Christian Schneider

Author, Columnist

Wisconsin’s Sarah Palin?

Were you wondering who the next big leader of the conservative movement in Wisconsin is?  Well, congressional candidate and former assemblywoman Terri McCormick thinks it’s her.

McCormick has issued a press release christening herself as “Wisconsin’s Sarah Palin – ‘Only Better!'”  And what expert in conservatism made the determination that McCormick is better than the current Mama Grizzly herself?

John Nichols at the Madison Capital Times.  You know, “Wisconsin’s Progressive Voice.”  Because they’re big fans of Sarah Palin over there.

So McCormick believes that it somehow helps her credibility to be endorsed by the state’s most liberal (newspaper? website? blog? chat room?)  It makes no sense.  Half the time I read a Cap Times editorial, I’m close to calling 911, thinking Nichols has slipped and suffered a head injury.  So now conservatives should let them choose their candidate?

This is actually a common Nichols trap that McCormick has fallen into.  He picks his GOP favorites only when it allows him to level a cheap shot against the powers that be. In 2002, he suddenly became a big fan of Republican Wisconsin State Senator Bob Welch when he found out Welch was thinking of challenging incumbent Scott McCallum in a primary. Naturally, Welch’s candidacy would have weakened McCallum significantly, which is all the Cap Times really cared about.

In 2006, Nichols bemoaned Republican Scott Walker’s exit from the GOP gubernatorial primary, praising his “moderation” on ethics issues, health care issues, and taxation. Naturally, this was merely an attempt to paint the remaining GOP candidate, Congressman Mark Green, as a bloodthirsty partisan. But just ONE YEAR earlier, Nichols shredded Walker in a column, calling him a “bigot” who wanted to make it harder for people to vote, and his candidacy for governor ”very bad news for Wisconsin.”

But since the left’s’ strategy became contrasting Walker with Green, suddenly Walker became an ACLU card carrying, LaFollette-Era progressive. When he was in the race, he was a “pretty typical Wisconsin Republican,” but the second he left the race, he became “palatable even to moderate voters.”

So this sudden praise of McCormick may be news to her, but she’s just another pawn in a cheap political ploy by the left.  Somehow that didn’t make it into her press release.

This is the same Terri McCormick who, in her book “What Sex is a Republican?” actually rips Congressman Paul Ryan, calling him a “member of the political class” and  “a typical insider.”  In a passage so bizarre it deserves to be reprinted here, McCormick writes that Ryan was actually afraid of her when they sat down for a meeting, and that he was involved in some kind of conspiracy against her:

I was wrong; merit and accomplishment would have nothing to do with our meeting… His shakedown skills were reminiscent of the guttural scenes from the movie Gangs of New York.

Ryan aimed his questions in a young-gun accusatory fashion: “Who are ya? Why are you here? Who do you work for? Vito? Hah– the congressman from New York? I’m going to give him a call.”

That day in 2005 Ryan appeared to be a brash political animal, operating out of fear and survival. Something was motivating him and I was about to find out what it was. Ryan was a member of the political class, a typical insider…

…My opponent’s wife was a former appointee of a GOP governor. She evidently had enough authority to give orders to Congressman Ryan.

(Special thanks to Steve S. at Letters in Bottles for actually reading the book and passing along this nugget.)

Incidentally, that would be the same Paul Ryan who has introduced an unprecedented plan to reform the entire U.S. tax system, Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.  It’s hard to imagine anyone more “outsider” than that.  But I guess because Ryan rightfully recognized McCormick as a crazyperson, it means he was operating out of “fear and survival.”  Maybe McCormick would like to further her conservative credentials by denouncing Reaganomics.  Perhaps she has evidence that the Easter Bunny engaged in insider trading with the Cadbury Creme Egg company.

(Incidentally, it was Sarah Palin herself that named Ryan as her favorite Republican.)

Actually, who am I kidding with all this jibber-jabber?  Admit it, you just want to see this video again – perhaps the greatest video in Wisconsin political history:

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

(UPDATE: McCormick has pulled her video from YouTube.)

I told a friend that McCormick was “crazy versus crazy.”  He replied that crazy called to concede years ago.

(Side note: if there is a runner up to “greatest Wisconsin political video,” it’s this ad run against Congressman Ron Kind two years ago:)

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video


  1. Mr. Schneider falls very short in his analysis. The first problem is that he assumes everything said by a left-wing writer is incorrect — a common assumption among establishment Republicans. In fact, Mr. Nichols has a vocal proponent of electoral reforms and independent political movements, so his analysis in politics should be carefully considered.

    Further, Terri McCormick never said she is going to be the leader of a conservative revolution. In fact, a lot of her supporters are moderates, Democrats, or independents. She simply said that she appreciated the comparison to Palin.

