Rachel Maddow isn’t alarmist, but she is sounding the alarm and eviscerating Michigan Republicans for their unprecedented dismantling of democracy.
Here is the video:
Rachel Maddow said, “Under the Michigan constitution remember again you can only make a law take effect immediately if you have a 2/3 majority, if you have a super majority. Michigan Republicans don’t have that. In the House they don’t have a 2/3 majority. In order to get 2/3 on any vote, House Republicans would need the help of almost a dozen Democrats. You need 63 lawmakers on your side, before you get what the state constitution says you can have if you want that immediate effect right. You need 73 votes to take effect right away. So for the emergency manager law for example, Democrats voted against that law in a bloc. Republicans did pass it with their 62 votes and 62 votes is enough to pass it, but it’s not nearly enough for it to go into effect immediately, but regardless they just attached immediate effect to it anyway.”
Maddow pointed out that Republicans are claiming immediate effect passed with a 2/3 majority, but it didn’t happen that way. She pointed out that the emergency manager law and possibly the rest of the 500 bills the Michigan Republicans passed and used immediate effect may have been passed in violation of Michigan constitution.
She showed video evidence of Michigan Republicans violating the constitution and illegally passing bills, and discussed the Democrats lawsuit against the Republicans over their abuse of immediate effect. The court case matters because Michigan Republicans are trying to pass a law to make it harder to vote, and they are also trying to pass a law making it harder to put a referendum on the ballot.
Maddow concluded, “The 2010 elections ushered in a lot of radicalized Republican legislatures and governors all across the country, and they have done a lot of radical things. Scott Walker is nationally famous for a reason, but what has happened in Michigan I believe is the most radical thing that Republicans have done anywhere in the country. They have eliminated democracy. They have eliminated voting rights at the local level in their state. They have tried to eliminate Democrats voting rights in the state legislature. Whether you are on the left, you’re on the right, or you’re in the center, or if you don’t care about politics, if all you care about is that we have a form of government called democracy. We vote. If you care about the idea that we still use voting here, we still use democracy. If you care about the constitution, frankly Michigan ought to have a flashing red siren on it right now.”
Rachel Maddow isn’t given to hyperbole. She isn’t an over the top host. No one will ever confuse her with the hot blooded hosts on both the left and right who entertain their audiences by pushing emotional buttons, so when she says there is a problem and democracy is being eliminated the rest of the country needs to stand up and take notice.
The phased Republican murder of democracy in Michigan has never gotten the attention that it deserves. Michigan has taken a backseat to Wisconsin and the SB 5 drama in Ohio, but something is happening in Michigan that is more important than what is going on in those other states. For the first time in our history, a political party in a state is systemically eliminating democracy in order to create one party rule.
When Republicans ignore their own state constitution and violate the democratic process in the state legislature, that is call autocracy. When Republicans strip power away from voters and representatives and hand it to a non-elected appointee of the governor that is a democracy killing behavior.
I would argue that what Republicans in Michigan are doing goes beyond an abuse of power, or pushing an agenda. They are trying to change the political apparatus of the state to ensure that they are never out of power again. They are eliminating the constitutional rights of the opposition. They are throwing out the system that the Founding Fathers designed and replacing it with unilateral one party rule.
Michigan Republicans are dismantling the very foundation that our system of governance is built upon, and they are not a unique case. If they are successful in Michigan, this radical Republican anti-democracy makeover will spread to other states. Extremist Republicans have realized that they can’t get their agenda passed at the federal level, so they have moved on to a state by state assault on democracy.
Republicans in other states are watching Rick Snyder and his party. They are taking notes, and if the Republicans get away with destroying democracy in Michigan, they will pose the greatest threat to the survival of our nation since the Civil War.