April 5, 2006

Those Wisconsin referenda on bringing home the troops.

The results.

60 comments:

TWM said...

Okay, what next?

J said...

"Most of the anti-war referendums sought an immediate "orderly and rapid withdrawal" of troops. They were sponsored by the Wisconsin Green Party and the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice. Activists in each town gathered signatures to qualify them for the ballot."

One of the few areas of near consensus (politically) I've seen on Iraq is that a civil war would rapidly ensue if we pulled out now. Given that assumption, is it really accurate to call these referendums "anti-war"?

al said...

Wow - clueless people in cheeseland.

Not surprising when the MSM only tells half the story.

MadisonMan said...

It bugs me to see "referendums" in the news stories. Thank you, Ann, for using "referenda" -- it must be counter to the AP style book, though.

It struck me as I was voting that the wording in Madison was nebulous -- we were voting on whether the City Council should pass a motion on the anti-war sentiment, weren't we? (This is what I get for voting at 7 AM and not paying attention).

Goesh said...

Yes, the cheeseheads have spoken. Cut and run. They safely nestle in their rustic, quaint little buroughs and enclaves of curd and whey, safely nibbling like shy mice in a barn, hunkered down in hay. Nibble, nibble, nibble, able only to squeak and squeal in abject, helpless terror when directly confronted with ravaging cats and vicious farm boys with boards out to splatter their passive guts all over the floor of the barn.

quietnorth said...

OK, al, tell us the specific details of the other half of the story. Places, examples, etc. of what is going well,that can be fact-checked, not just generalized comments that "the good news isn't being reported". Surely it is important enough that some republicans can gather that information and put it out there without the MSM. By the way, I was not necessarily in favor of the referenda, I am just in favor of the truth.

Jennifer said...

Quietnorth: I posted a boatload of links for you the last time you asked that question. Refer back to the "There's blogs" post.

Thorley Winston said...

Yeah, yeah but how did the dog neutering referendum turn out?

Menlo Bob said...

"The referendums have no legal weight, but Georgia Duerst-Lahti, a political science professor at Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., called them "the ultimate poll" on public attitudes about the war."
Anyone who's ever been to Beloit has to discount statements made by professors who choose to live there.

Max Power said...

I say who cares. Way too much time has been spent on this.

Dash said...

This is just more manufactured news. The people who put these referendums forward are the people who have been against the war from the start. That they turned out to vote for their side in a very low turnout by-election is no surprise.

bassett said...

Goesh:

Yes, the cheeseheads have spoken. Cut and run. [Etc.]

Really now.

At regular intervals, a large proportion of the talking heads out there (MSM and otherwise) who support the war (or the President) have called the patriotism of those who oppose the war into question.

If you accept the proposition that the most patriotic thing that an American can do is vote, then the people in these communities who, at least yesterday, exhibited the most patriotism yesterday are those who are against the war. The proponents of this war have to really come to grips with that, instead of slapping a yellow ribbon on their tailgate and calling it done.

They specifically need to tell those who oppose the war why they are wrong. For example: why is it wrong to call out the government for not having, and never really having, a cohesive plan for controlling the situation after the invastion? Why is it wrong to say that misleading (at best) people on the whole issue of WMD's is a serious problem. And so forth.

Calling Saddam Hussein a bad guy, and those who oppose the war--myself included--a bunch of traitors just ain't gonna cut it anymore.

[Sidepoint: does anyone here think (in hindsight) that if President Bush had simply stuck to the point that Saddam Hussein was evil incarnate--massacres, torture, and so forth--and had not brought any of the 9/11 imagery into the discussion, the American people would have supported going in to begin with? It may not matter too much now--if he bungled the occupation under the current situation, there is nothing to suggest that he would have done any better if he left the WMD argument aside. But what about it? Should he have just said that Hussein had to be deposed because he was a menace and left it at that?]

TWM said...

Hmmm, is voting the most patriotic thing a person can do? Not saying it isn't necessarily, but does it win that title by default?

Sloanasaurus said...

"...If you accept the proposition that the most patriotic thing that an American can do is vote...",

Who accepts this? What a fraud. This is leftism at its highest. Would it be patriotic to go and vote for the end of the republic?

Patriotism means putting country ahead of self. Merely voting is not patriotism.

If the United States Congress votes overwhelmingly to go to war in Iraq (which they did), and further voted almost unanimously not to pull the troops out, it becomes unpatriotic to try and undermine the policy created from these decisions.

jeff said...

