Lawmakers Clash and Protesters Chant Amid Fight Over Wisconsin Governor’s Power

After losing top state offices, Republican lawmakers are racing to pass legislation that would diminish the power of the incoming Democratic governor.

Comments: 196

  1. This is GREAT news! "Angry Democrats were gathering at the State Capitol for a tense showdown and a second day of protesting what they deemed an unethical power grab that amounted to an unwillingness to accept the election outcome." Every able-bodied person in Wisconsin who understands what is going on MUST join the protests. NOW is the time to stop the democracy-destroying Robber Barons who are trying to destroy democracy in your state and run them out of town on a rail. Scare the hell out of them without hurting them. Leave your job to protest. Take the kids. Get there any way you can to take a stand. Nothing is more important on this day. Nothing. This must not stand in Wisconsin or any state in OUR United States of America. WE THE PEOPLE - average democracy-loving people across America - stand with you.

  2. @njglea We might be too late, but we are coming and not to "protest". We are coming to prevent, by any means.

  3. @njglea The people of Wisconsin voted to elect Walker three times. There were mass protests and what did it get the people of Wisconsin other than four more years of Walker? Republicans still control both the state's Senate and House and the majority of the US Congressional delegation. In fact the expanded their control of the state Senate. Evers, the governor elect, didn't even get 50% of the vote. In other words Wisconsin is still a red state. A state that repeatedly sent Paul Ryan to Washington but sent Russ Feingold packing. May they get what they deserve.

  4. If any state needs Voter Initiative it is this one. As long as the courts can't seem to resolve gerrymandering, and as long as one party continues to hold the legislature through deceit, craft and cunning, there will never be accurately Representative government. The public, the people, the voters -- whatever your term of choice -- need to muster, gather or gang up and wrest the process of drawing fair districts away from what appear to be self serving officials. This state needs and independent agency for drawing district lines -- and the public is absolutely powerless to get this done.

  5. Fix your headline. This isn't a fight for political power. Republicans are straight up ignoring the voters and acting like an authoritarian regime.

  6. @Tom They were put in office by their voters and are still there in accord with the state constitution. They are acting in accord with the voters that put them there.

  7. @KBronson, you don't believe in heeding the results of elections, either, do you?

  8. @KBronson You might want to check with Mitch McConnell on that. I seem to remember that he took the opposite tack with Merrick Garland, insisting that the nomination be held for the next president.

  9. My family marched on the Capitol for weeks during the first coup. Now, eight years later, we have nothing to show for it and the Republicans press for ultimate power. They are hell bent on destroying democracy. The saddest thing of all is people who do not understand how gerrymandering works, with their simplistic cries of "One person, one vote, quit whining." Utter baloney. We are cut adrift from everything I was taught as a youngster. I have told our daughter to flee this state, post haste, when she graduates high school. It is no longer the state I grew up in and loved.

  10. @East Side Toad Us too. We have 2 daughters who left Wisconsin after graduation from high school. I dutifully went and registered my opposition at yesterday's hearing. We're currently planning our exit strategy. I can't take it anymore.

  11. @East Side ToadDon't run, stay and fight for democracy.

  12. @East Side Toad. It’s happening everywhere. Stay! It’s a fight worth fighting. Absolutely. Your children will be proud. And it’s your home.

  13. they lost. they need to get over it. It really says something about the Rs when their leader makes a public announcement that they don't trust our newly elected governor before he is even sworn in. Sad. very Sad.

  14. @Sally McCart Utterly shocking. Fitzgerald is an embarrassment. He's also not very bright in admitting the partisan reasons for all of these proposals.

  15. What is the Republican’s end game? Do they honestly believe they’ll hold their majority for ever? Where do we go from here?

  16. @Soccer mom We course-correct, by any/all means necessary, back to decency, honesty, and the bed-rock values of this Country. “What did you do in the war, Mommy?”

  17. Q: “where do we go from here?” A: Do you really think Republicans care? They’ll get by on their tax cut.

  18. Republivans who sing "election has consquences" seem to tjhnk that it does not apply to them. That is one good reason to bar them from any future elections..

  19. Why can't these bills be immediately repealed by the new Democratic legislature in January?

  20. The Democrats do not control either house of the Wisconsin legislature, though they do control the Governor's office and the Attorney General's office come January. They lack the votes to repeal-a more likely outcome is a court case disputing the legality of the actions, I believe.

  21. @Mcp They lack a majority in the state legislature if I have my facts straight.

  22. @Bruce Browne And if it gets to the Supreme court...

  23. Bless there hearts; Democrats don’t believe what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. After conducting the most corrupt and shameful opposition to Governor Walker and his administration, not the least of which was 2 failed recalls, they cry foul at lawful efforts to protect what they accomplished. Cry me a river, but in the future maybe they should behave the way they expect to be treated should they swap positions. In the meantime, let the chips fall where they have been the last 8 years.

  24. @HENRY The people of Wisconsin have spoken through their votes. GOP is subverting the will of its people and will be remembered for it. Nobody is crying but Scott Walker on his way out the door.

  25. @HENRY How is opposition to Walker corrupt? I have a front row seat to this, and the only corruptions in this state is from the Republican side. Also, there was only one recall. As a resident of Wisconsin, I frankly don't want to let the chips lie. (Heading down to the Capitol now to disrupt some chips.)

  26. @HENRY the republicans have gerrymandered themselves into power. A clear majority of voters chose democrats in the Wisconsin state legislative races this fall, but they did not gain a legislative majority in either chamber because of GOP gerrymandering of districts over the past 8 years. It’s incredibly undemocratic. The GOP continues to act like facsist authoritarians.

  27. "what [Democrats] deemed an unethical power grab that amounted to an unwillingness to accept the election outcome" WHAT THEY DEEMED??? What would you call it, Mr. Smith? Ms. Davey? If Republicans say that black is white and night is day, it shouldn't be necessary to qualify Democrats' respond with "Democrats believe that black is black and night is night," should it??

