Some of the best analysis of the contemporary state political climate is coming from history professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Last week I featured Jeremi Suri's superb blog post on the similarities between Republican Gov. Scott Walker's early approach and that of the late Sen. Joe McCarthy, he of "red scare" fame.

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Now the New York Times published a terrific op-ed piece from another UW history prof headlined "Wisconsin's Radical Break," about how Walker has pretty much shredded our tradition of decency and fair play.

William Cronon, a professor of history, geography and environmental studies, explains why so many of us are so mad and will likely stay that way: "The turmoil in Wisconsin is not only about bargaining rights or the pension payments of public employees. It is about transparency and openness. It is about neighborliness, decency and mutual respect. Joe McCarthy forgot these lessons of good government, and so, I fear, has Mr. Walker. Wisconsin's citizens have not."