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The Czardom of Michiganistan
Michigan is no longer a state. It is now "Michiganistan," an autocratic czardom in the hands of Emperor Rick Snyder.
Formerly the Republican governor, he's now been enthroned by the GOP's lame-duck, legislative supermajority to rule with an iron fist – democracy, rule-of-law, fairness, and The People be damned. Ironically, voters had given Snyder and his cohort of right-wing corporate ideologues a spanking for this kind of nastiness in a November referendum. The GOP cabal in Lansing had conspired last year to usurp the local authority of city governments and allow Snyder to send in unelected, unaccountable autocrats to fire elected officials and seize control, but last month, Michigan voters overthrew this absurdity.
This month, however, Snyder and gang doubled down on their dumbfounding, anti-democratic zealotry. With no warning, no hearings, no public input, no floor debate, and no time for citizens even to know what was happening, the same legislative czarists rammed a union-busting bill into law. Even though he had publicly rejected such a proposal earlier this year as being "very divisive," Emperor Snyder gleefully signed this bill.
Who's behind this madness? Say hello to two infamous, anti-union, billionaire plutocrats: the Koch brothers. They had funneled as much as a million dollars into Snyder's 2010 gubernatorial election, and three Michigan front groups funded by the billionaire brothers have been aggressively pushing the exact same anti-worker proposal that the Republican thugs just bullied into law.
Two things not long for this world are dogs that chase cars and politicians who deceive and cheat the people. Already, Michiganders are organizing a petition drive for another referendum to overturn the law and return the Czardom of Michiganistan back to democratic rule. Stay tuned.
"Taking Aim at Michigan's Middle Class," The New York Times, December 11, 2012.
"The Shadowy Trail from the Koch Brothers to 'Right to Work' for Less in Michigan," www.aflcio.org, December 7, 2012.
"How Michigan Voters Can Repeal The GOP's Anti-Union Powergrab," www.thinkprogress.org, December 11, 2012.
"Michigan House Passes GOP's Union-Busting Legislation," www.thinkprogress.org, December 11, 2012.
"'Right-to-work' measure passes in Michigan Legislature," www.latimes.com, December 11, 2012.
"The Scandal of Michigan's Emergency Managers," www.thenation.com, March 5, 2012.