Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Vos & Fitzgerald like their backwater state

Wisconsin's elected GOP leaders are doing their darnedest to prove that elections - - at least of the gubernatorial variety - - don't necessarily have consequences.

That's not much of an achievement for an Assembly Speaker and Senate Majority Leader who wield power from gerrymandered legislative chambers, and can appeal to a State Supreme Court tipped 5-2 in their favor by the same wealthy donors and conservative business groups who helped buy the GOP a compliant legislature, too.

So while Democrat Tony Evers beat failed incumbent GOP Governor Scott Walker in November fair and square, Republicans are pretending Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes simply aren't there while arrogating to themselves powers which Walker routinely enjoyed.

These GOP leaders have also refused to confirm a single Evers Cabinet official, gutted many of his budget initiatives and may move to 'ask' the solidly GOP-friendly State Supreme Court to overturn precedent and allow the Legislature to maneuver around Evers and produce another fresh ten years of gerrymandered, GOP legislative dominance.

Governor - - what Governor?, is the Vos and Fitzgerald message.

Similar to - - on policy - - assault-rifle ban, what ban?

No one is safe from the leadership of this callous caucus, not even a legislator left paralyzed and wheelchair-bound after a drunk driver smashed his car and killed his family.

The legislator, Jimmy Anderson, is a Democrat, you see - - and even worse, from Dane County - - so Vos is using his power to deny Anderson's reasonable request for telephonic access to some committee meetings.

That's the way little dictators keep the people in line, regardless of optics and real hurt to both Anderson and his constituents which should shame most public officials into a burst of contrition and humanity.

This one-party governing-by-cruelty-and-obstruction will keep Wisconsin in the grip of  petty hacks and business bellhops smugly content to keep the state stuck in a backwater while the country moves ahead.

Call it the elitism of the mediocre, a win for the dullest, lowest common denominator.

Electric vehicles are on their way in big numbers: the GOP can't think of anything to do about that except adding extra fees on electric and hybrid cars and resisting broad expansion of charging stations. 

Vos and Republicans bear heavy responsibility for blocking regional transit authorities and killing passenger rail in southern Wisconsin big populations centers. These legislators, willing captives of the road-builders and fossil-fuel interests, don't have to care about transit: the Legislature covers their mileage to and from the Capitol in per-diem payments established by leadership, and pays for their driving around their districts, too.

And as a party, Republicans have been between disinterested in and hostile to solar and wind power, again sending a message to younger workers, families and entrepreneurs that this is the wrong place to put down stakes.

Only a backwater state will say 'yes' to assault weapons and 'no' to transit and green energy, but that's the way Vos and Fitzgerald like it because they've figured out a way to keep their hands on the controls.

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