This seems a little harsh even for this lefty but as I watch President Donald Trump push the United States toward Third World status…and given the intractability of Wisconsin Republicans…it gets easier and easier to view Wisconsin as a failed state. article shared by a regular reader.

A failed state is one that can no longer claim legitimacy or perform a government’s core function of protecting the people’s basic security. Lately, the Wisconsin supreme court seems to be doing its level best to make its state qualify for “failed” status. Multiple decisions have both undermined the government’s legitimacy and endangered the people.

First, there was the primary. Ensuring that people can vote without risking their lives is a basic duty of government, one at which Wisconsin failed.

But the Wisconsin supreme court’s latest decision is even worse. The conservative majority overturned the state’s “stay-at-home” order, immediately leading bars to be flooded with patrons. Even as public health officials stress the danger in suddenly lifting restrictions, justices presented it as a freedom issue, with one writing that the “comprehensive claim to control virtually every aspect of a person’s life is something we normally associate with a prison, not a free society governed by the rule of law”. Public opinion is generally against the anti-lockdown protests, but if a conservative minority has power, the “letting a deadly virus spread unchecked = freedom” perspective will triumph.

What respect do people owe a government that cannot protect them and cannot claim democratic legitimacy? Very little. The more that Wisconsin Republicans act to impose their will unilaterally without regard to the safety or will of the people, the less we should treat Wisconsin as a functional government.

And oddly enough, after complaining about not having a seat at the table when COVID-19 decisions were being made…when handed a personal chair…Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald punted. You are all on your own.

8 Responses to Wisconsin As A Failed State?

  1. robert dohnal says:

    As soon as Evers was elected we have started down that path.

    • Ed Heinzelman says:

      Yes Bob, YOU DID!

    • nonquixote says:

      Bob D, I agree “As soon as Evers was elected…”

      …unilaterally initiated by the gerrymandered GOP legislative majority and Scott Walker during the December 2018 lame duck session actions taking away statutory powers of the incoming governor and attorney general.

  2. K. Michel says:

    Once again, Ed, thank you for posting. As Governor Evers said, we are now back to the days of the wild west. A note to robert dohnal: This began in 2010 when the Tea Partiers set the bait and it was devoured, hook, line, and sinker. We have seen the demolition of a two-party system, sealed by gerrymandering of districts so the majority never has a say, except in statewide elections. To blame Governor Evers for this mess is to ignore the last ten years. There is too much to list, but, the politicization of the Supreme Court has been the Republicans insurance that orders will disappear, investigations disappear and the unintended result is that Wisconsin is now ridiculed for being dysfunctional, ignorant, and a self-destructive … all together now Failed State.

  3. K. Michel says:

    Thanks for all your terrific writing, gathering, and sharing of information.

  4. WashCoRepub says:

    ‘The Guardian?’ Somehow, I think we’ll survive their declaration.

  5. BobT says:

    I know there will be no response but I’ll ask the questions anyway to WashCo and RobD.
    1. Do you think Bradley’s behavior, interrupting our Assist Att General less than a minute into his testimony in order to state her opinion on the case, was unethical? Yes, it was unethical and everyone with any sense knows it. If this were a criminal case it would be removed from her court and she would also be removed from her position. She does not care because she has a higher pay day coming.
    2. Do you agree that Fitzgerald and Vos were derelict in their duties when they refused, before and after the court ruling, to meet with Evers. Yes, they were, no matter what your political leanings. If the other Repubs have any ethics they will ask for those two derelicts to be removed from there positions.
    3. If one person dies because of the SC ruling and the clowns in the GOP Wis Legislature, should they be tried for murder since they made a decision that they knew was going to cause lives to be lost for no reason other than political gaming?

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