When we saw Scott Walker on camera telling the Beloit billionaire who is now his largest campaign donor that the newly-elected Wisconsin governor had a plan to "divide and conquer" his state's working people, he provided a perfect bookend to his 2010 unguarded "dropped the bomb" label for his then-secret plan to wipe out public sector collective bargaining disclosed to someone he thought was the powerful conservative political financier David Koch.
Having such contemptuously negative plans for everyday Wisconsin citizens and taxpayers, but revealing them first and strategically to people who would be key partisan contributors, should be an automatic disqualifier for any gubernatorial candidate and justification for removing that person from elected office if a recall election is available.
Especially if we are talking about a governor - - the highest ranking statewide elected official.
Newspapers are likely to make recall election endorsements beginning this Sunday, but don't look for this paper to make news by endorsing Tom Barrett.
For one thing, the paper has said it would not make endorsements in recall elections - - it made none in last year's State Senate recalls.
Also, and principally, the Journal Sentinel editorial board is comfortable with Walker - - not in every case: Walker's Amtrak forfeiture, and his support for the Assembly's mining bill the paper slammed come quickly to mind - - but certainly on the business and fiscal issues the paper has lined up with since it was created in the 1995 Journal/Sentinel merger.
So the edit board will not pull away from Walker, though doing so would be a breath - - a gale, a hurricane - - of fresh air in a state that needs a political and civic fresh start.
Now here is where Walker opponents will cry foul:
While saying the entire process has been a waste of time and money, it also said recently that in Walker's case, the recall has been inappropriate:
And we still maintain this is all unnecessary because it essentially boils down to one issue: last year's legislation that severely curtailed bargaining rights for most public employees. Politicians, regardless of party, should not be recalled over one issue or one (or even several) votes.
That vastly understates the realities and impact of what Walker has wrought, and if repeated editorially before the June 5th election becomes something of a non-endorsement endorsement, if my analysis and prediction is correct.
Declining to break with Walker would be a missed opportunity - - and if the State Journal in Madison takes the same tack, it misses that historic boat, too.
But those editorial board decisions could have the unintended consequence of fueling even more intensified organizing by Walker's underdog opponents, pushing them to victory in an already-close campaign.