Saturday, December 8, 2018

The Walkerites' unbearable and dangerous elitism

You know what has really stuck in my craw since 1.3+ million Democrats voted Scott Walker out, and his legislative allies began almost immediately signaling they weren't going to let go of power - - even though Democrats Tony Evers, Mandela Barnes and Josh Kaul beat the incumbent Republicans fair-and square?

This mindset and justification offered up by Scott Fitzgerald, 
Wisc Sen. Scott Fitzgerald.jpg
the Wisconsin GOP State Senate Majority leader and lead election nullifiying excuse-maker in the Legislature's super chamber:
One of the Legislature's top Republicans said he helped write a sweeping plan that weakens the incoming Democratic governor because Republicans "don't trust Tony Evers right now."
Set aside that Fitzgerald doesn't care about or even grip the irony that he's raising a trust issue while discussing the power grab bill he and his allies wrote in secret, then sprung on an unsuspecting public.

What's important about that sentence is that it exposes the Wisconsin Republican philosophy that the people cannot be trusted to make a choice, and Republicans will not let that choice be routinely implemented because Republicans Walker, Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and virtually every member of their caucuses are, in lock-step, substituting their will for the ballot-box expression of the people's choices.

Talk about elitism: One little group knows better than the 1.3+ million Wisconsinites who said otherwise. How very old-timey Sovietski-ish of them.
Likewise for their exercise of self-perpetuation through gerrymandering. 

And once you understand that this elite is showing itself, other bits and pieces fall into place, so...

* Of course, the Walker-centered elites would be fine forcing homeowners and farmers off their property in Mount Pleasant so Foxconn could have the land. To the elites, your domain is subject to the eminent domain whims and lawyering of our Badgerland eminences.

* Of course, the elites in the Republican government would take the advice of the major business organization Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and block a review of the environmental issues the massive Foxconn project's siting will raise - - and then moved in the lame-duck power grabbing session to add two more special-interest carveouts: a bill written at the WMC's request to extend big business' control of much of the state's natural resources, and another bill that will guarantee the road-builders additional, lucrative work with less local control and environmental considerations - - summarized here.

Because elites outside the government demand special treatment and their elite servants inside the government will provide it. It's an elitism mobius strip, and everybody in the loop is a winner.

*  Of course, another major business organization representing the dairy industry would be invited to sit down with Walker to weaken groundwater contamination rules which, data show, need to be strengthened to prevent residential well contamination. 

*  Similarly,  an even bigger swath of corporate Wisconsin is beating on the administration's doors for control over groundwater they demanded in their hand-delivered demands which went from legislators to Vos to GOP Attorney General Brad Schimel.

The elites call that process "certainty." It certainly reeks of entitled special treatment.

* Of course, Walker as a general rule would repetitively distance himself from the people except in game day selfies, whether never issuing a pardon, never visiting a state correctional facility, never approving an increase in the state minimum wage of $7.25-per-hour after nearly 27 straight years collecting guaranteed state paychecks, raises, health insurance, retirement benefits, travel expenses, free phones, conference expenses, per diem payments, and, since 2011, residency in the Executive Mansion.

Because elites expect to be coddled. Their bills are really yours. Like taxes, as the sage said, everyday costs are for little people.

And ditto for meeting them close up. Of course, Walker would repeatedly call his by-invitation-only meet-and-greets "listening sessions,' or Ryan could go more than 600 days without holding an in-person town hall meeting in the congressional district he then abandoned, preferring to drink $350 bottles of wine with DC insiders. 

And, of course, being elites who are above it all, Walker would not even deign to go to his own election night gathering and make a public concession, just as Fitzgerald and Vos did not attend the fast-tracked hearings on their power grab bill to which which hundreds of everyday citizens trekked in the cold, then signed up to speak, then waited their turn and had their say while Vos and Fitzgerald were unavailable to listen.

Like Walker's 'listening sessions,' being close to the public isn't what the elites do. That's why the rich have private country clubs, and GOP state capitol leaders have private offices to avoid the public they have no interest in listening to, let alone trust as the real title-holders of the democracy.

