Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Graeme Zielinski: Victim Of Bipartisan Hypocritical Selective Outrage

This past Friday, the news broke that the Walkergate investigation, at least the one in Milwaukee County, was over, and that it appeared that Scott Walker was going to walk scot-free from facing any consequences for his illegal behavior.

This caused a myriad of reactions.  Predictably, the Teapublicans called it a vindication of Walker.  To do so, they had to ignore the more than a half a million dollars he spent on a legal defense fund to hire two of the leading white collar/syndicate crimes attorneys in the country.  They also had to stop believing their lying eyes which showed them the emails that Walker sent regarding the illegal politicking he was coordinating from the Milwaukee County Executive suite.

The left had a hard time dealing with the news.  We experience frustration, depression, disbelief and anger that such an injustice was being done for no fathomable reason.

Graeme Zielinski (image courtesy
of me, since I took the picture)
Among those who felt this frustration the most was Graeme Zielinski, who issued three unfortunate tweets that night.  Those tweets were an effort to point out that Walker had a legal defense team that rivaled OJ Simpson's and was far more than what one of the most notorious figures in state history - Jeffrey Dahmer- had at his disposal.

But just seeing Dahmer's name caused a knee-jerk reaction among both the right and the left.  The right started screaming with their selective outrage, falsely claiming that Zielinski was comparing Walker to Dahmer.  The fact that Zielinski was actually talking about the legal teams is irrelevant.  Why let the facts get in the way of a good round of selective outrage?

Likewise, more than a few on the left also expressed their outrage and demanded Zielinki's ouster, either publicly or privately.

The same politicians that Zielinski worked so hard for were more than willing to through him under the bus as well.

Well, now they have gotten their way.  The news broke on Monday that Zielinski was removed from his position as party spokesman and docked a full week's pay.

The Teapublicans, as you can imagine, are practically besides themselves with joy.  First Walker gets off the hook and then Zielinski gets the hook.  What more could they possibly want?

Even the ones on the left were giddy and euphoric about this turn of events.

The thing is that all this outrage, especially from the Teapublicans, is simply so much hypocrisy.*

Where was their outrage when Christian Schneider, who we already know to be a proven liar, made his comparison of former Milwaukee Brewer Prince Fielder to Dahmer?
Got that? It’s not the Senator who’s spent 18 years in Washington that’s connected to Jack Abramoff – it’s the guy who’s never had anything to do with the corrupt political machine in D.C. for the entirety of his life. This is like saying that since Prince Fielder plays in Milwaukee, he must eat people like Jeffrey Dahmer.
Nope, there was no outrage when Schneider made that comment.

And even though one could do a whole blog on Schneider's BS, he is still a darling of the right.

But that's not all.  Because, well, y'know, when it comes to anything doing with Scott Walker, there's more.  There's always more.

And this time the more is Walker himself comparing his political soul brother, David Duke to - guess who - Dahmer.  The comparison comes in at 6:15:

For those than cannot or do not want to stomach these two blithering idiots, the money quote is this:
"The key is, we feel that in particular you are hiding behind these issues that are legitimate issues, but do not necessarily make you a legitimate candidate, any more than in the city of Milwaukee, if Jeffrey Dahmer were to stand up and talk about family values, he’s not a legitimate candidate."
Yet there is no outrage at Walker either. Where are the cries for him to lose his job?

I could go on and on and on about all the vile things said by Teapublicans, like the crap from Charlie "Megatroll" Sykes, and still never run out of things to right about.

And speaking of the Megatroll, he is the first one to barge through the opening Mike Tate gave them by using Zielinski's demotion to beat on the Democrats' elected officials, like Tom Barrett.  (Note to Megatroll: The vets fund that Zielinski correctly tied you to was Walker's ersatz campaign fund known as Operation Freedom, something you and Jeff Wagner collaborated with most willingly.)

Jeff Simpson has put up a list consisting of just a fraction of the things that we could call the right out for vile comments, for which not one of them had to take any responsibility for.

I would add to Jeff's list one name: Jill Bader.  Bader was Walker's campaign spokeswoman who had made the racist tweet.  Yet not one wingnut made a complaint and she was allowed to keep her job.

In closing, I just want to say that Graeme and I have had our differences.  I don't like all of the things he's done and said.  And Graeme has made it perfectly clear to me that he doesn't appreciate all the things that I've done and said.

