The extreme dream team
The right half of the blogosphere has been debating whether or not the Republicans lost the election because they were not conservative enough. In Wisconsin we may get to see that debate play out in dramatic fashion after seeing the leadership elections in the senate.
The Wisconsin State Senate elected three extremists to run their caucus - Senator Scott Fitzgerald will be the Minority Leader, Senator Joe Leibham the Assistant Republican Leader and Senator Glenn Grothman will be the Republican Caucus Chair. I guess Attila the Hun wasn't available.
These three men will likely pull their caucus pretty far to the right. That means we will get to see if a more "conservative" message will attract enough voters to bring the Republicans the majority in two years.
I'm betting on no.
Conservative these days seems to mean the government should get to stamp its approval on your lifestyle, your doctor appointments, your schools, your local government spending and your religion. Fitzgerald, Leibham and Grothman are all followers of the pretty strict social litmus tests the so-called conservatives have put in for the Republican Party so I'd be surprised if their leadership didn't follow the path we've seen at the national level that help end Republican rule in DC in just twelve years.
Letting these three guys set the message and recruit candidates for the next round of elections could help the Democrats win the elections before they even start. What are the chances these three are going to recruit any socially moderate candidates or push any issues that are not designed to divide people into groups?
Maybe they'll look back to the winning formula former leaders like Mary Panzer brought to the caucus for guidance. Love her or hate her, Panzer was smart enough to do things like recruit Senator Sheila Harsdorf to run against former Senator Alice Clausing instead of a really conservative male. Running a slightly moderate woman was the key to winning that race and Panzer knew it.
Seems unlikely that a leadership team that includes the guy who ran against Panzer because she wasn't conservative enough is going to following her formula. And really, that's just fine with my side.