Wednesday, March 24, 2021

WI GOP legislators excel at nothing doing & doing nothing

Remember how sitcom characters Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza successfully pitched NBC on a show about nothing? 

Episode 43 of "Seinfeld. Check it out.

Well, Wisconsin's GOP-led legislature - already labeled America's laziest?- has it's own version of a show about nothing. 

Call it 'Nothing doing, doing nothing' - sponsored by the Wisconsin Republican Party and its special interest clients.

It's a real-life, post-November 2018 partisan series that's into Season 3, and is anything but comedic.

The latest nothing doing, doing nothing plot line was was spun out by the always-reliably unreliable Assembly Leader Robin Vos - the guy you never want watching your back because his mantra is 'there's nothing we can do about it.'

Top Wisconsin Republican says arresting perpetrators is likely the only thing that can be done in response to mass shootings

The leader of the Wisconsin Assembly said Tuesday there is little the state can do about mass shootings other than arrest the perpetrators after they commit their crimes. 

Because what you won't find on GOP agendas as mass death events become more and more routine are policies of public health and violence prevention put in place even as bodies pile up and families have to collect and bury them.

Which is why when GOP legislative leaders were asked to expand gun purchase background checks in November, they preferred inactivity to pro-activity, and officially did nothing.

Senate, Assembly adjourn special sessions on gun control immediately after they begin

The Assembly and Senate special sessions on gun control legislation that Democratic Gov. Tony Evers ordered to take place Thursday both lasted less than a minute.

And this embrace of nothing doing & doing nothing - a kind of procedural nihilism, if that's a thing - or just plain 'no' - itself a variant on Vos's #never to block expanded health care for citizens not fortunate enough to tap into the subsidized health care he enjoys as a legislator - was by no means a WI GOP one-off related to gun violence.

There was the lightning-fast, no-action adjournment in September on policing and justice system reforms:

Only a few lawmakers attended the special session of the Wisconsin State Legislature on policing reform Monday. No debates or voters were held and the session adjourned shortly after a Senate clerk and a few Assembly lawmakers gaveled it in. Gov. Tony Evers had called for the legislature to convene following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, WI. 

* There was an equally lightning-fast, no-action adjournment -

Wisconsin GOP Leaders Make No Election Changes in Special Session

- over adapting last April's election to the exploding pandemic which Vos underplayed while swaddled in first-class medical gear:

Republican Wisconsin assembly speaker wears protective gear while telling voters they are 'incredibly safe to go out'

And speaking of the pandemic, GOP legislators did a lot of nothing about it, because actually doing something about it would have meant working with Gov. Evers and state health officials - but the nothing doing & doing nothing caucus preferred to vacate and self-remunerate, and litigate, not legislate

Review finds Wisconsin has least active full-time legislature in nation since pandemic

GOP legislator and health committee chair Joe Sanfilippo laid out where the GOP-led legislature - and, for that matter, the GOP-led White House had positioned Wisconsin and country in 2020 - while Americans nationwide were dying daily by the thousands from COVID19:

State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo argued Tuesday there is nothing more Wisconsin lawmakers can do to address the coronavirus after passing legislation to help hospitals and the unemployed six months ago.

“Beyond that, I think we have to remember that this is a virus. There is nothing that government can do,” Sanfelippo said in an interview with the WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network. “You know, we can’t wave a magic wand and make it go away.”

Long-time GOP State Sen. Alberta Darling said - and did - much the same thing.

The Republican co-chairwoman of the Legislature’s budget committee said lawmakers have done enough to fight the surging coronavirus pandemic Thursday, echoing the comments of another GOP legislator this week who said there is nothing more they can do.

Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills contended Democratic Gov. Tony Evers has all the powers he needs to deal with COVID-19, even as she and other Republican lawmakers have gone to court to try to limit his ability to act on his own.

Of course having a plan and an honest, proactivive people-first commitment instead of game-playing for partisan advantage will beat nothing doing and doing nothing every time. 

Biden Administration To Meet Goal Of 100 Million Vaccine Doses On Friday

Update - Let me correct myself and point out that Wisconsin GOP legislators actually did pass some COVID-related legislation Tuesday - furthering their partisan effort to wrest executive power from the Governor and limit the effective distribution of COVID vaccines that will save lives and hasten the safe re-opening of businesses and social interactions. 

State lawmakers on Tuesday passed a series of Republican-authored bills that would require COVID-19 vaccines to be optional and sent to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers a bill that gives GOP lawmakers control over how federal relief funds are spent in Wisconsin. 

Which is worse than nothing doing and doing nothing:

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