Yesterday, we saw how the U.S. had fallen out of the top 10 of most innovative nations. I blamed it all on Trump. I should have blamed it on Trumpists in general, not just Señor Trumpanzzee. Take Wisconsin. The viciously gerrymandered state legislature is controlled by crackpot Trumpists. The 33 member state Senate has a vacancy and just 12 Democrats facing 20 Republicans. And the Assembly isn't much better-- one vacancy, 60 Republicans and 38 Democrats. Luckily, there's a Democratic governor. An excellent example of why the U.S. is no longer in the Top 10 played out there yesterday.
The state Senate had already repealed Governor Evers' mask mandate and yesterday the Assembly-- which hasn't done a single thing to combat the pandemic-- followed suit by ending Wisconsin's health emergency order which Evers had put in place following CDC directives.
Within an hour, Evers issued a new health emergency order requiring face masks in public indoor places. If he hadn't, the state may have been at risk of losing tens of millions of dollars a month in federal food assistance, which is conditional on having an emergency order in place. The Republicans in the Assembly were well aware of this-- and just didn't care. They just wanted to make their crackpot ideological anti-mask statement. The Republicans-- despite pleas from from the public health sector and those trying to reopen the state safely-- claim that the governor has no authority to issue the health emergency and that it violates the state constitution. Evers issued a statement reminding the state that "Every step of the way, our statewide strategies to contain this virus and prevent the spread have been met with lawsuits, political rhetoric and obstruction. Unfortunately, that happened again today."
"Wearing a mask is the most basic thing we can do to keep each other safe. If the Legislature keeps playing politics and we don’t keep wearing masks, we're going to see more preventable deaths, and it’s going to take even longer to get our state and our economy back on track," he said in a videotaped statement released with the new order.
...The mask order has broad support statewide, with nearly 70% of people backing it in a survey by the Marquette University Law School poll in August.
"There is nothing redemptive of this resolution. If you pass this, you don't save a single life," Rep. Robyn Vining, D-Wauwatosa, said on the floor of the Assembly chamber before lawmakers voted to end Evers' emergency order.
"I'm incredibly distraught that we have reached a point in political discourse in Wisconsin that stares death in the face, shrugs and says 'But my political ideology,’ ” Vining said.
Seven Republicans joined all Democrats in opposing the resolution, which passed 52-42. The Senate passed the same resolution last week. Evers can't veto such measures.
...Wisconsin law allows governors to declare emergencies for up to 60 days and allows legislators to make them longer. Lawmakers haven't extended any of Evers' health emergencies, so he's been issuing new orders when older ones expire. Republicans argue he doesn't have that power because the orders are tied to the same pandemic.
Evers argues he has the authority because the COVID-19 emergency is akin to flooding events of the same river and requires new responses.
...Wisconsin Medical Society Chief Executive Officer Bud Chumbley, whose organization represents doctors, said the Legislature's repeal "sends the wrong message at the wrong time," when less than 10% of the state's population is vaccinated against COVID-19 and new, more contagious variants of the virus are emerging.
The vote would have made Wisconsin one of only 10 crazy right-wing-controlled states without a mask requirement. Yesterday Wisconsin reported 1,518 new cases, bringing the state's total to 546,955-- 93,939 cases per million residents. That's the 14th worst in the country. Yesterday also saw 41 new deaths, bringing the total to 5,992.
The problem with these radical Trumpists is that they are out of their minds. There must have been something more toxic in their kool-aid than anyone thought. As Adam Schiff said yesterday in a CBS New interview, the GOP "has already become essentially a cult, not just of QAnon, but a whole range of conspiracy theories orbiting around Donald Trump. Which of course is a disaster not only for the Republican Party, but is a disaster for the country. We really rely on two functional parties for our system to work, and right now we don't have that."
New watch this video, Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska released yesterday. He goes right to what is wrong with his party's crackpot leadership: