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Whiners And Winners Make Comments After F-35 Jet Vote At Madison City Council

September 19, 2019

I have found over the years that if Brenda Konkel is whining, Madison is winning.  And that is true once again as the former alder comes out blasting at Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway for not aligning her office with the loudest shouters in the city.

My eye caught the outcry on Twitter as Konkel wrote of the people having “been betrayed by what was supposed to be a radical, feminist, lefty, LGBTQ mayor”.

I reminded our local firebrand that “Pragmatism is still valued by many when it comes to politics and policy.”

This somehow led to a reply from Konkel about “institutional racism.”  Dear God…..

What, in part, has soured Konkel with the mayor concerns Tuesday night’s city council meeting when a more strident and simply unacceptable item before the council regarding the F-35s was jettisoned when Rhodes-Conway did not break the tie so the council would be on record opposing them.  A milder resolution then passed.

Meanwhile, Zach Brandon, president of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, struck the tone with the correct message that Madison wanted, and needed, to hear.   He said that the rejection of the resolution which outright opposed the basing of F-35 jets at Truax Field was a strong statement in favor of the community’s long-term economic health.   Those like Konkel who always fight for more funds for the homeless seem to not connect the need for a healthy and vibrant economy so to pay the bills for the plans they envision.

The Council voted 16–3 asking the military to reconsider its designation of Madison as a preferred basing site if the concerns raised by Madison residents cannot be addressed.  Those concerns can be met, as much of the emotionally charged energy from the north side of the city is due to special interests who wish to stir the anti-military pot to its boiling temperature.  The concerns which are being heard are not based on facts,  but fear over the noise.

As a liberal Democrat, I too have had, at times, strong differences with military budgets and the international policies which our nation has embarked upon.  But we fight those battles when they arrive, and not swipe at the parts of the military which are most easily reached.  And that is what is happening now.  Those alders who seek headlines by slamming the jets are not able to beat their drum in any other way to effect change in the military budgets which they loathe.  So they strike out locally at the one place they hope to find some traction.

Pragmatism and the larger-world needs must always be the guiding stones that we follow. I wish more in our city would strive to arrive at that conclusion. As such, when it comes to F-35 jets, and their placement at Truax Field, there is only one side of the coin to be on—the same one as the 115th Fighter Wing.

In the end, the F-35 jets will arrive here, and the ones now fevered and fretting will have moved on to some new ‘diabolical’ plot that must be stopped.  That is what always happens in Madison.

And so it goes.

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