Wednesday, February 26, 2014


By Bill Kraus

The pre-eminent example of leaders undermined by staffers is called Watergate. It brought down a president. Richard Nixon had no knowledge or role in the decision to break in to the Democratic Party headquarters in Washington.

The whiplash in the wake of this event which was a mishmash of lies and cover-ups that he tacitly endorsed put a lot of people in jail and the president in a kind of exile in California.

What has happened to Scott Walker in Wisconsin and Chris Christie in New Jersey falls into the category of staff over-reaching and serious stupidity as well. Or so it seems. So far neither incident threatens the two incumbent governors’ status. Better yet there does not seem to be any attempt to cover up and no one seems to be telling punishable lies about the events that are drawing so much press attention.

What has resulted, however, is a kind of diminishment.

A shadow has been cast on the governors’ iconic status.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Then and now

By Bill Kraus

What Republicans have known all along is that theirs is a minority party. Their efforts to win high offices were necessarily concentrated on wooing the undecideds and uninterested with occasional raids into Democratic precincts for converts. The party leaders and the elected Republicans were in the forefront of these efforts. Lee Dreyfus said that his run for governor was prompted in part by his fear that the party in Wisconsin was headed from minority to insignificant. His campaign brought in thousands of new voters for the GOP. Reagan did much the same thing when he ran for president. Tommy Thompson was deservedly famous for a lot of things and especially for branding the party as a big tent organization which welcomed any and all.

Presumably other candidates in other places did much the same thing as the Republicans became increasingly competitive even dominant.