If you aren’t outraged by what the Republican Party did to the State of Wisconsin this week there is no moral hope for you.
The Republican Party is no longer a political party advocating conservative views, and it hasn’t been for nearly a quarter century now. It has shifted further and further into right-wing extremism and authoritarianism, adopted a blasphemous and obscene bastardization of Christianity as its guiding creed, and emerged on the other side as a full-fledged death cult, one that would quite literally threatens you with death for daring to cast a ballot.
Not that this should be any surprise. As someone pointed out in a recent conversation with me, if you’ve looked at the GOP policy on guns or health care in general you already know that advocating mass death is a standard part of their platform.
Wisconsin’s primary election was Tuesday. More importantly, since the two major presidential candidates were pretty much set by then, there was on the same ballot an election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court – a laughably partisan institution that gave up all pretense of judicial independence a decade ago – and there were indications that the preferred candidate of the Wisconsin GOP was facing an actual challenge and might not simply be installed by imperial fiat.
Given that we are in the middle of the COVID19 epidemic and the number of polling places in the state – particularly in the big cities of Milwaukee and Madison – had been reduced by nearly 90% because of a shortage of poll workers, Governor Evers first requested the state legislature to move the election and switch to all mail-in ballots, and then, when the Republican leadership absolutely refused to do anything that might actually allow people to cast ballots without threat of contagion, under the emergency powers granted to him by that same legislature the Governor ordered the election moved.
Naturally Robin Vos and the rest of the GOP legislature sued to make sure that people would have to choose between exposure to a plague or exercising their rights as citizens, because – as der Sturmtrumper happily admitted in public the week before – the more people vote the fewer Republicans get elected. They cannot win free and fair elections, so they do whatever they can to make sure free and fair elections don’t happen.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court dutifully bowed to their political masters, as did the US Supreme Court.
So in the middle of the greatest pandemic in over a century, one that has brought civilized society to a standstill and canceled pretty much every public event in the world, the Republican Party mandated that voters and poll workers risk their lives or concede all power to their overlords.
Fully encased in PPE that should have been on a nurse, Vos declared that everything was perfectly safe.
There is blood on the hands of the Republican Party today. Wisconsin will see a surge in deaths from disease because of the actions of the Republican Party – a surge that was entirely foreseeable, entirely preventable, and absolutely acceptable to them as long as it preserved their iron grip on power.
Make no mistake, folks. This was a dress rehearsal for November. If you think the GOP will allow a free and fair election that they know very well and have already stated publicly cannot go their way, you really need psychological help. I will not be surprised if they try to cancel it outright.
John F. Kennedy once pointed out that “those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
I don’t want political violence in this country. I’m a historian. I’ve seen that movie. Once it starts you have no idea where it will end up, and most of the time it doesn’t end well.
But I won’t be surprised when it happens, and the Republican Party will have nobody to blame but themselves.