I do think that the Dahmer comparison was a poor choice.  He should have gone with John Gotti, the Teflon Don.  Not only is Gotti's crimes more similar to Walker, so was the way he avoided jail for so long.  And Gotti would have been much less inflammatory, although the right can get selectively outraged over anything.

But regardless of whether I agree with him or not on any given issue, and regardless of what anyone else thinks about Graeme, he's been my friend through thick and thin.  I am not ashamed to call him friend, and given the evidence above, I think he should have gotten a fairer shake.

ADDENDUM:  As others have pointed out, one of the reasons that Zielinski has been such a lightening rod isn't because he's so edgy, it's because he's so effective.

*The biggest of tips of the hat to Man MKE at Uppity Wisconsin for finding these gems.


  1. Reinstate Graeme Zielinski!

  2. Great post, thanks.

  3. Hahahaha.
    Maybe little Mikey Tate will be next.

  4. The biggest loser is clearly the State Dems with Wisconsin's naive-beyond-all-comprehension MSM next in line. They were played. And so publicly, so easily. I commented on FDLFVR in response to the sickeningly lofty tones of the so-called liberal elites baying for his blood. Party leaders turning on GZ have told working class supporters everything they need to know about their place in the party.

  5. I could have kept adding to my list but I had to get some sleep at some time!

  6. If I had to pick the serial killer that Walker reminds me of the most, I'd have go with Ted Bundy.

  7. hahaha yesterday I posted to the Wisconsin State state Urinal...er...Journal...that the difference between dahmer and scott walker was that scott walker's attack on Badger Care was going to kill a whole lot more people than dahmer ever did...and in the best tradition of wisconsin sportmen, at least dahmer was willing to eat what he killed.

    Needless to say my comment was taken down within minutes

    1. I hope your comment is taken down here too. It is disgusting. You are right that people on Badger Care losing benefits could die and that can be blamed on the person in charge, however, the rest of your post is just sick.


  8. Don't worry about Graeme and play the victims here. He is highly intelligent, gifted with language and people come back from way more all the time.

    Be honest and don't be in a bubble, people. More finesse is required. Graeme can do it or someone else can, but more finesse is required.

    1. Finesse. Of course. That's all it will take to defeat Walker. Why hasn't anyone thought of that? What it will take is a cohesive and clear policy platform designed to shore up the base and carve out independents. It will take media-savvy, articulate legislators who are not shown up miserably by Repub counterparts in interviews, debates and at events. It will take a strong, strategic party leader. Graeme had none of that. He had a losing hand dealt him by a losing party. He built up a persona to fight fire with fire as something, anything to try. But I'd be willing to bet he'd much rather have worked within a winning framework. There is certainly a bubble here but hey, good luck with that finesse thing.

    2. No need to be dismissive of my idea. How the heck should I know what is going on?

      The rest of your idea seems totally correct to me. I don't know these people, I am only giving my impressions, based on what I read or think.

    3. During the last election campaign I heard numerous Democrats pledge to restore civility to the political process. How is that working out for them now? To the average voter, that sort of vague promise spells: W-I-M-P.

      Teabillies love their vicious, crazy politicians because they will do anything to win, and this makes them appear strong willed. As long as Democrats prioritize an appeal to the "Miss Manners" crowd, they will appear weak. This is the reality of mass psychology and the sound-bite media. I'm surprised that the fine intellectuals the party has access to haven't figured this out. Maybe they just aren't hungry enough yet, as in not having enough money to pay the bills.

      I prefer a candidate who cares enough about the economic crimes that are being committed by Republicans to climb down into the mud, if necessary, step on their opponent's neck and hold them under until the body stops twitching. But that's just me.

    4. You're right that politeness can appear to be weak.

    5. Which goes back to finesse with the message. In this case, it's being able to firmly send the message that Walker is dishonest and failing this state, while not doing it in such a way that your antics become the story and overshadows your point.

      That doesn't mean you give a defensive posture or care what Chuckles the Clown will say on 620, but there are better ways to put the message across than on the way Graeme would do, and a better message could have been sent as well

    6. I doubt he was the problem or the solution. The state party is on life support and what does finesse really accomplish to meaningfully move the dial at this stage? Making a big show of booting him out for dishonest reasons doesn't address the underlying rot.