Wineke: Wisconsin’s nihilistic Legislature threatens us all

Wisconsin State Capitol

MADISON, Wis. — We haven’t seen much of Wisconsin’s Legislature this year and that might be a good thing, because they’re coming back Tuesday and planning to do their best to make sure more of us die.

Maybe they won’t. But the plan is for the Senate and Assembly to end Gov. Tony Evers’ emergency order requiring most of us to wear face masks to combat the pandemic.

I’m truly beginning to hate these people, which is not a good thing since I keep preaching we shouldn’t hate people with whom we disagree.

But, at a time when more than 5,000 of us have died from COVID-19 and at a time when most of us live in some fear of contracting the disease, why in anti-heaven’s name would we want to take away the one thing scientists agree limits our exposure?

Why indeed?

Well, the reason the Republican backers of this proposal give is that they don’t think Evers should have the power to make such an order. In fact, it’s pretty clear they don’t think Evers should have the power to do much of anything.

Their goal – and I don’t think I’m being too radical about this – is for Evers to have no power to fix anything and to be held responsible for everything that goes wrong.

To that end, they convinced the courts to rule that Evers needs legislative consent to take steps to ameliorate the COVID crisis and, then, they’ve pretty much refused to meet to offer that consent.

Is this a winning legislative strategy?

Apparently it is. Most of these . . . I can’t really think of a polite term to use here . . . most of these legislators were reelected in November. So we do get the kind of government we deserve.

In the meantime, the cream of our elected crop says, piously, that we ought to wear masks but we shouldn’t be required to do so, and the clowns who endorse them tell us that if they want to risk their health they have a right to do so.

I agree. But it is my health they’re risking and I don’t think they have a right to do that.

There is a vaccine on the way. I get almost daily notes from Unity Point beginning with the salutation, “Good news!” and ending with the plea paraphrased as “don’t call us, we will call you.”

If we just try to use a little common sense in the meantime, wearing masks, maybe even double masks, in public, refraining from gathering in bars or gyms, acting as if the virus was still here – which it is – most of us will come out on the other side.

Some of us will still get sick, even if we take proper precautions.

But, for God’s sake, we don’t need our elected officials playing stupid power games just to demonstrate they can do so.