Over the weekend the Associated Press ran a story pointing out the striking similarities of the current fight for Wisconsin’s Supreme Court and a new John Grisham novel, The Appeal. I have not read the book but just hearing some of the details, it seems like someone at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) got an advance copy and used it as a play book.
In the book: Corporate Interests lose a big liability case.
In Wisconsin: Corporate Interests lose a lead paint decision.
In the book: Corporate Interests plot to take out a sitting Justice that they have deemed ‘liberal’ and an ‘activist’.
In Wisconsin: WMC attacks the high court in general and specifically takes aim at a sitting Justice that is up for election. They paint him as ‘liberal’ and an ‘activist.’
In the book: The sitting Justice targeted by corporate interests is an African American.
In Wisconsin: The Justice is the State’s first African American on the high court.
In the book: Corporate Interests pick a virtually unknown candidate from a small town.
In Wisconsin: They recruited an unknown from a small town.
In the book: They attack the sitting justice with sleazy dishonest ads and say that the justice is ‘soft on crime.’
In Wisconsin: Both the Gableman and WMC ads have been almost universally panned as sleazy,misleading, and false. They appeal only to voters worst fears on crime.
The story also quotes Gableman mouth Darrin Schmitz. He says that to point out the obvious similarities between the Gableman/WMC tactics and the book is ‘living in a fantasy world.’ In true Rovian fashion, he denies the reality of his own actions and the reality of what has happened in states all across the country. Not to be outdone, WMC Jokeman Jim Pugh does his part to ignore the reality represented in the book. Instead he prefers to shoot the messenger, calling Grisham a partisan propagandist even though his book is based on well documented events in West Virginia. Schmitz and Pugh can continue living on Fantasy Island, but if their scheming is successful, it is the rest of us that will be left in a painful reality.