2019-06-05-Tom Tiffany-06052019110121 (copy)

Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua)) during a press conference on June 5, 2019. STEVE APPS, STATE JOURNAL

Paul Krugman's column in the New York Times earlier this week was blunt. Republicans don't believe in democracy, he said.

He was commenting about the recent action by the Republican-controlled North Carolina House of Representatives, which has been in a pique since the state's voters elected a Democratic governor last fall.

The GOP reps sneakily waited until the Sept. 11 remembrance of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center to call a surprise vote to override the governor's veto of the state's budget bill. This after telling Democrats they could attend 9/11 ceremonies in their home districts because there would be no votes taken in their absence.

As is all too often the case in today's political world, they lied.

With the Dems safely out of town, the Republican leadership quickly overrode the veto of a budget that cut school funding and social justice provisions to favor the state's special interests and major campaign contributors.

This was just the latest of devious maneuvers to thwart the voters' decision to put a new voice in the governor's office. Earlier, they voted to curtail several of the governor's powers.

"…(When) Democrats win an election, the modern GOP does its best to negate the results, flouting norms and, if necessary, the law to carry on as if the voters hadn't spoken," Krugman wrote.

Sound familiar?

North Carolina legislative Republicans are obviously joined at the hip with their colleagues right here in Wisconsin.

Unwilling to abide by the voters' decision to oust Republican Scott Walker as governor, the GOP rushed into session between the time Democrat Tony Evers was elected in November and when he was actually going to take office in January.

Their infamous "lame-duck" session, much like the actions taken by their North Carolinian colleagues, stripped some of the powers that Wisconsin governors have historically held, and then doubled down on the new Democratic attorney general's prerogatives as well.

It was a brazen attack on the voters' decision just a few weeks before, one that we're only now seeing the destruction it has brought to the principles of good government.

That despicable action was engineered by the lame-duck Gov. Walker, who quickly sanctioned his GOP colleagues' mischief, and Republican leaders like Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and, of course, Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald. One of their chief enablers was state Sen. Tom Tiffany, the outspoken anti-environmentalist from, of all places, northern Wisconsin, where clear lakes and rivers and natural beauty draw tourists from all over the Midwest.

Now Fitzgerald and Tiffany have decided to run for Congress in two open, normally Republican seats. They both are beating their chests on how much they've helped the state with their "bold" and "decisive" leadership.

The big question now is whether their unconscionable attacks on the choices voters made at the ballot box will be rewarded, allowing them to practice their mischief in Washington.

As Krugman said of North Carolina, these Republicans don't believe in democracy.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com608-252-6410 and on Twitter @DaveZweifel.  

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