Much of the history of the modern Republican Party in Washington, from the “Gingrich Revolution” to President Trump, consists of repeated, successful attacks on the norms of American governance. That ethos has trickled down to Republicans across the country, who have taken the always fraught and divisive world of politics and made it a war by other means.
Take Wisconsin. Under Gov. Scott Walker, Republicans have worked hard to insulate themselves from electoral accountability, with aggressive redistricting to protect incumbent Republican lawmakers, an attack on the state’s independent ethics and elections agency, and a draconian voter identification law that depressed black turnout in the 2016 election and helped Donald Trump win the state—and the presidency with it.
Unfortunately for Walker, these moves weren’t enough to keep Democrats from overcoming a strong Republican advantage to win a vacant seat in the state Senate last month. And with additional vacancies in the legislature after two Republican lawmakers left to join his administration, Walker risks further losses to the state GOP’s position. Instead of taking that chance, the governor has simply refused to call the elections, postponing them until next year and ignoring a statute that calls for vacancies to be filled “as promptly as possible.” Walker’s decision has left tens of thousands of Wisconsinites without direct representation in the statehouse. There’s little doubt Walker would call the elections were he confident of Republican victory. He’s not, and so he’s opted for a power grab. Entire article here.