Monday, February 27, 2012

Van Wanggaard Should Really Never Speak

Van Wanggaard has not held a listening session since he was elected 16 months ago and it's probably safe to say he won't be having any more for quite a while...his recent round was not a rousing success.

Van got badgered about mining, collective bargaining and pay equality and it was clear - when he wasn't madly tossing out talking points - he got knocked back on his heels. Even the photo of him in the JT had him looking a little defensive.

The issues were one thing, but the other under-reported and interesting part of Van's listening sessions were the odd and really politically incorrect things Van said.

In his first listening session Van was asked about the mining bill and whether the native tribes who have environmental and treaty interests in the proposed mine were consulted. The questioner asked if Van worked with the "sovereign nations" in drafting the bill. The term seemed to confuse Van since they weren't referring to a bunch of white, pot-smoking, gun nuts plotting against the IRS.

Van asks: "you mean the Indians?" Very Senatorial.

He then tries to remember the name...bad land...bad water...until finally someone says "Bad River." Oh yeah, now he remembers..."There you go, the Bad River tribe actually had a chat with me about it."

Now, we know Van doesn't read the bills unless his Chief of Staff (not a member of the Bad River Nation), Scott Kelly reads them aloud to him, but it's good to at least mouth some form of respect towards people and the land they consider sacred. Wanna guess what the Bad River Nation said to Van in their "chat?"

In his Ives Grove listening session, Van was largely irritated that John Lehman showed up and asked him to debate. He was laughably defensive, trying out his Whopper Lie #1: We Balanced the Budget. Van says, "we balanced the budget...bringing it down to a more manageable level"  Um, a more manageable level of deficit Van?

Listen carefully, he just admitted they did NOT balance the budget...because they didn't and he knows it.

He then segues to Whopper Lie #2: We Did It Without Raising Taxes. No one but Van and the diehards actually believe this anymore. This should have been John's cue to challenge him on this, but there is plenty of time.

But the weird comment came when Van was talking about students (boys) who drop out of school and knock up their girlfriends? Huh? Now we know this kind of stereotyping is perfectly acceptable in the Republican bubble but as a Senator this is incredibly tacky.

Van (or a member of his staff) should know the teen pregnancy rate in Wisconsin has dropped consistently and the rate of pregnancy among women 18 or younger is 2% of all pregnancies...and 67% of that 2% are in women aged between 18 to 19 years old. In other words, while everyone believes teen pregnancy is a barrier to future to success, because of comprehensive sex education and access to birth control - teen pregnancies have dropped.

Van's time-saving stereotypes assist him in supporting his goofball point of view but don't actually reflect reality and young people in general.

Then in his listening session in Racine, while Van was fielding a question from Special Education advocates about the upcoming bill that will offer school vouchers in Racine to private schools for special education without ANY requirements or regulations in those schools...Van told a heartwarming story about young family member who required special education who was a "mongoloid."

Mongoloid. He said that word!

The Siren is fairly sure Van's young relative is not from Mongolia. The word "Mongoloid" is an offensive and racist term along the lines of "chink" or "retard"-  in fact the history of the word "mongoloid" rolls them both into one handy, nasty and racist word.

"Mongoloid" was originally used to describe people of Asian descent and their facial features...like Negro or specifically - Negroid. It later spread in it's use to describe people who were physically considered unattractive, not Caucasian, mentally retarded and even people characterized as inbred were called "Mongoloids."

The word "Mongoloid" - as Van used it - is a pejorative word used to demean people with Downs Syndrome and was coined to describe the faces of those people which were considered to be Asian "like"...flat, angled eyes and low-profile noses. It is an insult to his relative and a racist insult to Asians who actually know the origin of the word.

No one says that word anymore and frankly, an apology is in order.

In two days alone, Van carelessly and arrogantly fudges the name of the Bad River Nation, tried to sell a lie about Wisconsin youth at risk knocking up their girlfriends (do you really wonder what skin color he was picturing those kids) and called his young relative a "Mongoloid" because he is mentally challenged.

Can there be any question now that it was Van Wanggaard who made the motion to open the search for Police Chief again after the "Caucasian" guy stepped down leaving the commission with two men of color to choose from?

Van Wanggaard should really never speak.