  28. @mkc Happy to see that the unnecessary and outrageous qualification has now been removed from the article.

  29. As it circles the drain, the GOP reeks of desperation and fear.

  30. Elections used to have meaningful consequences. Now the results are being undermined before they can take effect.

  31. @Rich...Unless it's Democrats acting ethically. Republicans have lost their minds as they lost their elections.

  32. Wisconsin Republicans are opposed to democracy. They are reactionaries who are loath to share power with others. It’s as simple as that. If people want to live under a system where the most wealthy and powerful can do as they please and others must solicit their patronage to do anything, then the Wisconsin Republicans are their kind of people. If one wishes to live with liberty for everybody, then the people must drive the Republicans in the legislature from office.

  33. Republicans seem to know how to win only by cheating. First they gerrymander and skew districts in their favor. Then they limit people's voting rights. Then they lie. "Yes, of course Obamacare is bad. Of course we have cheaper alternatives for you and OF COURSE those cheaper alternatives cover pre-existing conditions! " Until they don't and they have nothing. They they smile, look the other way and place ads on every social media source designed to play into people's prejudices and fears. That big tax cut that another Wisconsin Republican con-man named Paul Ryan promised would bring tax relief to every Joe-Sixpack in America? Yeah, that turned out to be of benefit only to the rich guys at the top who will most likely hire the same now-retired from Congress Mr. Ryan at one of their fancy so-called "think tanks" where they can make plans for the next con-job over clueless Americans. And why does this work? Because there are still plenty of fools and masochists who vote Republican! And even when we win, like voters finally did in Wisconsin, electing some decent people who actually give a damn about their constituents, Republicans are STILL conning and ducking and cheating to pull things back in their favor! Do these people ever quit?! They're like a bad rash that keeps spreading, a scabbed over sore that refuses to heal! I cannot take this anymore!

  34. Republicans are not interested in the will of the people. They serve the interests of the corporations and the 1% and nothing else. Wise up America working class and realise Republicans will not look out for your interests. If you are white working class, do not be fooled by their appeals to white nationalism, God, and making America great again. It is merely bait to get your vote, and when they have that they will serve corporate interests and forget your needs.

  35. @Truthseeker Couldn't have said it any better. Spot on. Resist.

  36. As a proud Packer fan and equally proud former Wisconsin resident, who was once able to register to vote at my polling place on election day, I humbly offer the following fall-back solution: In January, circulate signatures and pass statewide referendums nullifying all these decrepit acts of pretended legislation. It is the only way to insure adherence to the voter mandate evidenced by this last election.

  37. @rds I doubt Wisconsin allows for this, or it would have already been tried in response to the anti-union laws passed in 2011. Some states allow laws to be adopted or repealed via referendum, and others do not. It's really the only way to fight extreme gerrymandering such as what we're seeing in Wisconsin and North Carolina.

  38. @rds There is no option for voter initiated referendums in Wisconsin. The Republican legislature isn't going to solicit the voters' opinion because they don't care what the voters think.

  39. I am getting tired of NYT reporters using the phrase, "Angry Democrats....", as if, this is a partisan issue and only registered Democrats are part of the protest. Have you verified that no Independents and (former and current) Republicans part of this protest? If not, then what's stopping you from saying, "Angry Wisconsinites"? As a former resident of state of WI, I wish I could join in the protests. All the best to everyone out there protesting - may you succeed in saving the soul of the Badger state that is being choked by GOP. Go Badgers!

  40. Psychologists are missing out on a great opportunity here. The GOP legislators in Wisconsin and North Carolina make a perfect subset to study for the absence of a conscience. What happened to these people, exactly, to make them as irredeemably self-centered, corrupt and amoral? Scorched earth, no remorse, no shame... psychologically, they seem to have certain traits in common with serial killers. That rumbling sound you hear is George H.W. Bush spinning in his coffin at these hideous, pathetic "Republican" descendants. Another sad day for this country.

  41. Agreed. Inhumanity is a symptom of fascism.

  42. @Streamliner Money.

  43. @Thomas Zaslavsky And power. Both combined with greed, of course.

  44. this should be changed immediately in court and the state Congressmen who are sponsoring this bill should be prosecuted under criminal offenses as it done with criminal intent to prevent democracy and election mandate from doing what it's supposed to do. GOP is dragging itself down to new levels of low with every passing day.

  45. "what they deemed an unethical power grab" Why does NYT have to mince words on the facts here? Republicans lost and are trying to diminish the power of the people who will take over. How is this a matter of opinion?

  46. It's called OBJECTIVITY. No one is mincing words here. They're reporting the facts. Facts are open to interpretation. You call it what you will.

  47. @mizdeirdre This isn't an editorial board op-ed. It is news. Therefore they have to describe the point of view of both sides and allow an educated reader to form their own opinions. To be clear, I agree with your take - Republicans are acting in bad faith to disrupt the democratically altered balance of power. Nonetheless I won't attack NYT for reporting news as it should be reported.

  48. “After losing top state offices in the midterm elections, Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin were racing on Tuesday to push through a series of bills that would diminish the power of the incoming Democratic governor before he’s sworn in.” I wonder if the Republicans actually admit to this.

  49. @Oliver the leadership has stated repeatedly that their actions are because they do not trust the new Governor-elect. pretty close to a power gab if you ask me

  50. @Oliver The Republican leadership is trying to sell the line that all these (140?) changes to state law are tiny tweaks that they were planning to do in January had Scott Walker won a third term... conveniently forgetting that Scott Walker did *not* win a third tern, and that after eight years of this nonsense the electorate is now well aware of how the GOP has been maintaining control of the Legislature, and that it's a far cry from the "popular mandate" that the Republican would-be dictators always claim. And "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" is no longer an acceptable answer in Wisconsin politics. Eight years of failure to govern for the benefit of *all* the people is enough.

