULS faculty which in my experience (and which was 100% pre-Esenberg, as I never tire of pointing out) was first-rate and first-class.

Anyway, thanks again for everything brother!


Anonymous said...

"I had intended to edit out the reference to Tom's suspension"

He intended to, but did not?

Lawyer Speak can be so complex and confusing at times.

Mike Plaisted said...

Notice, in explaining his rude behavior on his blog, Esenberg gets another couple of digs in. Then, as he has before, he dismisses my remarks about the outrageous Gableman ethical lapses and my comments about his fake "institute" by calling me "angry".

This is one of the right-wing's favorite talking points when it comes to their more-than-worthy opponents, be they Madison protesters or Democratic legislators -- that we are irrational, emotional and otherwise easily dismissed. Me, I don't have anything to be angry about. In fact, I have a million reasons to be elated.

As Esenberg and his ilk sink deeper into their guilded bunker, the rest of us will celebrate the triumph of democracy over the radical mad power-grab of the Republican elite. He can fool gulible Journal Sentinel reporters and editors into think he is some voice of reason, worthy of pontification from the ivory tower of his "institute" on issues and people for which he has actively campaigned, litigated on behalf of and has accepted thousands of dollars to defend.

The rest of us see through his pious bullshit and know that, with Rick Esenberg, you get what They pay for.

Anonymous said...

Esenberg surely looks into the looking glass as he contemplates, "haughty and dismissive way that he tended to offer legal analysis that was often full of holes that he would not acknowledge."

As they say on the teevee sports show, C'MON MAN, that's you in your writing. No? Right, you are the professional--a professor even! Psh.

So even if there is one, don't trot out a law license suspension--that happens for unpaid fees that support mandatory bar (and all its employees) and expensive CLEs (how can a working bloke afford that stuff, its not like we make JGableman bank)--tell me about when the ticket gets pulled for a real reason--or all I can say, to paraphrase Coach Ditka, is RickEsenberg, "Who you crappin?'"

busana muslim said...

woww great post good luck