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Optics

by Jerry Bader

Yes, I knew this is what was going to happen if Capitol Police started enforcing permitting rules for gatherings at the State Capitol building. This is the type of visual Governor Scott Walker wanted to avoid during Act 10. The Journal Sentinel story has some balance to it; it points out that other such rules are in place in other state capitol buildings. It also points out that there is no cost to this permit. They can do this every day, just as they have been, by going through the very simple formality of getting a permit. But if there's one thing aging hippies can't resist, it's getting arrested for a cause.

And admittedly the optics of these arrests are potentially problematic for Walker. But this isn't in the heat of Act 10. Most of Wisconsin has moved on from the debate. This daily reminder of it has been confined to within the walls of the capitol building. But the arrests are reminding the rest of the state that some unhinged radicals haven't gotten on with their lives. And quite frankly, I think it's likely most of Wisconsin wants to put 2011 behind them. And a bunch of unhinged loons that won't probably aren't going to get a lot of public sympathy. Especially when they could easily continue doing what they were doing, if that was actually there motive here. After all, you have members of the clergy referring to this as Nazi Germany. It's pretty clear what they're after here.