  51. I'm not sure how their state constitution is written but is seems about time they put some protections in place to ensure separation of powers. The AG's job will become obsolete or pretty much hamstrung if they enact their new bills. Some states allow for the people to vote on constitutional referendums and this may be a way forward for the people of Wisconsin if the state legislature continues to act in bad faith.

  52. The slow rolling Republican coup of the United States gathers some steam. The Republican Donor Class is a threat to this country's existence.

  53. I just voted in Milwaukee on November 6th and was so relieved that the Walker era was finally toast....don't let them get away with this, people.

  54. @bw3: What do you suggest those of us outside Wisconsin do? (I'm not being facetious.)

  55. I have been a loyal reader/subscriber of the NY Times for my entire life. During that time I have always appreciated and defended the often courageous reporting found within it's pages. I appreciate the challenges that are inherent in striving for objectivity. I loathe overreaction, hyperbole, and hand wringing. I also appreciate that most within the organization are trying to do the best they can in what is a very difficult time. As a result, I have steadfastly maintained my subscription even when, in more recent times, I find myself repeatedly dismayed by their milque toast coverage of stories and facts that warrant far more decisiveness. However the cowardly and shameful "reporting" around the unprecedented subversion of democracy underway in Wisconsin (and WI) may be a bridge too far for me. Presenting this as just another benign "Gee, our politics sure are divided these days" story while completely glossing over the constitutional ramifications - both in WI/MI and nationally - is nothing less than an abscondment of responsibility. What the WI GOP is attempting here is a direct affront to democracy and a slap in the face to the notion of 'government for and of the people.' This corrupt and fascist-leaning-accrue-power-at-all-cost attempt will have grave ramifications if allowed to proceed. This should not be a a partisan issue- this is a matter of right and wrong and do we or do we not value the Constitution. It should be reported as such.

  56. @Jack Hey Jack! What’s new about this? They did it in North Carolina and got away with it. The subversion of our democracy has been going on strong for at least 40 years. Most people haven’t noticed because the news media are owned by very individuals who have been engineering the subversion.

  57. @Jack, you're right, but the place for that is commentary and opinion, not news stories. I think it would behoove the Times to write the news story in a more carefully factual manner, stating precisely the positions of both sides and the relevant background. That would have been better.

  58. @Thomas Zaslavsky Generally speaking I would agree with you. Good news reporting should never use overly emotional language or seek to hyperbolize subject matter. However it is equally dangerous to use language that fails to provide an accurate account of what is taking place. The role of the media is to provide readers with accuracy and understanding, and to do so CONTEXT, as well as the language used to explain such context, matter greatly. The goal should be truth and accuracy, not willfully ignoring context to create a manufactured appearance of neutrality. If a man walks down the street and someone runs up behind him, hits him over the head with a baseball bat, kicks him while he's down and then spits in his face before running off, should that be reported as "two men have altercation in street." Is that accurate? Do we need the op-ed pages to note the clear victim/aggressor roles here? There are too many examples of shamefully misleading passages in this article to note them all, but just start with the headline: "Lawmakers Clash..." 1) We've seen this phrase a million times. It's tired, lazy, and could just as easily refer to a dispute over a local zoning ordinance as it does a subversion of democracy. 2) It implies conventional partisan maneuvering and alludes to culpability on both sides. 3) It implies nothing out of the ordinary and nothing worthy of alarm. Do you really think this allows for an accurate understanding of what is taking place here?

  59. The present-day Republican Party has chosen Crooked Donald to be the best person in the country to represent and advance their values. Mitch McConnell and his Senate Gang have gone mysteriously impotent to do anything about the president. If that doesn't tell you what's really going on here, you'd better wake up. Playing nice is not how our freedom was won and it won't preserve our democracy in the face of a organized coup attempt.

  60. So basically, the Republican state politicians want to prevent a Democrat from having the same power that they were happy to have a Republican wield. This is an explicit acknowledgment of the illegitimacy of the goals and tactics of the Republican deep state. I case anyone needed any confirmation of that.

  61. Do Republicans even care that they're viewed by most of us as a party defined by self-interest, corruption, and cheating the system? That they have sunk so low that they only know how to appeal to voters' fears? I can't think of a single GOP policy that isn't somehow an attempt to put more money in corporate donors' pockets and to make us less equal. There's no set of values there anymore, only an attempt to gain power, hold onto power, "win" in the cheapest way.

  62. “Most of us”? Does that include the 48 percent who could’ve voted and sat out the 2016 presidential election? They must not have been too concerned about the GOP or who inhabits the White House.

  63. Republican Party = sore losers and enemies of democracy.

  64. Can we please troll and shame every Republican in Wisconin (or everywhere) with the NOT FAKE but very descriptive title "Poor Loser?"

  65. @janet silenci...they don't care. they really don't. they think winning is all that matters. principles are for the other guy. contemptible and contemptuous.

  66. Pathetic.

  67. Republicans only believe in democracy when they win.

  68. My home state Republicans seem he77 bent on being the biggest embarrassment and bigger crybabies than trump. Didn't losing the governor's office and others tell them anything? Wait until the lawsuits and your even bigger loss in 2020. Our state has had enough of you.

  69. Maybe the national Democrats finally will wake up and make a major and continuing issue of the Republicans' subversion of our democratic institutions. I still hold it against them that they didn't lift a finger to defend their Wisconsin comrades during their protests against Walker and the GOP ramming through their anti-labor legislation.

  70. Not surprising, after watching Making a Murderer I'm convinced Wisconsin is one of the most corrupt states in our nation.

  71. These are probably some the very same people who in 2000 mocked the Democrats chagrin over the Supreme Court's decision on that year's presidential election. "Sore Loserman" was the cry and perhaps it's time to turn the tables on those in Whisconsin who repeated that epithet with such glee.

  72. Wisconsin is the Koch's test tube. We're about to see how they deal with losing at the ballot box. In Central America - it's called a bloodless coup.

