When it came out last week that Milwaukee mayor (and Wisconsin Democratic candidate for governor in the upcoming recall election) Tom Barrett had skipped out on two ceremonies honoring Milwaukee police officers, there was some questions about what Barrett thought could possibly be more important that going to, say, a memorial service for slain Wisconsin policemen. It probably didn’t help either that Barrett was so evasive about the answer, either – to the point of convenient memory loss. Well, it turns out that Barrett probably wanted to forget the answer of where he was doing instead of honoring fallen officers, given that the answer was… ‘making a stump speech:’
…Mayor Barrett was actually speaking at a luncheon for retired United Auto Workers in Oshkosh at the exact same time that the fallen officers memorial was taking place in Milwaukee. Barrett spoke to a room of about 50 UAW union members.
I acquired a link to the video of the event that Barrett spoke at: it is unpleasant viewing for those with both a basic ethical sense, and an awareness of the context.
Which, to be fair, probably includes a non-trivial percentage of the UAW retirees; I’m morally certain that many if not most would have been much less enthusiastic about Barrett’s accusing Governor Scott Walker of putting politics over his job if they knew that Bartlett had shrugged off his own duty to fallen police officers in order to stump for money and support.
You know, the banality of this is what is so offensive. Tom Barrett skipping a memorial service that includes honoring police officers killed in the service of his city? That’s bad. Barrett instead taking the opportunity to try to squeeze some money and support out of the unions that preferred his opponent? That’s worse (although it’d be more so if it weren’t quite so utterly expected). But do you know what grates? It’s such an utterly pedestrian speech. I mean, if you’re going to spit on the memory of dead cops for the sake of your doomed political career, at least be a proper villain about it. Which is to say, not a Tom Barrett.
Moe Lane (crosspost)