Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:00 AM
HiPointDem (20,729 posts)
Bombing dictators overseas, installing them at home - Michigan's fight for dictatorship continues
Last edited Fri Dec 7, 2012, 03:02 AM - Edit history (1)
This is a thought-provoking article in the conservative National Review about Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s campaign to install “legal dictators” in bankrupt cities.
The larger issue, which the author does not address, is what happens to cities when their jobs are outsourced, when manufacturing leaves, when the economy has collapsed. Does the state then suspend all democratic rights and city over to a dictator?
Michigan’s Fight for Legal Dictators Continues
Almost a year ago, I wrote on NRO about Detroit and the rise of the new American dictators. In looking at Michigan, my point was to show how liberty can be sacrificed thanks to the failures and incompetence of elected officials, and the seemingly reasonable decision to save municipalities by appointing emergency managers. Whether they feared the loss of their freedom, or couldn’t face up to the harsh medicine doled out by putting their cities under effective receivership, nearly 53 percent of Michigan’s voters rejected Public Act 4 in a referendum on November 6, thereby seemingly ending the rule of the emergency managers.
The story does not end there, however. Michigan governor Rick Snyder, a Republican who supported Public Act 4, then decided that the state’s old emergency-manager law, the less powerful Public Act 72, would come back into effect, allowing him to continue appointing emergency managers. A state appeals court upheld Snyder’s interpretation on November 16, rejecting a legal challenge to the imposition of the previous law. Snyder’s opponents are now to file a suit with the Michigan Supreme Court seeking to kill the emergency manager law forever.
As I tried to argue last January, freedom usually disappears in fits and starts, and Republican Rome saw its liberty eroded by the slow, yet steady, expansion of the powers of the Senate-appointed, one-year-term-limited dictator. Similarly, Michigan’s Public Act 4 was the third incarnation of an emergency-manager law, each one giving more power to the manager than the last. Under Public Act 4, the managers could dismiss local elected councils, break and renegotiate contracts, and essentially take over any bureaucracy in their locality. They still remained under the control of the governor, and approved by the state legislature, but their powers were clearly growing...Yet even as the larger questions of liberty and accountability play out, the state’s largest city, Detroit continues to stumble into ruin. So far, it has managed to avoid having a dictator appointed, which would be an epochal act for a major American city with a population of 700,000. Yet in exchange for escaping state control, Detroit was forced to surrender some of its sovereignty by agreeing to a Financial Advisory Board...
As I wrote before, once a city the size of Detroit is stripped of its local control, it’s a big step toward normalizing the idea of emergency managers at ever-larger levels. With Illinois facing financial ruin, perhaps the Rubicon will be crossed when an entire state is put under the control of an un-elected power, thanks to unimaginative, irresponsible, and un-gifted politicians abetted by unconcerned or ignorant voters. That may indeed save a city or even a state. But it would reveal a major failure of American democracy and raise fundamental questions about a governing system in which the complexities of running a locality, state, or country outstrip the abilities of its elected officials.
It's a right-wing source, but I agree with its general thrust. Furthermore, I believe this tack is deliberate & by design.
11 replies, 803 views
Bombing dictators overseas, installing them at home - Michigan's fight for dictatorship continues (Original post)
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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)
Fri Dec 7, 2012, 04:16 AM
catbyte (4,111 posts)
2. My state is gone. Unions, public education, women's rights, and now Democracy
itself is dead in Michigan. May the saints preserve us.
Diane, Anishinaabe in MI
Response to Snotcicles (Reply #3)
Fri Dec 7, 2012, 09:06 AM
FightForMichigan (232 posts)
That, and traitors, are precisely the exact words.
What happened here yesterday was a travesty. In one day, Republicans made Michigan a "right to work" state. They did it without a single committee hearing and without taking a single word of testimony. They did it by filling the gallery of the House with their staffers so that regular citizens couldn't watch their labor rights being voted away. They did it by locking down the capitol, saying it was overcrowded and unsafe - when in actuality, it was almost empty and school groups were allowed in to tour the building. They called the vote in the House when Democratic legislators had left the chamber to go to the doors to let in protestors, after the ACLU had to get a judge's injunction to open up the building again.
I don't know what else to call this. Republicans showed a hatred, fear and loathing of the people of this state. They've shown a hatred, fear and loathing for the democratic process.
I've never been fooled by Gov. Snyder's role as 'good cop' to the legislative Republicans' 'bad cop.' It's a fool's show. The governor is nothing more than the smiling face of fascism presiding over the destrution of democracy in our state.
And yes, make no mistake, that is what it's about.
Republicans don't now, never have and never will care about workers or "worker freedom." This was about one thing: trying to strangle the life out of the Democratic party, so that they can rule this state unoposed like a fiefdom.
I don't know what else to say. I'm sick, and I'm sad. I'm hurt and I'm angry, and I'm trying to be anything but hopeless.