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Oh Look, DEEP DISARRAY RIFTS In Wisconsin GOP!
Don't worry, they're still working to screw over democracy all the same.
Wisconsin Republicans just can't seem to decide exactly how evil they need to be to keep Donald Trump happy, or at least not yelling that they're betraying his big beautiful election lies, and it's led to "open warfare" in the state party, Vice News reported yesterday. The DEEP RIFTS are supposedly "pitting conspiracy theorists who think the 2020 election was outright stolen against Republicans who merely want to make it harder to vote." While it's always fun to watch wingnuts try to devour each other, it's also a good reminder that if these dinguses manage to win back unified control of the state this fall, democracy could be hosed.
The latest fuss stems from the leak of a draft election bill to the Stupidest Website on the Internet, the Gateway Pundit, which claimed that state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos — himself a rightwing loon of very long standing — was
"secretly pushing legislation” to expand the use of ballot drop boxes in the state—even though it wasn’t actually Vos’ bill.
The bill would have allowed some ballot drop boxes to still be used, as long as they had 24/7 video surveillance. Remember, here on Reality Planet, there haven't been any proven cases of drop boxes being used improperly, but that's not the point. Donald Trump says they're fraudulent and bad for Republicans, so the Very Idea of Drop Boxes is bad. Absentee ballots are only used by agents of Satan, and by Republicans who find them convenient, which is the only time voting absentee is OK.
The Gateway Pundit story made the Great Man very unhappy:
“Some RINO Republicans in Wisconsin are working hand in hand with others to have drop boxes again placed in Wisconsin. These fools are playing right into the Democrats’ hands. Drop boxes are only good for Democrats and cheating, not good for Republicans,” Trump complained in a Monday morning statement.
NBC News reports that Vos himself said this week that he doesn't support the "expansion" of drop boxes, but that he also declined to specify whether he favors the use of any drop boxes at all.
So that seems to be the new litmus test for Trump loyalty: zero tolerance for ballot drop boxes, no matter how much security theater is provided. The drop box fuss quickly became a very serious issue among Wisconsin Republican candidates for governor, who instantly rushed to issue statements declaring they hated drop boxes more than the others.
NBC News notes that the bill's actual author, Republican state Sen. Kathleen Bernier, " told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that no Republican Assembly members had opposed the drop box provision until Monday" (the Journal Sentinel article is paywalled).
Vice reports that Bernier also complained that "The conspiracy theorists have taken over the party," which must be awfully frustrating for a plain old rightwing Republican who isn't completely nuts.
“For one of our colleagues to share that with a Gateway Pundit is despicable. That is wrong. It is where you cannot trust the people in your own party,” Bernier told VICE News.
Also too, Vice reports that the Wisconsin GOP has a full-on Trump bomb-thrower (not literally, yet ) in state Rep. Timothy Ramthun, who recently accused Vos of being an ally of Hillary Clinton. Hahaha, yes, he really claimed that! No word on whether Young Goodman Ramthun also saw Vos consorting with demons in the moonlight while petting a two-headed goat.
Vos, Vice says, "responded by stripping Ramthun of his lone staffer."
But you don't need any staff to stir up some bullshit and chaos:
Ranthum pulled another stunt on Tuesday night, attempting to pass a bill to decertify the 2020 election and hand Wisconsin’s electors to Trump instead of Biden. That’s not possible—but it didn’t stop the Gateway Pundit from claiming the assembly had voted to decertify the election.
For some reason, state Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R) seemed not to concur:
No, no we didn’t. https: //www.thegatewaypundit.com/2022/01/huge-breaking-news-wisconsin-assembly-votes-withdraw-10-electors-joe-biden-2020-election-video/ …
— Jim Steineke (@Jim Steineke) 1643165145
And of course, there's also the attempt to do an Arizona-style "audit" of the 2020 vote, which is still dragging along and not finding any actual voting frauds, not that the lack of evidence proves anything to True Believers, who may keep refighting the 2020 election well into this August's primaries for the midterms, and maybe even after 2024, too.
The Vice piece closes with a couple of fun quotes:
“It harms both sides. You haven’t done enough to make the ‘election was stolen’ people happy or give them what they want, but you’re also doing too much for anyone with any sanity,” one Wisconsin GOP strategist told VICE News.
“They’re at each other’s throats because they can’t agree on the best way to suppress or steal an election,” Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Ben Wikler told VICE News.
Gosh, that is so sad. We sure hope Wisconsin Republicans don't spend all their energy tearing the party apart, because something something two-party system loyal opposition ...
Or instead, let's encourage them to go to THUNDERDOME. In a ballot drop box.
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