Congressman Glenn Grothman Is Part Of COVID Pandemic Problem

The fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is raging across the nation, due to the lack of personal responsibility too many individuals are exhibiting concerning the vaccination. If ever there was a time for all hands to be on deck in a helpful manner, for the sake of public health, this would be the time.

Right?

In what can only be labeled a galling example of partisan politics Wisconsin Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman declined to answer a reporter’s question about whether he was vaccinated. In a most disgusting display, the conservative stated he would not answer as he didn’t want to be seen as “taking sides.”

As I watched the moronic words slip from his mouth I wondered if Grothman also feels that the required shots for kids to attend our public schools should also be undermined in a partisan fashion so as not to offend the weaker-minded parents who have not yet determined their efficacy.

If one looks at the base of the Republican Party–the very ones that Grothman was playing to– it is clear to see these are not armchair epidemiologists. They should not be treated as if they are wiser than the medical professionals and the scores of scientists who labored in a short time span to produce a vaccine that WORKS.

The need in this nation is for everyone with a platform, voice, or position of power to speak plainly and directly to the ones not yet vaccinated and alert them as to why they need to get the shots. Now.

While Grothman will gladly prattle on about his love for the unborn, and his ‘pro-life’ positions it must be noted that when he had a chance with a television news crew to really make a difference by speaking about the best way to prevent a deadly virus from spreading he opted for the shallow end of the pool.

He played politics with what has claimed over 600,000 lives in this nation. While this blog is called Caffeinated Politics, and there are many issues that get heated and pointed, I readily admit, prior to this pandemic, that I never would have fathomed that a vaccine to prevent deaths would be controversial. I never would have thought it possible that a political party or individual members thereof would opt to play with, for partisan reasons, the health and well-being of the citizenry during a pandemic.

Glenn Grothman failed his constituents, his state, and a moral calling to help during a pandemic.

Congressman Glenn Grothman Could Learn From Lyndon Johnson

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One of the first news articles I read this morning was written by John Nichols regarding how Wisconsin’s Congressman Glenn Grothman is vying for attention with Senator Ron Johnson over who can stoop lower with racist statements. With the all-out openness that the Republican Party now exhibits their racist statements and sentiments it should come as no surprise there is competition over who can get deeper into the muck when playing to the base.

But there is another way to use competitiveness in politics other than going deeper into the basement. As such, I offer an idea for Grothman. As the Cap Times article makes clear the congressman needs some solid advice, as his image is needing repair.

On Wednesday, during the debate on President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, Republicans were struggling to come up with justifications for opposing necessary relief for Americans who have been hit by a pandemic and an economic downturn. So Grothman, an awkward communicator with a penchant for convoluted reasoning, was allowed to speak.

The Glenbeulah Republican made two arguments against the measure.

“First, one of the things that hasn’t been mentioned, the increase in the earned income tax credit for single people has a marriage penalty in it. I bring it up because I know the strength that Black Lives Matter had in this last election. I know it’s a group that doesn’t like the old-fashioned family,” Grothman said, claiming to be “disturbed that we have another program here in which we’re increasing the marriage penalty.”

Clearly, a competitive streak and the need for attention are at the heart of what Grothman is doing. Johnson, however, has a larger ball field from which to play his race cards so it would seem Grothman must find another way to stand out.

The leaders who have stood out in their own place and time are those who contributed mightily to bending the arc of history towards progress. Such names come to mind as Peter the Great, Benjamin Disraeli, Abraham Lincoln, and Lyndon Johnson. Now, I am not suggesting Grothman place aside his harsh Darwinian thinking and walk upright into the 21st century. I am not even suggesting he entertain overly enlightened thoughts.

But instead of offering the racist echoes of Ron Johnson why doesn’t Grothman place meaningful legislation into the congressional hopper? How about competing in the arena of ideas rather than racist rhetoric?

When President Johnson was elected in 1964 he wanted to be more than just a mere election winner. Rather, he wanted to achieve more than his political hero and mentor, President Franklin Roosevelt. As such, he was determined to have more bills passed in the first hundred days than was achieved in 1933. Granted, FDR was urging action in the midst of a depression while LBJ was working for laws in the midst of prosperity.

