News from the People’s Republic of Madison

The UW–Madison Daily Communist — I mean, Daily Cardinal — reports:

Republican congressman Sean Duffy is facing criticism for describing Madison as a “communist community” when he attacked the ongoing presidential recount in Wisconsin Wednesday.

In a Fox News interview, Duffy, who represents northwestern Wisconsin, criticized Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s request for a recount of the state’s general election race.

“It’s a sad state of affairs for these Democrats who don’t believe in democracy and freedom and free elections,” Duffy said.

Duffy alleged that election officials in Dane County were stalling in order to miss the Dec. 13 deadline for certifying the vote, even though the county is on track to complete the recount on time.

Duffy’s comments drew a rebuke from numerous Wisconsin politicians.

On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., called for an apology from Duffy. Pocan represents Wisconsin’s second congressional district, including Dane County.

“His insinuation that my constituents are somehow un-American for exercising their political views is extremely alarming,” Pocan said in a release.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin also voiced his disapproval over Duffy’s comments, initially calling him a “moron.”

“I apologize to Congressman Duffy for referring to him as a moron. I should have said he is a liar and a charlatan,” Soglin said Thursday.

Duffy defended himself on Twitter, tweeting “The PC crowd is humorless. For those offended by my ‘communist’ comment, I’ll send a therapy dog to your ‘safe place’ of choice in Madison,” and questioned whether Pocan would “accept the results of the election and denounce the frivolous recount.”

In response, Pocan tweeted “Humorless is better than being senseless about Dane County providing 73% of new jobs in WI. Perhaps a $175K salary distorts your views.”

Interesting comment from Pocan, given that his salary is the same as Duffy’s.

I also fail to understand why Comrade Pocan believes economic growth is a good thing, given that Pocan and his ilk believe the only purpose of making money is to give it to Pocan and his ilk.

I’m not sure why a UW–Stevens Point professor felt the need to chime in, but, Wisconsin Public Radio reports …

U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy’s comments that involved calling the Madison “communist” during a Fox News interview earlier this week are “simply irresponsible,” a UW-Stevens Point political science professor said.

“I mean, Duffy, besides being a member of Congress, is also part of the transition team and so, you just don’t say that,” professor Ed Miller said.

Duffy, who represents Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District, made the comment during an interview about the state’s presidential recount on Tucker Carlson Tonight. …

Duffy went on to say that people working for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton are taking as much time as possible to contest ballots and “slow-walking” so that votes can’t get certified.

“If that doesn’t happen, to think of the state of Wisconsin who voted for Trump, the first time for a Republican since 1984, that our 10 electors would be disenfranchised for our state, is a sad state of affairs for these Democrats who don’t believe in Democracy and freedom and free elections,” Duffy also said. “They want to use politics to undermine the will of the voter.”

Miller said Duffy is essentially separating people by calling the Madison-area Communist. Miller added that Duffy’s comment is factually inaccurate, Dane County is not the only county hand counting the ballots.

“There’s a number of counties that are hand counting their ballots in Wisconsin,” Miller said. …

“His insinuation that my constituents are somehow un-American for exercising their political views is extremely alarming,” Pocan said in a statement. “At a time when our country stands divided, Congressman Duffy’s ‘Trumpizing’ of Wisconsin is the wrong direction for our state.”

Pocan also said he hopes the Wisconsin delegation will condemn Duffy’s comments.

Other responses to Duffy’s characterization of Wisconsin’s capitol included its mayor, Paul Soglin, who said, “For years I’ve been listening to morons like Representative Duffy, who are resentful of the fact that Madison is Wisconsin’s economic engine,” according to WSAU-TV.

The mayor released a statement Thursday addressing his earlier comments on Duffy.

“I apologize to Congressman Duffy for referring to him as a moron. I should have said he is a liar and a charlatan,” Soglin said.

And that’s a rich comment from Soglin given his being a buddy of the now-room-temperature Fidel Castro.

The Wisconsin State Journal unsurprisingly felt the need to chime in:

Have you no sense of decency, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy?

Madison is not a “progressive, liberal, communist community,” as you claimed on Fox Newsthe other night.

We’re a progressive, liberal, capitalist community. And our strong free-market economy is creating more private-sector jobs than any other part of the state.

That’s why Madison Mayor Paul Soglin took such offense this week to your commie dig, though most people understood it to be hyperbole (as was the first sentence in this editorial). …

Wisconsin has long struggled with an urban-rural divide. And that unfortunate rift has grown worse in the wake of last month’s election. Rural voters in Wisconsin and elsewhere played a big role in handing the presidency to a bombastic Donald Trump, which shocked many city dwellers.

But the election is now over, and even the big-talking Republican president-elect has toned down his rhetoric.

Sort of.

We all should be on the same side in Wisconsin when it comes to helping each other succeed across regions of the state. When southern Wisconsin does well, that’s good for northern Wisconsin, and vice versa. The insults don’t help.

I don’t know that the State Journal’s last claim is really the case. Certain parts of this state are emptying out as people move east, to, among other places, Madison. What does Southwest Wisconsin, for instance, get when someone from there moves to Madison?

There’s also this bit of historical revisionism:

Soglin gave Cuban dictator Fidel Castro a symbolic key to Madison four decades ago. But the mayor also has worked in the financial industry and at Epic Systems, one of the state’s fastest growing private companies.

Epic Systems is in Verona, not Madison. Soglin and Madison’s intransigence is why Epic is in Verona, not Madison. And Soglin’s private sector experience comes as an attorney who was hired by people to try to navigate the regulatory morass he created in his previous term as mayor.

Is Madison Communist like Cuba or China? Not economically, though perhaps in its lockstep ideology where non-liberal thoughts are not allowed to be expressed, let alone become law. Clearly Duffy was using a pejorative to describe my hometown and the left-wing jerks who live in it, two of which took Duffy’s bait. (Apparently Soglin doesn’t have enough things to do.) And the over-the-top reaction is certainly revealing, isn’t it? It’s like communism is a bad thing or something.

 

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