Have you no sense of decency, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy?
Madison is not a “progressive, liberal, communist community,” as you claimed on Fox News the 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).
Soglin called Duffy names, which was unfortunate, but the mayor also made some good points while delivering a clever zinger most of his constituents will love. The only thing communist about Madison, Soglin told the Associated Press, is that revenue generated here is redistributed to help economically struggling communities in Duffy’s 7th Congressional District in northern Wisconsin.
OK, guys. Settle down, please. 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.
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.
Duffy seemed to be doing his best Trump impersonation on Fox’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” feigning a Red Scare and getting his facts wrong. Duffy, R-Wausau, claimed Dane County is the only county in Wisconsin tallying ballots by hand during the ongoing recount of our presidential vote.
He was off by at least 50 of 72 counties. Even Duffy’s home county of Marathon, as well as others in his district, planned to do hand recounts. Duffy used his false claim about Dane being a stubborn exception to theorize that Madison liberals were slowing the recount for political purposes.
Madison can be fiercely partisan and flirts with socialism at times. But the real communists are in Cuba (which President Obama is opening to more capitalism) and lingering in Russia (whose leader Trump likes to tout).
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.
So how about we put this flap behind us, comrades ... er, gentlemen, and treat each other with more civility and respect.