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Tom Barrett (D), biting the hand that saved his city.

How sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful Democratic mayor.

Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee would like to have it both ways, it seems.

The background is this: Barrett is contemplating running against Scott Walker in the upcoming recall election, despite the fact that Walker beat him like a drum in 2010 and the governor of Wisconsin is in a pretty good position to do the same again. Still, there’s always 2014 to consider, and goodness knows that there’s nobody as credulous as a Wisconsin progressive, so Barrett is actively fundraising off of his ever-so-principled opposition to Walker’s reforms. The Journal-Sentinel excerpted this quote from Barrett’s fundraising email: “By his actions from his first days in office to today, Scott Walker has put special interests ahead of the common interest.”

“Special interests ahead of the common interest.” Well, Brian Bolduc of National Review Online notes something interesting about that: which one of those two best describes Milwaukee residents?

Walker’s other serious opponent, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, has a problem: He used Walker’s reforms to save his city $25 million and thus balance the budget without raising property taxes. Should Barrett prove to be the nominee, Walker can’t wait to use that fact against him.

As well Walker should. Hypocrisy from Democrats is, of course, just something that you just have to learn to expect, like dust or smudges on glass surfaces. But this is pretty special. Barrett, of course, could not have possibly refused to take advantage of the opportunity to repair his city’s budgetary problems; if he had, he’d be the one looking at a recall election right now. But it takes a certain kind of arrogance – willful, stupid arrogance, at that – to call your own constituents a ‘special interest’ and to complain about the fact that Scott Walker apparently twisted your arm and made you not raise their property taxes.

One that I hope to see in the general recall election, in fact. Because possibly when such arrogance gets its holder electorally squashed like a bug it might encourage onlookers to abandon similar attitudes. Which would be not great for the Republican party, but definitely good for the country at large…

Moe Lane (crosspost)

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