It had taken me a while to pinpoint exactly what I find missing in Wisconsin GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos's breezy, cocky and routinely arrogant indifference -
- to anyone and anything that does not resemble his personal and party identity.
And then it hit me; we never hear a word, even a hint from Vos of gratitude for the sweet deal the Speakership provides him - though, in fairness, his selflessness did shine through sweetly when, despite some criticism, duty called:
Editorial: Sweetheart deal for Foxconn shouldn’t become norm for Wisconsin
But Vos might acknowledge:
* The uninterrupted flow of paychecks the state provided all legislators during their nine-month, COVID-2020 vacation and for other relaxed work habits.
* And the mileage and meal money reimbursements he's permitted to increase without even a vote of his gerrymandered caucus.
* Or the office staff he has boosted on his own to help him exercise the powers he grabbed from Gov. Evers.
But I realize the commentator-to-public official relationship is a two-way street, so let me express my gratitude to Vos and all the hand-picked Republicans legislative leaders have put on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee for their recent votes that cut Milwaukee and Madison's transit funding - but no other cities' transit support - by only 50%.
Because they could have cut it all-together - just as Vos proposed in 2014 - and that would that really have put the 'walk' back into Milwaukee where 30% or more of its residents do not have access to a vehicle.
And I want add a shoutout to Vos & Co. for generously allowing municipalities, whether they have 6,000 people or 600,000. as does Milwaukee, to have up to four ballot drop boxes for voters' convenience.
Imagine if these Republicans had used the 50% transit-cutting-standard and big cities had to get by with only two! Or even none. Because the framers of the State's Constitution didn't provide for them.
Those. Elitist. Jerks! Thank you, Robin Vos, for righting that wrong.
Let's also salute Republican legislators for the detailed thought they put into even the design of the boxes, thereby relieving municipal officials of that burden -
The boxes would also have to be located on municipal property, other than public parks, and be tamper- and moisture-resistant. Some boxes would have to be under continuous video surveillance.
- so let's give credit where it's due for yet another erasure of misplaced local control through noblesse oblige - a win-win for which every single second-class Wisconsinite should give thanks.
Look: you don't have to have a stupid degree in Poli Sci to see where these benign, time-saving efficiencies are heading: justified, professional and permanent GOP statewide rule, and the party's proper ownership of Wisconsin's election map drafting and Electoral College votes - in trade for so many freedoms from choice which one-party rule guarantees state citizens and which could - fingers-crossed - eventually absolve them of the old-timey practice of paying taxes to pay increasingly irrelevant local officials.
I can't say that Wisconsin's Republicans have also made the trains run on time - because they had the foresight to derail that option altogether.
But state Republicans are adding more of this freeing foresight by making sure west side Milwaukee neighborhoods can enjoy fresh vehicle ambiance which various nanny state crybabies and social engineering buttinskies keep threatening here and elsewhere to restrict.
How soon these ingrates have forgotten Ronald Reagan's disclosure that trees are the worst emitters of harmful climate-altering gases.
Which reminds me: a further hat-tip to the Walker-era Natural Resources Board holdout chairperson who despite an expired term is wisely refusing to give up his seat.
From which he can continue to fight for smart public planning - like the clear-cutting of about 50,000 polluting trees - to facilitate the construction of a privately-owned high-end golf course adjacent to and even inside a Lake Michingan shoreline state park.
Land that the board deemed disposable because - as Yogi Berra might have put it - 'no one goes there anymore because it's so popular.'
I'd be the first to thank former WI lead environmental steward turned Keeper of Reagan's Flame Scott Walker were he to lend a hand to the GOP colleagues he left behind when he agreed to shoulder tougher tasks for the greater good in Southern California if he'd more assertively help them better frame these issues back home.
Vos could even show Walker a little gratitude, and that just might be the beginning of something.