Sunday, April 19, 2020

What epidemic, say Cheeseheads for Cheeseburgers?

Alternative headline:

So Wisconsin will have another viral election?

A revived Tea Party outbreak in conservative Wisconsin enclaves spurred by far-right organizations and an historically-craven President is heaping bad media on Wisconsin which no state should seek:
Hundreds gather in Brookfield to protest the extension of Wisconsin's safer-at-home order. One man hoisted two flags, one a Gadsden flag and the other a Confederate flag.
As if this wasn't enough less than two weeks ago:
Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, a Republican, wore a mask, gloves and other protective gear as he sought to assure voters it was "incredibly safe" to vote in person for Tuesday's election amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Saturday's flag-waving was a fresh extension of the anti-Obama fringe movement that put Ron Johnson and Scott ("I was the original Tea Party in Wisconsin" Walker in office.

Our state's motto used to be "Escape to Wisconsin." 

These days, it's 'Can We Escape' from the selfish disdain for social distancing which those darned experts continue to say are is the best defense right now against passing on, or passing away from, the worst pandemic in more than a century.

Not recommended: Standing Saturday shoulder-to-shoulder-while-on-a-public-sidewalk-with-several-hundred-of-your-now-closest-friends 

and yelling about the Governor 80 miles away who is only trying to keep people out of already-crowded hospital emergency rooms and Intensive Care Units.

There was a time when the state's signature Wisconsin Idea - and this was before Scott Walker was caught trying to hijack it, and also before he declared war on public employees like teachers and nurses (boy, has that aged badly during the Covid-19 pandemic, say nurses, their patients and home-schooling parents everywhere) - had aimed for decades to elevate public service so government would improve life in the entire state and serve people through education and selfless expertise.

But there's a new Wisconsin Bad Idea out there for all to see, and all of us to suffer, being engineered and nurtured by an assortment of ghoulish GOP legislators and non-partisan [sic] state Supreme Court Justices who earlier this month made Wisconsin famous or infamous by, for example, forcing statewide in-person voting. 

During a pandemic.

And because it says right there in the Constitution's Article Eleventy that your right to a sit-down, wait-staff served cheeseburger at, yes, obviously stressed small businesses trumps (sorry) other citizens' rights to stay off a ventilator or out of the morgue.

Wouldn't it be a better idea to go all-in for several more weeks on generous giving, continuous home-delivery or pick-up food ordering than to put business owners and workers needlessly at risk? As a pandemic silently spreads without known drug therapy or a preventative vaccine?

No one has all the answers to an unprecedented crisis, but disregarding the known best defenses to save lives can't be the best we've got.

And did you know that when the GOP run-legislature last week met in quick sessions to accept federal emergency, it did not appropriate one state dollar to set up or boost any assistance for hard-hit state business owners, school systems, hospitals, emergency services, etc.


Partisan politics, and a continuing effort by Republicans to marginalize the Governor who defeated Walker in 2018:

The bill does not include any appropriations, which likely means Evers cannot use his line-item veto authority. 
And yet same new Bad Idea caucus which already put Wisconsin through a risky election on April 7th has ensured that Wisconsin will hold on May 12 another election including in-person voting.

This election is in the very red northern Wisconsin congressional district where former Trumpian incumbent and fellow former reality TV personality Sean Duffy moved on last year to cable TV punditry and lobbying.

Given the district's heavy GOP tilt, Duffy's big-donor and corporate rubber-stamp replacement is likely to be GOP State Sen. Tom Tiffany, a reliable Walkerite who while in the State Assembly led the unsuccessful effort to level the pristine, wetland-and-trout-stream rich Penokee Hills.

And though Trump has blasted absentee voting, Tiffany's Twitter feed @TomTiffanyWI has tweets that both pledge loyalty to Trump while urging backers during the pandemic to get absentee ballots. 

No one said MAGA world runs on logic, consistency or the public interest.

The recent WI GOP State-Senate-to-Congress trail was blazed by the famous, or infamous fellow open-pit mining backer Glenn Grothman whose message to residents living close to the blasting zone was 'caulk your wells' should blasting during the mine's projected 35-year-life cause any cracking.

Yes, that was a few years ago, and no, the mine was never dug because the area was too saturated with groundwater, as the opponents had said for years.

It was less a win for the original Wisconsin Idea as it was vindication for grassroots organizing, tribal rights and Mother Nature.

But it's instructive to understand that the state is once again without immunity to the Wisconsin Idea snuffing-science-dismissing 'philosophy' which Walker brought with him to the Governor's office in January, 2011, and is alive and well from Brookfield to the northwoods.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

There is no Tea Party, or Never Trumpers or Trumpism. They're Republicans one and and the same.