Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers

Wikimedia Commons

Two weeks ago, Wisconsin voters told the GOP in no uncertain terms that they did not appreciate Republicans playing partisan games during a pandemic. They did not stutter, handing Democrat Jill Karofsky a 10-point victory over a Republican incumbent Supreme Court judge, despite being forced to stand in long lines to vote at just a handful of polling stations after the GOP stymied every effort to postpone the election or make it even a little bit safer. At least 19 people have now tested positive for the virus after standing in line or working those polls.

And still Wisconsin Republicans will not let up. Yesterday they filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of an extension of the governor's March 24 Safer at Home Order until May 26. They are GRRR SO MAD that Gov. Tony Evers didn't bring it to the legislature so they could play politics with a public health issue and try to kill more of their own constituents. Waaaaah, unfair!

Just look at this crazy shit the Wisconsin lege actually wrote in an IRL legal filing:

Purporting to act under color of State law, an unelected, unconfirmed cabinet secretary has laid claim to a suite of czar-like powers—unlimited in scope and indefinite in duration—over the people of Wisconsin. Per her decree, everyone in the State must stay home and most businesses must remain shuttered (with exceptions for activities and companies arbitrarily deemed "essential"). These restrictions apply not only to metropolitan areas with more COVID-19 cases but also to rural counties with few or no known cases.

The "unconfirmed cabinet secretary" is in fact Wisconsin's Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm, who extended and loosened the order at Gov. Evers's instruction, using her czar-like powers to allow golf courses to reopen and libraries to begin curbside pick up and drop off. Tyranny!

Just as troubling, the Secretary asserts that her go-it-alone shutdown authority has no expiration date — making it greater than even the Governor's emergency powers.

Does she, though?

It certainly appears to have a sunset date. But you know how those libs are, always shutting down East Asscrack because the hoodlums in Madison want to sit home and smoke their reefers for another six months.

To be sure, Emergency Order 28 says it terminates on May 26, but nothing suggests that it won't be extended again. Perhaps it will even run into 2021. In any case, by the time the Secretary sees fit to lift her decree (be it in five weeks or eight months), many Wisconsinites will have lost their jobs, and many companies will have gone under, to say nothing of the Order's countless other downstream societal effects. Our State will be in shambles.

IN SHAMBLES, shouted the very same people who made voters stand in line for several hours during a global pandemic.

Your Wonkette does not know enough about the vagaries of Wisconsin law to opine on the validity of this lawsuit, aside from its sheer wingnuttery. Presumably the Wisconsin Supreme Court, on which the defeated Justice Dan Kelly still sits, will either punt long enough that the decision is moot, or find some technical reason to declare it UNLEGAL for the Wisconsin Health Secretary to act to protect the health of Wisconsinites. Then Evers can issue a new order, and they can start this bullshit over again. Can't hardly wait.

But we do know enough to say without a doubt that the Wisconsin GOP doesn't give a rat's ass about the health of their own constituents. Remember on election day when House Speaker Robin Vos appeared in full PPE to assure citizens that it was perfectly safe to vote?

He and Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald released a statement yesterday defending the lawsuit, saying, "The public outcry over the Safer at Home order continues to increase as positive COVID cases decrease or remain flat." This is not remotely true, as Politifact points out. About 150 people per day continue to receive new positive test results, around 340 people remain hospitalized, and an average of 10 Wisconsinites a day are losing their lives to coronavirus. Speaker Vos knew it was dangerous for people to congregate on the April 7, and he knows it's still dangerous today.

Which is undoubtedly why the Wisconsin GOP just moved its nominating convention date from the weekend beginning May 15 to July 10 and 11. Or you could take party chair Andrew Hitt's word for it that it was just "a timing issue," nothing whatsoever to do with keeping Republicans indoors to preserve their health.

"The Executive Committee voted this week to change the date," Hitt told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "We need lead time for registrations and event organizing, so even if the current restrictions expired sometime in May, we would not have the desired amount of time for a successful convention."

Oh, for sure. Uh huh. You bet.

In the meantime, they're content to let that fuckwit Stephen Moore lead an astroturf demonstration in Madison to protest the shut-down order.

"We need to be the Rosa Parks here and protest against these government injustices," said Moore, who famously joked that when Obama left office, Trump finally managed to kick a black family out of public housing. But please, tell us more about civil rights, Mr. Crank Fake Economist Who Should Shut Up And Pay His Goddamn Child Support.

Let's give Tony Evers the last word here.


[ Wisconsin Legislature v. Andrea Palm / JS Online / JS Online

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.


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