Were any of these votes anywhere near Ft. McCoy?

If so... how did that one go.

Mike said...

"...If you accept the proposition that the most patriotic thing that an American can do is vote...",

But I thought protesting was the most patriotic thing that an American can do. Make up your mind.

PatCA said...

The article doesn't state how many people actually came out and voted. How many voted besides the anti-war activists?

Icepick said...

Basset, why are you implying that Goesh's comment called you a traitor? It clearly does not. (And the fact that you do so in a sly manner instead of saying it directly just makes it worse.) I am sick and tired of you jerks on the left claiming that everyone who disagrees with you is calling you a traitor. That is an argument every bit as bad as someone calling you a traitor for having a different position. It's a horrendous bad faith argument on your part.

MadisonMan said...

Were any of these votes anywhere near Ft. McCoy?

If so... how did that one go.


There was a graphic in the WSJ this morning (that's Wisconsin State Journal, by the way :) ) that showed where the referenda ran.

Here is a link. This might be to the graphic itself, or to a gallery, in which the graphic is one of 6.

I'm not sure how low the turnouts were. In Madison, the school board elections drew 35000 votes total.

Goatwhacker said...

(from the article)The referendums have no legal weight, but Georgia Duerst-Lahti, a political science professor at Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., called them "the ultimate poll" on public attitudes about the war.

They would be a poll only as they applied to the individual communities but can not necessarily be extrapolated any further than that. I would guess this was not a random sampling of Wisconsin towns but rather towns were selected that stood a good chance of passage.

Goesh said...

No, no, I am not calling the Cheeseheads traitors. They are more given to pudginess and being contented and somewhat isolated folk. Curds and whey have always sustained them but they have grown passive with with their heads against cow's udders these many generations and other than some ice hockey,they necessarily must avoid aggression at any cost. You see, in my day I too had my head against a cow's udder a few times and I know that sudden changes and disruption in farm life and the passive routine for farmers and their bovines impacts milk production.
Cheeseheads fear gauntness more than anything, gauntness in their cows,state and national budgets. They would rather save a nickle and ignore people being put through plastic shredders in distant lands. That's the bottom line with Cheeseheads I fear. If Brett Favre wasn't one of my heros, I damn well might boycott Wisconsin cheese.

quietnorth said...

Jennifer;
on those good news links;

Thanks, I just discovered the links and I have gone through about a 'third' of a boatful.

I appreciate the work you did.

MadisonMan said...

Goesh, you may impugn Wisconsin all you wish. It's typical of folks who don't live here. But here is one fact to chew on:

50+ Wisconsinites have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. 110 from NY. 209 from Texas.
244 from California. Total State Population in millions: WI: 5.5; NY: 19.3 ; TX: 22.5 ; CA: 35.9 M. I'll let you do the math on per capita deaths.

Jennifer said...

Quietnorth: No problem.

Goesh said...

-ignore Ed Gein all you want, Madisonman, I was gentleman enough not to mention him. I recall vividly the children's chant and the little ditty they would do in remebrance of him:

Old Eddie Eddie Gein
he took a woman's spleen
to dance and preen
and gave a piece to the college dean


God! I can still see the little heathens hopping about chanting those words in their sing-song voices and being so thankful I wasn't from Wisconsin.

Troy said...

MadisonMan -- sobering stats.

Still -- cities call for pull out? BFD. All foreign policy is not local.

MadisonMan said...

Goesh, I'm not exactly sure what Ed Gein has to do with the subject at hand. Wisconsin has a per capita death rate for soldiers in Iraq higher than just about any other state. Why shouldn't, then, a movement to bring them home originate here? The fact that so many from here have died also makes your argument that the good folk of Wisconsin nestle snug in bed while others protect them ring a little hollow as well, doesn't it?

I won't even start on the tangent on the amount of tax monies that leaves this state vs. monies that return. (Yet).

It's time you came out of the closet as Wisconsinphobic.

me said...

Whether you are for the war or against, for early withdrawal or sticking it out, the Madison referendum, if anything, will add another two or three years to the process, just to spite the Madison left.

Goesh said...

