If you glance quickly enough, you’ll see that Wisconsin is being run by a Democratic Governor by the name of Tony Evers. Wait a second, though. Something doesn’t add up. When you look at all that’s going on in the state, it would appear that a Republican is running the show.
That’s because a Republican is running the show. Only, he’s doing so behind the scenes.
Robin Vos is the state Assembly speaker who has been using his Republican majority to maintain law and order within the state. Any move that Governor Evers makes that is not in the best interest of the GOP is blocked.
Essentially, the governor is powerless. Evers took office in 2019, yet Vos had already taken precautions to strip away power from that office.
When the pandemic hit, Evers wanted to act just like every other liberal governor – declare a public health emergency and shut everything down. Luckily, Vos was in there to make sure such silliness didn’t occur.
Now, some have said that Vos has gone too far. After all, the people have voted in Evers as their governor for a reason. At the very least, Vos has to give the governor enough rope to hang himself, right?
That’s not what’s happening, though.
Vos has tried to commandeer federal rescue money.
Vos has killed each and every legislative priority that Evers has had.
Vos has tossed budget proposals out the window.
Vos even dismissed the special legislative session Evers called to discuss gun control.
We have to be careful because Wisconsin may get the wrong idea. They may see everything that is happening as success from a Democrat. Yet, it’s not a Democrat that’s really running the show. He is a governor in name only, and it’s quite a rarity.
Most governors have a state assembly that is of the same party lines. When there are assemblies that cross the political line, there’s friction – and that can certainly be seen in states such as Texas.
Vos might be making some crucial moves to protect Wisconsin but he has to make sure that Evers doesn’t get credit for it all.
Vos, who is also the president of the National Conference of State Legislatures, has even gone as far as addressing lawmakers immediately following Evers’ annual State of the State speech. The message Evers gave was done via video message. Vos gave his own where he attacked Evers about everything, tearing the governor apart about everything from unemployment benefits to vaccine distributions. “Do your job” was the overall message that Vos had.
Can Evers do his job, though?
No. And, perhaps that’s a good thing. If Democrats can be denied big policy wins, it limits their power. Evers is up for reelection again. The problem is, it’s critical that everyone know that it’s been Vos that has kept the state running.
Evers is timid. He doesn’t meet with lawmakers in person. He chooses to do so via video. And, he can go months without speaking to Vos in person. In a nutshell, he’s not a good leader.
According to Vos, Evers “has no passion and no policy chops on the vast majority of issues. So, it’s very hard to have an intellectual conversation and get into the topic to say, how do we fix that problem.” Evers isn’t even sure that fixing specific issues is his job.
Vos may have gone too far according to some, but perhaps we need to take it that far in every state where there’s a liberal governor. It’s what will keep the Dems out of power – and what he has done can serve as a model to other swing states where the GOP has the majority in the assembly alongside a liberal governor.