The Recombobulation Area
The Recombobulation Area
PODCAST: 'Fall of Wisconsin' author Dan Kaufman on the end of an era in Wisconsin politics

PODCAST: 'Fall of Wisconsin' author Dan Kaufman on the end of an era in Wisconsin politics

Dan Shafer and Dan Kaufman recombobulate on the race for state Supreme Court and what Janet Protasiewicz's victory means for Wisconsin.

The Recombobulation Area is a six-time TEN-TIME Milwaukee Press Club award-winningweekly opinion column and online publication written and published by veteran Milwaukee journalist Dan Shafer. Learn more about it here.

The victory party in downtown Milwaukee after Janet Protasiewicz won the election for Wisconsin Supreme Court. Photo via campaign Facebook page.

The race for Wisconsin Supreme Court happened a couple weeks ago now, but since it was such a big deal for the future of politics in this state, there’s a whole lot for us to still be talking about.

As we said over and over again in the months prior to this election, you cannot overstate the importance of this race. The ramifications for the victory for liberal justice Janet Protasiewicz, flipping the ideological balance of power on the state’s highest court, are going to be profound. 

Dan Kaufman, author of “The Fall of Wisconsin”

So, as we continue to recombobulate over these massively important election results, we were joined by Dan Kaufman, who is the author of the book “The Fall of Wisconsin”, an outstanding and poignant account of the era of conservative conquest in the state, that was published in 2018. He has also written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and The New York Review of Books. His most recent work was in the New Yorker, where he wrote a brilliant in-depth feature story on the race in the weeks before the election, and then wrote another piece last week after Janet Protasiewicz’s resounding victory in the election.

On those results, Kaufman said he “felt like it was the culmination of a lot of anger over the past twelve years of essentially living under minority rule, with a radical overturning of the state’s past.”

Dan and I talked about what those elections results meant for Wisconsin, and he also shared some stories from his reporting, we talked about how Robin Vos deserves blame from his party in their losses in these statewide elections, about how Republican coalitions in Wisconsin have changed post-Trump, and whether or not this is the moment where Wisconsin finally stops falling.

Dan Shafer is a journalist from Milwaukee who writes and publishes The Recombobulation Area. He previously worked at Seattle Magazine, Seattle Business Magazine, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine, and BizTimes Milwaukee. He’s also written for The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Heartland Signal, Belt Magazine, WisPolitics, and Milwaukee Record. He’s won 17 Milwaukee Press Club Excellence in Journalism Awards. He’s on Twitter at @DanRShafer.


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Follow Dan Shafer on Twitter at @DanRShafer.