But at the end of the hundred days, Johnson had passed 12 bills, while FDR had passed 11. When it came to the thrust of the measures most historians place the scales being heavier in 1965. Then as we know on August 6, 1965, Johnson signed the voting rights bill into law. On the same day, it needs to be noted a hundred and four years earlier, President Lincoln had signed a bill emancipating black slaves who had been conscripted to fight in the Confederate Army.

Competition can be a very creative force, and when used artfully one that can achieve a great deal. Instead of going for the racist lines, Grothman could instead earn headlines for ideas that brought people together.

Now I very well know Ron Johnson is no FDR, and Glenn Grothman no LBJ. But would it not be nice if they strived, even at the margins, to be better men and elected officials than they are now showcasing to the state and nation?

History offers advice how it can be achieved.

And so it goes.

Congressmen Glenn Grothman vs. Adam Kinzinger Over Kurdish Slaughter

The measure of a person can be taken when there is clearly a right and wrong approach concerning a pressing issue.  The international crisis that has jarred the world following the military incursion by Turkey into Syria, all so the Kurds can be killed and removed, is such a moment to test a person’s character.

What Wisconsin Republican Glenn Grothaman offered as a tepid rejection of Donald Trump’s dangerous pullback of American forces in Syria, following the weak-kneed phone call at the White House to President Erdoğan, is most telling.

Presidential Debate America Watches

During an interview on Upfront the most strident line that could pass the lips of one of Trump’s lapdogs was “On the surface, I don’t like the decision”.

The news reports and analysis pieces must be written at too high a level for Grothman.  Instead, he will soak up the lines offered by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later this week in a briefing.  And then simply regurgitate them to the public.  No threat of ever using the congressman’s name and the term ‘leader’ in the same sentence.    Not only did Grothman undermine the Kurds with his feckless remark, but he also demonstrated he has no ability to act with any moral compass.  Who would not say precisely what needs to be heard at a time when ethnic cleansing is being threatened?

Well, that would be Glenn Grothman.

Meanwhile, another Republican Congressman also gave an interview this weekend.

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Adam Kinzinger was on Face The Nation.  His words were the type that underscores what this man is made up of.

In fact, pulling back those fifty troops or whatever it was has given license to Turkey and then now I think pulling out the remaining thousand in Syria is simply an excuse to get out. Look at it this way. You hear the President and people like Rand Paul talk about endless wars all the time and it’s kitschy, but actually we were preventing an endless war. And– and that actually commenced on Sunday now a week ago and so it’s really depressing. And you know, for me as– as a guy that served in the military and really, got into politics because I believe in the role America plays, to see this, yet, again you know leaving an ally behind, abandoning people that we, frankly, told that we were going to be with is disheartening, depressing. 

When asked if Trump is putting U.S. national security at risk there was no equivocation.

Yes, I certainly I– I think so, yeah. And I mean look– look at what’s going to happen out of here. Now we have another group that now believes they can’t rely on the United States. Th– there’s a lot of complication in the Kurd situation and I’ve seen all this Russian misinformation now on the internet that’s being picked up by some of these political blogs that these are the bad Kurds and there’s good Kurds. Well, look, there are Kurds that aren’t– aren’t the best folks in the world. But there are also people that we have chosen to equip to fight ISIS that we were with. We had created a situation in which there was stability and out of an impulsive decision, I think that the President made– otherwise it was cold and calculated because he’d been thinking about it for a while and nobody else knew. The Kurds found out on Twitter for goodness sakes. We have left them to the wolves. And– and the message this is sending to our allies around the world I think it– is really going to be bad.

The character, or lack thereof, with two Republicans on display this weekend.

And so it goes.

Glenn Grothman: Picture Of A Heartless Conservative

Should federal workers be denied their back pay due to a government shutdown ginned up by lies?

Wisconsin Republican Glenn Grothman says yes.   He voted against giving back pay to federal workers.

We all know there is no national emergency regarding undocumented immigrants at the southern border. We are all aware data from Donald Trump’s own agencies prove no evidence exists for building a wall on the border.   To shut down portions of the federal government based on lies is bad enough.  But to deny workers from their back pay is unconscionable.