  73. "Unethical power grab" should be the motto for the Wisconsin Republican party.

  74. People up there just too lazy to defend their rights? Too meek to save their democracy? There comes a time to draw a very bright line. Maybe that time is now? 20,000 angry people marching on the Capitol won't be ignored, I'll bet you. 200,000 and you can rule the world.

  75. Madisonian currently abroad here. @ Patricia: hear, hear! There were hundreds of thousands of us at the Capitol in the coldest months of 2011. Lazy? I think not. The thing is: when they have the power and you don’t, they don’t have to listen. And they didn’t. And Wisconsin has suffered terribly in the aftermath.

  76. I am watching the demise of the Republican party destroyed by their own hubris. Sad.

  77. @Bewley5 Not sad to me. Destroy away. The sooner the better.

  78. How you can be a Republican in this day and age and consider yourself a decent person is beyond me. North Carolina absentee ballot fix'ngs...voter "fraud" laws....and the latest games played by the Wisconsin republican legislature is the dirty playbook loved and followed by the GOP. But perhaps the mistake on the left is thinking there was ever an ethical standard on the right. Saying you hold God, Family, and Country above all else...doesn't make you a decent person.

  79. Next, they'll hamstring the next Packers coach from changing Mike McCarthy's scheme.

  80. Maybe the Packers will make Walker head coach. It could only benefit my Chicago Bears.

  81. If Wisconsin goes this it will negatively affect all of the other states. There must be standing for other states like California to sue to stop this

  82. This is straight out of the USSR. How far we've fallen.

  83. I recent the term "Angry Democrats" used in your second paragraph of this article. In addition to using a term that is frequently used by Trump to describe Mueller and his team, this unlawful and undemocratic power grab by Wisconsin's current Republican legislature and Governor should make every American angry -- not just Wisconsinites and not just Democrats. It belittles the opposition to these actions as just another partisan sideshow when it is so much more.

  84. They succeeded in North Carolina. And they will succeed in Wisconsin. It would be a grave mistake to assume that the Democratic congressional seats gained can have the effect of diminishing the controlling power that the GOP has effectively achieved at the local, state, and federal levels of government, including total control of the SCOTUS, where all five of the Republican justices are ultra conservative orthodox Catholic men (notwithstanding the smokescreen of Goresuch’s late conversion to the Episcopal church), all five beholden to the strictures of the Vatican, and to the mandates of corporate globalization.

  85. @citizennotconsumer i have not studied the triggers of civil 'wars', but a lot of what is going on in the US sure portends.

  86. @citizennotconsumer Their only god is money. Don't mistake all the bells and whistles for any kind of belief.

  87. The Madison Capitol Rotunda: A place where I have taken my grandkids to know the honor of our state government. A place where I brought Brownies and Girl Scouts to see first hand our Capitol and experience a sense of patriotism. A place where I accompanied Wisconsinites afflicted with Muscular Sclerosis so they could speak about the cost of their pharmaceuticals with legislators. A place where my daughter and son-in-law got married. A place where the citizens of Wisconsin denounce the corrupt governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, and his fraudulent Republican pals. As you can see, Scott Walker and the Republican legislators have poisoned our state, toxified a most gracious place, and tried to implant corruption in our beautiful and precious Rotunda, a place symbolic of our steadfast and enduring Wisconsin. Thank goodness for those opposed to this fraud meeting by the hundreds and maybe thousands lifting their voices against this untoward governor and legislators. Thank goodness for the Democrat legislators trying their best to speak for so many of us. And then there’s Scott Walker, son of a pastor, so far from what God should stand for here. Ironic.

  88. More than ironic, tragic, I would say.

  89. Unfortunately Wisconsin voters have learned the hard way that resistance is futile, almost like flailing at windmills or something. I have no doubt these will be rammed through like everything else. Republicans have no fear since most of the districts favor them by so much they have zero interest in capitulating. It does seem like democracy is dead here. Republicans won my districts by 65% and up and the lone democrat ran unopposed. I see the outraged comments but unfortunately most of these are from blue coastal states, not small town Wisconsin.

  90. @Kooper I think you don't see so many Wisconsin outrage comments that's because so many outraged Wisconsinites are at the Capital, in Milwaukee, writing letters, calling their state senators and representatives.

  91. @Kooper I see you live in Saint Joe McCarthy territory. That might explain the 65%.

  92. @Kooper correct, WI is going to be force fed this utter insanity ....and right after the monumental DEM win??!?! ....the only path now is to start a bunch of finely scalpel'd monumental lawsuits ...or go home & admit defeat (and turn the heat up) have my WA state sympathy WI !!!

  93. From the outside (I live in Oregon) it seems that the election was in large measure against Walker (and Trump). Wisconsin's new governor is a milk-toast nice guy who wants to work with Republicans. (Just like Obama did.) I wonder when the Democrats will finally get the message that you can't work with Republicans. Their idea of a compromise is when they get 110% of everything they want — instead of 150%. And they lie, cheat and steal to get it. (Look what's going on in S.C. where the Republican committee hired a former felon to literally go around and steal people's votes before they were mailed in.) What's too bad is the the Democrats didn't elect a firebrand as governor. As the official party of bullies, all the Republicans understand it power — and there is plenty a real fighter can do to disempower them when the Dems take control of Wisconsin — if they have the guts to do it.

  94. @Philip S. Wenz Wisconsin doesn’t do that. Remember that Walker survived the recall election because Wisconsinites thought it would be unfair to remove him before the end of his term. It’s just how they are. They believe in fairness.

  95. @retired physicist, i tend to doubt that. WI supported Walker because of the rural vote. He was not popular in urban areas. this is the 'age old' battle of educated urban 'elites' against frankly ignorant rural left-overs. and the moment I mean that as mean as it sounds given the filth those rural voters keep giving us.

