Rachel Maddow Eviscerates Michigan Republicans for Circumventing Democracy

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:

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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.

53 Replies to “Rachel Maddow Eviscerates Michigan Republicans for Circumventing Democracy”

  1. Simply unbelievable. I know the GOP are sore losers, but this is more “IM TAKING MY BALL AND GOING HOME”. I am truly worried what they will do next.

  2. I cannot understand why legislators did not research the legality of the laws passed by the republicans and put into immediate affect. It took Rachael Maddow to bring the illegal passing of laws to the attention to the viewing public. I am hoping that action be initiated to reverse these laws to include the unconstitutional Emergency Manager law.

  3. This started in July . I suppose better late then never but I’df they bothered to
    Talk to the boots on th ground activists in Michigan it would have gotten out sooner.
    We the activists at the Capitol in Madison Wi have known since July.
    For in depth about what goes on here go to
    Wisconsin Citizens Media Co OP. also Blue Chaddar blog
    Get all the scoop before Madow even gets it on the air
    As far as Michigan I found out on Fortune Mag blog and then people I know are facebook friends with activists in Mich.

  4. I watched Rachel’s story on Michigan with horror.

    Democracy is gone in Michigan. Period.

    Time for some Wisconsin-style revolt from Michiganders, regardless of party affiliation.

    Unbelievable story.

  5. I live in MI, and had no idea this was going on. That Stamas character who asked for these illegal votes? He is from Midland, home of the Mackinac Center she has referenced in the past. My home. I sent off an email to Stamas five minutes after the show ended. We’ll see if I get some form letter back, as I often do from Dave Camp, also a Midlander (as is shady AG Bill Schuetter, as a matter of fact.) And all three huddled up with ALEC. We are going to fight this. Thank God for Rachel!

  6. I have to agree: this is one of the most salient violations of what we regard as American norms since the Nineteenth Century. They have outsourced local governments to private entities and usurped properly elected officials to do so. I submit that, if they get away with this, we can see this usurpation in other state governments and eventually the national one. What, if any, cases are pending?

  7. I say this in all seriousness: It’s no longer a conspiracy, the GOP has started it’s autocratic assault on our very foundations as a Democracy, and this is the first show across the bow. If it succeeds in stopping the ship (Democracy), it will continue its slow cancerous diseased power grab for the rest of this country.

  8. That is one of the most incredible storys I have seen.

    You have a chance in November Michigan, if you don’t use it to vote these people out, please secede

  9. Scenario; a terrible attack occurs against the US ala Twin Towers, Pearl Harbor, etc… The Federal government enacts Congressional Powers to model the Michigan ‘immediate enactment’ law. Most states follow and the country is ripe for either party to come along and in effect have a bloodless coup. Scary!

  10. People need to learn a lesson: you elect conservatives, this is what you get. You let someone like the Tea Party or the dominionists get into power, you’re going to loose your rights.

    I deeply fear for this country… and blame the media and the “news” for it. If they’d done their job, this might never have happened.

    I won’t say that they’ve gotten the government they deserve for voting them in, because too many people didn’t vote for them (and some of us fought against them as we knew what they were). The innocent shouldn’t be punished because of the sins of the guilty. I just hope that those who voted for the “Good Christian” (or “Good Conservative”) candidates will wake up to what they’ve done.

  11. It’s now become quite clear what the Republicans are working towards: it’s one-part dictatorship, merely keep[ing up the appearance of democracy. Then they intend to use their monopoly of political power to achieve a revolutionary transformation of America until it resemble a pseudo-Christian fundamentalist version of Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia.

  12. Why don’t the rethugs just make it easy for themselves and make it illegal for democrats to vote.

  13. Maddow deserves a Pulitzer for this, if nothing else, although she has exposed more of the horrors of the GOP than anyone else in media.

    This is an EXPLOSIVE story! Needs to be spread around.

  14. This is frightening.
    Republicans across the country are off the rails.
    We need to vote them out of state and local governments ASAP.
    Other Republican held states may follow Mich.. Example of how to
    circumvent democracy.

  15. Dems in Michigan know what is happening. It can’t be avoided, as the state is no longer a democracy; it’s pretty visible.

    Michigan is the first state that is well on its way to a fascist (corporate controlled) entity in America, but others are being forced (kicking and screaming, in some cases) to the same fate. Look at Wisconsin.

  16. Rachel, et al in the media: please stop using the term radical to describe these miscreants. The right are reactionaries, not radicals. Radicals want immediate action to benefit ALL, while reactionaries want immediate action that benefits only the power/economic elite.

  17. and those same Republicans have the audacity to take their lying, cheating selves to church and sit there and pretend to be all holier than thou

    Excellent reporting by Rachel Maddow.

  18. According to Rachael over 500 laws were passed in this manner including the Benton Harbor takeover. Does that mean the golf lakeside resort is legally still the property of the City? Can the developers be arrested for damage to public property and sued? Are these laws null and void. If you violate them can you still be arrested or fined? I’m really surprised no one has been shot yet. Michigan is a hunters state. Is it SIC SEMPER TYRANNOUS time?

  19. i watche drachels show yeterday, being a resident of michigan, and not a fan of the nerd, i was apalled at what i heard! I knw things were rotten in lansing, jsut didnt know how bad. Get out and vote next time and rid us of the dictatorand his cronies

  20. I have to disagree with the comment that “Rachel Maddow isn’t given to hyperbole.” However, if her reporting on this story is factual and accurate, it is a hugely important story. And the behavior described is not only radical, it’s criminal.

  21. Why haven’t we heard of this before? Why hasn’t it been reported in our local news media? Perhaps it’s because we live in a plutocratic dictatorship run by “stooges” (big money) in our local media. Stunned but not all that surprised in Grand Rapids.

