Helen Weir
Barrett's amazing experience
By Helen Weir
June 8, 2012

In his concession speech late Tuesday night, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett described Wisconsin's recall election as an "amazing experience." Not as amazing, one would imagine, as being subsequently cracked across the kisser by one of his own people but, in the apt phraseology of J.R.R. Tolkien, "such is the friendship of their kind." I have to hand it to Barrett for striking a conciliatory tone after his stunning defeat, even if that tone was not matched by the sentiments of his supporters. The Republicans, too, began to boo when Walker started talking about working with the other side, but the Surviving Governor (how does one refer to Scott from here on out, anyway? The Unrecalled Governor? The Ongoing Governor? The Once and Future Governor?) rebuked them, reestablishing — in an exercise of the very leadership he happened to be extolling at the moment — an atmosphere of authentic American civility.

After the two candidates stopped yapping, everyone else predictably started in. With the post-election rhetorical whiteout blanketing the Badger State like one of its legendary winter storms (one hears the victory in a blue state of a GOP Governor being packaged as "good news" for the Obama campaign; presidential-election-level voter turnout put down to "fatigue" with the process; and Democrats themselves alluding to the heretofore hushed-up reality that recalls are really supposed to be for official misconduct, after all), for some reason the curious phraseology of the defeated challenger stands out from all the rest. About what, precisely, could Mayor Barrett have found himself so amazed?

Perhaps any point of unavoidable contact between the liberal mindset and surrounding reality sparks that effect. Is the Mayor unable to comprehend that — for all the Obama money and machinery, for all the liberal messaging parroted faithfully by the sold-out media, for all the fists clenched at us on posters throughout the state — the people of Wisconsin were still able to mark the ballot for themselves? Walker was kept in office by the same voters who put him there in the first place, and then some. Amazing.

Maybe Barrett was bowled over by the boomerang effect of his own Party's politican shenanigans. It galled me — it truly did — to have to go out and vote on Tuesday because I resent being made a part of something that should never have happened at all. The simple fact of the matter is that Scott was recalled for having been elected in the first place. As we saw in the Debacle of the Hanging Chads, there is a growing anti-democratic sentiment among Demo-crats which holds that if their candidate wins, fine, but if not, count again until he does. America can't be America that way. This constant agitation, this legalistic opportunism that seeks to disenfranchise those who disagree with the Left, cannot be permitted to continue. Still, it was slightly amusing to see the rubber band they themselves stretched out snap back and sting the liberals the other night right on the tip of their own collective nose.

It could be that Barrett simply can't fathom a scenario in which registering Mickey Mouse (and let's not forget Minnie, what with Terry Moulton's War on Women) and permitting liberals to turn in their own names repeatedly isn't enough to put the appointed Democrat over the top. After all, it worked for Barack!

About what, then, was Tom Barrett so amazed? I am not entirely sure. But I can pinpoint something that baffles me completely.

People keep speculating, on the basis of those modern-day animal entrails known as Exit Polls, that many of those who voted for Walker in the recall might in fact be capable of voting for Obama in the general. If you think that's curious, stop for a moment and consider how anyone who backs free enterprise, small business, family values, and the generally conservative agenda that Scott has made his brand could ever consider getting behind the likes of Mitt Romney, either.

There is, of course, the well-worn argument that Republicans need to select a candidate who is "electable," meaning middle-of-the-road on policy issues. At the risk of becoming Captain Obvious, I will go ahead and point out that it was that very page out of the McCain playbook that gave us President Obama in the first place. The problem with moving to the middle is that the middle keeps moving, and not in our direction. A recall election in the land of the Packers ought to call to mind the image of pushing the ball towards out own goal line for a change. But there is a deeper problem at stake here, even than that.

The Mormon issue, with Mitt, is taking on the role of the black issue with Barack; it is an all-purpose smokescreen. Already, anyone disagreeing with Romney is accused of being biased against his religious affiliation, which is not at all the case. The fact is that Romneycare served as the prototype of Obamacare — the largest, most ominous, and most dangerous of all the President's initiatives to date. And that is saying quite a bit.

Romney doesn't get it. What, about Romney, doesn't the mainstream Republican establishment/electorate itself get? Are we ourselves — the Conservatives, for lack of a better term — getting pickled by the prevailing atmosphere of liberalism, too?

There is a deeply tragic but equally instructive anecdote about Auschwitz recounted by Robert Jay Lifton in his book The Nazi Doctors, which is applicable here to Romneycare and Obamacare alike. "There was a . . . form of killing that certain prisoner doctors engaged in," Lifton explains1:
    abortions performed during various stages of pregnancy, and the killing of newborns after secret deliveries. These abortions and killing of newborns were done because women (especially Jewish women) discovered to be pregnant or to have given birth to an infant were killed by the SS. There have been many reports of these clandestine events. Dr. Gerda N., for instance, told of a courageous prisoner prisoner physician whom she considered a "heroine of abortions". . . . Dr. Olga Lengyel has written poignantly about these matters in her book Five Chimneys (1947), where she describes the necessity, when infants were delivered on the medical block, to "make them pass for stillborn." She tells of sneaking a woman onto the block for a delivery; "(Afterwards), we pinched and closed the little tike's nostrils and when it opened its mouth to breathe we gave it a dose of a lethal product. An injection . . . would have left a trace."
In our country and era, then-junior Senator from Illinois Barack Obama stood against the extension of legal protection to infants born alive after abortion attempts. It was Jill Stanek who served as the courageous whistleblower calling attention to the barbaric practice of leaving such babies to die. In Dr. Lengyel's case and in the cases described by Stanek, these murders were often committed in the name of "saving the life of the woman."2 Is that — is anything — an adequate justification?

"I try in vain," Dr. Lengyel later wrote,
    to make my conscience acquit me. I still see the infants issuing from their mothers. I can feel their warm little bodies as I held them. I marvel to what depths these Germans made us descend! And so, the Germans succeeded in making murderers even of us.3
What happened to Dr. Lengyel and her confreres? Having lost sight of objective moral reality, and operating instead within the rigged anti-life system in which they found themselves, certain prisoners began killing some of their fellow human beings in order, in their own minds, to save other, more savable lives. It is easy for us, with 20/20 hindsight, to condemn such behavior and logic, but can we identify it here and now when we fall prey to it ourselves?

A vote for Romney is a vote for socialized medicine. Socialized medicine is what, as a system, was practiced by National Socialism, in which the inviolable right to life was declared violable by ideological and governmental whim. Do we want to become heroes and heroines of abortion (and infanticide, and euthanasia, and all the rest of the culture of death), in order to "win" with the candidate who is deemed the most "electable"? Will our political opponents succeed in making socialists even of us?

I voted for Scott Walker in June, but I cannot and will not vote for Mitt Romney in November. You can tell me til every last Wisconsin cow comes home that I am "putting Obama back in office," but the only reply I can give you is the one that so amazed Tom Barrett last Tuesday night, namely:

I disagree.

1 Lifton, Robert Jay. The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide. (New York: Basic, 1986), pp. 224-5.

2 Dr. Gerda N., in Lifton, p. 225.

3 Lengyel, Olga. Five Chimneys: The Story of Auschwitz (Chicago: Ziff-Davis, 1947), pp. 99-101; in Lifton, p. 225.

© Helen Weir


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