Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Michigan Governor abolishes democracy

You may have said "pshaw" when I commented a few posts ago about the Tea Party potentially leading to Fascism.

But this is breathtaking.From Forbes (emphases mine):
Newly elected Republican governor, Rick Snyder, is set to pass one of the most sweeping, anti-democratic pieces of legislation in the country – and almost no one is talking about it.

Snyder’s law gives the state government the power not only to break up unions, but to dissolve entire local governments and place appointed “Emergency Managers” in their stead. But that’s not all – whole cities could be eliminated if Emergency Managers and the governor choose to do so. And Snyder can fire elected officials unilaterally, without any input from voters. It doesn’t get much more anti-Democratic than that.

Except it does. The governor simply has to declare a financial emergency to invoke these powers – or he can hire a private company to declare financial emergency and take over oversight of the city. That’s right, a private corporation can declare your city in a state of financial emergency and send in its Emergency Manager, fire your elected officials, and reap the benefits of the ensuing state contracts.

These Republican governors have risen to power in what will eventually be seen as one of the great political farces of our time. The Tea Party movement talks a good game about democracy and limited government, but in practice its elected leaders are crony-capitalists and union-busters. There is nothing limited about a state government that can erase entire cities or take control of school districts and local governments with the swipe of a pen. Manufactured crisis and a litany of politicians and power-brokers talking about how broke we are is all it takes to rob us of our democracy.

Public services are on the auction block, and unions, teachers, and anyone else standing in the way are all going to have to fight for their continued existence – or at least their continued membership in the ranks of the middle class.

If “Emergency Manager” is not dystopian enough a term for you, perhaps the fact that such radical legislation could go almost unnoticed in the national press is.
If you aren't outraged you literally are NOT paying attention.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

There's already a TV show about this - it's called The Cape!

Mike in MD

JCF said...

I almost feel guilty for having left Michigan last year. If I was there, you can BET I'd be in Lansing, speaking Truth to Power!

JCF said...

Rachel Maddow covered this earlier, and I'm sure will again. [That damn Japan nuke plant is distracting, and the ReThuglicans---like Gaddafi!---are taking advantage of the distraction]

Counterlight said...

The right is so eager to relieve us all of the bother and inconvenience of voting.

Qadaffi is the ultimate tea-bagger. He's loud, crazy, and paranoid. He's stuck in an imaginary past, is afraid of change, and hates the young. He gets fawning press and lots of corporate support. It's time-out-for-Tetley in Tripoli.

it's margaret said...

I am outraged. O.U.T.R.A.G.E.D.

Fred Schwartz said...

Mike is almost correct, yes there is a TV program but it is entitled Survivor -- last one standing gets a million dollars!

dr.primrose said...

OT. A Texas appellate court ruled yesterday that the schismatics don't get to keep the property when they leave TEC and affiliate with the church in Uganda. This case involves Good Shepherd Church in San Angelo Texas, and the Diocese of Northwest Texas. You can read the whole thing here but the court concludes (p. 23):

"we conclude that when the Former Parish Leaders and the other parishioners aligned with them disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church, the church property remained under the authority and control of the Episcopal Church. Accordingly, the vote to disaffiliate was effective only as to those members who sought to withdraw from the Episcopal Church; it did not have the effect of withdrawing Good Shepherd itself from its union with the Episcopal Church, as the Former Parish Leaders presume. Further, having found that the Continuing Parish Leaders are entitled to possession and use of the property, the trial court did not err in declaring that property owned by the local Episcopal parish is held in trust for the Episcopal Church, pursuant to the Episcopal Church Constitution and Canons."

Göran Koch-Swahne said...

It's getting uglier almost by the day...

Daniel Weir said...

This is entirely in line with the IMF's push for privatization in third world countries applying for loans. The Global Market is god and any government that does not bow down, e.g., by putting the needs of its citizens first, will be privatized.