  22. Couldn’t agree more than with all but a few of the comments already expressed. I watched this segment of Rachel’s program with gaping mouth and total incredulity! Absolutely appalling!! Michigan, my home, is being flooded with a sunami of political abuse at the hands of the do-it-my-way-NOW-or-else legislature, and now I understand why! I hope that as more coverage on this hits the airwaves, Michigan’s experience will wake up the ‘silent majority’ – the 99% here and around the U.S. EVEN MORE! THANK YOU, Rachel, and your team of “investigators” for the dedication, time spent and your dedication to Truth-Telling. Am very afraid for Michigan and elsewhere – that what’s happening here is the “ends in embryo” for people all across the U.S. WE need to turn this picture around!

  23. No, radicals can exist on both sides (if there are sides anymore). I always referred to the neocons as right-wing radicals. When I get surveys asking for my political viewpoint, it’s very hard for me to click “extremely liberal,” because I’m a progressive.

  24. This is shameful! As a lifelonger Michigander, something must be done about this tragedy to our state Constitutional Document A.S.A.P. I’ve called our State Representative to see what are the Democrats plans about this.

    Additionally, we first spoke on the Roll Call issue with State Rep. Maureen Stapleton on our Weekend based podcast program ROJS Radio, March 17th. A link to this interview is here….

    Det. City Council Pres. Charles Pugh Rep. Maureen Stapleton 03/17 by ROJS Radio | Blog Talk Radio http://bit.ly/zvgOXz

  25. This behavior has been occurring since July 2011 and our Democrats have let it continue until now. Our News organizations have ignored this. Unless the citizenry was sitting in the House as the legislators were pulling this “crap” they were completely in the dark until March 27, 2012 when the Democrats in the House filed a lawsuit in Ingham County Circuit Court. http://www.housedems.com/news/article/house-dems-file-lawsuit-over-constitutional-violations
    From what I can gather, a temporary restraining order has been granted but have been unable to confirm.
    I have also read where the Republicans are fighting this but am tired of retracing my steps to provide links.
    The political lies to get elected have me sick…

  26. Thanks for your activism, its boots on the ground that make things happen, thousands of people will watch maddow and comment on blogs but only a few out of that thousand will get up and do anything about it. From one activist to another — its good to see more out there!

  27. It is hard to believe that the Democratic members of the Michigan legislature have not been loudly vocal in response to this travesty of the Michigan constitution. Where are the voices of outrage and reason? Where is the press?
    I am outraged that Snyder and his administration have been quietly getting away with this amazing power grab. They must be stopped.

    Has the Midland rep, Stamas, been blindly voting for these undemocratic laws? He owes his constituents an explanation. I have been out of the state for a couple of months, so I feel helpless to picket and protest, but it needs to be done. Let’s see the activists show our disapproval.

    A large shout out of approval and thanks to Rachel Maddow for waking up the citizens of our wonderful, Pure Michigan.

  28. I’m, a resident of Michigan and knew the republicans were using their political power with a lot of laughing but never suspected this abuse of power. The republicans won big in Michigan with many citizens laughing and clapping after the election. I wonder if they’re laughing now.

  29. This is only one example of what is going on here in Michigan. One county (Oakland) got the state legislature and governor to change the procedure for redistricting, after the process was completed, because the panel doing the redistricting was controlled by Democrats. That was after the same process was used in every other county in the state and in Oakland County for about forty years.

    Another bill got passed to benefit a relative of a Republican official, attempting to undo a civil court decision against him which had become final.

    What you also need to understand is that the Michigan Supreme Court is controlled 4-3 by the Republicans. Whatever they want to do, they can do.

  30. The RePiggery of Michigan has essentailly “overthrown the United States Government” and they should be charged CRIMINALLY for their seditious and treasonous “acts against the government”.

  31. THAT’s your criticism of this piece? The fact that she uses the word ‘radical’?

    Give me a break. This is potentially the biggest political story of the decade thusfar.

  32. Thank you,Rachel, for bringing the Michigan thing to the attention of the country, altho most of the response here seems to be from Michigan.
    I’ve been trying to wrap my mind around how this could happen and I guess the thing is if people get too super convservative,they will tend toward contol. That’s why we must work against their getting into any positions of power.

  33. This story should have been picked up and made the Front Page of every newspaper coast to coast. Why has it not been ?

  34. You will never see this story in the Detroit papers because they are owned by the corporations who protect Gov. Snyder/

  35. Alarmed at what republicans are doing now? what were you saying when democrats in Wisconsin left office and refused to work? Made it impossible for anything to get done. sounds like someone is just butt hurt…

  36. I am sure you understand the difference between then and now? No?

    We were saying that they left to stop a very bad deal. Unfortunately that wont work in this instance of birth control, voter restrictions etc etc.

    Your not really that clueless are you?

  37. thank you, Rachel, thank you everyday for the truth you bring to those who need to hear it – you do it with great intelligence, careful research, facts and figures to back up what you say, and if you happen to be wrong, you correct it in your next show.

  38. As many have said, thank you Rachel for your great work. One would like to hope their state government isn’t involved in this type take over activity, but IF that state government is Republican, certainly the voters should be on the lookout for signs of fraud. IF people would read every thing they can find on Project for a New American Century, they might better understand what the Republicans are up to. Or just wikipedia it and read. Bill Kristol (yes of FOX NEWS) fame heads up this group of war mongering die hards.

  39. I would just like to say best of luck with Gov. Snyder and the loss of your vote. In the meantime keep your eye on then teachers. After all that’s far more boring than the loss of your vote and your representation. I’m with you who cares

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