Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008

C'mon! We have real problems!

By Ed Garvey
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By Ed Garvey

The cheap-shot that rang my bell during the two-hour, CNN Democratic forum was Hillary's smug shot at Barack "defending a slum landlord in Chicago." Had Barack been involved, as a partner in the firm, it might have been less harsh, but he wasn't and, as he explained, he worked about five hours as an associate on a joint project with a church group and the bad actor. But her demeanor defines the process. Her loud demand to be heard, in her just-south-of-shrill voice, even while interrupting one of the other two, is beyond annoying. She would not do well with John McCain.

John Edwards played hall monitor in shooing the other two into the principal's office. But the damage was done. It was an old-fashioned food fight and it was not pretty. (Could we get Biden, Richardson and Dodd back into the debates? And why not Kucinich?) Hillary and Bill seem determined to bully their way back to the Lincoln Bedroom. In the process they may blow the whole thing.

When they talked policy they all made sense and did well, but the news snippets will focus on the food fight. Now for the news. I saw Howard Dean after the debate. He lives! Now, can he act like Chair of the Party? Take over the debates and say goodnight to Wolf Blitzer?

The Cap Times headline: "Doyle walked the talk; delivered on many of '07 promises." Naturally, I was surprised and plunged into the AP story. The promises accomplished? A big tax on cigarettes; opening Badger care to all children; and almost getting a statewide smoking ban.

What about public financing of Supreme Court races not to mention all elections? How about our environment? Anything to improve special education? Anything on unemployment in Milwaukee where a majority of African American adult men are unemployed? With record numbers of home evictions, has the Doyle admistration done anything?

As Jim Doyle opens his run for a third term in Wednesday's State of the State, it is time for some big ideas. Haven't seen many yet.

Crisis: Tax revenues down, markets in near free fall, and no one thinks Bush has responded adequately. Is this 1929? Could be. Time for leadership.

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