First, two assumptions:
One. Echoing the governor’s statement, if the accusations against Bill Kramer are accurate, he should not continue to hold his seat.
Two. If the accusations against Bill Kramer are accurate, there is no defense for his actions.
Now, Democrats are leveraging Kramer’s battered reputation into attacks on the integrity of much more prominent and relevant Republicans. There’s the MJS report that implicates Ron Johnson’s office in the scandal, implying a question of the senator’s integrity, playing alongside the cacophony of lefty bloggers who’ve decided this is definitive proof that Republicans are, as they’ve suspected, inherently evil. It’s also an attempt to link Governor Walker to even more unsavory behavior, especially after the fallout from last month’s document dump in the John Doe investigation satisfied only the kooks who were able to turn no trace of wrongdoing into a week’s worth of baseless headlines.
It doesn’t matter that Gov. Walker has already substantially decried Kramer’s alleged sleazery. Now it’s a question of whether he could’ve decried it even more. It’s pragmatic for the legislature’s Republican leadership to try and let the story die after swiftly revoking Kramer’s leadership role and shuffling him off to counseling; the politics of demolishing one of their own wouldn’t play well. It will be politically impossible for Kramer to cast another vote as a state representative, and he’s filed papers to keep his name off the ballot in November. His attorney’s correct that Kramer is entitled to due process, but as a former leader in the party, he must understand the political necessity of expediting the erasure of his name from headlines.
Democrats take their opposition and publicly burn them in effigy until there’s nothing left, though such tenacity is exclusively reserved for those outside the party. It’s their Standard Operating Procedure.
The last shining example was the torch-and-pitchfork peasant raid against Michael Eisenga, who was lobbying Rep. Joel Kleefisch to sponsor a bill that relaxed child support laws. Even after the legislation was discarded, Democrats managed to use one guy’s ugly reputation to infect those of other Republicans higher up the food chain. In terms of not letting a scandal go to waste, this is an efficient use of resources.
While Republicans are keeping mum, so is Mary Burke’s campaign, which actually makes for good politics. Making a statement would open her up for partisan hacks like me to take her to task for being a part of the crisismongering others in her party so dearly relish. Meanwhile, good Democrats can just assume that, as another Democrat, and especially as a woman, she’s against sexual harassment.
Is Gordon Hintz? He’s the misogynist Democrat Assemblyman from the Fox Valley who in 2011 threatened to kill Michelle Litjens and was busted by cops for offering to pay a masseuse for sexual favors. He’s still in office. The Democrats who allow him to hold onto his seat while calling for the rightful resignation of Kramer are hypocrites, caught red-handed executing partisan favoritism and hackery, and the imbalance in media attention is staggering.
Democrats desperately forgive their own kind, making any integrity they pretend to have in defending women farcical.
What’s worse is that Republicans have not made the same connection on a loud, public level. At the time of Mr. Hintz’s controversies, Act 10 was dominating headlines, and the story was both underreported and lost in the shuffle. Mr. Hintz suggested then that any coverage of his exploits were designed to distract from the narrative spun against the governor and Republicans in the legislature, amid profuse apologies, a self-defense Kramer would never be permitted by other Republicans, Democrats, or the media.
Just because it’s an old controversy doesn’t make it irrelevant. Scandals of years past are the bread and butter of the Democrat Crisis Machine, most recently in the bludgeoned-to-death John Doe investigation and corresponding data dumps that have yet to ruin Scott Walker’s career, try as they may. Not to mention that Hintz holds the 2006 second place title at the National Air Guitar championship. He’s a nerd, a sexual deviant, and a Democrat — that’s all the narrative Republicans would have to worry about creating. Bringing it to light would force the left to answer why Gordon Hintz is still a member of the party and why he still holds his seat. They must be made to explain why Bill Kramer’s actions are worse than his.
That the Bill Kramer story still gets this much traction, juxtaposed with the irrelevance assigned to Gordon Hintz’s, represents a victory for the Democrat Party while they desperately need a win: Their nominee for governor is running a quiet, lame campaign; jobs are being created in Wisconsin under the supervision of a Republican governor and legislature; Act 10 has not crippled the education industry and public employees are still able to feed their families; and students are still learning.
Democrats take interest in being champions of goodness only when it means making Republicans look bad. Otherwise, politics trump morality. Yet they have the audacity to question the intentions of Republican leaders and invent accusations of bigotry where there never are.
If Republicans had the scandal-spinning prowess that Democrats do, coupled with a complicit media, not only would Gordon Hintz be exiled to specially-built prison in a Women’s Center basement, but Mary Burke would also be pressured to make an unequivocal denunciation of his actions, past, present, and future.
Bill Kramer has to go. So does the Republican Party’s failure to compete with Democrats in the political arena, where sound bytes and optics and portrayals in the media dominate influence over public opinion. Kramer does not represent the values of the Republican Party and he will not run for reelection because of it, a decision likely made for him by party leadership. Democrats might say they have values and high-minded ideals about equality and rights, but this one-sided partisan theater removes any credibility to back up those values.