The shenanigans in Wisconsin may be a sign of greater trouble to come in '24


By Samuel Damren

This commentary is a view of America’s possible future, Wisconsin style.

Janet Protasiewicz was elected as a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice on April 4, 2023. She won by 11 percentage points over her rival Daniel Kelly.

In late September 2023, the Wisconsin Assembly – dominated through gerry-mandering by MAGA Republican Authoritarians – impeached and sidelined her as a justice based on specific liberal views, abortion among them. In so doing, they nullified the will of the Wisconsin voters based on purported legislative privilege.

Buoyed by this victory, Wisconsin MAGA Authori-tarians advanced this potent Republican anti-democratic virulence to a new arena on October 29, 2023:  Big Ten Football.

It was a hard-fought football game at Camp Randall Stadium on October 28, 2023. The Ohio State Buckeyes, favored by 14 points according to the oddsmakers, celebrated a 56 –3 victory on film before a national audience against the Wisconsin Badgers.

Hard running, five touchdown passes to wide receiver Marvin Harrison, and a stout defense defined the Buckeye victory.  

Wisconsin’s alumni never conceded defeat. They had an ace up their sleeve.

The game was played in Madison so the next day the Wisconsin legislature convened an emergency session to review the score keeping and qualifications of Buckeyes to beat Badgers. After careful consideration as to which side of their  bread was buttered, the legislature declared Wisconsin the victors.

First, they found suspect the fact that the Buckeyes had exceeded the oddsmakers point spread of 14 by 39 additional points. This was evidence of fraud.

Second, five touchdown passes to a single opposing receiver had never previously happened in the history of Wisconsin football. Clear evidence of rigging.

Third, Wisconsin is the definition of stout. The idea that a team from Ohio could be described in that fashion was irrefutable evidence of delusion.

As a result, and based on overwhelming evidence, the Wisconsin legislature impeached the Buckeye victory and found as fact that the Wisconsin Badgers defeated OSU by a score of 31–28. Four of Marvin Harrison’s touchdowns were erased and added to the Badger point column.

Footnote – in order to appear fair or at least to suggest that possibility, the Wisconsin legislature determined that one of Harrison’s touchdowns was not fake.

Footnote on footnote – they would have found all of Harrison’s touchdowns were fake except that they only needed to subtract 28 points from the Buckeye tally and add those points to the home team score to secure a Badger victory.


This prescient commentary was inspired by the hilarious student newspaper headline in the November 24, 1968 edition of the Harvard Crimson “HARVARD BEATS YALE 29 -29.”

There is, however, nothing hilarious about what is going on in Wisconsin.

Instead, if this legislative threat comes to pass, future historians might well determine that the death of American democracy was birthed in Madison, Wisconsin with the impeachment of duly elected Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz.


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