If you think the billionaires aren’t rich enough, women have too much control of their bodies and workers get paid too much, this GOP is for you.
As the 112th Congress prepares to go down as the least productive in modern history, we in Michigan can remind you that the only thing worse than a Republican legislature that won’t pass laws is one that will.
In an historically awful “inflamed duck” session, Governor Rick Snyder and the Republicans in our state houses have made their biases against workers, women and democracy perfectly clear.
They tackled the problems of workers being paid too much and too little poverty by passing union-busting legislation that guarantees workers won’t be able negotiate fairly with management. They replaced an undemocratic Emergency Manager Law rejected by the voters with nearly the exact same law. Then they took on the problem of women not having enough abortions by making it much more difficult to prescribe emergency contraceptives.
Snyder’s desperate lunge to the right is no mystery. Like most elected Republicans, he’s much more afraid of losing a primary to a more extreme conservative than being called out as tool of the Billionaire Rights Movement in a general election.
This is the same reason Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell likely won’t step in to avert us going over the “fiscal cliff,” as he did to prevent a debt default in 2011 and a payroll tax hike in 2012. He’s from a state where Rand Paul took out an establishment Republican in a primary by just being related to Ron Paul.
This is America’s challenge or possibly even our psychosis: A Republican Party that will be dragged further and further to right, obsessed with problems that in many cases don’t even actually exist.
By feeding the fear that there’s even a chance that someone is coming for your gun — when we likely won’t get this House to even vote on gun safety legislation — or that the UN is coming for our golf courses — as Texas’ Senator-elect Ted Cruz has said — they can come for our right to organize, our right to make decisions about our own reproductive system, our ability to fund a rational safety net that isn’t torn to shreds to feed the fantasies of some Rand-loving billionaires.
Dark money and redistricting will keep the GOP in power in state houses and Congress likely until 2022. But, as I’ll keep saying until Rick Snyder is a one-term nerd, you can’t gerrymander a whole state.
We can’t make these local maniacs afraid of the middle class waking up and sweeping them out of office. But we can certainly can send the message to our governor that we are a blue state that was fooled into voting for a mini-Mitt Romney the midst of the worst recession in 50 years. But, despite the high tide of the president’s auto industry rescue raising all boats in Michigan, we won’t be fooled again.
[Photo by Anne Savage, used with permission.]