Wisconsin Republicans And The Politics Of Adolescence
Meet Wisconsin's new teen idols - - Scott Walker, The Fitzgeralds, budget writers Vos and Darling, David Prosser and his fellow injudicious Justices.
Bullying the end of public employees' collective bargaining, then enabled by a obeisant, 4-3 Supreme Court majority behaving like an adjunct party caucus, passing in the Assembly a $66-billion budget filled with special-interest corporate freebies at 3 a.m., handing the Governor the imperious power to veto agency rules previously overseen by the Legislature and openly running fake candidates in recall elections to save their party's bacon - - Republicans are governing for the moment's immediate gratification, without a moral compass.
Much the way adolescents might behave, their development not yet complete, along with a flawed or incomplete grasp of the future, without an appreciation of the connections between actions-and-consequences - - none of what describes adults too much front and center in the their thinking processes or behaviors.
I'd particularly put Scott Walker's abrupt cancellation of an Amtrak line and its $800 million in federal funding - - leading him his attempting and failing in an embarrassing do-over to try and recoup $150 million for Amtrak improvements he remembered he and his Milwaukee business supporters favored.
Also included in the GOP's politically-juvenile action category: Walker's petulant refusal to negotiate with - - that is, talk to - - state employee unions he then decimated in that category.
And his arbitrary moves to fill wetlands, barely examine mining operation permits, force some working poor to pay higher state taxes by restricting a federal, earned-income tax credit program - - yet still claiming his budget was free of tax increases.
Also, certainly the State Supreme Court's 4-3 ruling vindication of the union-busting/Open Meetings issue Walker and Republican Senate leader Scott Fitzgerald cooked up, and that former GOP Assembly Speaker-now-Supreme Court Justice Prosser approved in a judicial farce that set records for hurried thought, and dangerous precedent - - such as who (e.g., Mike Huebsch, DOA Secretary, but not a party to the action being appealed) can go around the normal processes and seek direct action by the Court, and how and when it will release a decision in that person's favor on an unsuspecting public?
Could be this summer, could be next year, could be later - - but it's guaranteed that Republicans will find themselves in the minority and come to regret their politically-adolescent behavior during Walker's first few months in office.
They claim they will not regret losing an election and I tend to believe them. They will return safely to the private sector secure in the knowledge that they have accomplished their task - put Wisconsin on a high speed train to the gilded age.
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