« The Bader Blog

A Conservative Friend's thoughts on Reid Ribble

by Jerry Bader

I received this email this morning from a friend. Last night Ribble was the only Wisconsin Republican to vote for the shutdown/debt ceiling agreement and will likely find himself the focal point of political discussion in the state today. I post  this here for your consideration:

I sat in one day when Reid Ribble met with a high school social studies class and talked about his job. He made a compelling case to them (I forget the exact numbers) that  balancing the budget would probably take a combination of spending cuts and tax increases based on his study of how we got here. He hated the idea of tax increases but didn't see a way to do it without seriously disrupting the government as currently structured. I didn't particularly like hearing it, but he did a decent job of defending the position.

That makes him less conservative than Ron Johnson or me, but he remains intensely more conservative (and despite the good doctor's famed arrogance, smarter) than Steve Kagen. The Democrats understand that you fight the battle with the army you have, not the one you wish you had. They don't declare someone unfit when he/she turns out to be not as left-handed as they hoped. Ribble's on the side of fiscal sanity, and for these purposes that works for me. He's still more conservative than moderate, and he's definitely nowhere near the socialist who "represented" us for four years.

You could weaken him by running someone to the right, but I can sense the Dems salivating over that prospect. It would be easy for the next Kagen to win if the conservatives split their votes.