The House approved a measure today with strong bipartisan support that would assure paychecks for federal employees. The vote was 411-7.  One of the Neanderthals was Glenn Grothman who voting against morals, ethics, and sanity.  The shutdown has meant that federal employees in nine departments and some smaller agencies would not be getting their paychecks. The workers were either furloughed or required to work.

In an interview with the media Grothman said it was “awfully generous” to guarantee back pay to workers even in scenarios when they might not be working for months.”

Someone should alert Grothman that he has the power to place the workers back into the jobs they were hired to do.    With his votes, and those of others, the shutdown could end.

The majority of America will not accept the idea Trump can hold hostage the government of the United States.  The vast majority of the House proved it will not accept harsh and senseless actions against federal workers.  That was underscored when the House landed on the opposite side of Grothman.

But almost everyone in the nation is on the opposite side of this Mama’s Boy.

Does GOP Congressman Glenn Grothman Still Claim To Be For Small Government?

One of the most quirky Wisconsin politicians is about to seek a third term in congress—but his actions while in office raise a question about his philosophical foundations.

Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman has spent nearly as much on government mail and printing expenses as he has on his re-election campaign since the start of 2017.   To put it another way he leads all members of the House congressional delegation from Wisconsin on such expenses.

Grothman spent $268,939 on mail-related expenses from Jan. 1, 2017, to March 30, 2018, compared to the average for Wisconsin House members of $87,442.  In the same period, Grothman’s campaign organization spent $283,590, according to the Federal Election Commission.

How does that square, however, with his love of smaller government, and cutting budgets and castigating any social service program that aims to help all those ‘other people’ that do not fit in around a corporate conference table?

I find Grothman not be honest when trying to explain these costs.  The mail and printing costs is needed, he claims, as his constituents are wanting more mailbox envelopes as opposed to email.  He claims—with what passes for his sincerity—this is done because voters in his district like it that way.   I simply do not find that a credible defense.

Franking expenses are often campaign fodder and that is sure to be the case as Grothman’s Democratic opponent, Dan Kohl, is going to press the issue.  There is no way to miss the 800-pound elephant in the room overt his matter–and that is Grothman’s spending on mail is a way to supplement his campaign fund.

Grothman is one of those members of congress who think the laws only apply for those who work and pay the taxes back in the district.  He thinks political rhetoric on the campaign trail, such as spouting smaller government and less spending, is only useful for getting Republican voters to cast a ballot.

As long as Republican voters are happy to be played like a fiddle and used by the Glen Grothmans of the world–well–then his kind will keep on playing the system and hoping no one notices.

Now move along workers of Wisconsin and earn more money to pay more taxes—Glenn Grotham wants to write a snail-mail letter to his constituents! 

Congressman Tom Petri Will Not Endorse Glenn Grothman

Priceless and totally understandable from Congressman Petri’s point of view.  There is just no getting around the fact that Glenn Grothman is a wing-nut and not even one of the most decent and diplomatic members of congress can endorse him for the fall campaign.

I have no doubt that this conservative republican congressional area will of course elect Grothman in the mid-terms but there is also no doubt there will be buyer’s remorse once Grothman unleashes his ‘charm’ after the election.  There is a place for colorful people such as Grothman–such as in the pages of books about politicians from the likes of Allen Drury.  While the real world understands the words of Petri, we are left to ponder why more of the voters in the 6th can not understand them too.

Why would I endorse a person who has said that if in two years people said he was ‘just like Petri’ he would be insulted?” Petri said. “I don’t want to smother him with love or anything like that.”

(Petri) said   (Democratic candidate Mark) Harris has done “a fine job” as county executive.

To his long-time constituents, Petri suggests the best way to get a sense of each candidate is to view them in person at political debates.

“We have a tradition of having debates in each of the counties in the district and this is healthy and helpful,” he said. “Rather than looking at ads and reading second-hand accounts, go see for yourself and ask candidates questions in a forum setting, in real time.”

