The conservative movement doesn’t really believe in the liberties laid out in the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. It believes in the divine right of its preordained hierarchies — white supremacy, patriarchy, homophobia, xenophobia, etc. — and will stop at nothing to maintain them.
“I wish that in a circumstance like this, I would be able to concede to a worthy opponent,” Kelly told his supporters on election night. “But I do not have a worthy opponent to which I can concede.” He claimed without evidence that Protasiewicz is “a serial liar” and that the Democrat who defeated him doesn’t believe in the rule of law but “the rule of Janet.”
It should have been a banner week for democracy. But it wasn’t.
Anyone doubting Republicans’ impeachment bluster in Wisconsin could take a look around to Nashville, Tenn., where white GOP lawmakers stunned the nation by expelling two Black colleagues and disenfranchising their roughly 140,000 predominantly African American constituents because the men had, from the floor of the Capitol, joined a thousand or so young people protesting gun violence.
It would be easy to dismiss Kelly’s election denial as unusually sour grapes, except that some lawmakers in the GOP majority in the Wisconsin legislature are — and this is hard to believe — already talking about impeaching Protasiewicz even before she takes the oath of office. A new state senator who won a special election to give Republicans a supermajority in Madison said he’d “seriously consider” impeaching the new justice, citing the flimsy pretext of her record as a circuit judge in “failing” Milwaukee.
It was the highlight reel of what should have been a banner week for American democracy – scores of down vest-wearing, smartphone-gazing students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in a line that snaked around every corner of a campus building as they waited to cast a ballot for an open seat on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.