So when Fitzgerald says he doesn't trust Tony Evers, he means you.


Anonymous said...

What a great synopsis of the entitlement mentality/reality that is the very highest priority of wanker, Vos, Fitzgerald & company! Indeed maintaining their "elitism" is really their well defended number one priority--->especially in their own minds.
They have defended their self constructed "holier than thou" image by isolating themselves from their real constituents so as to avoid any criticism or scrutiny of who they really are. Underneath their myriad of self defenses lies their fragile, impotent, worthless core.
Wisconsinites must be resolved in their commitment not to support this charade further! So many Wisconsinites and so much of our environment have already lost too much in paying the price for their dark and "dangerous elitism."

Anonymous said...

This sense of entitlement to control the state comes from the state's right-wing and disfunctional media environment. Every step of destroying democracy was endorsed across the state by print and broadcast media. This has been going on for much longer than the current gang of fascists.

Sure, there were some op-eds that lamented the latest lame-duck shenanigans, but these all come with an implied "nudge-nudge-wink-wink" as the same publishers and broadcasters promoted these politicians and the ALEC agenda for decades. Make no mistake about this - what we have seen is taken straight from out-of-state multinational corporate wish-lists that the media across Wisconsin is complicit with.

People need to read the book, "How Fascism Works" by Jason Stanley - what I am saying is not hyperbole and Wisconsin was the test-bed for destroying democracy across the nation.

It am begins with a mythical past where things were dominated by a strong male figure. Then social institutions are used to destroy the basic rights and freedoms we should have. These factors allow groups of people to be demonized and dehumanized. Election systems are corrupted and become closed and non-verifiable while people are disenfranchised and target3d groups are no longer allowed to vote.

This playbook is not new and it is only possible with the propaganda power that is created by right-wing media such as the network that smothers our state.

Anonymous said...

We don't trust Evers "right now" makes it seem like Evers has to earn their trust by doing what they want him to do.

Todd Endres said...

Great piece Jim...thanks

Anonymous said...

In the face of fascism in Walker's Wisconsin, this is why all of us must work to make sure these actions are NEVER forgotten, and that Walker's Wisconsin is sanctioned by all who support democracy.

Those sanctions start with the national Democratic Party striking Milwaukee from the list of finalists for the 2020 Democratic National convention, unless the Republicans rescind their legislation stripping the powers of Tony Evers. Let the Wisconsin tourism industry take the 200 million hit.

Call for an Act Blue boycott of all Wisconsin tourism. Why would any Democrat want to spend hard earned vacation dollars in a state that invalidates the election of Democrats? My family will be walleye fishing in Minnesota this summer instead of staying in a resort in a deep red northern Wisconsin county. When hundreds of democrats do likewise, we can cripple the economies of deep red northern Wisconsin counties.

Let's show Boss Vos & Big Fitz that Divide and Conquer works both ways. Time for Democrats to stop always being the victims of ill treatment by Rethuglicans. Time to fight back.

James Rowen said...

Strongly disagree about the convention. Hurts the wrong people, city, etc.

Anonymous said...

I would hear this about employees at the DNR by upper management "I don't trust him"....followed by a smear campaign of a good employee. It is a rather sick response.

Anonymous said...

4:59, I don't know who you are but I was told that upper management didn't trust me. Sort of funny really. Upper management made some really costly decisions because they didn't take my advice. And when I say costly, I mean really costly to DNR customers, aka, their friends and supporters. I could never figure out why the lawyers and consultants presented such costly and really unnecessary solutions and then upper management went with that solution rather than common sense. As they say in Wisconsin: "interesting."

Anonymous said...

On the voter "fraud" front we need to be very aggressive in going after the Republican voters.We must aggressively "crosscheck" registration lists/poll records from Republican areas across the state. It is an old trick for those with homes around the metro area and property/homes up North to claim residency in both locations and vote in both locations. Sometimes by absentee ballot. It is strictly illegal. Notice that the state use of "list maintenance" only goes after folks who haven't voted recently. I say it's long past time to fight fire with fire. Likewise the use of different addresses/name variations in order to skirt campaign donation limits.