Usually when I talk about my love of residing in Shorewood with my conservative friends, there's jabs and jokes, giggles and gaffs.
Why on Earth would I, a staunch Republican, choose to move into one of the most densely liberal populated areas?
Quite to the contrary, was my smartypants answer. For the first time in my adult life I was hanging with my peeps. Sensenbrenner had my back in Washington and my girl Alberta was giving me high fives from Madison.
Of course the irony of that picture doesn't escape me. And I'm not talking about that Alanis Morrisette fake ironic either. The sweet, sweet irony of being out numbered 10 to 1 in my chosen home base was that I had more conservative clout now than ever before.
Sadly, my genius plan backfired and it was all the doing of my fellow Republicans. Joke's on me.
With the now signed, sealed and delivered redistricting plan, I'm back to rolling my eyes and gritting my teeth over my elected officials. Score another one for irony.
Yes. My party has thrown me to the wolves. Never to be heard from again. Political purgatory. These particular wolves have names like Lena and Gwen, and I picture them salivating at the idea of ruling over this Republican.
Next year, when the redistricting maps go from a PDF file on the internet to reality my state senator will officially be Lena C. Taylor and my congresswoman in the House of Representatives will be Gwen S. Moore.
I've tried everything to get out of this mapping mess. Pinching myself. Nope, I'm not dreaming. Checking the calendar. Nope, it's not April 1. Tossing a penny into every fountain I passed. Nope, I guess wishes don't come true. Or maybe the value of the dollar has dipped so low not even a wishing well will take it seriously.
Over and over again I've zoomed in on the the new map with high hopes but sure as the day is long, the dividing line between Alberta Darling and Lena Taylor is a mere half block from my house. ONE HALF BLOCK.
The Congressional stroke is more broad so there's no hope of getting out of that one.
Since moving isn't on the radar I decided to educate myself on my new political peeps. First let's start with my new senator.
I started in a place I felt most at home. Facebook. I have a Facebook, she has a Facebook, that's got to be something, right?
Wrong. Her Facebook is often her podium for cringe-worthy controversy. The most recent being her status update encouraging Wisconsinites to boycott Wisconsin businesses. Businesses that employ Wisconsinites. That put food on the table of Wisconsinites. See where I'm going with this one? As a small business owner myself, any sort of anti-business rhetoric isn't exactly the way to my heart. But anti-business rhetoric coming from a Wisconsin elected official? Who represents citizens who directly benefit from these businesses? Ummmmm, what am I missing here?
PolitiFact has two tidbits on Ms. Taylor. One is rated "Mostly False" and the other, where she compares Governor Walker to Hitler, received a "Pants on Fire" rating.
Hitler. A minority woman who is highly educated, stooped to that level. Publicly.
I guess the "C" doesn't stand for "class".
Lastly, as hard as I try, I can't forget that Senator Taylor famously posted "brb" as her facebook status when she, along with 13 other state senators, fled the state to avoid their elected responsibilities. I'm not one to run away from my problems and I would expect my state senator is mature enough to face hers.
Alright, on to Congresswoman Gwen Moore who soon will be my voice in the ol' D to the C.
A quick search of the congresswoman found a lot that I actually, dare I say it, like.
On the surface she seems to be a strong supporter of small business and women's rights. As I mentioned earlier, I'm a small business owner so she gets points there. And despite my leanings to the right, I am pro-choice.
Then I watched a clip of Ms. Moore on C-SPAN speaking in regards to funding Planned Parenthood. She voiced that it is her opinion aborting a black baby is more advantageous than feeding it ramen noodles or mayonaise sandwiches.
It sounds almost too appalling to be true, right? That's why, instead of simply blindly believing what was posted on the internet, I searched for and viewed the entire speech Ms. Moore made on the House floor. I'm not certain if that is exactly what the congresswoman anticipated the world would decipher from her words, but after watching it three times over, it sure is what I heard.
Between the two of these lovely women, it seems the old adage of "think before you speak" needs to be reinforced. Perhaps even tattooed. Backwards. On their foreheads.
Congressman Sensenbrenner and Senator Darling, oh how I will miss you dearly. I've watched you weather a political storm with grace and dignity. Without causing embarrassment to yourselves, your state or your constituents. For one whole year I proudly lived in your districts, supporting you and your policies whenever I could.
But then, just as I thought I outsmarted my liberal neighbors, I was delivered the greatest political one-two punch. And boy, oh boy, was it a knock out.
As the great philosopher Alanis Morissette once said, "And isn't it ironic...don't you think?"
Yes. A little too ironic. And yeah, I really do think.