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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Friday, May 12, 2006

Run, Tommy, Run

Seriously, does Tommy! Thompson still have that many blank pages left in his scrapbook that he needs to keep generating press like this?

Consider what the article tells us:
  1. Katherine Skiba is still obsessed with Tommy! and can't stop stroking his ego. Please, Katherine, Tommy!'s like the class clown: If you just ignore him, he'll stop.
  2. Republicans have not invited Tommy! to the state convention yet, even though a long time ago he said he wanted to speak there and announce, well, something.
  3. What Tommy! might announce is a run for governor, which he thinks he can win.
  4. Tommy! has no real confidence in actual candidate for governor Mark Green.
  5. Mark Green, who says that he thinks Tommy! "rescued" Wisconsin, has no sense of recent Wisconsin political history. Remember that taxes are lower, as a percentage of personal income, now under Doyle, and Tommy!'s $3+ billion deficit when he left office would make a horrible platform to run on.
  6. Tommy! wants to run for president someday. And I want to be an astronaut.
Given a choice--you know, gun to the head and all--I'd rather have Tommy! than Mark Green; Tommy! was never beholden to the extremist wingnutty Republican faction that currently sets the Madison agenda. I'd love to see Tommy! go toe-to-toe with the Republicans on, for example, stem cell research.

But the big reason Tommy! should run is that it absolutely will remind people of what happened under his rule through the 1990s. While there may currently be a blur of "good ol' days" in a lot of people's eyes, Tommy!'s rule was not all, or even mostly, the sunshine and roses people think it was. The entire debate can begin and end with the question of what state's budget shortfall was when Tommy! left office. And we can have a real debate about taxes; were we better off back then? Paul Soglin pointed out the other day the utter transparency and weakness of tax hell arguments, and I think a head-to-head with Tommy!, who wouldn't fall back on the kind of gimmicky cop-outs Green would, could really make this fall's election about something more than cheap rhetoric. And Doyle--who bit big fiscal bullets to fix the mess Tommy! and Scott McClellan McCallum left him--wins by a mile.

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