James Rowen
Op Ed

The Republican Death Cult

Gather in polling places, gather in churches, and let 11 million die; the new GOP vision.

By - Apr 7th, 2020 07:11 pm
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Robin Vos. Photo by Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Robin Vos. Photo by Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

The Republican Party, please remember, was founded in the Badger State and had a deep association with a certain Abraham Lincoln.

But in recent decades things have altered – – some would say, mutated – – with the change agent being a virus which has infected the formerly Grand Old Party and stolen reserves of compassion, empathy and common sense, until they seem to have disappeared during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was our senior GOP Senator Ron Johnson who allowed as how data showing huge number of his fellow humans were choking to death trapped in nursing homes or overwhelmed hospitals was just the way things go.

Johnson acknowledged that coronavirus has a far higher fatality rate than the seasonal flu, but said, “getting coronavirus is not a death sentence except for maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population (and) I think probably far less,” he said.

By the way, that would be more than 11 million of other Americans’ grandmas, uncles, letter carriers, favorite teachers, familiar nurses, fishing buddies, soccer coaches, best friends and children who would die.

Then we had Wisconsin GOP legislative leaders shucking off public health concerns and medical community fears – – not to mention concerns from municipal leaders statewide – – that pushing ahead with in-person voting would accelerate the contagion.

No big deal, said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos:

Earlier this week, Vos declared the polls safe and said he planned to work at one. “If you’re bored at home and you’re sick of watching Netflix, volunteer to go and help at the polls,” he quipped.

This was followed by those same leaders suggesting frivolously, frighteningly and unsuccessfully that people statewide be allowed to assemble in houses of worship while who knows whom will pass along the silent killer.

That came after the GOP-run Assembly and Senate gaveled to a close in seconds the special session Gov. Tony Evers had called to debate postponing the April 7th ballot. Just as they had done last year with Evers’ proposals to tighten the state’s gun safety laws.

Mind you, this is the same legislature that saw its Assembly engage in long debate last year about whether the traditional evergreen tree in the Capitol Rotunda was to be called the Capitol Holiday Tree (Gov. Evers’ choice), or the Capitol Christmas Tree – – decided, on a roll call vote, as the Capitol Christmas Tree – – as Speaker Vos and the GOP had wanted.

And, finally, we have Michelle Litjens Vos, a Wisconsin GOP ex-legislator-turned-consultant-turned-Robin Vos spouse who actually said this of COVID-19:

“Yes people will die of this. It just isn’t worth shutting down our whole economy – except grocery stores. In my opinion.”

The latest grim numbers as of Tuesday: 92 dead and 2,578 conformed cases in Wisconsin – mostly in Milwaukee, so, meh.

And where does anyone with a brain think those numbers are headed, as experts now are saying that between 25 percent and 50 percent of the population already may not show symptoms, and are able to unwittingly infect others who happen to pick up the wrong bag of groceries or grab onto a door knob in between Clorox wipe downs.

But, hey, say these GOP leaders, let’s get out there and stand in a voting line, or crowd into church pews and get this funeral home-based economy moving again.

Strange stance by the pro-life party, you know.

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

More about the 2020 Spring Primary

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Categories: Op-Ed, Politics

2 thoughts on “Op Ed: The Republican Death Cult”

  1. kcoyromano@sbcglobal.net says:

    How did someone as ignorant as Vos get elected? Oh wait, some people also voted for Trump–the guy who insisted COVID19 was a Democratic hoax. Our state and our country deserves better.

  2. mcadagio says:

    Well stated. The hypocrisy on show here is not new, but somehow still manages to surprise.

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