Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Can we recall the ads?

sYou'd have to be living under a rock -- or as intelligent as one -- not to realize that Wisconsin has "Recall Fever" these days and even though there aren't yet enough signatures on petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker the hype is building. 

Funny thing but right now it's all hype and no substance.  If you listen to the opponents, the governor is a great savior who led us from the brink of fiscal disaster without raising taxes.  That's the "ends justify the means" approach.

Some of those favoring recall engage in the same logic but with a different twist.  They say classes are overcrowded and good teachers are leaving.  In other words, they're not sure the "ends" are anything to brag about.  Both miss the point.

Recalls are extraordinary elections, sparingly used and typically when there has been some abuse(s) so severe that the normal election cycle needs to be trumped.  Whether you like or dislike a particular incumbent and/or his or her performance isn't the appropriate issue.  Voters have the chance to express their approval or disgust at the next regular election.

It's only when the situation is irregular -- extraordinary, if you will -- that a recall should be seriously considered.  And because it's serious business the discussion should be serious.

To me, the real recall issues are whether the integrity of the office, the state or the legislative process was so compromised as to warrant removal from office.  This isn't an "ends" discussion but rather one that calls for a reflection on what and who we are in Wisconsin and what we expect from our elected officials.

The dialogue should be serious and not influenced by big and/or outside spenders who look to Wisconsin as some epicenter battle ground.  This is a Wisconsin thing and it's a time when we need sober debate and reflection -- not special interest groups trying to cloud the real issues.