With Wisconsin’s Scrooge of a governor, Scott Walker, attempting to limit incoming elected Democrats’ powers, protesters rallied for the second day in a row on Tuesday, booing him and his boring yuletide tradition of lighting the Christmas tree at the state Capitol in Madison.
As Walker prepared for the tree lighting, protesters, including a group of hashtag resistance carolers, lined the inside of the Capitol, yelling at literally everyone who dare celebrate while Walker and the Wisconsin Republicans try to snatch power back from the Democrats after being soundly rejected at the polls last month.
They even yelled as a choir of high school kids performed at the lighting, with the resistance choir singing “snarky” carols, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Molly Beck tweeted.
“I can handle the shouts but leave the kids alone,” Walker tweeted about the protests. The kids! Save the kids!!
I, too, might be so inclined to yell in song at a group of children if I lived in Wisconsin, where Republicans, Walker included, are attempting to use the lame-duck session to pass legislation after the party fell to Democratic candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.
The series of proposed bills would strip power from the Democrats’ Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. According to the Journal Sentinel, Evers would be stripped of his power to approve actions by Kaul, with Republicans seeking to relocate that power to their party’s members. If legalized, the power shift would impede Evers’ and Kauls’ promise to remove the state from a lawsuit challenging a requirement under the Affordable Care Act that insurers cover preexisting conditions.
Republicans are also attempting to move the 2020 presidential primary election away from an April election date shared with a state Supreme Court election, a transparent bid to depress voter turnout and hopefully turn the court over to conservatives. They’re also trying to cut early voting from as many as six weeks to two, another form of voter suppression. It’s the Wisconsin GOP’s last violent death rattle before losing control for the first time in eight years.
The severity of this power grab, which has been poorly-reported on by political publications, hasn’t stopped other Wisconsin politicians from shouting “CIVILITY” into the ramparts of the state capitol. Tuesday’s Senate confirmation was reportedly put in recess after protesters kicked up too much of a racket.
Protesters also vocally opposed the bills during the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee’s hearing on Monday. According to the New York Times, protesters began lining up before noon on Monday, chanting and clapping until the committee chairman banned the latter. While almost none of the testimonies read in the hearing that day supported the legislation, Republicans voted to advance nearly all the measures anyway. Hopefully that resistance choir has enough carols to last through the end of Walker’s term.