  96. North Carolina was the state where ballots were “collected” in person.

  97. One of the key messages that far-right media has been hammering home for decades is that only Republicans are legitimate leaders. Unfortunately, not only have many Americans accepted this premise, so have many Republican officeholders. This is why compromise became a dirty word among Republicans:regardless of what the Constitution says, one doesn't compromise with with people whose claims to power are entirely illegitimate, one only defeats (or better yet destroys) them. This is also why we are seeing Republicans engaging in such consistently amoral and immoral behavior: it is a perfect storm of ends justifying means. They have persuaded themselves that no matter what they do to maintain power, it is better than if they were to cede it to Democrats.

  98. It’s pretty simple. Republicans represent white people and Democrats represent all colors. A bunch of spoiled brats with a feeling of superiority.

  99. They have come to hate Dems and liberals more than they love their own country.

  100. "The package of last-minute bills proposed by Republicans is sprawling — five sets of bills, to be precise. Most of them seek to reinforce policies cemented under Governor Walker and to block Tony Evers, the soon-to-be governor, and Josh Kaul, the newly elected Democratic attorney general, from exercising oversight or from rolling back conservative policies of the last decade." Republicans are trying to stop Tony Evers and Josh Kaul from doing what the people of Wisconsin elected them to do. They're ignoring the results of the election. They can't be allowed to get away with this kind of unAmerican behavior.

  101. @L - They aren't just ignoring, they are intentionally subverting the will of the electorate. It is a civil rights violation of the entire state. It is purely dictatorial and in line with the tyrannical and theocratic leanings of Trump Republicans.

  102. @L We have been up against this kind of skulduggery since Walker won the governorship, though it has gotten progressively worse. What does one do when one's elected officials IGNORE the will of the People???

  103. @Can you hear me now The French started a rvolution in 1789

  104. There’s almost a religious dimension to this. This blatant, desperate, even messianic power grab aligns with the evangelical belief that they don’t have to submit to worldly governments or the will of the people (despite multiple New Testament verses including the words of Jesus himself clearly stating the opposite) if they perceive the government or popular will doesn’t align with their religious beliefs. In fact, without delving into the minutia of a state I once admired but now couldn’t care less about, I bet you most of these republicans are either evangelicals or deeply beholden to evangelicals. There’s a real jihad-martyr feel to this jaw-dropping display I thought once was confined to Muslim states. An analysis of the religious and/or evangelical connections in the current Wisconsin Republican legislature as well as more broadly the way evangelicalism has deeply harmed the Democratic will of the country’s majority since the GOP got in bed with these theocrats is long, long overdue. Start with Wisconsin today.

  105. @left coast finch Nice summary.

  106. @left coast finch wow, i just now finished watching my first episode of Handmaiden's Tale, read this article, and yours was the first comment I read. It sent a chill down my spine.

  107. @left coast finch The only thing that is being worshipped is money. These money worshippers are the holders of the true levers of power. The so-called evangelicals are just patsies.

  108. This is such a despicable act by republicans that i believe they should be voted entirely from office in 2020 election ,

  109. Add "sore losers:" to the list of pejoratives that describe the pathetic G.O.P. In addition to being the perpetrators of that which they profess to hate -- voter fraud -- they are guilty of ballot manipulation, gerrymandering, voter intimidation, registration rejections based upon spurious critique, and now this, even after they have engineered to get more seats with fewer votes. This truly is voter fraud. Quite seriously. Challenge them in the courts. Present evidence. Lock. Them. Up.

  110. Too bad Wisconsin doesn't have initiative or referendum rights for their citizens. Might be something to work on for the future, Wisconsinites.

  111. Mr. Walker said. “This is just putting into statutes what we’ve done in practice.” What? Isn't that illegal?

  112. The Wisconsin legislators could care less about the constitution AND democracy. They should move to Saudi Arabia, or Turkey (just two example places). And leave our country.

  113. Besides the gerrymandering that has been done to Wisconsin, the people that voted for Scott Walker are responsible for this. Even Aaron Rodgers can't save them now.

  114. This article fails to mention that Dems won the majority by 300,000 votes and the Republicans lost ONE seat in the state legislature. The state is gerrymandered beyond belief.

  115. @John Someone said 30k above.

  116. If you don’t like the results of democracy then then take democratic outcome out of the office! What a country we live in. No wonder Putin and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia are high-fiving each other.

  117. The solution is very simple. No legislative session between an election and the seating/swearing-in of the new legislators. The fact that we allow laws to be passed after an election and before the newly elected legislators are sworn in is insane. Well... just as insane as this power grab is. We need election reform BADLY!!!!!!

  118. Until the disenfranchised voters of Wisconsin recall these Republicans cheaters, they will suffer at their hands. Clearly the swamp is pretty thickly populated in Wisconsin. Voters need to show them who works for who.

  119. the problem, well one of the problems, is that the Republicans have gerrymandered the heck out of our state to ensure they stay in power. so the representation doesn't as actually reflect the proportion of votes cast.

  120. In 2010, after Wisconsin elected a GOP Gov, Senate and Assembly, the Dems called for a lame-duck session to approve labor contracts that were completely opposite what the GOP legislators had campaigned on changing. These contracts would have committed future budgets to increased expenditures that would have to be passed on to the citizens of Wisconsin. The Dems even got one legislator, who was not re-elected, out of jail for his vote to approve the contracts. The move failed when the outgoing Democratic Senate Majority Leader killed the measure. Incoming Gov Evers does not have a mandate. He didn't even get the majority of the vote last month. He won by only 30K votes state-wide on the strength of carrying liberal Dane County by 150K votes and liberal Milwaukee County by 138K votes. These restrictions on the Gov office were already in the works before the elections and would have been introduced even if Walker was re-elected.

  121. So the Democrats DIDN’T subvert the democratic process after all. Why do you discount votes just because they’re from liberal areas?

  122. @Brian Higgins Unions brought you an 8-hour workday and weekends.

