COMMENTARY: How Robin Vos Justifies Dismantling Recall Elections

A pithy analysis.

Vos’ attempt to amend the recall provisions in the state constitution is a brazen attempt to protect his party against any further ramifications from ram-rodding their right wing agenda. Any reason given is at best a deflectory tactic. Let’s proceed with an examination.

Vos wants to “recall the recall elections.” In a recent article, Vos waxes eloquent about the recall provision in the state constitution. He stated: “I don’t want recalls to become the norm” as well as “When you vote for someone, you say ‘I trust you to represent me for the next two to four years.’”

But even more sincerely, “No longer should taxpayer dollars be wasted on unnecessary recall elections that were triggered by a vote that some special interest group didn’t like” and that “it undermines our democracy and wastes precious taxpayers dollars that are needed elsewhere.” (Mr. Vos, respectfully, whenever people vote, that’s democracy).

What we have here is a clear exercise in the ways one can dissociate their behavior from espoused principles. By principles, I mean those of fairness, equity, and responsibility for everyone in his constituency (Which Mr. Vos believes to have).

“Disregard and distortion of consequences” is used when people attempt to minimize the harm caused by their behavior. The distortion? Vos says; “No longer should taxpayer dollars be wasted on unnecessary recall elections that were triggered by a vote that some
special interest group didn’t like.” If recall elections are a waste of money, and these recall elections involved massive numbers of voters, who were engaged in the democratic process, then Vos is saying the democratic process is a waste of money.

The consequences of the right wing agenda embraced by Mr. Vos and his liege, Walker got a lot bigger than just unions – the budget and subsequent legislation like voter ID was an attack on every Democrat, education, public employees, and the poor. It was the way they rammed through the legislation, ignored and talked over Democrats in session and committee – an abuse of process. We all saw it. Needed is the crutch of disregard and distort.

“Diffusion of responsibility” is used when reprehensible behavior becomes easier to engage and live with if others are behaving the same way. Did Vos forget the Republicans running fake Democrats forcing even more taxpayer expense just to stall for their at-risk brethren? Were the costs for these fakes O.K. then? Unnecessary recalls?

Hardly. The first legislative session of this administration was more like “Men Behaving Badly” than it was thoughtful debate. Shouldn’t they be obligated to debate? Vos and the Republicans don’t own the fact that not just their actions, but also their overreaching along with their contempt for disagreement is what triggered the recalls. Gentlemen, I submit that you should own this.

Let’s consider the use of the term “tools.” We’ve heard both Vos and Governor Walker use this term describing the education budget. The term “tools” is a cosmetic term, but in analysis is known as “euphemistic labeling.” It is an effort to disguise the offensiveness of something one would consider morally repugnant, in this case what Vos’ party did to the teachers and the children of this state. They got creamed, and he knows it. The net effect was a depression of worth, wages and benefits. The liberal use of “advantageous comparison” is a “tool” to avoid self-contempt by focusing on what is considered to be worse behavior by others. Here the crutch is public employee unions.

Vos wants this legislation to be bipartisan (I guess there can be a first time for everything) but how receptive do you think the Democrats are going to be? You remember, the ones the Republicans screwed with their paychecks, fined, and issued arrest warrants against during the budget battle? Was this a good precursor for the belated and transparent (after losing two seats last Tuesday) attempt at bipartisanship?

Our legislators should all look in the mirror, exercise their critical thinking, and try to see things for what they really are, not what they sell them to be.

Brian Dey August 16, 2011 at 12:01 PM
Wah, Wah Wah... Mr. Bell. How many times do people have to re-elect the very people that have made this state better. Once again, you are clue-less to reality. Your side driven by the unions poured millions of wasted dollars to accomplish what? You lost again and will probably lose again today. Recalls are not allowed in 29 states, and the others have provisions for gross misconduct or illegal activity as triggers for recalls. Even local recalls in Wisconsin are held to higher standards and with good reason as we saw play out this summer. I wish just once in your flaming-liberal diatribes, you would actually have a critical thought, but once again, you fail to meet your own standards.
Gene Poole August 16, 2011 at 07:26 PM
A short note to Wisconsin'­s Taxpayers; Public Service Union Retirement funds are facing a 3 Trillion shortfall. You along with taxpayers in 22 other States will have to pay additional taxes to make up the losses. Union Bosses have no idea how the shortfall occurred but it may have been due to democrat politician­s giving more benefits in return for Votes or some Campaign Cash skimming. I guess that translates to 'Hope' for the Unions and nothing left but 'Change' for the taxpayers.
nicholle rogers August 16, 2011 at 11:09 PM


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