Pause to rant

What I really wanted to post, what I intended to be my next post, was a love letter to the great state of Wisconsin and, specifically, a note to the city I call home, Madison.  But I have to hit pause on that while I complain about something going on in Wisconsin.  His name?  Ron Johnson.

Who is this idiot and why is he, supposedly, faring well in the polls?  I cannot understand this.  I get that the economy sucks, which is never good for incumbents, but Ron Johnson?  What in the hell is going on?

It goes without saying — though I will — that Wisconsinites should be extremely proud to call Russ Feingold their Senator.  There is no one finer.  At least no one who is willing to run for such a major office.  But even if he were merely mediocre, what is the meaning of the world when Ron Johnson is running a campaign that people are taking seriously?

Johnson’s latest?  Oh, this is good.  This is Onion-quality good.  He tells us that he is going to put a “cap” on federal spending in some areas.  Where?  Oh, he won’t say.  He doesn’t want to be “attacked.”  WHHHHHAT the WHHHHHAT?  So, here is a guy running for the United States Senate on the Republican ticket who tells the great people of Wisconsin, “I’m going to put a limit on how much the United States spends in some programs, but I can’t tell you which programs because I’m scared someone will be mean to me.  It’s a secret!  Shh!!I don’t want anyone to get mad at me while I’m running my campaign.  But once I get into office, BAM!  There goes education!  Or there goes infrastructure!  There goes defense!   But you won’t know until I get there!  For now, you just have to guess!  And vote for me!  Hee hee.”  How in the hell is this a serious campaign?

Once again, America, you have me baffled.


21 Responses to “Pause to rant”

  1. 1 Sara H September 28, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Politics are back on the blog! 🙂

    I’ll just say this – Ron Johnson is not the only guy who is being very careful to avoid having difficult discussions this election season. I’d better leave it at that and keep my lips zipped. 🙂 I think it’s pretty funny when any candidate purports to say he’s going to take all these specific actions when he gets into office – if they’ve never been in that particular office before, they probably don’t have any idea what they’re talking about. So I guess I’m not sure what’s worse – making the claim that invariably will wind up an empty promise once reality sets in, or doing a Johnson and punting.

    The political ads this time around just generally seem to be awful, on both sides. All that Johnson/Feingold back and forth about the Great Lakes a while ago was shameful – inaccurate/distorted on each side (thanks for!). I feel like in general, we’re in the midst of a really terrible cycle – I can’t decide if politicians are giving constituents what they want (ideological hooey), or if the constituents are responding to and being manipulated by the ads and rhetoric, or what. Who’s feeding on what? Either way, I’d say both sides should get their acts together and get serious!

    (I’m sorry, Kate, but that Feingold ad where he eats his lunch alone is rather hysterically funny. I vote for Herb every chance I get, but I can’t vote for Feingold – I think he would never be caught dead eating his lunch alone.)

    What do you think about the Barrett ad, where they show his tire iron injuries?

  2. 2 kateandgracie September 28, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I haven’t seen the Barrett ad yet! I should google it. I heard about it on the radio and, I thought, I really don’t care. And I thought, if I were he, I would probably use that to my advantage too. It really was quite brave of him!

    I agree that talking about what you’re going to cut is pretty ridiculous. I mean, one, like you say, you’ve never done the job before, how the hell do you know? And two, and maybe more importantly, um, there are 99 other Senators, not to mention a House and a President, so I’m not really sure you are going to be able to do anything. I just think, though, that saying, “I’m not going to tell you!” is a really weird strategy. It’s so secretive and makes me think either (a) you have no idea what you’re talking about or (b) you’re scary. Or both. Probably both.

    Yeah, Feingold probably doesn’t eat alone very often. A good point.

    Oh! And as for the cycle…I agree with you. I can’t figure it out. I was just talking to Aaron about this whole “he’s one of us” or “he’s not one of us” thing that Bill O’Reilly always goes on and on about…Well, O’Reilly and tons of others. I don’t get it. These complaints that Obama is not “one of us” is so weird to me. First of all, I don’t know who the “us” is supposed to be. Second of all, he’s the President. Yeah, he’s a little different. Third of all, what in the hell does it mean? I don’t know where this whole “I want my President to be someone I’d like to get a beer with” thing came from and if anyone really buys it. I mean, sure, I’d like to have a beer (read: martini, probably) with Obama because that’d be cool! But I don’t vote for someone based on whether I think they’d be good company at happy hour. Who does?

    Do Americans really buy into that or is it just rhetoric that some PR person came up with years ago and the talking heads run with it? I’m baffled.

    I guess you’re voting for Johnson then, eh? 😉

  3. 3 kateandgracie September 28, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Also, nice work in fantasy football this week!

  4. 4 Sara H September 28, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I was fine with the Barrett ad right until they actually SHOWED the injuries – then to me, it fell right on over to gratuitous (and it squicked me out).

    You know what we need? Jed Barlett. Now there was a super smart guy who you’d want to have a beer with – Latin-fluent combined with folksy charm. Ah, I miss that show. But agreed, I usually don’t think about whether I’d like to have a cocktail with a person before deciding whether to vote for him or her.

    Well, maybe a little bit in Feingold’s case. I generally don’t agree with his voting record, but I’ve also had Senate staffer friends who told a few stories about him, and from what it sounds like, he is the opposite of down to earth. In that respect, he doesn’t seem like one of us Wisconsinites to me, which annoys me. Herb Kohl, on the other hand, while I may disagree with him, I like him because I think he’s smart, reasonable and genuine – he still wears the same green blazer he’s had since about 1974, tacky and well-used – -now that’s representing Wisconsin! So maybe I do buy into the “one of us” thing a little bit, or at least what I see as authenticity. I guess maybe it’s a reflection of values, even if the person might not reflect my ideology? But probably not with the office of the President. That guy needs to deal with peeps like Ahmadinejad, and run the armed forces. He probably shouldn’t be at all like me.

    Thanks for all the points, A-Rod. But I can barely even think about that Packer game last night, it was so upsetting. I hope Chicago people don’t get too excited about the Bears’ win, because they didn’t really earn it, the Pack just lost it.

  5. 5 kateandgracie September 28, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I’m laughing about Herb Kohl’s blazer. You make a good point — I guess I want my reps to be like me in the sense that they get what makes things harder/easier/better/worse and all that. But I’d like them to be smarter and braver than I am. And yeah, I think we’d all be in a lot of trouble if the Pres were like me. Speaking of the Pres…he will be here any minute! Am I going to see him? No. Too much chaos and crowds. But I welcome him back to Madison!

    Oh! And I didn’t realize they showed his injuries — I thought it just referenced his heroics. That’s ew.

    As for last night’s game, NO KIDDING. And actually, the Bears should be kicking themselves because they barely won a game we all but handed them on a platter. I love the Packers, but that thing was out of control. One person not out of control? Aaron Rodgers! Gosh he’s dreamy.

  6. 7 Sara H September 29, 2010 at 8:59 am

    So I’m not the only one with a little A-Rod crush? 🙂

    I saw the motorcade – is it me, or were there Priuses instead of limos? I didn’t see anything that looked like a limo or an SUV.

  7. 8 gwendolyngarden September 29, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Love the comments on my former boss’s clothes- he was a real humdinger in the wardrobe dept.- and he has proudly worn the same size since High School, something I certainly aspire to (not that it is going to happen). I swear some of his clothes were of the same vintage.

    Couldn’t agree with you more about Johnson. There is no doubt that Johnson has no clue what it means to be a United States Senator… lets hope our fellow Wisconsinites see that!