So far, Harris has participated in two debates that Grothman declined to attend. The two appeared at a small, limited-access forum in Fond du Lac and will both participate in an Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce forum on Oct. 23. They’ll also debate on Oct. 30 in Plymouth.

Early in the campaign cycle, Harris challenged Grothman to debate him in every county in the district. Grothman has been reluctant to participate in the public debates and has even turned down interviews for issues coverage, preferring to have questions emailed to him.

Petri wishes a future for his district that includes a good economy and ample employment opportunities.

“And I hope the people’s voices are really listened to,” he said.

State Senator Glenn Grotham Quotes

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A couple of weeks ago I commented that State Senator Glenn Grothman’s desire to run for congress will provide for cheap theatre.  One of my reasons for thinking this to be true was penned concisely.

The number of comments that will come back and haunt Grothman will likely rival the new ones he will utter without regard for the way they sound. 

I might have added without regard to who the quotes offend.

Now one of my favorite Madison reporters and writers, Jack Craver, offers his view regarding some of Grothman’s quotes.

For instance, Grothman hasn’t adopted the mellower tone that Republicans have taken on gender and sexual roles in recent years. If anything, he’s doubled down on his conservative Christian worldview.

Did people even know what homosexuality was in high school in 1975?” he asked the Cap Times in 2010. “I don’t remember any discussion about that at the time. There were a few guys who would make fun of a few effeminate boys, but that’s a different thing than homosexuality.”

And in 2011 he told me the following about homosexuality:

“If people adhere to the tenets of Christianity, the acceptance of that sin will not be the norm. How society deals with it is going to determine to a certain extent how much that lifestyle flourishes, and it should not flourish.”

He suggested that the pay gap between men and women was due largely to men seeking better pay because they expect to be the primary breadwinners:

“In my personal experience, the reason most men make more than most women is that most men set themselves up or view themselves as breadwinners in the family. So, frequently it’s not unusual to have a guy working 50 or 60 hours a week and the gal’s working 35 or 40 hours a week.”

Indeed, the real problem is the country kicking men to the curb, he has said.

“Our country is not going to survive if we continue this war on men,” he told a tea party rally in 2010.

State Senator Glenn Grothman About To Give State Cheap Theater

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I suspect many a politico when waking up this morning did not know that within a short period of time news would develop that would make for smiles all around.

For some strict conservative types the news that State Senator Glenn Grothman is planning to run for congress must have brought glee since there is no one serving in the House of Representatives from this state that can be labeled ‘crackers’.  After all, doesn’t the fringe right deserve their own candidate from this state?

For the rest of us, the vast majority, the news that Grothman will either challenge Congressman Petri in the 6th District, or perhaps face others in a primary should Petri not seek another term, was the news that makes politics fun to follow and muse about with friends over coffee.

Like him or not, all must agree that Grothman is unique.  Every statement he utters seems almost designed to create news, rancor, and partisan back-and-forth.   That is what will be required in order to attain name identification in a district where Grothman does not even yet live.  Perhaps the thinking goes if Scott Brown can move to New Hampshire then Glenn Grothman can surely slip over the boundary line into Campbellsport.

I had the understanding Tea Party types did not find much to like about career politicians. Grothman has served in the state legislature since 1993.  Add to the mix the leap for Grothman to get moved into the district and one has to wonder if some of the rabid right are losing their principles.

The number of comments that will come back and haunt Grothman will likely rival the new ones he will utter without regard for the way they sound

Perhaps one of his classics was when speaking about women and pregnancies.  When will male Republicans learn that is a topic that should be verboten?  Grothman actually said that “unwanted or mistimed” pregnancies are the “choice of the women” who should learn “that this is a mistake.”  I suspect someone during the campaign will alert Grothman to the fact that the war on women is no longer a cool thing to engage in 2014.

Whatever happens with regards to Petri seeking election, or other contenders lining up for the primary should there be an open seat, one thing is crystal clear.  With Grothman in the race no one in the state will dare say that ‘politics is boring’. After all, it is not everyday that the morning news announces that a laughingstock is running for congress.

Get the popcorn ready, make sure your easy chair is free, and be prepared for some cheap theater thanks to Glenn Grothman!