We could have called our cover story this week "A Tale of Two Cities," except that it's really only about one and its area of influence. In "Blame Waukesha," contributor Scott Wittkopf talks about the place where he grew up, in contrast to Madison and Dane County. Whereas one is regarded as a bastion of lefty liberalism (that would be us folk), the other has garnered a reputation as the seat of hardcore conservatism.
Wittkopf works in the Chicago area but retains ties to his native land. Presumably inspired by the fireworks surrounding Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill, he began writing the blog Badger Democracy back in March. He came to mind when we decided to do the story about Wisconsin's other one-party town.
Judging from his blog postings, Wittkopf is not representative of his hometown's politics. I can recall a few years back the Republicans in Waukesha purging their local apparatus of all "rinos," i.e. "Republicans in Name Only." Then there is the matter of the misplaced votes that swung the Supreme Court election two days after the polls closed. If Madison is 24 (or 45 or 75, take your pick) square miles surrounded by reality, just what is it that surrounds Waukesha? Don't tell me - it's a double electrified fence. (A tip of the V.O. hat to Herman Cain for that one.)
Interestingly, also in this issue is an opinion column by former Isthmus editor Marc Eisen, now a literary gun for hire, who writes that Madison and Dane County's future lies to the east. Madison and Waukesha will grow toward each other to form a great development corridor along I-94, says he. It makes sense, but one wonders what will happen when the matter of Dane County and the anti-matter of Waukesha County actually touch. Will anyone survive the reaction?