Readers may recall that I voted for Evan McMullin, not Donald Trump (don’t even ask if I’d consider voting for Hillary Clinton), in the 2016 presidential election.
McMullin then created the Stand Up Republic group, which instead of touting traditional (as opposed to Trump’s definition of) conservative ideals, has spent nearly two years doing nothing more than attacking Trump.
Yesterday, Stand Up Republic bent over for Wisconsin Democrats:
In a lame-duck session last week, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin legislature voted in favor of sweeping measures that would significantly curb the power of incoming Democratic Governor Tony Evers and incoming Attorney General Josh Kaul. These measures include broadly restricting Evers’ and Kaul’s ability to roll back or alter policies passed by statewide Republican lawmakers. The move was a nakedly partisan effort to curb the effects of electoral defeats.
Wisconsin’s Republicans aren’t the first people to think of this tactic; Democrats and Republicans have done it before. But these blatant power grabs are anti-democratic, and they should garner bipartisan outcry. Actions like this undermine the power of incoming elected officials with whom the losing party disagrees. The cornerstone of functional democracy is the peaceful transition of power from one political party to the next, and the expectation that both sides will play by the same electoral rules for the same offices because neither side can anticipate who might win the next election. Using the power of an elected office to weaken other offices based on party affiliation is damaging to faith in the institutions themselves. The measures passed last week undermine the power of the American voter by attempting to deny the authority of elected office to incoming officials, based solely on their policy preferences.
Wisconsin Republicans didn’t stop there. Last week they also voted to restrict the early voting period to a maximum of two weeks statewide. Rather than allow counties to make their own decisions on election processes, the GOP took control of the process in order to limit it. Once again, the legislature is instituting broad changes aimed at protecting their own electoral interests rather than respecting the independence and integrity of the state’s institutions.
Unfortunately, what happened in Wisconsin last week is a successful attempt to undermine our democracy by trying to take power out of the hands of duly elected state politicians. This time, it’s Republicans; tomorrow it may be Democrats. Party affiliation simply should not matter in the peaceful transition of power. We as Americans should stand up to any such anti-democratic power grabs, even when – perhaps especially when – they advantage our own political preferences. Ultimately, it’s up to us as voters to hold our representatives accountable for putting the strength of democratic institutions above their own political interests.
You might think that a site that calls itself a “Republic” would know the difference between a republic and democracy, but in this case you’d be wrong. The fact is that Walker is governor and the current Legislature is in office until the new governor and Legislature are sworn into office Jan. 7. To claim that the current governor and Legislature must not do anything legislatively and bend over for the next governor is ridiculous and insulting to everyone who voted Nov. 6.
Moreover, it is appallingly ignorant to believe that the Wisconsin Democratic Party has any intention at all of respecting traditional conservative ideals of any kind, let alone what Walker did over the past eight years. The idea that anything is OK if passed by our duly elected representatives, which is what McMullin is essentially arguing, is a big steaming, asphysicating pile of slurry.
Back when McMullin was running, he listed 10 reasons to vote for him that included:
7. Win or lose, he has the power to carry the conservative principles away from the shark infested waters and to the shore.
Not anymore, it seems. Of course, McMullin then said …
If it’s down to Hillary and Trump, Trump is taking a loss. It would require a miracle for him to win (one that’s not beyond Hillary, I suppose).
… so he must be used to being wrong by now.