  8. 9 kateandgracie September 29, 2010 at 11:06 am


    Hmm. I didn’t see any Priuses. I saw SUV-type things, I think. I didn’t get very good pics but I’ll look at them again. There were also ambulances in the motorcade, which seemed odd, but maybe they just needed every vehicle they could get that had lights. That’d be funny if they had the snowplows and stuff out.

  9. 10 kateandgracie September 29, 2010 at 11:07 am

    I still can’t get over how cool it would be to be at tennis practice and say, “Hmm. Is that the President over there? Why yes it is!”

  10. 12 Sara H September 29, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    And p.s., I love Herb – I remember meeting him on a DC trip when I was in high school, and he used the word “bullshit” several times during the meeting. At that age, that made him beyond cool and made us feel like bona fide adults. What a hoot.

  11. 13 Jane Roe September 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    The fact that Ron Johnson has had this much success simply terrifies me. I mean the guy was quoted in the Journal as saying that climate change was more likely the result of sunspots than man-made emissions. He was also quoted as saying he would have voted against Obama’s two Supreme Court nominees as well as Breyer and Ginsberg. God, if this guy wins can Sarah and the TP’s be far behind?

  12. 14 kateandgracie September 30, 2010 at 10:12 am

    I just have to think that his success has only been the result of anti-incumbency fever as opposed to anyone really taking him seriously. Not that that will make it any better if he — God forbid — wins, but it makes me feel a TINY bit better about Wisconsin. Sun spots? Holy awful.

    Happy birthday, Sara!

  13. 15 kateandgracie September 30, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Ok, I just went to Johnson’s website and I have to say, he just seems like an idiot. And his endorsements seem so minimal. I don’t understand!

  14. 16 kateandgracie September 30, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I had read a blip about his climate change nonsense, but now I just read this:

    “I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change,” Johnson said. “It’s not proven by any stretch of the imagination.”

    Johnson, in an interview last month, described believers in manmade causes of climate change as “crazy” and the theory as “lunacy.”

    “It’s far more likely that it’s just sunspot activity or just something in the geologic eons of time,” he said. Excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere “gets sucked down by trees and helps the trees grow,” said Johnson. Average Earth temperatures were relatively warm during the Middle Ages, Johnson said, and “it’s not like there were tons of cars on the road.”

    Ok, now I’m actually getting scared.

  15. 17 kateandgracie September 30, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I know this is just me talking to me now, but that’s fine. I have to say more!

    He also said that he’s happy there’s global warming because otherwise we’d be standing on a glacier. A glacier! And that he’s open to drilling in the Great Lakes. The Great Lakes! Drilling! I don’t think there could be much of a more anti-Wisconsin sentiment than that. Unless he maybe banned eating cheese curds. Or insisted that Packer games could not be broadcast. Drilling in the Great Lakes!

  16. 18 Jane Roe September 30, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Did you ever read Fahrenheit 451 when you were in school? If you did, do you remember the part where Mildred’s lady friends talk about the election and who they are going to vote for and why? Every time I see or hear about some of the looney tunes running for office I think, Oh My God Bradbury had it right and he wrote Fahrenheit in the 1950’s!

  17. 19 Jane Roe September 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Oops! One other thing, Johnson is able to be this far because he has lots and lots of money to throw into this campaign. I must say he reminds me of a certain sibling of mine who thinks that because he made a lot of money, he’s smart. NOT!

  18. 20 kateandgracie October 1, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I also just read that his father-in-law was/is some sort of billionaire so Johnson’s claims that he’s all self-made seem less that true.

    I LOVE Fahrenheit 451, though I didn’t read it until college. I should read it again.

  19. 21 Kevin Groen November 8, 2010 at 12:25 pm


    This man is going to be the biggest embarrassment to this State ever. Even if you ever disagreed with Russ, this guy takes the cake for complete lewd terrible behavior. He is not a good person and he is going to make us in this state look like a bunch of yokels. Please visit and comment on my blog.

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September 2010

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