Facetiousness aside,war dead stats are always sobering and no doubt Wisconsin has contributed its full share, but some numbers are righteous while others are not. The large KIA stats of the 'good war', WW2, are less relevant than the 2400+ deaths in Iraq. Taken from the VFW magazine, 8/05 issue, in the 88 day battle of Okinawa, 12,183 Americans were killed and 36,681 were wounded. Said deaths were necessary and approved via popular opinion. The 45 month Pacific war, from the attack at Pearl Harbor to the surrender of Japan, cost the US 108,656 lives. That is an average of 2415 a month, or about equal to the total of 3+ years in Iraq.
To point, in light of the frivilous and often changing public attitude towards our people killed in action, I would not be surprised to see these polls skewed in some manner.

bassett said...

"Who accepts this? What a fraud. This is leftism at its highest. Would it be patriotic to go and vote for the end of the republic?

Patriotism means putting country ahead of self. Merely voting is not patriotism."


Believing that voting is the central act of our democratic republic is "leftism at its highest?" Boy. The east-side Madisonians bug the hell out of me sometimes, but I'd be very pleased to be called a leftist if that were true.

Putting country ahead of self is mere nationalism, and applicable to any nation--not just to the United States, but anywhere. Anybody, anywhere, can put the country before himself or herself. And while the term has negative connotations, being nationalistic can be beneficial, but only if it is backed up by something substantive and not merely supporting the nation on blind faith, notwithstanding facts showing that the nation (or, its government) is doing something wrong.

You don't need me to tell you this. But I'm going to go Havard Professor on you anyway. [Apologies.] America (of course) was founded on a set of principles, and not an allegiance to a person (e.g., Great Britain) or as the result of conquest by another power. The people have the ultimate sovereign authority--our government represents us, but we have the power to change our government. The only way we do that, directly, is through the vote. [We can do it indirectly, too--persuading people to change their minds, lobbying the government, petitioning for the redress of grievances, etc. etc.]

I agree: voting alone does not make a patriot. But I can think of no clearer act of patriotism.

Bottom line: everybody (in the effected communities) knew this vote was coming. They had their shot to participate. Hell, they could have registered at the polls. They didn't vote. The old cliched saying rings true: if you don't vote, you don't get to complain.

Finally, goesh said the words "cut and run," but not the word "treason." For any confusion between the two on my part in my previous post, I apologize. And yet:

... like shy mice in a barn... Nibble, nibble, nibble, able only to squeak and squeal in abject, helpless terror ...

But at least mice are cute.

Diploma Priv said...

Thank God Bush is in charge, and not the voters.....wait....

AJ Lynch said...

The story is annoying- it leaves out vital information such as what percentage of eligible voters even voted.

But that is per MSM's high journalistic standards.

Sigivald said...

Bassett said: Believing that voting is the central act of our democratic republic is "leftism at its highest?"

But what he said first, was "If you accept the proposition that the most patriotic thing that an American can do is vote,"

Please note that "most patriotic thing" and "central act" are not the same things, as sloanasaurus already explained in the part Bassett ignores:

Would it be patriotic to go and vote for the end of the republic?

Patriotism means putting country ahead of self. Merely voting is not patriotism.


See the difference? Voting is central to our democracy. But the act of voting is not inherently patriotic. Voting randomly out of boredom, or perversely (to deliberately harm the republic), out of whatever motive, would not be a patriotic act.

Unless we're going to redefine patriotism somehow, that is. Are we? What does the term mean when you use it, Bassett?

I mean, most of the rest of us seem to use it to mean love of country (though I doubt any would suggest it should be blind love) and its ideals. (But note, again, that the US's democratic ideal is not merely "voting is good for its own sake".)

Aspasia M. said...

On voting:

Every adult citizens does have a duty and an obligation to vote.

It is one of the obligations of citizenship.

A Democratic Republic cannot operate as a republic if the citizens don't live up to their obligations: ie - voting, jury service, ect.

Coco said...

"The story is annoying- it leaves out vital information such as what percentage of eligible voters even voted.

But that is per MSM's high journalistic standards."

Well - we're talking about the USA Today and thus the fact that this article didn't have a pie graph on the same page showing poll results for "If you had to smell like a cheese, which one would you pick", pretty much means this gets an A+ for "journalistic standards" considering the source.

MadisonMan said...

... but some numbers are righteous while others are not...

I honestly have no clue what point Goesh is trying to make. Which polls are skewed? Why aren't KIA figures from WWII relevant?

Is it just me?

Coco said...

"I am sick and tired of you jerks on the left claiming that everyone who disagrees with you is calling you a traitor."

