This week I went to a meeting about the Republican power grab in our state of Wisconsin. Republicans have had things their way in Madison with majorities in both houses of the legislature and the governorship. Scott Walker was at the top of his game limiting the power of unions and Democrats. He even attempted an ill-fated run for the presidency. However, since 2016 the trends have started to favor democrats and their candidates. They won a series of special elections with including the race for Senate in Alabama and a couple of open seats in Wisconsin. Things became so bad that Walker began delaying calling for special elections, to keep the republicans from losing their grip on power.
He sounded the alarm that democrats were out to get him after years of cuts in education and health care and the growing opposition to the republican policies in Washington. There were predictions that 2018 would be a blue wave year sweeping in democrats across the country and in many ways it was. Democrats won all the statewide races a couple of weeks ago and they received the majority of votes in the legislature. However, because of unfair election maps, they actually lost a seat. The Republicans have become more ideological because they haven’t had to sit down and make any deals to pretend that they are bi-partisan. This unwillingness to compromise was displayed in a horrible fashion in Wisconsin and Michigan when Republican legislators rammed through bills that would severely limited the power of the incoming Democratic governors and attorneys general.
Democrats across the state rallied, testified against the bills and sent emails. Newspapers wrote editorials shaming the power grab. This graceful show was a leading topic on social media. The satirical newspaper The Onion published a story about the Republicans burning down the state in order to prevent Democrats from coming to power. Even some Republicans like wealthy businessman Sheldon Lubar denounced the bills. The stage is set for a prolonged fight over the next for years with lawsuits planned if Walker signs the bills as expected. I will do my part to resist the forces of conservatives and attempt to restore our state’s battered reputation for progressive politics.