MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin Republicans are still dealing with the fallout over their disaster of a GOP convention, which was derailed when Donald Trump scolded Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, Senate Majority Leader Devin LaMahieu, and state Sen. Chris Kapenga for not doing enough to promote the Big Lie and accused them of a cover up.
In their defense, they are trying really hard – Vos has already pushed for restrictive voting laws targeting Wisconsin’s most vulnerable populations; hired former cops and election conspiracy theorists to investigate the election; and several legislators trekked out west to observe the GOP’s ridiculous operation in Arizona.
In what was clearly an attempt to appease Trump at the convention, Vos announced the hiring of former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman to oversee the WI GOP’s election review. Gableman has already said, at a Trump rally no less, that he believes the election was rigged.
And in the weekend’s most desperate act, Wisconsin Republican Chris Kapenga wrote Trump a love letter, which the Washington Post called “high art,” insisting that he was doing everything in his power to help Trump lie, cheat, and steal his way into winning elections. Kapenga said, “I feel I need to respond even though you will likely never hear of it, as the power of your pen to mine is like Thor’s hammer to a Bobby pin.” And then went on to list all of the Trump memorabilia he plans on wearing to the airport. If it isn’t already clear enough – Wisconsin Republicans value Trump’s approval of their plan to steal elections more than they value the needs of Wisconsinites. There was no talk of expanding affordable health care, investing in public education, or ensuring Wisconsin’s economic recovery – only fake election fraud and conspiracy theories.
It still wasn’t enough to avoid Trump’s wrath and a whole series of negative national attention. Read more about the continued fallout from the GOP convention below.
New York Times: Wisconsin G.O.P. Wrestles With Just How Much to Indulge Trump
“In a blistering statement last week on the eve of the state party’s convention, the former president accused top Republican state lawmakers of “working hard to cover up election corruption” and “actively trying to prevent a Forensic Audit of the election results.”
“Wisconsin Republicans were alarmed and confused. Some circulated a resolution at the convention calling for the resignation of the top Republican in the State Assembly, Speaker Robin Vos, who in turn announced the appointment of a hard-line conservative former State Supreme Court justice to oversee the investigation. The Republican State Senate president released a two-page letter addressed to Mr. Trump that said his claims about Republicans were false — but that made sure to clarify in fawning language the state party’s allegiance to the former president.
“It was all a vivid illustration of Mr. Trump’s domineering grip on the Republican Party, and of his success in enlisting officials up and down its hierarchy in his extraordinary assault on the legitimacy of the last presidential election. Nearly eight months after Election Day, Republicans are reviewing results in at least three states — Wisconsin, Arizona and Georgia — and are trying to do so in others, including Michigan and Pennsylvania.”
“Republican leaders in states across the country have spent the first half of 2021 pushing to relitigate the 2020 election, amping up false conspiracies that the presidency was stolen and in some cases pushing for ‘audits’ to prove the case. But what’s happening now in Wisconsin is unique — a secretive effort run by one of the state’s most powerful Republicans to undermine faith in elections.
“The investigation is unlike anything else happening in the country, even as it has a similar aim: giving semiofficial cover to false and misleading claims of 2020 election fraud as a way to justify severe new voting restrictions.”
“Trump chewed out Wisconsin Republican Chris Kapenga. His letter in response is astounding.’“This is the level of Stalinist groveling that is required in the Republican Party right now,’ says Chris Hayes.”
Washington Post: This Wisconsin Republican’s letter to Trump is high art
“The crux of the matter is this: Trump this weekend decided to attack top Wisconsin Republicans for supposedly not going far enough to uncover voter fraud in the 2020 election in their state. Trump said they were “working hard to cover up election corruption” and “actively trying to prevent a Forensic Audit of the election results.” As the New York Times’s Reid J. Epstein wrote Tuesday, this shocked those leaders, given they had actually gone pretty far in entertaining Trump’s conspiracy theories about the election.
“Trump’s broadside preceded one significant move from state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos. Vos suddenly faced calls for his resignation, but the next day he appointed a very conservative former state Supreme Court justice to oversee the investigation that had already been set in motion. One thing nobody can say about Trump’s attacks on his fellow partisans is that they don’t get results.”