Tuesday, December 18, 2018

The WI GOP's little men launched a long game. Let's beat them.

At some point I will turn to other matters, but not yet, so here are a few more words about and suggestions for confronting the right-wing Wisconsin power grab, or as I call it, the "Revenge of the little men" bill.

Walker, Fitzgerald and Vos concocted it in private, as has been these elitists' preferred style since they dropped Act 10 bomb.

And even earlier, when Walker secretly skewed the Milwaukee County Executive's taxpayer-supported office and staff for his personal and partisan advantage - - 
Emails link Walker to secret email system
And now has rushed their little mens' dirty work legislating to a bill-signing ceremony the weak and 'knows-he's-doing-wrong' Walker removed to Green Bar and far from any protesters' righteous signs - - like this one - - 
and miles over Scottholed roads - -  
from the State Capitol that his eight-year reign continues to toxify.

All three of these Republican officials who negated the voters' collective will, shamed the state's reputation and damaged democracy itself here and for all of America to see did so knowing what they were doing and setting into motion was wrong.

They knew what they were doing was wrong because there are everyday proofs of what's right and wrong that are as close as any playground.

The teams play and win, lose or draw, the kids line up, high-fives are exchanged and no teams' losing coaches retreat to a bar or someone's living room and change the scorecards or how the outcome influences the standings.

And remember, these GOP elected officials are often pictured in their Green Bay Packers team garb. Green and gold gear on Walker's twitter feed this year even exceeded his displays of Brewers' blue or Badger cardinal and white.

Walker and his allies know that when the Packers win, the other team does not get to claim a portion of the win for its record. You didn't see Pack return from Chicago last Sunday saying, 'well, actually we see a way to call it a 'W'.' Did you see how close it was? We'd won the last eight games there, so we get a special losers' dispensation. Of our own creation.'

Likewise, the little Republican men know that when the Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 Super Bowl, the losers did not get to break off a big piece of the Lombardi trophy for display in Pennsylvania because they'd scored 25 points to the Packers 31.

These are all zero-sum, winner-take-all contests, and even more importantly, the winner of an election claims the prize on behalf of voters who made their choice. 

In that sense, the Nov. 6th winners - - Tony Evers, Mandela Barnes snd Josh Kaul - - are stand-ins for the people, so when Walker, Fitzgerald and Vos attacked and nullified the outcome, and took what was not theirs to take, they were stole from the public and its democratic expression.

Because every election loser knows the drill: you take the stage, speak into the microphone, concede to the winner, tough it all out and move on, because the people had spoken and that's how that game is played and completed.

Refusing to do so, and then changing the rules and the import of the result out of spite, and in service to your often secret financial backers, is a serious and dangerous thing to do.

Essentially, the Republican losers' explanation of why they would do something so unprecedented and unforgivable is a version of what insecure, incomplete people might inadvisably say as a foolish catch-all justifying pushing past important norms into treacherous, uncharted waters:
Because we could.

It's literally that simple, that self-centered, hollow and amoral, which is why we are not to be taken in by their equally hollow and amoral and fundamentally dishonest b.s. invented on the fly about needing to rebalance the powers of the legislature and governor's office, and also claiming they did not take any of the chief executive's power going forward. 

Walker himself gave the lie to those talking points when he used some of the same gubernatorial authority which the "Revenge of the little men bill" - -  now law - - stripped from incoming Governor Evers - - to so unilaterally hand Kimberly-Clark a subsidy over five years of up to $28 million in taxpayer dollars.
Because he could.
In other words, to stretch his shadow and ill-exercised authority across all of a first Evers term of office.

Which brings me to another core reality of this democracy-draining situation: 
These GOP leaders will lie.
Walker had until the December 20th to sign the power-brag package, but did so as earlier.


He's betting that the shock will wear off, the daily grind resumes and, as holiday distractions approach, two related political axioms kick in:
People's memories are short. We can get ahead of this.
Republicans are assuming that the courts which Walker has helped pack, and the same monied special interests which kept him and his pals in power will again make their presence known at the State Supreme Court should their little men power grab be appealed there.

Where pro-Walker, GOP-bellhopping Justices arrived and remain entrenched through the same campaign largesse from the same, self-dealing special interests whom the Justices also allowed to draft the courts' no-recusal-needed code of 'ethics.'

And then approved word-for-word, and subsequently refused to cleanse of its inherent conflicts-of-interests.
Because they could.
In other words, Walker, Fitzgerald and Vos have kicked off another expensive, mentally-taxing and organizationally-demanding long game. And while the barriers for progressives are formidable, the stakes are higher.

So I think we need to do several things you can file under:
Engage, long-term.
There will be agendas pushed by Evers, Barnes and Kaul.

We need to support them.

There's a State Supreme Court race in April.

Let's win it with the same level of commitment that sent Walker and AG Brad Schimel packing.

And let's win the Judicial election in 2020 which the little men failed to fix in advance for a Walker appointee who wants a full, ten-year term.

And let's win the rest of the 2020 local, state and national races, partisan and non-partisan. 

We need a clean sweep.

First things first.

Donate now to those who are taking the battle which Walker, Fitzgerald and Vos have started to Federal court, understanding the obstacles, but not backing away. 

I donated today. Here's the easiest way:
One Wisconsin Now

One Wisconsin Institute Files Request for Court to Enforce Rulings Striking Down Republican Lame Duck Restrictions on Voting

‘Attempts to Rig the Rules on Voting Were Unconstitutional in 2016 and They’re Unconstitutional Today'

(Disclosure: I used to be on the Institute's board, but left years ago and have no formal connection to the organization.)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Nice commentary. Love the simplicity of the language and the argument made here.

"Sometimes, the simplest, most intuitively obvious answer is the correct one."

Ockham, in writing Ockham's Razor

(may not be the exact quote tho)