Forget the latest partisan junk. Give power to the people.
MAKE NO MISTAKE: A legislative effort to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot limiting Wisconsin governors' veto powers has less to do with some inherent objection to gubernatorial authority and more to do with pure partisanship.
Republicans were elected to control both houses of the legislature in 2010, and voters picked Republican Scott Walker to occupy the governor's office. That's how matters remained for the next eight years, during which the legislative majority never called for any measures to limit the authority of a governor.
Then Democrat Tony Evers beat Walker in 2018. Republican legislative leaders called a lame-duck session before Evers was scheduled to take office in January 2019 and passed several measures intended to kneecap his authority. Walker signed them all. Now the target is the strong veto authority of a Wisconsin governor, which would require a constitutional amendment.
APPARENTLY, IN MADISON, politicians believe voters are dumb as a stump and will swallow the notion that majority legislators legitimately discerned governors are too powerful only after Evers defeated Walker.
Let's hope voters are smarter. And fairer.
Partisanship has become the disease that threatens the soul of American democracy. It is the enemy of civility. It is the enemy of reason. It yearns to be authoritarian, because it is the philosophy that requires its practitioners to believe "my side is always right; your side is always wrong."
And it holds as truth that anyone who thinks differently is neither friend nor neighbor or a patriotic American, but a blood enemy deserving to be crushed.
LET'S MAKE THIS clear as well: Excessive partisanship is not a Republican disease or a Democrat disease - the worst of both sides embrace and practice it in extreme ways.
The result is there, plainly, for anyone willing to see - divided, angry, itching for a fight factions preferring to burn down the house rather than look for any common ground.
As for a constitutional amendment, we have a suggestion: Give the people power over the political class by allowing them a chance to vote for what is called initiative and referendum. That change would empower people to gather a sufficient number of signatures supporting a given initiative to place a statewide vote on the ballot, and if the people approved the initiative it would become law over any objections from politicians.
That might result in real change.
Think, for starters: (1) a non-political process to draw legislative boundaries, and (2) term limits on politicians.
Odd, isn't it, no one in Madison is stepping forward to champion that idea?