It’s no surprise the GOP legislators scrapped Medicaid expansion, medical pot and an increased minimum wage in Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed budget; why wouldn’t they?

It’s just another example of one side throwing down a gauntlet and the other side plowing through it.

The response from the Democrats is also no surprise. Republicans are refusing to listen to the will of the people or work together, and Wisconsin residents will pay the price, Evers said.

To pile on, fringe groups formed to push partisan agendas have made their voices heard in media and in protests, just another form of laying down the gauntlet.

And what about our local legislators? They’re just as bad and showing the same lack of leadership we see in Madison. They can’t even tour UW-Eau Claire and its much needed building improvements together or at the same time.

Our solution?

The governor is the elected leader of our state. Whether you voted for him or not, he is our governor. He needs to lead this and not by handing the GOP a shopping list. He needs to work out the shopping list with the GOP, compromise where necessary and pass a bipartisan budget.

Nobody said it was going to be easy but in this case he practically dared the Republicans to throw it back in his face and they did. So governor, be the bigger person, take a step back and negotiate to a final solution that lets everyone win a little.

Teach the freshman legislators how to work for their constituents. Right now most of them think they were elected to go to war with the other side.

It’s our responsibility to point out the lack of leadership and those who hold us back in our effort to obtain good health care, education and prosperity. We’ll name names and give examples. For too long we’ve reported on one side or the other. It’s time to hold our elected officials accountable to the people they represent. This includes our state representatives, our county elected officials our city officials and other local boards.

Always show leadership and maturity, be the bigger person who works on behalf of the people you represent and understand that compromise is necessary to move forward.

We want to celebrate wins in Wisconsin. Most of us want our elected officials to work together. Ignore the small-minded, big-mouthed bunch who throw out absolutes and ultimatums. They are nothing but little flashes in the pan. We want to celebrate leadership; be a leader.

Rickman is publisher of the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram.