Saturday, July 23, 2016

Lessons in Walker’s Supreme Court pick

Gov. Scott Walker's pick of the obscure ultra-conservative Waukesha County lawyer Daniel Kelly - - a nominee so far on the outdated fringe that he opposes same-sex marriage (now legal) and has equated slavery with affirmative action - - to fill out the remaining four years of retiring State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser's term underscores some basic political lessons here:

* Elections have consequences. Also see: Donald Trump and multiple looming US Supreme Court vacancies.

* Walker may be underwater in the polls, but will rule without flinching from his dedication to big business' needs, GOP permanence and his own legal protection.

* Republicans and conservatives are better organized to play power politics in Wisconsin than are progressives and Democrats.

The GOP and ideological conservatives have built, nurtured and coordinated groups and networks that find, train, finance or position their people so effectively that an unknown hidden on their bench could be elevated from obscurity, despite and zero judicial experience, to the Stste Supreme Court and soon, perhaps, to the position of Chief Justice which these same corporate servants and power brokers maneuvered from the liberal Shirley Abrahamson, the longest-serving and openly elected Justice.

*  The solid 5-2 reactionary majority on the Court - - two put there through Walker appointment after being fed to him by the right's machinery - - will enforce and make indelible Walker's reward-his-friends/punish-his-'enemies' divide-and-conquer approach on the state long after he's punted himself from the scene.

Look at the case study examples already produced at his 'chamber of commerce mentality' DNR - - and ask yourselves if you really believe that major projects like the proposed 26,000-hog and mega-manure producing farm near Lake Superior or the 247-acre nature preserve ticketed to be turned into fertilizer-dependent and groundwater sucking privately-owned golf course are going to get a fair review either at the agency or at the State Supreme Court controlled by the same pro-corporate, anti-public interest forces.

* It took the the Right a long time to pull off and embed its ascension, and there's no time like the present, even as we are in another election cycle, for Democrats and progressives to get derper into the long game, too.

That's not to say there aren't plenty of progressive people doing important legal, campaign, environmental and other policy work already.

I especially like the up-and-coming group of dedicated Milwaukee Democratic legislators carrying the banner to Madison and joining veteran legislators there. 

I just think a bigger effort is needed, and younger activists are going to have to be supported and allowed to lead it, since it is their generation now being consigned to the Wisconsin Right's domination.


Anonymous said...

Will Walker have to go with Kelly for interviews and talk for him as he did in the JS article?

Anonymous said...

I agree completely. Back in the heyday of the Greater Milwaukee Committee I tried to get people to see that this concept of fawning surrender to the recommendations of a group of high placed lawyers and their CEO pals was a bad idea. People scoffed at my insistence about how this leads to a "people be damned" stranglehold on government. They're not scoffing any longer.