James Rowen
Op Ed

Time’s Running Out on Vos, Fitzgerald

Vos says Democrats are "sore losers” and proceeds as though Republicans won.

By - Nov 23rd, 2018 03:00 pm
Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald.

Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald.

GOP leaders in Wisconsin are ready, willing and able to deal themselves an unnecessary and crippling self-inflicted political wound.

That’s what can happen when you take your own importance and news releases too seriously.

So sometime in the 50 days before Democrat Tony Evers is sworn in as Governor and replaces the Republican incumbent whom the electorate unambiguously rejected, a defeated Scott Walker and his lead legislative hench-people will have codified some 11th-hour changes to Wisconsin traditional law and tradition through which they will desperately try to make their beloved FitzWalkerStan permanent

You’d think Republicans would have learned something about clever legislating and unintended consequences after tightening up the state’s recount law in 2016, only to have the restrictions they pushed through make it harder and costly for Walker to obtain one following his 2018 defeat.

Literature and language are replete with this lesson. Google the phrases “of mice and men,” or “the best laid plans.” Or “be careful of what you wish for,” “payback’s a bitch,” or “vengeance is a dish best served cold.” You get the picture.

But key players in this frame don’t.

Assembly Speaker and public official caricature Robin Vos has done most the talking for this sad, one-dimensional, and politically pathological trio.

He went on Milwaukee talk radio after the election, and wit unintentional self-parody, said it was Democrats after the election who were the “sore losers.”

And he later told his home county paper that he and allies have to change the rules of the game now so they won’t be dictated to later.

Talk about a self-awareness deficit.

Speaking of which: the fundamental mistake these purportedly professional politicians are making is that they overvalue their own importance and mistakenly think they have a right to permanence and possess a path to its righteous implementation.

Instead of grasping the truth of what happened on Nov. 6th – – that people wanted change. And Walker’s defeat and the blowout upheaval in the US House of Representatives proved that politics is defined by impermanence, and is regulated by the proverbial pendulum.

And as long as Donald Trump is their party leader, and the basic demographics of the US electorate get more urban and diverse, the Republicans’ losses will continue. The careers of Vos and Fitzgerald are already on the same clock that Paul Ryan knew was ticking.

And which ran out on Walker.

Meaning that whatever last-ditch rigging of boards and appointments and privilege FitzWalkerVos manage to force into government and foist onto the electorate are going to be short-lived and self-defeating – – their reversal sped along by public disgust at the game playing and the grasping.

And, more practically, doomed by the inevitable ash-canning of their 2012 gerrymander that handed them their corrupted and unearned share of power that’s already begun to fade.

So in the short run, Vos and Fitzgerald will self-deal themselves into position to dole out a few more favors for donors and special interests, and will beat their chests at a few more self-serving news conferences and trade association soirees – – and with Walker’s final, legacy-killing official signature can clutch temporarily at the levers of power a bit longer.  But these guys have to know the wheels of justice are already picking up speed and will grind exceedingly fine.

James Rowen, a former journalist and mayoral staffer in Milwaukee and Madison, writes a regular blog, The Political Environment.

Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

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