Saturday, May 9, 2020

Robin Vos Makes A One-Sided, Partisan Call For Civility

Vos's opponent in the Assembly elections later this year dropped out of the race, due to harassment from the right.

Someone sent Speaker of the Assembly Robin Vos a package in the mail with a piece of dog excrement inside of it.

There isn't a punchline there. This is a dumb and stupid move for someone to make for many reasons:
  • It is rude;
  • It doesn't produce a net good (this won't convince Vos to change his mind on issues, nor will it convince moderates to side with the progressive point of view);
  • And it can cause actual harm to people (Vos or the mail delivery person who dropped it off at his home).
WisPolitics/Wikimedia
Vos rightly condemned the action on his Facebook page, and made a call for civility. That I don't have a problem with.

But the content of his call to action, well...seems quite a bit one-sided.

Here's the text of what Vos wrote on his personal Facebook page. I've bolded and made red the part that I want to discuss in greater detail:
I understand people are stressed because of the virus and not sure exactly how to react. Sending someone dog poop in the mail (as was done to me yesterday) is pretty sad.

For those on the right — know I and my fellow GOP legislators are doing everything we can to prepare for the next phase after the lawsuit (which we will hopefully win). Please don't turn your anger at the very people who are your allies in getting our state working again.
For those on the left — no one in the GOP wants to kill anyone and we worry about friends, family and co workers who could succumb to the virus. Yelling at people doesn't win an argument. Neither does name calling.

We can respectfully disagree. We can argue. We can even yell on occasion. But if yelling, swearing, accusing others is your go to response, you need to seriously think about your anger and how to resolve that issue. Can we just get back to debating the issues civilly and stop the name calling?

That's the political system I want to be a part of.
It's a pretty good sentiment, but it seems that Vos is telling one side something completely different than the other.

Take a look at that bolded part again — he's telling people on the right to stop fretting, and that he has a plan. That's not a condemnation of incivility on the part of some of those within his own camp, but rather a recognition that they're upset, and that he hears them. It's an assurance, not a calling out of wrongdoing.

And there's plenty of condemning that can be done. Just consider the fact that an opponent of Vos's in the Assembly elections this year had to drop out of the race because of vehement harassment people on the right were sending to him and his family members.

From The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:
Bob Prailes announced last week that he was running as a Democrat to take on Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, one of the state's most powerful Republicans.

...

But early Friday, he unexpectedly pulled the plug on his campaign. And his reason for doing so had nothing to do with politics.

He said he and his family were being verbally attacked.

"I had people that were approaching us when we were together as a family, swearing at us, commenting to my wife," Prailes said in an interview. "I don't want to say too much. I just think that people made very personal and ugly attacks towards me and my family either through walking up to me or yelling at me or through social media.

"It got to the point where my family and I decided we didn't want to be part of something like that," he said.
Prailes explained to the Journal Sentinel that he didn't blame Vos directly for what happened to him and his family. And nor should he — the worst of a person's base of support is not necessarily reflective of how that person feels. Vos probably would never say the same sort of things that was said to Prailes that forced him to drop from the race.

But scouring Vos's Facebook page, and looking at his "dog poop" statement again, it sure doesn't feel like he's discouraging people from his own political point-of-view from toning it down a bit...just those on the left need to, he appears to be saying.

There is certainly something broken with our political discourse today, and both sides need to address that. There are elements of hatred within the left just as there are the same elements of hatred on the right. Both should be spoken out about.

It's just interesting to me that Vos chose to condemn one side, and give assurances to the other in what appears to be a clear attempt to appease them. The "name-calling" he condemns the left of doing doesn't get a mention in his "criticism," if you can call it that, of those who share his own political opinions.

I can personally attest that there is name-calling going on in Vos's camp toward the left. It happened to me yesterday, and without getting too personal about it, it was very dark and twisted.

That sort of commentary serves no purpose, on the right nor on the left. Perhaps it's splitting hairs, but it would sure be swell if the Speaker of the Assembly could take a stronger stand against those elements on his side, rather than making a clearly partisan call for unity and civility, like he did this week.

2 comments:

  1. And when righties start pleading for "civility", it means they are losing with the public due to their scumminess, and they don't want people to think any more about it.

    If Vos wants to raise the bar of "civility", he can take back all of the name-calling he's done on Milwaukee and Madison, which are the only places that have generated the tax money that allowed billions to be funneled to Vos's district for the Fox-con. And he can take back the power grabs and lawsuits that he's done for no other reason beyond pettiness.

    Oh, and Robbin' can stop going on the cesspool known as AM 1130, since no one is driving the debate into the ground more than those dishonest hate merchants.

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