Home / General / The Both Sides Do It Hall of Fame gets new first-ballot entry

The Both Sides Do It Hall of Fame gets new first-ballot entry

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1936 Views

I was really grateful to see the direct and indirect effects of Wisconsin Republicans ending democratic elections for the state legislature but this plainly in the Paper of Record:

And Wisconsin, perhaps more than any other state, is suffering through the erosion of democratic ideals already. Though virtually every elected statewide officer here is a Democrat, extreme gerrymandering of state legislative maps has given Republicans near supermajorities in the State Senate and House. At best, Democrats enter the state elections in November hoping to perpetuate the stalemate by re-electing their governor, Tony Evers, said Michael Hallquist, a Democratic alderman in Brookfield, outside Milwaukee.

But that democratic erosion may have sent many of Wisconsin’s citizens on a downward spiral of feeling powerless, apathetic and disconnected as one-party control becomes entrenched.

“It is daunting to convince fellow Democrats their votes matter,” said Tammy Wood, a party organizer who tried to fire up the crowd at Thrunie’s with a rousing “Welcome, Democrats, defenders of democracy!”

That is the purpose of the gerrymander — to make us fall into that feeling of defeat,” she added. “But we can’t let that happen.”

Exactly right — not allowing the will of the majority to be reflected in the legislature encourages cynicism and disengagement, and we should add that it also normalizes further envelope-pushing like the idea that state legislatures have the unchecked constitutional authority to determine the results of elections by fiat. Really glad to see it!

Of course, you can already see the shoe about to drop in the very next paragraph:

Of course, just what is threatening democracy depends on who you talk to. Many Republicans are just as frustrated, convinced that the threat stems from liberal teachers, professors or media personalities who they fear are indoctrinating their children; undocumented immigrants given a path to citizenship; or Democrats widening access to voting so much that they are inviting fraud.

Michelle Ekstrom, 48, a moderate in Waukesha, typified Republicans who fear the electoral system has already been compromised.

“I feel that it’s definitely crooked,” she said. “I always think to myself, What is the purpose if I go vote? Someone crooked somewhere along the way is just going to put more votes in somewhere else than the real people’s votes. I think it’s definitely tilted heavily on the Democratic side.”

On the one hand, Wisconsin Republicans have actually ended democratic elections in the state. On the other hand, some Republican voters have baseless paranoid theories about stolen elections. It is important to present these things as equivalently valid perspectives, because something something REAL JOURNALISM. Which is exactly what Republicans in states like Wisconsin are counting on.

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