    Paul Ryan is a Big Government Republican and McCormick’s criticisms of him should be taken seriously. Ryan is a TARP supporter, he voted for a bailout, and he supports government intervention in the economy time and time again. His proposal on entitlements is something I would personally support, but his votes on the Iraq War, the USA Patriot Act, and the REAL ID Act are not.

    As a representative of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, Mr. Schneider should be ashamed that he is trying to embarrass the most conservative candidate in the 8th Congressional district race. Mr. Schneider should re-assess his poor analysis.

  2. Scott Walker is Wisconsin’s Sarah Palin. Good looking lady, dumb as a rock, and just a little too full of herself.

  3. Sorry – I just caught your by line!

    Free Market – you have got to be kidding me…. there is nothing free market in putting out of work Madison staffers who are ticked at the world in charge of a libertarian organization.

    Truly Grow Up! And someone send this to the few people who funded this – Wisconsin is a progressive state because there are no differences between republicans and democrats – they are both entitlement parties of convenience!

  4. amd here I thought bloggers were obsessed with Terri when they kept blaming me for John Gard’s losses in 2006 & 2008. Hee I thought libertarians and conservatives were interested in ideas, not personal attacks based solely on personality. Have you bothered to read any of Terri’s political position papers? Have you taken a look at her resume’ & conservative credentials? She gets the job done, doesn’t just complain or comment about it.

    As for your obsession with Terri’s video promotion of her book, not her campaign, so she’s not an actor. Big deal.

  5. Mr. Schneider, how does it feel to enter the parallel universe of the crazy right. As a moderate, I am afraid of entering any of these universes (right or left). Sadly that’s where politics is today. Walker and Neuman are in this universe along with McCormick and her people. Oddly I don’t think Ryan is.

  6. I certainly do think that Paul Ryan has the country’s attention now ~ and for good reason. He is economically insightful and was able to rock Pres. O back on his heels with his forthright questioning at the Economic Summit. Wisconsin should be very proud of Paul Ryan and I think he will be on the national stage SOON. I don’t know too much about Terri’s creds but I believe she got a “raw” deal from the uppity-ups when she was running against Gard. They should have left the electorate decide who they wanted to represent them in the election instead of sticking their noses into local politics.

  7. We don’t need more bait and switch, go along to get along people in congress. We need people that have a strong desire to hold up their oath. To defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights. This was once a great republic. I do believe the right choice for the 8th district of WI is Terri McCormick. Hands down.

  8. Michael S. Murphy

    May 18, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    Well, it seems that John Nichols, although a “Progressive”, seems to know more about the war being waged within the Republican Party than Schneider is aware of or maybe afraid to admit. Terri McCormick is one of the latest grassroots Libertarian Conservatives making waves in 2010. With the latest win in Kentucky for the Senate nomination secured by Rand Paul, Establishmentarians are now becoming a thing of the past; and thankfully so.

    It seems that Schneider feels compelled to slight McCormick because he’s on the side of the Establishment. In fact, it now makes me wonder how much money was given to him to actually create such an article? To try and reduce McCormick as “Crazy”, rather than using solid facts to discredit her, only shows that people like Scheider are desperately afraid that people like McCormick are actually winning; and winning she is.

    Looking over her stances on the issues, it seems that Terri McCormick is more in touch with the common conservative person and with the principals of the Republican Party, when it once was occupied by great leaders such as Reagan and Goldwater, than any of her Republican Primary Opponents.

    All in all, if ever there was a viable candidate to beat Steve Kagan, Terri McCormick is just that candidate. A vote for any of the others is simply an assurance for Kagan that the job is still his.

  9. Charles Stuart

    May 18, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    In case those don’t know Chris he is an out of work Madison staffer – He forgot to reference who “called Terri McCormick Wisconsin’s Sarah Palin – Bob Dohnal the publisher of the conservative digest who endorsed her – and Ron Paul said; “The Liberty Movement’s Sarah Palin”

    Perhaps he forgot to post the whole link from Fox Business News that praises Terri McCormick as Wisconsin’s underdog –

    or maybe he missed her 5 points to healthcare reform here on Fox News here

    One would thinnk that Jo Egelhoff would stop meowing and scratching and cut and past articles from Fox News. It would appear that it still smarts losing a safe republican seat – so she needs to take out her stress by endorsing Reid Ribble the elite PAC President for the National Roofers Club –

    Grow up Jo – and begin to post what conservatives need – “crazy” … you bet if former neocon staffers are calling it – we need more crazies who actually believe in the constitution are recognized by major talent on Fox News.

    Congrats Jo – you are a loser still!


  10. Why are these comments hidden under you tube videos that have nothing to do with Terri’s political campaign?

    Realty anyone? Remember we are wasting our time looking at a blog written by a well funded “THINK TANK?”

    No wonder.

  11. Spot on. McCormick does the party far more harm than good. We’d all be better off if she disappeared from the limelight instead of trying to hand around in hopes of selling more books.

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