Saturday, December 12, 2020

Tom Tiffany Doesn't Trust Wisconsin's Election Results. So Why Should He Serve In Congress, Then?

Republican Rep. Tom Tiffany ran for Congress this year in the state's 7th Congressional District. He won by a margin of about 20,000 votes against his Democratic opponent, Tricia Zunker, in the election that was held last month.

This past week, Tiffany also signed onto an amicus brief for a lawsuit from Texas, alongside more than 120 other Republicans in Congress. That lawsuit is calling into question the validity of votes in four states that helped President-elect Joe Biden win in this year's presidential election.

Among the four states whose votes are being disputed is Wisconsin.

The merits of the case Texas brought against these four states were laughable, at best, and deeply worrisome at their worst, as Texas AG Ken Paxton cited supposed election fraud without providing substantiated evidence of any kind, and had sought to invalidate millions of votes based off of those errant claims. The Supreme Court on Friday denied the request to hear the challenge.

There are some who are calling on Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to refuse to seat those Republican lawmakers who signed onto this extreme lawsuit. Pelosi has the power to do so, believe it or not, provided a majority of the House agrees with her.

While she is unlikely to take such action, Tiffany should save us all the trouble of pondering that possibility and refuse to take a seat in Congress himself. After all, the document that he signed stated that there was an "erosion" of "confidence" in the "legitimacy of our institutions of government," including within the election last month, that warranted the Supreme Court to invalidate the results of Wisconsin and three other states.


Tiffany is a representative from Wisconsin. If he cannot be confident in the results of the presidential race in the state, he shouldn't be confident in his own election results, either.


The congressman sought to have the results of our presidential election tossed out. Were he a consistent person, he would also ask for the same treatment of his own race's outcome, and refuse to seat himself in Congress come January.


But something tells me such consistent action will not be made by the Republican representative from the 7th District.


Featured image credit: Public Domain/Wikimedia


Thursday, December 10, 2020

GOP Support for the Texas Lawsuit to Overturn the Election is an Endorsement for Anti-Democracy

Here's what you need to know about the Texas lawsuit against Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Georgia, which is supported by Republican officials in 17 other states, as well as by more than 100 GOP lawmakers in Congress:

It's completely bogus. But it's also revealing of something disturbing that has developed in our American society: a belief by a significant portion of the right-wing in this country that democracy deserves to die.

Beyond containing complaints about the way states changed voting laws in light of COVID-19 — and the hypocritical manner of those complaints, as states that have enjoined themselves in Texas's lawsuit, including Texas itself, ALSO made similar changes to their election laws because of the pandemic — the suit also seeks to allow Texas to tell other states (including Wisconsin) how to run their own elections. 


That's not how our government is set up to be. Wisconsin, Texas, and other states create their own standards for how elections are run. And Texas must demonstrate, under a very specific set of criteria, that they've been legally "harmed" by Wisconsin, Georgia, Michigan, or Pennsylvania.

As Pennsylvania's oppositional document to Texas's lawsuit states, Texas's Attorney General Ken Paxton has not done so.

The remedy Republicans are seeking here is extraordinary, and would result in one of the most blatantly political and offensive rulings the Supreme Court has ever made, with regard to election law. It would fundamentally alter the character of our nation, allowing a candidate to "win" an election (quotes necessary) simply because he complained hard enough about his loss.

Because, ultimately, that is the basis for this lawsuit. Texas asserts no real evidence of fraud, depending upon the errant and unsubstantiated claims of malfeasance that Trump has made previously, which have so far resulted in zero significant court wins for him or his allies in other appellate and state courtrooms.

If the impossible does come to fruition — if the Supreme Court decides for some reason to hear the case, and in turn decides in Trump's favor — then authoritarian rule truly will have come to America. That's not hyperbole — that's fact. Under those circumstances, the president will have "won" reelection without having actually been reelected; and he will serve another term in office without deserving to do so. 

The High Court will PROBABLY not decide to even hear this case. But that hundreds of Republican lawmakers across the country, and that Trump's ardent base of supporters, too, not only think the case should be heard, but also DECIDED in TRUMP's favor, demonstrates a marked departure from political norms the likes of which have never been seen in this country.

It is, ultimately, a ringing endorsement from them of anti-democracy.

Featured image credit: Kjetil Ree/Wikimedia (edits made)

Friday, November 13, 2020

Over Past 75 Days, Wisconsin's Rate of COVID Deaths is 31% Higher than the Nation's

WHEN IT COMES TO CORONAVIRUS in the state of Wisconsin, we are failing. Hard.

We're even doing worse, comparably speaking, to the rest of the nation as a whole when you look at the past 75 days.


On August 31, Wisconsin had approximately 75,000 cases of coronavirus, and counted 1,122 deaths at that time from the pandemic. On November 12, those numbers increased to around 293,000 total cases diagnosed, and 2,515 deaths counted.


In the U.S. overall, there were around 6.27 million cases of coronavirus on August 31; on November 12, the U.S. counted 10.88 million. When it came to deaths, the country saw around 188,000 counted from COVID-19 on August 31. This week, the number is up to 248,000.


The U.S. obviously has a higher number of deaths and cases of coronavirus. But if you grew the population of Wisconsin to be proportionally equal to the nation, it would show we're actually doing worse during this time period


In fact, if you took the change in new diagnoses discovered in Wisconsin from August 31 to November 12 (about 218,000 new cases found during that time in the state) and extrapolated it to compare to the U.S., the Badger State's increase in new cases diagnosed would be 167 percent higher than the nation's rate of change.


The rate of deaths recorded from coronavirus is worse in Wisconsin, too, with the state seeing a 31.3 percent higher rate of deaths from the virus since the end of August than the nation, when adjusted for population.



We can defeat this virus, but it requires every Wisconsinite to take it seriously. Unfortunately, far too many in this state don't think the rules apply to them. They're not wearing masks, they're not socially distancing, and they're scoffing off the destruction of this pandemic as a made-up thing.


All the while, many are complicit in the spreading of COVID-19, even if they themselves never show symptoms. That's just the nature of this virus. It requires more care, more empathy, and unfortunately, not enough are showing either of those two traits.


In the state that I grew up in, we looked after our neighbors, both the literal ones next door and the figurative ones many counties away. But for some reason, this issue became a political hot-button topic — and as conservatives have refused to acknowledge the reality of this situation (whether out of spite of Gov. Tony Evers or in support of President Donald Trump), it has exposed that their values are far different from what this state has espoused in the past. 


To sum it up, they're letting their neighbors die to "own the libs." 


How reckless. How abhorrent. How...anti-Wisconsin.


Mask up when you're out. Stay at home when you can. 


Save our state.


Featured image credit: The National Guard/Flickr