Governor-elect Tony Evers, legislative Democrats, and their allies are tripping over each other to express “outrage” about this week’s legislative actions. The media has validated the narrative of election nullification and voter suppression. And then there’s Sheldon Lubar.
As to process, in the words of Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), that “the optics [didn’t] look good.” That’s putting it mildly. The failure to roll-out and clearly explain the agenda remains a mystery.
But don’t buy the “outrage” for a moment. The prevailing feeling among Democrats instead is one of glee that Republicans handed them a p.r. advantage by mishandling “the optics.”
Recent (and belated) information from legislators (for example, Senator Howard Marklein) and outside groups (Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty) address the substance of several provisions approved during the session.
The abject failure of the media to objectively report on the various provisions is no surprise. Reporters eagerly have exploited the “lame duck” theme to reinforce the false impression that legislative action following an election is not legitimate. A typical headline: “Controversial lame-duck proposals now in Scott Walker’s hands as Democratic groups eye lawsuits”. Or this: “Lame-duck lawmakers are threatening democracy itself”.
The media’s thumb on the scale was made clear by Dan Bice’s declaration that Lubar was one of the “winners” for his self-absorbed public grandstanding.
As Bice wrote:
The Milwaukee businessman and longtime Republican had a strong opinion about what was going on in Madison and he didn’t mind sharing it. In an email to Walker, Lubar asked the Republican governor, who is also the son of a Baptist minister, what would Jesus do.
“You can have a long successful career ahead. Don’t stain it by this pointless, poor-loser action. Ask yourself, what would my father say, what would the greatest man who ever lived, Jesus Christ, say,” wrote Lubar, who is Jewish.
So, there you have it. Jesus himself would question the “poor-loser action.” Lubar, of course, was writing “as your friend.” That explains his decision to make his email public.
In the end, unforced errors have handed Democrats an opportunity for orchestrated outrage. If legal challenges ensue that is the right and prerogative of any citizen with standing. Just as it was the right and prerogative of the legislature to hold an extraordinary session.