LETTER: Don’t mistake a social for real workTo the Telegram: In the north where I live, a gathering for brats and beer is never confused with a summit. It is simply a picnic where casual conversation is a welcome relief from the caustic political friction during the past 18 months.
To the Telegram:
In the north where I live, a gathering for brats and beer is never confused with a summit. It is simply a picnic where casual conversation is a welcome relief from the caustic political friction during the past 18 months.
I am in Madison, for other business, and I will attend the event planned at the Executive Residence. Even though this gathering is highly symbolic, the public does expect us to try to work together. In addition, a refusal to participate would be used as a rhetorical crutch by those who look for any excuse. I don’t want to give them one.
If I had known beer and brats would have promoted unity instead of division, I would have been willing to buy an entire year’s worth of both. Socializing need not be viewed as a sin. Attendance at a social event should not be construed as abandonment of any principle but rather should be seen as a polite gesture to encourage casual conversation.
If we are not willing to socialize, it will be impossible to have a chance to cooperate on serious matters.
One of the contributing factors to the breakdown in civility and bipartisan cooperation has been the lack of will by legislators from opposing parties to get to know each other.
I hold no illusion that the conversations held today [Wednesday] will heal Wisconsin or result in any meaningful change. In fact, I am not sure there will be much opportunity to speak directly with the governor regarding the challenges facing Wisconsin.
As a follow up to the event, I intend to send a series of letters and requests for conversations on serious issues to see if the governor and members of the Republican Party are truly willing to sustain a real effort to find bipartisan solutions that will serve the common good throughout Wisconsin.
Sen. Bob Jauch,