Op Ed

What’s the Magic Number for Robin Vos?

How many COVID-19 cases and deaths are needed before the Legislature takes action?

By - Nov 19th, 2020 06:07 pm
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. Photo by Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

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

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic there are many questions that we ask, ranging from why the virus is so destructive, to how local businesses can create safe shopping environments. Will there be additional assistance for the unemployed and what about paying back student loans during the health crisis as we enter 2021?

But there is another question that residents of Wisconsin are asking as record numbers of new infections occur. As of Wednesday, we are skirting the 8,000 mark of new cases. And with that sobering statistic citizens want to know what number it will take to propel Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos into action in the legislature?

As of this posting the majority party in the statehouse has not drafted any bills that would deal with the most pressing health care crisis we have ever encountered in our lives. It need not be noted here, as my readers are much aware of the price we have paid, but there are over 2,700 of our fellow citizens who have died this year from the virus.

In a business boardroom had the chairman not acted on a matter of life and death, nor even attempted in seven months to package a deal of relief while working over-time to stem the misery, that person would be escorted to the door and asked for their key. But Vos, who has not called his members to work a day on the assembly floor since April has the audacity to state the Republican-run body will likely not convene until December. I wonder what my readers would find as a response if they called their employer alerting them their return date is December 1st!

What makes this even more appalling is that Vos recognizes a need in our state for more testing, along with a doubling of the number of contact tracers. Those aspects of fighting the virus and stemming the spread are needednow. Heck, it was needed months ago! To know there is not an emergency session called to allow for these basics to be ramped up at once is maddening.

Earlier this week Vos held a press availability where he outlined his views on the pandemic and the path forward. As the Wisconsin State Journal reported Vos thinks the citizens care not about the politics of the issue but “the actual results”. Yet results are nil while the political games are aplenty.

Asked for specifics on when he plans to meet with Evers and pass legislation in the Assembly, Vos said such information is only of interest to political insiders, while residents care about the actual results.

“They want us to say ‘don’t focus on who is fighting with who, don’t focus on who is going to meet, what time, when and where.’ Nobody cares,” Vos said. “They want us to find answers where we can actually move the ball forward.”

If the ‘folks back home’ were scoring this issue on the results from their legislature it would be a mighty low tally. That is not funny. Real people are dying, and those infected are dealing with a medical madness they do not understand. We are all aware of the economic pain being felt by business owners who put their faith and sweat into a dream. Notable businesses that have shut their doors for good include HopCat, Pizza Di Roma and the Under Armour store on State Street.

]The misery from this pandemic just keeps growing higher and higher.

If politicians wonder what makes the voters angry and utterly perplexed let me sum it up concisely. It is when the major unrelenting issue of our time is reduced to a partisan snit. While many elderly folks have not seen their kids and grandchildren for many months the ones with the power to make a difference play to their political base. While a sizable portion of the state follows the medical advice and stays close to home the ones in the legislature who could help blunt the spread of the pandemic showcase a cavalier attitude.

Incoming Senate President Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he didn’t see any need for the Legislature to convene.

“At this point, I haven’t seen anything that I’m real excited about,” he told the Journal Sentinel.

That is what makes the citizenry appropriately angry during this pandemic.

Gregory Humphrey writes for the Caffeinated Politics blog.

Categories: Health, Op-Ed, Politics

4 thoughts on “Op Ed: What’s the Magic Number for Robin Vos?”

  1. JMcD says:

    What is it that Chris Kapenga has seen that fails to excite him? Is it that when you have not been on the job for more than half a year legislators, who work for us, won’t work unless they are excited? The legislature has to come to their senses and plan, think, work with Evers, let the public know that they have a conscience. What they are doing (nothing) has the appearance that they do not. A continued standoff has harmed the people that elected them as well as those who elected Evers. Shame on you.

  2. Mingus says:

    The elected Republicans are engaged in shallow political theater while doing nothing to combat Covid while daily positive tests are approaching 10,000 and people are dying. They are in the same category as the Governor of South Dakota in terms of being comfortable with citizens dying while they act out their political theatrics.

  3. LFillingham says:

    I think that the real question is how many unnecessary deaths can be attributed to Robin Vos, Scott Fitzgerald, et. al.

  4. Thomas Martinsen says:

    Get off your ass, Robin. Get to work before more of us die.

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