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Turning a hypothetical question into a non-story

by Jerry Bader

Many of my conservative brethren in Wisconsin love to hate Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Dan Bice. I respect Bice but like all of us he can stretch (I know the rigors of having to blog post every day) from time to time. I believe this is one of those times. Bice wonders aloud whether Senator Ron Johnson's criticism of a recent Scott Walker line of attack on Mary Burke is payback for comments Walker reportedly made about an unnamed senator that many speculated was Johnson.

Given that plenty of conservatives are uncomfortable with Walker sounding like a 99%er going after "Millionaire Mary" and her family company, it's quite a stretch to paint Johnson's comments as vindictive. I've been extremely critical of the Walker class warfare meme in recent days. And numerous business leaders have reached out to me privately to call out Walker on this strategy.

Johnson is guilty only of a willingness to criticize the governor publicly. Given how valid many conservatives consider that criticism to be, I would argue that Bice committed a "jump the shark moment" for reading too much into criticism of what I have called a "jump the shark moment" on the part of the Walker campaign.

Of course, wondering aloud makes for easy blog posts. Do democrats intentionally want to keep Burke unknown because she'll have a better chance of beating Walker if voters know less about her rather than more. In other words, would Burke as "anybody but Walker" fare better than the Mary Burke voters get to know? See how easy that was? Of course I just get DPW chief Mike Tate to deny it and I have a story. I can see the appeal of this fodder.