Friday, February 1, 2019

We Have To Do Better Than This

The guy on the left is Robin Vos, the Republican leader of the state assembly. On the right is Scott Fitzgerald, the Republican leader of the state senate. When Scott Walker was governor, the trio ran the state just like Tony Soprano and his crew ran north Jersey. They made the rules, they drew the maps, they ruled the roost.

Unlike the Soprano crime family, Vos and Fitzgerald were duly elected by the voters. And I think it’s high time the voters in their districts un-elected them.

Not too long ago, a UW Professor, Kathy Cramer, researched and wrote a book about the huge political division in Wisconsin. She called the book The Politics of Resentment. It’s full of actual interviews with Wisconsin voters, and the opinions and comments of rural ‘sconnies reveal their resentment of people who live in Madison and Milwaukee. Government bureaucrats or librul college profs, all of them, or so the falsehood goes
Cramer’s research revealed that rural Wisconsinites by and large believe a broad and false narrative that government workers are incompetent, lazy, and undeserving of their paychecks. Scott Walker seized that falsehood, amplified it, weaponized it, and won three statewide elections – two for Governor, one beating a recall.

After the last election, when ‘sconnies voted for a change of leadership, Vos and Fitzgerald immediately played that old resentment/division song again the next morning, whining that if it wasn’t for Madison and Milwaukee, their man Walker would have won.

If it wasn’t for Madison and Milwaukee, there wouldn’t BE a Wisconsin, boys.

So Vos and Fitz cooked up a special session to try and take away as much power as possible from the office of Governor of Wisconsin, and to try once again – and fail once again – to disenfranchise as many ‘sconnie voters as they could.

Now comes news that the Foxconn people are backing even farther away from the promises they made about what they’re going to do for Wisconsin. They haven’t come close to hitting their job creation promises and have announced fundamental changes to their plans for the state. Respected financial journals are now universally casting a gimlet eye on the Foxconn deal.

A few days ago, news broke that Foxconn isn’t going to build hi-tech flat screen devices in Wisconsin, and instead of a manufacturing facility, they’re thinking about a “technology hub” or some sort of think-tank campus-like development.

Gee, technology is a rapidly changing business? Who knew?

Hours after the grim announcement from Foxconn’s Taiwan headquarters, Vos and Fitz were out with a statement saying the reason for this retrenchment is the election of our new governor. Tony Evers’ election has brought economic uncertainty to the state, say Vos and Fitz, and that’s their reason why the Foxconn deal is on the verge of becoming the biggest taxpayer swindle in American history.

Moments after Vos and Fitz released their statement blaming Tony Evers, the politics of division/resentment kicked in, and Walker loyalists were Tweeting and re-Tweeting the blame on Evers, and posting snarky stuff on Facebook.

Sooner or later – and I hope it’s sooner – the voters who elect Vos and Fitz are going to tire of the constant resentment and division preached by Vos, Fitz, and their ilk. They’ll look for and support a different kind of politician, one whose stock-in-trade is not fear, hatred, and division.

We have to do better. We deserve better.