Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grothman's Gamboling Goalposts

With the Scott Walker recall movement less than two weeks old, it is on a pace that could surpass the amazing work done in Ohio when they pushed to have a referendum on their anti-worker bill.  When his bill was soundly defeated, Ohio Governor John Kasich admitted defeat and vowed to move on.

Unfortunately, facing equally, if not more, fierce opposition here in Wisconsin, Walker and his GOP allies in the state legislature do not have even that much dignity left. They and their supporters, in an effort to turn the tsunami headed their way, have told lies that are laughable in their transparency. Failing that, they have resorted to almost every reprehensible stunt in order to preserve their fragile control of the state. They have tried everything from voter suppression to intimidation to flagrant violations of the election laws.

Now, in a move spearheaded by State Senator Glenn Grothman, they want to violate the state constitution itself:
Grothman's bill, which is the second go-around for the measure, would require petition gatherers' statement of authenticity to be in the form of an affidavit, acknowledged by an officer authorized to administer oaths, affirm the circulator's identity and state that the circulator appeared before the officer and executed the statement in the officer's presence.

"This will simply add an objective element to the current system of self-certification in which a circulator approves the honesty of his or her own efforts, and will ensure the integrity of signature collection efforts via third party accountability," read the statement that accompanied the email sent to legislators.

Grothman said he has always felt the process needs more scrutiny and doesn't feel asking for notarized signatures is going too far. But one can't help but notice that he didn't move to change the law until the recent wave of recall drives targeting four Republican senators and Gov. Scott Walker.
But as the incomparable Tom Foley points out, Article XIII, Section 12, Paragraph 7 explicitly forbids the creation of any law that would "hinder, restrict or impair the right of recall."
Talk about moving the goalposts!

About the only thing that they've yet to do is throw out the constitution altogether and declare Walker Governor for Life.

But it's not solely the stunts that they'll pull or the extents to which they'll reach in their desperation that amazes me. Having lived under Walker's regime for nine years, I've seen almost every stunt imaginable, the least of which is the ever-expanding Walkergate.

What fascinates me, in a morbid way, is their fanaticism regarding all this.  I don't know if they are motivated by greed, by a lust for power, some sort of irrational fear/hatred or a combination of any or all of these things.  Whatever their motivation(s) may be, it is frightening to consider the extremes they are willing to go.

They genuinely think that they've done nothing wrong in being nothing more than puppets for malevolent forces.  They genuinely think that taking money out of our wallets, food off our plates and roofs from over our heads is doing us a favor.  They think nothing of cutting off aid to the elderly, the disabled and children, as long as it forwards their agenda and their ideology.  They will use the weakest of rationales to justify trampling on our rights and our freedoms, and then act surprised when we get so upset that we would protest and take every legal action we can to not only stop them, but to prevent them from doing even worse.

Their level of zeal has crossed from ideological adherence to an almost religious extremism.  This is evidenced that they are apparently ready to destroy everything, even the things that they do value, in order to maintain power and continue down the path they've been mindlessly following.  Even though they recognize the anger that people are feeling and the trouble they are in, they cannot bring themselves to budge even an inch from their dogmatic positions.

It is as if they have collectively either lost all social mores and/or have suffered some sort of mass psychosis.

Regardless of the cause of their zealotry, the fact that they would even consider some of these things without even a pang of remorse only goes to show why we must be ever vigilant, both now as we move to oust them and afterwards to make sure that this never happens again, regardless of which party is in control.


  1. I co-sign all of this. I live under Moulton/Bernier and through my many communications with their offices I've come to realize that they are no longer inhabiting the same reality I (and 99% of people in WI) live in. Is it insanity on their parts? Is it denial? Stupidity? Or just plain evil? I don't think I'll ever understand.

  2. I think it is more like being a fan of a lousy team. It is a loyalty thing and the name of the group matters more than what the group stands for.

  3. Speaking of Senator Grothman, he was on WPR this morning, and mentioned that it was a good idea to let companies contribute anonymously to campaigns because it eliminated the danger (not his exact words) of people boycotting a particular business for contributing to a campaign that wasn't popular.

    He gave the example of the firefighter's union, the teacher's unions and one other group all boycotting businesses. I was confused, I thought that boycotting didn't work. I also wondered how union leaders could tell if their members were boycotting or not, but he seemed to think if the unions said to boycott something the rank and file would fall in line.

  4. Could it be blackmail?

  5. What could be blackmail? A boycott? I don't think so. I have a certain amount of money and can spend it wherever I want to spend it. Why would that be blackmail? I think it is called freedom.

  6. And with his latest claim for new certification "controls," poor old Glen G has apparently lost all faith in the integrity and honest behavior of any of the voting age citizens of Wisconsin and must have also forgotten that some of these people are the very same people who voted him into office.