Wineke: The blind seek to lead the blind

Wisconsin Election Clerks Confused By Investigation Email
Jessica Reilly

FILE- In this Sept. 17, 2015 file photo, then Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Gableman speaks during a court hearing at the Grant County Courthouse in Lancaster, Wis. Wisconsin election clerks are reacting with a mixture of confusion, concern and bewilderment to the first inquiry made by former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman, a special investigator hired by Republicans to examine how the 2020 presidential election was run in the battleground state.

MADISON, Wis. — This is an actual quote from the man Wisconsin has hired to investigate claims of fraud in the last election: “Most people, myself included, do not have a comprehensive understanding, or even any understanding, of how elections work.”

Michael Gableman, a former justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, admitted that ignorance as he issued subpoenas to city officials throughout the state, demanding to interview them and that they provide hundreds of thousands of pages of election documents by Oct. 15.

Then, Friday, Gableman said, in effect, never mind.

Since he, by his own admission, doesn’t know how elections work, it might seem logical that he doesn’t know how to investigate them anyway.

There are people who do know how elections work. They are the elections clerks and their staffs who run elections of various kinds every year and who have spent years making sure the elections are fair and honest.

No one thinks seriously that there were any problems at all in last year’s presidential election. Former President Trump even paid to have the results recounted in Madison and Milwaukee and found no real discrepancies.

But Trump cannot or will not believe he could lose, so he has maintained a bizarre claim that the election was stolen.

I know of only one prominent Wisconsin Republican who has agreed publicly that the election was stolen.

That was former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman.

So, when Assembly Speaker Robin Vos decided – pretty much on his own – to investigate the election, you might think Vos would look for someone who would be looked at as an impartial investigator.

Nope. He chose Gableman.

Gableman immediately showed his impartiality by attending a conspiracy symposium led by the My Pillow guy, Mike Lindell, and he released a video asking election officials to submit proof that they didn’t steal the election.

It all seems pretty comical. . .except for this: Who is ever going to accept the result of future elections?

Republicans all over the country are trying to stack state and local offices that oversee elections. If they succeed, why would any Democrat accept the result of an election that favored a Republican?

And, at a leadership level, at least, Republicans refuse to accept the validity of elections that favor Democrats.

This is not a good way to uphold a democracy.