And I'm sick and tired of name-calling. There are plenty of blogs where that constitutes discourse or argument and which are roundly condemned here. That's one of the best things about this site.

MadisonMan said...

The story is annoying- it leaves out vital information such as what percentage of eligible voters even voted.

35000 voted for/against the referendum in Madison. In the 04 Presidential election, 115000 voted. The 115K was over 80% of the voters, I seem to recall

vw: nnnnj! Enjoy!

Ann Althouse said...

I didn't vote.

Danny said...

We need to stay the course and win the peace. To cut and run is exactly what the terrorists want. There will always be quitters in the tough fight for freedom, but the United States will always finish what we've started.

TWM said...

"I agree: voting alone does not make a patriot. But I can think of no clearer act of patriotism."

How about giving your life in defense of your country?

reader_iam said...

OK, Ann, I'll bite--but only in the sense of catching and throwing a ball back because I just happened to be standing there when it was tossed--not 'cause I would have thought to ask you.

Why didn't you vote?

Mayoral races, contests for school and county boards and funding referendums for schools also were on Tuesday's ballot in Wisconsin communities.

And do you mean just with regard to the referenda, or the other stuff as well?

(Hey, I never volunteer to play catch anymore, but if I accidentally catch the ball, I do throw it back with a certain curve, if I can.)

Gundovald said...

Didn't their forefathers vote to withdraw troops from Virginia in 1862?

Coco said...

"We need to stay the course and win the peace. To cut and run is exactly what the terrorists want. There will always be quitters in the tough fight for freedom, but the United States will always finish what we've started."

I can read all of these words and I know what they mean independently of each other, but I have no idea what they mean in the context of this post. None. They sound very similar to a spam email I received recently though.

Ann Althouse said...

I_am: Why didn't I vote? I didn't have an opinion on the school board election, and I didn't think much of having a referendum on the war. Count me as an abstention.

Sloanasaurus said...

Being a patriot means putting your country first. It doesn't necessarily mean acting in a moral way.

If your country votes to go to war and you oppose, and then not only do you not go to war with your country but you act to undermine your country, you are not a Patriot.

There are times when being "unpatriotic" may in fact be the better moral choice." For example, you could argue that German soldiers refusing to fight for the Third Reich were morally right, but you cannot say they were patriotic.

There were thousands of patriots who joined up with the Union and confederate Army to fight for their country even though they may have not agreed with the purpose.

Thorley Winston said...

Mayoral races, contests for school and county boards and funding referendums for schools also were on Tuesday's ballot in Wisconsin communities.

Does it strike anyone else as odd to have elections for these issues in April when there is a State-wide election being held in November when you are far more likely to have a larger turnout?

bassett said...

Two questions put to me:

How about giving your life in defense of your country?

Rewind the situation. The man who is killed in battle is sent there after the order to go in is given--by civilians, and not generals. The President is the top of the chain of command, and would act on the authority of the Congress (except under the War Powers Act--but the President would ultimately be responsible to the Congress at the end of the day). The President and the Congress are put into power by, and responsible to, those who vote in elections.

Hence--and not to diminish in any way the sacrifices (fatal and otherwise) of armed service personnel--the vote is the central event in our system of government.

(Of course, it gets cyclical real quick. Those who died in past American wars protected your freedom, and the right to vote along with it. But who decided that the war should be fought? Elected officials. And those officials wouldn't have been elected if people didn't die on battlefields. And those who decided to fight those wars were elected too. It's chicken vs. egg time.)

Would it be patriotic to go and vote for the end of the republic?

I'll admit, that is an interesting question. We could examine this one a bit.

For example: would it be patriotic to go and vote for the end of the republic right now? Absolutely not. This doesn't mean that people can't advocate for the dissolution of the United States (so long as armed overthrow is not involved--I like the First Amendment a great deal, but there is an outer bound to it). Nor would it mean that they are right, by any stretch.

But would there ever be a situation where the dissolution of the republic could be voted upon? We've been down this road before--those who tried it didn't fare so well.

But suppose the Government became a dictatorship. (And, for you Willy Street folks: no. We are not there yet. Sorry.) All manner of civil liberties would be suspended. No independent press, no ability to demonstrate, guns rounded up and impounded, kangaroo courts, no legislation, rule by fiat. You know: North Korea on a sunny day.

