COMMENT: Some scary and [possibly] precedent-setting events are unfolding in Michigan.
The GOP in The Wolverine State has crafted a blueprint that would use the need for “fiscal austerity” to implement an agenda that is clearly undemocratic and, in its fundamentals, fascist.
EXCERPT: Last night on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow show, Maddow explained that Michigan Republican Governor Rick Snyder is pushing a bill through that will give ultimate governmental power literally to corporations, thereby using shock doctrine tactics to create a dystopian government. Synder’s bill not only goes after collective bargaining rights, but does in fact seem to represent the Republicans’ final solution to killing democracy by enabling the replacement of elected officials, dissolving entire city’s government and handing them over to corporations. Snyder calls his “budget bill” a “shared sacrifice,” but it gifts corporations with 1.8 billion in tax breaks while hitting citizens with harder taxes, including seniors and other vulnerables, and cutting essential services to an already suffering region.
Rachel Maddow began her segment on Michigan with, “The Michigan House has already passed and the Michigan Senate is about to pass a bill that sounds like it is out of a dystopian leftist novel from the future. If you think Republican governors across the country are using fiscal crisis as a pretext to do stuff they otherwise want to do, this is something I don’t think I would have ever believed Republicans even wanted to do, but this is what they are proposing. This hasn’t gotten much national attention, but please check this out.”
She described the threat to democracy in Michigan, “Gov. Rick Snyder’s budget in Michigan is expected to cut aid to cities and towns so much that a lot of cities and towns in Michigan are expected to be in dire financial straits. Right now, Gov. Snyder is pushing a bill that would give himself, Gov. Snyder and his administration, the power to declare any town or school district to be in a financial emergency. If a town was declared by the governor and his administration to be in a financial emergency they would get to put somebody in charge of that town, and they want to give that emergency manager that they just put in charge of the town the power to, “reject, modify, or terminate any contracts that the town may have entered in to, including any collective bargaining agreements.”
The bill also has the power to suspend or dismiss elected officials, “This emergency person also gets the power under the bill to suspend or dismiss elected officials. Think about that for a second. Doesn’t matter who you voted for in Michigan. Doesn’t matter who you elected. Your elected local government can be dismissed at will. The emergency person sent in by the Rick Snyder administration could recommend that a school district be absorbed into another school district. That emergency person is also granted power specifically to disincorporate or dissolve entire city governments.”
Maddow said Michigan Republicans want to abolish entire towns, “What year was your town founded? Does it say so like on the town border as you drive into your town? Does it say what year your town was founded? What did your town’s founding fathers and founding mothers have to go through to incorporate your town? Republicans in Michigan want to be able to unilaterally abolish your town and disincorporate it. . . .