Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is the longest-serving speaker in Wisconsin history. To some on the hard-right in his own party he may have over-stayed his welcome.
Vos has spent most of his career holding onto power by appeasing the crazies in his own caucus just enough. That explains his embarrassing “investigation” into last November’s election being led ignominiously by former state Supreme Court Justice and stand up comedian (he’s not serious, right?) Michael Gableman. Vos is blowing about $700,000 of taxpayer money on Gableman’s antics.
But, apparently, that’s not enough. The not-so-inconsequential insane wing of his party doesn’t think Vos is doing nearly enough to overturn legitimate election results that they just don’t like. And they’re particularly peeved that Vos stripped conspiracy theorist and certified wack job Rep. Timothy Ramthun (R-Campbellsport) of his lone staff member. Never mind that Vos didn’t do that for the good reason he had at hand, namely that Ramthun had introduced a measure that would, illegally, reassign Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes to Trump. No, Ramthun felt the wrath of the Speaker because one of his off-the-wall charges was that Vos was working with lawyers for Hillary Clinton to allow election drop boxes. So, it’s one thing to call for the disenfranchisement of Wisconsin voters, but when you accuse the Speaker of conspiring to do something good, well, that’s going too far.
Ramthun is now riding this all the way to a gubernatorial bid that, overnight, has made him a candidate that must be taken seriously, at least in the unhinged world that is a Republican primary. Ramthun and Kevin (I want to be your Senator! No, scratch that. Your Governor!) Nicholson are running in part on a platform of dumping Vos. That leaves frontrunner (is she still?) former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch as the odd woman out and fast becoming the representative of her party’s “establishment.” Never mind that Trump is the establishment now. Anybody this side of nuts is the “establishment” to folks like Ramthun and Nicholson.
And the GOP faithful is restless at the grassroots as well. At least four county party chapters have passed resolutions condemning Vos and calling for him to resign.
“He may have done some good things, but I think the damage he’s done to the party since November 3 of 2020 is unforgivable,” Terry Brand, chairman of the Langlade County Republican Party, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “Anywhere from discontent to furious are the emotions I’ve experienced with people from around the state, from around northern Wisconsin, and so forth.”
It’s hard to feel sorry for Vos. He’s a smart guy with generally traditional Republican views and solid instincts, who has nonetheless done little to stand up to the absolute absurdity of Trumpsters in his party. It is, in part, the cowardice of people like Vos that has brought us — and him — to this point.
And on another matter… State Rep. Janel Brandtjen assured those at a rally calling for the reassignment of Wisconsin’s electoral votes to Trump that they were, “not crazy.” Another example of claims presented without evidence.
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