If that were the situation, and the question were to break away from the U.S. to the end that the liberties and freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution would be restored, then the patriotic thing to do, as an American, is to vote to break away, even though the entity known as the United States would be harmed as a result.

The United States of America has to be something more than a place. If it were otherwise, then we'd be no different than any other country in the world, except that we call the place where we live something different. If America is an exceptional place--and it is--it is only because we have liberty and freedom, and because that freedom is guaranteed by people who, through their votes, ensure that those who represent them in government protect those freedoms and liberties.

Every government official, from the President on down, swears to defend the Constitution of the United States. The rights enshrined therein are what make America special. If people don't vote to put in people (or policies) that protect those rights, America becomes, well, less American.

Ann Althouse said...

Thorley: "Does it strike anyone else as odd to have elections for these issues in April when there is a State-wide election being held in November when you are far more likely to have a larger turnout?"

Yes. It seems intended to exclude everyone who's not highly politicized. There are too many elections in these parts.

Gaius Arbo said...

The headline is misleading, there are no stats at all. But as I have said before, bah.

The news is badly skewed, this vote reflects people who a) did not support the war to begin with and b) people who have been misled by a badly skewed media.

http://bluecrabboulevard.com/2006/04/05/absolute-astonishment/

Kirk Parker said...

quietnorth:

Here's just one recent example, referring to a Brookings Institute report of a decline in casualties.

basset,

"If you accept the proposition that the most patriotic thing that an American can do is vote"

Uhh, what a laughable, silly proposition. Who's propounding it? You? (Note you don't exactly say so explicitly.) Well, I sure don't--people who vote after carefully studying the issues and candidates are definitely doing their civic duty, though it might still be a stretch to call such voting the most patriotic thing they were capable of. But those who do it thoughtlessly, or informed by nothing but nasty sound-bites? They're just spitting on the franchise...

MadisonMan said...

Here's just one recent example, referring to a Brookings Institute report of a decline in casualties.

Just to clarify -- those are wonderful reports showing a consistent decline in deaths. Injuries have recently increased again after a decline.

reader_iam said...

There are too many elections in these parts.

Interesting that you say this. That's been my impression about living where I live now, too (we had some local elections just this past fall again). I don't remember running to the polls as often as when I lived East (we had some local elections just this past fall). My sense is that things were more consolidated. Perhaps that's just my faulty recollection, or maybe there's something Midwestern about this?

I'm with you about war referenda. I'm glad no one has managed to stage that yet here.

I think abstention has its place two; in fact, I'd sort of like to see that as option on ballots generally. But I won't digress here.

PatCA said...

I can't find the number of voters anywhere, just the percentage by which it won/lost, but someone on TV said the vote was .7% of the population (of registered voters?). Of course the Peace and Justice folks went out and voted! Proves very little, IMO.

Dawn said...

Anyone know how this went over in Hayward? I Googled the two instigators of this up there, and suprise surprise, they were both described as 'political activists'. What are the odds that they originally hailed from Madison?

What purpose does this serve anyway? Nothing, except give the people behind this deal an even greater sense of their own self-importance.

MadisonMan said...

but someone on TV said the vote was .7% of the population (of registered voters?).

Wisconsin's population is 5.5 million. .7% of that is 38500. That's a woeful underestimate of the voters. Just Madison gets you to 35000.

So, surprise! Someone on TV can't do math.

David said...

Voting For The End Of The Republic!

Isn't that what the French are doing currently?

I would like to follow the money and find out who supports the Wisconsin Green Party and Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice.

Many of us need to be aware that things are rarely as they seem.

AJ Lynch said...

Thorley said: "Does it strike anyone else as odd to have elections for these issues in April when there is a State-wide election being held in November when you are far more likely to have a larger turnout?"

This is the latest tactic used by whatever pols are in power. Hold a big dollar pork barrel referendum in an off-year primary because theses pols know only the real party faithful will bother to vote.
Here in PA, we just did that and approved a 3/4 Billion dollar program with less than 10% turnout. It's clever actually but is not in spirit of a vital democracy.

PatCA said...

Madison,
Perhaps she meant .7% of registered voters, which would be entirely different.

MadisonMan said...

Madison,
Perhaps she meant .7% of registered voters, which would be entirely different.


You're giving her too much credit. .7% of Madison's registered voters would be around 1000 people. 35000 voted on Tuesday. I can't imagine Madison's voter totals were that different from the state as a whole.