It was the worst of times, it was the dumbest of times. Wisconsin politics can get pretty stupid, and politicians and voters in Wisconsin just seemed determined to prove how stupid they could be in 2018. Unfortunately, in the stupidity contest between voters and politicians, everyone lost.

There was so much stupidity in 2018, the decision by the Shorewood School District to cancel a play production of To Kill a Mockingbird only rates an honorable mention. Putting false signatures on nomination petitions doesn’t even come close. School administrators allowing students to just walk out of class to make a political point is just another forgotten note of folly. GOP Senate candidates going full-tilt Trump when his popularity tanked in Wisconsin? Hah! Even “The Hop” hops on by without making our list. We would hope that 2019 will be better but, so far, we haven’t been given too many reasons for confidence in the future.

Here is the list of the dozen dumbest events in Wisconsin politics in 2018:

12. Stormy Daniels’ Strip Bar Tour Through Wisconsin.

A porn star was treated like a hero by Wisconsin’s political left as she made appearances at strip clubs in Milwaukee and Madison because she once (allegedly) had sex with President Donald Trump.

“Look what she’s doing for women in this country,” 70-year-old Linda Nelson told the Capital Times. Nelson had never been to a strip club before Daniels’ appearance. “She’s suing our president. What could be stronger than that?”

Daniels would later lose her defamation law suit and has been ordered to pay the president’s legal fees.

After a Stormy stop in Madison, Dylan Brogan wrote in Isthmus, “Stormy sign{ed} my Constitution on a stack of topless portraits of herself.” At least she didn’t give the Constitution a lap dance.

11. Leah Vukmir’s pop up ad has funny looking union thugs.

We could create an entire list of the stupidity that occurred during the Republican primary for U.S. Senate last year, but the decision by state Sen. Leah Vukmir’s campaign to find some very blue collar-looking actors and call them union thugs was one of the dumbest ideas of 2018. It even knocked the Vukmir campaign’s press release calling Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) a “member of team terrorist” off our list.

Additional note of stupidity: everyone on the left that accused Vukmir of racism because they thought the actors looked Hispanic. Really? Just by looking at someone you can tell they’re Hispanic? And that’s not racist?

10. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers compares abortion to a tonsillectomy. 

There was a lot of stupidity in the Evers campaign for governor. Evers promised to reduce the prison population by half, and then backed away from it. Evers said he won’t raise taxes when he’s planning on raising taxes. When asked about raising the gas tax $1 a gallon, Evers said everything is on the table. Evers even defended plagiarism found in the Department of Public Instruction budget.

But it takes a special kind of stupid to compare an abortion to a tonsillectomy and then say taxpayers should pay for abortions. So much for “the party of science.” We should be grateful that Evers spent most of his “education career” as a bureaucrat rather than in a science classroom.

9. The tuba that shook the walls of the GOP.

Judge Michael Screnock’s one and only television ad for his campaign for Wisconsin Supreme Court showed him playing a tuba. His campaign probably could have gotten away with it if he wasn’t being crushed on the airwaves by Judge Rebecca Dallet, who was busy falsely portraying herself as a moderate. Screnock deserved a better commercial, a better campaign plan, and more financial support from conservatives.

8. Kevin Nicholson decides to attack his fellow Republicans.

When the national Club for Growth attacked Governor Scott Walker’s record to attack state Sen. Leah Vukmir in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, that was pretty stupid. Nicholson’s campaign compounded the error by refusing to repudiate the attack.

Nicholson then attacked Republican Party activists, inventing the term “Madison swamp” to describe the GOP just prior to the Republican Party of Wisconsin state convention. Apparently Nicholson missed the fact that Republicans controlled nearly everything in Madison prior to the last election and that a lot of grass roots Republicans worked hard to make that happen.

Nicholson even decided to accuse Vukmir of not respecting his military service, a false attack that resulted in Nicholson then saying in an interview that everyone who served in the military should be a conservative. If they weren’t conservatives, Nicholson said he had to question their “cognitive thought process.” That disaster prompted criticism from everybody.

Finally, there was Nicholson’s odd decision to have someone like Brandon Moody as his spokesman so he could alienate even more conservatives by picking a stupid fight with RightWisconsin. We’re still waiting on the explanation behind that stupid decision.

7. Rep. Rob Swearingen’s war on wedding barns.

Republicans are supposed to support free enterprise and the free market. Apparently that support stops when a committee chairman is a former president of the Tavern League of Wisconsin. Swearingen is determined to squash potential banquet competition from “wedding barns” even though they bring more tourists to Wisconsin and more business to Tavern League members.

Swearingen and the Tavern League even pushed a bill that would have eliminated tailgating at most major sporting events in their zeal to kill the wedding barn industry. While the bill passed the Assembly, it (thankfully) died in the Senate after the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty did an analysis.

Swearingen’s response to opposition to his economic protectionism was to label his critics “the far right.” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) should put an end to Swearingen’s stupid little war lest Republicans completely alienate an entire class of entrepreneurs.

6. The Democrats nominated Randy Bryce in the 1st Congressional District, wasting millions of dollars on a losing candidate for an open seat.

This is how stupid Wisconsin politics got. How is nominating Bryce to run for Congress not number one on our list?

Let us list the reasons this was a stupid decision by the Democratic voters of the 1st Congressional District:

Bryce had a record of being arrested nine times. He couldn’t explain his back child support getting paid after declaring his candidacy. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s political gossip columnist helped another person owed money by Bryce get in touch with the candidate so that debt could be mysteriously settled by an unknown Democratic Party lawyer. Bryce had to buy a rifle with campaign funds just so he could be seen shooting it in a commercial. His brother campaigned against him after Bryce called the police “terrorists.” Bryce claimed he wasn’t a politician (after losing three other political races) but was getting paid to be a political consultant by former Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate. (Proof that anything Tate touches – dies.) His campaign spokesman left to go work for Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon’s quixotic campaign for governor. Bryce compared his drunk driving arrest and conviction to the arrests of civil rights icon John Lewis for civil disobedience during the civil rights struggle.

In addition to all of that, Bryce was a pretty typical leftist with no understanding of economics who looked pretty stupid on CNN when he was asked how he was going to pay for Medicare-for-all. (Okay, so did every other Democrat who didn’t lie through their teeth.) Bryce’s understanding of the issues was so bad, Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI02) had to be a babysitter for Bryce at interviews.

Despite the Hollywood millions spent on Bryce’s candidacy, despite campaign appearances by Sen. Bernie Sanders to fire up the Democratic base, despite all of the national attention, Bryce got a lower percentage of the vote than Rob Zerban received in 2012.

5. Jeremy “Segway Boy” Ryan was arrested for allegedly trying to buy radioactive material.

Guess what? That person who is offering to sell radioactive material on the Internet so you can allegedly commit murder with it might be an FBI agent. Who would’ve thunk it?

By the way, for those media outlets that called Ryan a Republican without mentioning that he was just running for Congress as a prank and that he was actually a die-hard leftist protester? You’re pretty stupid, too.

4. Hey Leah, where are you going with that gun in your ad?

Vukmir’s campaign might have had the worst political ad this century in Wisconsin politics. The worst. When the Republican National Committee runs its seminars on political campaign management, this ad will be used as an example of what campaigns should never, ever do. From putting their own candidate in scary lighting, to the unfired gun just sitting on the table, to the manufactured threatening call, this ad was a disaster. That somebody looked at it before it was aired and said, “We gotta run this,” is a sad commentary on the IQ level of some political consultants.

If there was one, just one, fence-sitting suburban mom who saw this ad and said, “I’m going to vote Republican in November,” we can guarantee it had the opposite effect on many more.

3. Kevin Nicholson, the $11 Million Dollar Man.

Richard Uihlein invested $11 million, according to Politico, in Nicholson’s campaign to become the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, only to watch him lose to state Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Brookfield) in the August primary. Uihlein spent that money through various Political Action Committees, including: Club for Growth, an alleged scam PAC called the Tea Party Patriots, Solutions for Wisconsin, Restoration PAC, the Great America PAC (no roller coasters), and the John Bolton Super PAC (buying his endorsement).

According to OpenSecrets.org, only $1,468,523 was spent by outside groups on Vukmir’s behalf during the Republican primary.

The next time Uihlein wants to spend $11 million on one race in Wisconsin, he should give us a call. Not because we will help him spend his money more wisely, but we will happily help him spend it.

2. Wisconsin voters decided to keep the state treasurer.

It’s literally a job with almost no duties except answer the phone and attend a committee meeting occasionally. That’s it. Yet Wisconsin voters were dumb enough to believe that the job is some sort of “watchdog” on the state’s finances. Worse, some Republicans even bought into the idea and even contributed financially to the effort to keep the position on state treasurer.

Instead of shrinking state government with a constitutional amendment to eliminate the state treasurer, we still have a no-work, full-pay job on the state payroll. Worse, the voters put a Democrat in the position in November. This means Secretary of State Doug La Follette will get to go on more taxpayer-funded trips thanks to the additional Democratic vote on the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands.

That’s democracy for you. Sometimes the voters are stupid. And this time they were really, really stupid.

And the number one stupid thing that happened in Wisconsin politics in 2018 is…

Wisconsin voters chose Tony Evers over Scott Walker.

Record low unemployment. Budget surpluses every year. Lower taxes. A complete structural change in state government to keep state and local governments financially stable (if they choose to use the tools offered by Act 10). A friendly business climate. More economic freedom. A modest expansion of school choice. Even more money invested than ever before in public schools, if that’s what you wanted. All thanks to Governor Scott Walker.

The voters threw it all away in favor of a governor who wants to raise taxes through the roof, release prisoners from jail, and return us to the days of Governor Jim Doyle.

Evers can’t even admit that voucher schools and independent charter schools are outperforming their legacy public school counterparts when his own Department of Public Instruction is supplying the evidence. Meanwhile, Evers did almost nothing to fix the failing schools in our state.

How stupid can Wisconsin get?

No, really, Wisconsin chose this guy?