  123. @Brian Higgins "The move failed when the outgoing Democratic Senate Majority Leader killed the measure." Doesn't that negate what was written right there?

  124. "It's kind of real inside baseball, kind of legislative stuff that it's hard for me to believe people will get too excited about." That's Scott Fitzgerald, Republican Senate Majority Leader, speaking to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Now that it's obvious people are getting excited, Fitzgerald just says "we don't trust Tony Evers." Legislation being voted on now, sure to pass, my beloved progressive Wisconsin is dead.

  125. @Richard Beverly Another Fox Pointer, here, Mr. Beverly. I agree, this is NOT the State of Wisconsin I grew up in, and knew to be so even-keeled over the years. Am heartsick and angry. I mean, we showed up to vote. Isn't that what it's all about? These hostile actions by the Legislature are just beyond words ... The worst part is, I feel / fear there is no remedy. They will get this done.

  126. The GOP is out of control. This is not how a party behaves in a democracy. So that makes them authoritarian, period. Call it like it is, NYT. This not a disagreement. This is a power grab directly opposing the results of an election. If that doesn't matter, then we no longer live in a democracy. The media and a lot of the public have a blind spot when it comes to white Christians misbehaving. If there were a majority black state legislature doing this, people would lose their minds.

  127. Walker and his cabal - Vos and Fitzgerald, and the rest of the power drunk GOP lot - have for years run fast and loose with the rules of democracy: public meetings with little advance notice, voter restrictions, gerrymandering, and misrepresentations of their policy intentions. This latest end-run is breath-taking in its brazenness, however, and shows just how desperate this band of outlaws is. Their MO for the past several years has been: if they can't win by the rules, they change the rules. These guys are of the same ilk as Trump and his clan: dishonest and shady. They make a mockery of democracy and should be run out of town.

  128. Again Republicans trying to take power from the Democrats. It reminds me of when they refused to even meet with the Dem's choice for Justice for the SCOTUS, which seems unConstitutional. I'm so proud of Wisconsin for kicking Scott Walker out but Walker wants to limit the next Governor's power. Go away Scott Walker.

  129. Walker Republicans trying to nullify the will of people of Wisconsin. Can whatever Walker Republicans pass be reversed in January ?

  130. It is not surprising to read the leftist radical Judaic-Protestant New Yorker Democrats' criticism of a healthily centrist state of Deep North. Let them be and solve their differences rationally and peacefully.

  131. Nothing so rational & peaceful as the GOPigs hogging the political trough all to themselves, eh, TX?

  132. If you call this rational the only thing in doubt is your rationality, or honesty.

  133. Rationally and peacefully? What?

  134. This is ludicrous. In a country that beats its breast bragging about democracy how can this even be legally permissible? Where are the checks and balances?

  135. @CaptPike66: This is a state matter. Surely, there will be lawsuits in state courts.

  136. It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The Republicans who vote to limit the authority of the incoming government decide everything. - Joseph Stalin (updated)

  137. The GOP has been flanking our American values for years. No longer. This is NOT “reasonable people can disagree on matters of policy and direction.” This is a full, frontal assault on our Country, perpetrated by zealots. Sickos. But the hay is stored and the cows are in the barn. So grab your pitchforks, people. Now. Our blazing bonfires will keep us warm. Because our beautiful, American experiment is in jeopardy. Real jeopardy. Madison calls, Our Country calls...mount up.

  138. President Bush was elected by his teammates to be Captain of his 1948 Yale baseball team. Democratic elections are no longer a system that is widely popular among members of the Republican Party.

  139. What was it about the last election that Republicans didn't understand? They weren't just tired of Scott Walker. They were tired of Scott Walker's policies.

  140. @Tom Q Of course they understand perfectly well and they have just as much respect for their citizens and their state as they have the entire time Scott Walker has been governor, which is none at all.

  141. Ladies and Gentlemen: MEET YOUR REPUBLICAN PARTY! Corrupt, anti-democratic and beholden to plutocrats. Look behind their star spangled curtain and what do you see? Greed and a thirst for power, always more power. Power gained by any and all means possible -- as here we see.

  142. The Christmas Tree is from Ed Gein's hometown of Plainfield, Wis. Weird!

  143. Wisconsin, you should be chanting: YOU WORK FOR US ! ! ! if they need to be reminded. And yes, they DO need to be reminded. In no uncertain terms, and in ways that they cannot ignore.

  144. I am a longtime Madison resident temporarily living abroad, watching the gilets jaunes of France and keeping a furious eye on things at home. It kills me not to be at the Capitol today, trying once again to help my friends and neighbors and colleagues save democracy. Walker and his minions have had their day, or really, their (almost) decade. Time’s up. This. shall. not. stand.

  145. As if we need another reason to never, ever again vote for a Republican candidate for any office at any level of government.

  146. Basically the Republican party is now dominated by Trumpian pols who only believe in winning at any cost- legal or otherwise- and paying off those who are their backers. The lame duck power grab by those who can only get elected in gerrymandered districts seeks to overturn the election of legitimate winners who won in state wide races where gerrymandering isn't possible. This type of behavior was pretty soundly defeated in November in elections that weren't distorted by the illegitimate actions of Republicans who in every way possible sought to keep people from voting or voting in districts where the politicians have so carefully chosen who will be voting. 2020 will see more results throwing these bums out and there will also be a new census that will redraw district lines. Dems need to keep up the fight and make sure democracy again means fair races for state and congressional offices that aren't determined beforehand by those who will be running.

  147. You can never count the republicans out! Even if cheating isn't enough to give you an election, there's always the pre-transition power grab! It's never about democracy, it's always power and control!

  148. These people act as if they are surprised the legislature is doing this, don't they know who the Republican Party really is? I guess not, they voted them in.

