Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hating What Made You

"Good! Your hate has made you powerful. Now fulfill your destiny. . . ." – Emperor Palpatine to young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode VI.

When Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is challenged to defend its obvious aim to engineer a hostile takeover of the state Supreme Court, WMC's mouthpieces say time and again that they are trying to rid Wisconsin of "activist judges."


As Dave Zweifel pointed out today, WMC owes its power to one of the great acts of judicial activism in American history. The 1886 U.S. Supreme Court ruling Zweifel refers to is a subject the Democracy Campaign has addressed a time or two.

The irony is surreal. WMC has exploited the 19th Century handiwork of "activist judges" to wage what it insists is a war on "activist judges." And the war doesn't appear to be over. WMC clearly has its sights set on the next high court election when Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson will be up for re-election because, as WMC spokesman Jim Pugh told Zweifel, Abrahamson is more "activist" than the group's last target, Louis Butler.

That is code for "judge who doesn't rule the way we want." And what WMC wants is judges who will side with corporations over consumers in product liability cases and who will favor business over individuals in tax cases.

What we're dealing with here is part transparent dishonesty about the true motives behind the assault on our system of justice and part naked hypocrisy in the form of a crusade made possible by the very thing it aims to destroy. Both show how the Dark Side of the Force is very much alive and thriving in Wisconsin politics.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love it. "... part transparent dishonesty ... and part naked hypocrisy ... a crusade made possible by the very thing it aims to destroy." Bang - your lance again thuds dead center into the bullseye, and the shaft hums with harmonic vibrations.

Zweifel's column leaves room for plausible sounding rebuttals and criticisms, but attacks on your solid analyses always sound patently outrageous and dim-witted in context.

My latest column (on this very subject of legalized bribery and its legal underpinnings and its supporters in the Wisconsin legislature) was apparently the last straw for the publisher/editor of the newspaper for which I wrote a column for over six years. By email I was notified on June 10 that my "Ozaukee Farmstead" column was canceled, and the article would not be printed. See it at this link: