Because Madison is a left-leaning town, you’d think most of the political comedy would come from the left. And there is plenty. But don’t count the right out until you’ve read Blaska’s Blog, a blog at the Daily Page authored by former Tommy Thompson press secretary David Blaska. Of course, what is most interesting about Blaska is that the entertainment he provides us today is actually the tragedy of another era.
I bring Blaska up because he fits so perfectly into the narrative of a book I’ve been reading, Nixonland, a book that examines the deep social divisions that came out of the 60’s over the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement. It’s a book that challenges your faith in the American political system. It chronicles the birth of the modern Republican Party, an organization whose political success is based on tapping into deep-seated American resentments, especially on the issue of race. From Ronald Reagan, the charismatic California governor who won election campaigning against open-housing laws and “filthy speech” (free speech) advocates, to Richard Nixon, the president who confided in private that the Vietnam War could not be won but continued it because it was so crucial to his “silent majority” coalition.
To see remnants of that era all you have to do is read Blaska’s blog post on Section 8 housing. It is repugnant – but take comfort – it is meaningless. To support his position that housing vouchers for the poor threaten the general public’s safety, he points to a handful of hateful comments left in an article about Section 8 housing. For instance:
You think I am going to rent to Section 8? Hell no I’m not. When the Gov’t starts paying my taxes, fixes my damage caused by these tenants, and gives me good meds for all the headaches, that’s when I will rent to these people.
Is that a plea for government health care? Mind you, “these people,” simply refers to poor people. You of course wouldn’t learn that from reading Blaska. He would have you think that Section 8 is a program that mandates landlords become temporary wardens for convicted criminals. It’s subsidized housing…for poor people.
Blaska, for all his buffoonery, is nothing more than a dinosaur in an age of homo sapiens, or at least neanderthals. The election of a black president, the gradual repeal of the destructive crime policies his boy Tommy Thompson burdened this state with – it all goes to prove that our generation has jumped beyond the lines some of our Republican forebear’s drew for us. Blaska and his kind will live on. They grumble at Thanksgiving dinner about the new family down the street and they high five their TVs when Glenn Beck unleashes his latest conspiracy theory. But most of all they age. They fade away. They become irrelevant.
Sure, they might bring down health care in the process. But hey, doesn’t everyone deserve one last hurrah?