Reason Prevails at the Madison City Council

The Madison City Council is on the verge of doing something sensible. It appears that it won’t pursue a dangerous policy to micro-manage how police handle incidents that threaten public safety. The quick background goes like this. This past May and June saw protests over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. In Madison,Continue reading “Reason Prevails at the Madison City Council”

The Heroic Ten

Donald Trump’s second impeachment ranks as the most bipartisan among the four impeachment votes in American history. Still, ten Republican votes for impeachment is hardly a landslide. And in a party that Trump still owns until further notice, voting for impeachment took courage. You might assume that the ten all come from districts that JoeContinue reading “The Heroic Ten”

Loud, Proud and Moderate

This fall billboards popped up around Madison making a simple case. Shootings are up 78% and yet some members of the Madison Common Council want to defund the police. Both assertions are essentially true. To be clear, shots fired incidents are up by almost 80%, not the number of people hit by gun fire. ButContinue reading “Loud, Proud and Moderate”

What Will January 6, 2021 Mean?

December 7, 1941. September 11, 2001. January 6, 2021. These are three dates that will live in infamy. But the last is the most troubling because the first two were aggressions committed against the United States and they had the effect of bringing the country together in a common cause. (That national unity was squanderedContinue reading “What Will January 6, 2021 Mean?”

A Good Day for Democracy and Moderation

Today is a good day for America. Donald Trump has been badly weakened. Moderate Democrats will soon be in power in Washington. And our democratic institutions will survive a difficult stress test. The victory of Rev. Rafael Warnock and the apparent victory of Jon Ossoff in the Georgia U.S. Senate races means that our left-centerContinue reading “A Good Day for Democracy and Moderation”

A More Perfect Union Was Made By Some Imperfect People

By Harry Peterson This is the first in a series of pieces from an esteemed group of contributors. Harry L Peterson served as UW-Madison Chancellor Donna Shalala’s chief of staff and is president emeritus of Western Colorado University. A version of this piece originally appeared in the Capital Times last summer. The Black Lives MatterContinue reading “A More Perfect Union Was Made By Some Imperfect People”

The Year in Moderation

How did 2020 play out in terms of moderate politics? I’d say it started out bad, got much worse and then finished in positive, even hopeful, territory. You could divide the year into three parts. There was most of the first quarter when the economy looked strong, Donald Trump’s prospects for reelection were real andContinue reading “The Year in Moderation”

What Happened to the Center?

There once was a time when American politicians ran to the left or right to capture their party’s nomination and then quickly pivoted to the center to win a general election. No more. Now the whole game is about turning out the base, not convincing undecided voters. A defensible theory is that it all startedContinue reading “What Happened to the Center?”