  149. A coup d'état is correct. With actions like these, imitating the actions in Congress, evidence is given that the Republican Party seeks to destroy our democracy one act at a time. I hold that the entire party is guilty of treason and must be dissolved. As some kind of non-profit organization, that means they have a charter, and it is past time to revoke it. These legislators belong in prison, as do many, too many Congressmen, like Paul Ryan. We are agog at other countries when such things happen, but here, we see it happening incrementally. It must be stopped. Completely.

  150. This kind of action reminds us of the need to enshrine the allocation of powers between the executive and legislature in state constitutions,where they are not as amenable to this kind of gamesmanship.

  151. Wisconsin. Michigan. North Carolina. The US Senate. When will the public learn that the GOP does not honor democracy or their interests? The GOP play a game of ruthless hardball and its time the Democrats returned the favor.

  152. A coup d'état is correct. With actions like these, imitating the actions in Congress, evidence is given that the Republican Party seeks to destroy our democracy one act at a time. I hold that the entire party is guilty of treason and must be dissolved. As some kind of non-profit organization, that means they have a charter, and it is past time to revoke it. These legislators belong in prison, as do many, too many Congressmen, like Paul Ryan.

  153. “These are the right things to do,” Mr. Vos told reporters. “We are going to make sure the powers of each branch are as equal as they can be.” You weren't too concerned with doing this before, with Walker as governor. Why now? Your hypocrisy knows no bounds, Vos.

  154. If anyone wanted proof that the Republican party does not believe in democracy anymore, this is it.

  155. They are exercising theirs constitutional authority as duly elected legislators. What is the problem? Were the same people whining about Obama pushing through regulations as a lame duck? Lame duck laws are still law.

  156. @KBronson I know hypocrisy is a complicated concept for conservatives so let's just say, remember Merrick Garland.

  157. Wisconsin right wingers are throwing a four year old’s tantrum because something they feel entitled to has been taken away. They don’t look to the people to legitimatise government. They believe in divine right. In Wisconsin it’s 1775.

  158. the koch brothers spent millions to buy the power to control Wisconsin gooverment. They expect the Republican legislators to protect their power, which is why they bought and paid for Walker and his minions. The Koch brother are simply trying to keep a stranglehold on the people of Wisconsin.

  159. The GOP has declared war on democracy. Voter suppression, fraud (in N Carolina, it appears), gerrymandering, and now, in Wisconsin and Michigan, lame duck GOP governors and the GOP's gerrymandered legislators are attempting a limited form of a coup, to overthrow the powers of the Governor, Atty General, and other statewide officials. Recent events in Georgia, Florida, North Carolina are further evidence that the GOP at state levels is no longer a "conservative" party. (At the federal level, this has been clear for two years.) The GOP no longer stands for the baseline value that has made America great: democracy via elections. This will have severe consequences for them in the future, as it will leave only a small proportion of voters willing to support them in the future. They cannot & will not win this war, even if they win a few battles. That is why Mitch McConnell's GOP Senate is furiously attempting to pack the judiciary with right wing judges. The GOP leadership knows that it will eventually control only this single branch of government. Their plan is to use the judiciary to block progressive legislation for the next several decades. When Democrats eventually control the House, Senate, and Presidency, there are many options to ensure that a GOP judiciary does not block human progress.

  160. Don’t trust the Republicans. Being born bullies they don’t care for democratic values. I have a suggestion. Why don’t we hand over the country to the GOP and make Trump life time president. I am sure that will make them happy and make ‘em put on them wear the lambs’ clothing.

  161. Republican Party: the party of Domestic Terrorism. Republicans are anti-democracy, and why? Because close to one half of today’s Americans (and most all immigrants) are the wrong color to suit they’re Humanity palate. Republicans are now in league with the Know Nothing Party of pre-Civil War America...and how’d that work out for everyone?!

  162. What do I call a Republican party led by a Russia backed President that is anti-democratic and ignores the will of the governed? Communists!!!

  163. Five different sets of bills? I can picture the meeting of the Wisconsin chapter of the Republican Geniusness We're Totally Not Sore Losers Club (Powered by Koch®) R1 - Why don't we just burn the place down? R2 - No, I'm allergic to the smoke, and Mommy doesn't let me play with matches. R3 - What if we pass a law that says the Democrats have to be Republicans to pass a law? R1 - That sounds good. How do you spell our party name? I always get it wrong after K O C.... R2 - It has an R somewhere, but it's hard. Why don't we pass a law that says they can't win the election? And so on. Paging Bobby Jindal - you're now beyond party of stupid, and over into criminally contemptuous of the purpose of elections. John McCain's gone. Bush just died. Your party gets lower each time one of the decent ones passes on. PS - dear Michigan GOP. Taking back rules you passed that help voters. Real classy. You folks are tops. Why not spend the rest of the year telling your voters you were just kidding when you passed laws that help the working class?

  164. The GOP culture of corruption need to go to jail and fast in this state. If they are allowed to weaken a Democratic governors power then we are in a fake Democracy and all thanks to the Catholics and evangelicals who voted for this corruption. Sick.

  165. Absolutely disgusting. Pretty clear that lots of Republican politicians value power more than Democracy. Have they no shame?

  166. @AL You are just realizing that they have no shame?

  167. This whole article has ZERO mention of role of Koch’s Brothers In what right now underway in WI. NYTimes gave Kochs a totally pass. Scott Walker a Koch-made-politician.

  168. This is like so banana republic.

  169. Wisconsin GOP is pro-coup, anti-democratic.

  170. The authors of these bills state that they are "afraid that Evers will bring a liberal agenda to Wisconsin" and that these bills are necessary to protect citizens from that agenda. But citizens elected Evers BECAUSE he is bringing a liberal agenda to our state. We don't want this kind of "protection" - so we voted to get rid of it. This isn't hard to understand. The GOP is essentially nullifying our election.

  171. The greatest terrorist threat to America today is government run by Republicans.

  172. Subverting the will of the voters is a form of vote suppression. The Republicans who are so concerned about fraud in elections and voter suppression are now practicing it openly in Wisconsin. This is the same tactics they used in Texas in the past.

