On Wisconsin


If one were to choose a proud grouping of American states whose politics are probably the most decent and most worthy of respect, one would group Wisconsin, certainly, with Minnesota, California, and Connecticut. And if one were to choose those states whose politics (excluding the baroque courthouse states of the South) are the most squalid, corrupt and despicable, then one would add West Virginia to that Jukes family of American politics that includes Indiana, Massachusetts and Texas.

Theodore H. White, 1960

Is this quote relevant today?

7 Responses to “On Wisconsin”

  1. Jason Smathers Says:

    Obviously not if Louisiana and Illinois aren’t included there.

  2. Jason Smathers Says:

    Oh, but Wisconsin is still relatively docile for a full-time legislature.

  3. Ryan Says:

    No way California or Connecticut are on there.

  4. Gerald Cox Says:

    Minnesota has Michelle Bachmann. Need I say more?

  5. Jack Says:

    Technically Bachmann wouldn’t be relevant because he’s talking about state government, although I’m (pretty) sure Bachmann has her roots in local government and local officials paved her way to Congress.

    I’ve heard a lot about corruption in CT, although I don’t know if it’s more than a few high-profile cases or what.

    CA is obviously a disgrace, but in the last year, even considering Blago in Illinois, I think New York takes the cake. That both parties were fighting over two reps facing criminal charges, one for corruption and one for slashing a woman in the face, makes you wonder where these politicians draw their inspiration from.

    The one part of White’s analysis that I believe is relevant today is the exclusion of deep south states in any meaningful analysis of American politics. Therefore, Jason, Louisiana just doesn’t count.

  6. Sam Clegg Says:

    Confirmed on Bachman starting at the state. She won as a legislator in 2000 and before that, she started a charter school, which received state money. The school refused to show Aladdin because it claimed the film promoted witchcraft and taught creationism, etc. Good times!


  7. Gerald Cox Says:

    The school claimed the film taught paganism, not creationism.

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