Saturday, February 10, 2018

Charlie Pierce- the GOP is the problem in DC, and in Wisconsin

Charlie Pierce is one of my favorite writers, and he consistently reminds us that none of what we are seeing in 2018 "governance" should be considered normal and acceptable. And Charlie doesn't find it a coincidence that this dangerous absurdity is happening in a time when the Republicans are in charge of the federal government as well as many states.

Pierce noted that Donald Trump's presidency is not the cause of this, but is instead the symptom of a party that has gone mad.
It did not begin with Donald Trump, god knows. It was there when Bob Dole, who is looked upon now with nostalgic fondness, declared that he represented all those people who didn’t vote for Bill Clinton, an unprecedented public statement by the leader of an opposition party. It was there when various influential Republicans met on the night of Barack Obama’s inauguration and declared open warfare against his agenda before they even knew what it was, and this in the middle of the worst fiscal crisis since the Great Depression. It was there when they meddled in the care of Terri Schiavo and it is there in their pathological insistence that supply-side economics works. It cost Merrick Garland a seat on the Supreme Court. And it was the direct cause of the election of the current president*.

Just on Monday, the President* of the United States declared insufficient applause at his State of the Union address to be a treasonous act. From The New York Times
“Can we call that treason?” Mr. Trump said of the stone-faced reaction of Democrats to his speech. “Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”
The White House dismissed this as simply a “tongue-in-cheek” remark by our laff-riot president*. I guarantee you that most of his intended audience, fed as it is with daily doses of the monkey brains by its favorite radio and TV stars, did not take it that way. They cheered because, in their minds, he meant every word.
You can certainly add in Wisconsin GOP to this mentality, and could even say that they were the model for what DC GOPs are trying to pull over today. This is particularly true when you consider all 18 WisGOPs in the state Senate voted to get rid of the administrators of the Wisconsin Elections Commission and the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. And why? Because those individuals worked for the Government Accountability Board when it was investigating the Wisconsin GOP for money-laundering and excessive campaign contributions during the Wisconsin recalls of 2011 and 2012- activities that WERE ILLEGAL UNDER THE LAW AT THE TIME. And because the GAB dared to investigate that illegal activity, it hurt the fee-fees of Senate GOP leader Scott Fitzgerald, so he decided to chill future investigations and try to rig future elections through these measures.

Just another authoritarian GOP power-grabber

Pierce also took aim at Fitzwalkerstan this week, where the Marquette graduate calls out our Marquette Dropout Governor for preventing voters from filling vacant seats in the Legislature because those voters might (gasp!) choose Democrats.
Moving on up to Wisconsin, we find that Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage that particular Midwest subsidiary, is working very hard to minimize potential Republican losses in special elections in that state similar to what happened this week in Missouri. Walker has decided that you can’t lose elections that you don’t hold. (Genius!). John Nichols, from The Madison Capital-Times, explains this strategy.
Gov. Scott Walker is thwarting representative democracy in Wisconsin. He is refusing to call prompt special elections to fill the seats of former state Sen. Frank Lasee, of De Pere, and former state Rep. Keith Ripp, of Lodi, a pair of Republicans who quit the Legislature in December to take posts with the governor’s administration. Walker wants to leave those seats open until January 2019 — denying tens of thousands of Wisconsinites representation for a full year.
As Nichols points out, the Republicans in Alabama have decided to try this finagling, too, in the wake of losing a U.S. Senate seat to a Democrat who managed to beat Roy Moore, the Gadsden Mall Creeper. And it wouldn’t be a trip to America’s Dairyland if we didn’t check in on the Foxconn project. Apparently, they’re going to get their own Amtrak stop. From Urban Milwaukee:
The board will also take this proposal up as an opportunity to discuss the need for transit service to the Foxconn development in Pleasant Prairie. The Public Transportation Review Board will also hear about a proposed bill (Assembly Bill 918) in the state Legislature that would prohibit city governments from regulating taxicab companies. Under the proposed legislation, the state’s Department of Safety and Professional Services would be the sole regulator of taxicab companies, maintaining control of all licensing for companies and their drivers.
This thing is going to be a state within a state, and the actual state is going to be unable to maintain its constitutional authority. Wait and see. That’s how this is going to go down. That’s going to be Walker’s lasting legacy in Wisconsin: The Grand Duchy Of Foxconn. There’s a plummeting employee on the royal seal.
Well, that's certainly what they did with environmental laws in the "Foxconn zone", which now they will use to try to spread to the "Kimberly-Clark zone" and the rest of the state, if the voters are stupid enough to keep the GOP in power.

Also note the ALEC-style mandating of laws from the state level to prohibit local governments from installing their own standards, which might actually keep donors and other friends of WisGOP from screwing people and the environment as they see fit. Just this week, a similar bill got a public hearing that would outlaw local governments from putting in laws that include non-discrimination policies and higher minimum wages. And there are still dingbats in this state who think the GOP is the party of fiscal responsibility and local control?

None dare call this fascism. But I don't know what else you'd call it? All are complicit at this point, and all must be fired, ASAP.


  1. I have already written my representatives, Kleefisch and Fitzgerald asking why Walker is not following Wisconsin State statute, Chapter 8 - NOMINATIONS, PRIMARIES, ELECTIONS - 8.50, (4)(d). Is this typical of the lawlessness of republican party politics? Kleefisch replied that it's the governors prerogative to call special elections and that the cost of special elections is expensive. I can only conclude that Kleefisch knows nothing of the law and believes we can put a price on the cost of democracy.

    1. That is a bunch of bullshit, and yes, it is typical of how GOPs operate.

      Walker tried to pull some BS about how it was "more costly" to have special elections. The problem with that is there are Supreme Court primaries on Feb 20 and the general Spring Election on April 3, so there would have been elections that could have been held on those dates at that time anyway.

      UNIMTIDATED?? My ass!