  173. Is the Wisconsin GOP so stupid that they've forgotten the adage "what goes around, comes around"?

  174. Sorry, I know this isn't politically correct and that we should all work to come together, but honestly, Republicans are thugs. Their style of politics, at both the State and National levels, is the equivalent of a purse snatching or a brass knuckles sucker punch. Dems and libs are damned if we do and damned if we don't. We either get down in the mud with the GOP and MAGA-ers, in which case the level of discourse deteriorates further, or we turn the other cheek -- again and again and again...

  175. Do not let them get away with this or Democracy will be lost.

  176. Wisconsin Republican legislature acting in such a brazen way is shocking. That they are actually defending their behavior in defiance of voters only more so. Best you can hope for is citizens remember this move during the next round of state house and senate elections.

  177. This is what has been happening in NC for years. The Republican supermajority did the same thing in 2016 when we elected a Democratic governor. There were large protests in the capital and a barrage of calls, tweets and letters, but the legislators had the protesters arrested and ignored the citizens. It's a horrendous abuse of power.

  178. Republicans are an entitled lot. When they don't get what they want through a fair election, they believe they have the right to steal it. History will name them for the stinkers the've become.

  179. Isn't it curious that Wisconsin’s Republican legislators only noticed power was tilted in favor of the executive branch when voters sent their executive out on his ear?

  180. Again, true colors from a Republican Party that has become anti-democratic (little d.) Voter suppression. Bogus claims of widespread voter fraud. Extreme gerrymandering. And when they do lose, don't allow the other party to govern. We are being ruled by a minority that once again was trounced in a fairly held election, yet somehow maintains a majority of power in the country.

  181. Ah, Wisconsin. Seems like a cheesy state looking to milk its constituents. Such a wonderful Republican spectacle or is that a debacle? We'll see in November. I love it!

  182. Is what Republicans are trying to do in Wisconsin any different than a certain Republican in the Senate did to Merrick Garland?

  183. Sounds like they have taken lessons from the NC legislature.

  184. I used to respect reasonable conservatives. Didn't agree with them much but they were honorable and had their own reasons for what they believed - they were principled. Now, one of the worst things I can think about someone is that they're a republican. (small r is intentional)

  185. In Trump's America, Republicans believe laws and elections don't apply to them. They don't care a whit about democracy, it's all about power. They are a disgrace to our nation and a disgrace to their party as well.

  186. There is so much frustration and angst being expressed here about these futile protests in Madison, but there is yet to be seen any acceptance that this is the way things are now. Slogans and signs are impotent in the face of entrenched political establishments, and when their constituents are already armed to the teeth , and just waiting for the word to go in, then no amount of MLK-ing is gonna change it. Is anyone kidding themselves that it’s not just republican-voting haters that have storage lockers full of ammo? Notice how the shelves are cleared in ammo stores every time a Dem wins big somewhere? This country needs to separate amicably before the proverbial hits the fan; if there’s anyone who votes other-than-republican that still thinks this power-grab in WI, and the nations courts etc is a mere episode that will slip away into history as the cycle revolves again in the near future, then you’re no use to those who see it for what it is, and who fear the authoritarianism that is looming. Me? Well I’ve only got about 20 yrs or so left, so am not visible, or at least am seen as harmless/irrelevant, to those planning this clamp-down. It’s the Acorns and the unions and the poets and community activists ( remember Giuliani’s sneer about them in 07?) that they’re coming for. Good luck everyone.

  187. Authoritarianism is not just a Deep South problem. If the courts cannot stop this demise of democracy, we are just as bad as Turkey or Hungary. Without a Blue Tsunami in 2020, I don't see a good outcome for citizens.

  188. In those small towns of WI, which are in the 60 counties which consistently voted for Walker and the GOP, what has Trickle Down Economics brought to you and your community? Better schools than 10 years ago? Higher incomes? Better roads? Affordable college tuition? Better healthcare? More jobs? Or, did the lives of the Top 2% get a lot better while your community crumbled? I grew up in one of those small WI towns.

  189. One minute Republicans are bemoaning the "liberal mob," and the next they're pulling a stunt like this. Ever since the Merrick Garland nomination, I've had trouble saying the Pledge of Allegiance. I'm sorry, but those words no longer ring true.

  190. There is much to admire in US governance, but the right of out-going legislatures to stimy an in-coming administration is not one of them.

  191. This latest salvo against democracy in our state reveals the power of special interests to thwart the will of the people. Republican legislators in Wisconsin take cues from outside groups like "ALEC" and corporate donors at the expense of citizens. As if their gerrymandering of districts was not enough, now they engage in childish, "sour grapes" attempts to thwart our newly-elected Governor and Attorney General before they even take office. Many of us have high hopes that under our new leadership we can reassert Wisconsin's progressive traditions and leadership in environmental protection. Walker's reign has been marked by rollbacks--unless you're a corporate special interest. I just emailed my Republican state representative to let her know my opposition. Do you think she cares? This is disgusting and symptomatic about everything that is wrong with politics in America today.

  192. It's about time we limited the "Lame Duck" period and permit those newly elected to assume their offices as soon as possible The "Lame Ducks" have no loyalty to their constituents because they have been voted out by them, hence they attempt acts to disrupt the will of the people.

  193. If the Wisconsin Republicans are going to practice "Scorthed Earth Politics" and overturn the votes of 1.3 million Wisconsinites who voted to end the stench of Scott Walker's corruption, then it's time for Democrats to play hardball. IF the Republicans pass even ONE piece of legislation in this lame duck session, I call upon the DNC to immediately strike Milwaukee from the list of finalists to host the 2020 Democratic convention. I do not want my fellow Democrats from across America to spend even $1 in the Fascist Dictatorship that the Republicans are establishing in Walker's Wisconsin.

  194. @Jim B Agree 100%

  195. Something about true colors, in a song