There’s some­thing rot­ten in the state of Michi­gan. It’s hard to write about what’s hap­pen­ing there in any­thing less than extreme terms. What’s hap­pen­ing is awfully extreme.

Across Amer­ica, newly-​​emboldened Repub­li­can state leg­is­la­tures have been enact­ing a series of laws that limit vot­ing rights, limit union rights, restrict mar­riage rights, cut off access to abor­tion and other health­care ser­vices, and oth­er­wise put in place a far-​​right agenda of social engi­neer­ing. (Even Newt Gin­grich rec­og­nized this ten­dency on a national level.) In Michi­gan, they’ve gone sev­eral steps fur­ther, elim­i­nat­ing democ­racy in many of their larger cities, and vio­lat­ing their own Con­sti­tu­tion in order to do it.

It’s a com­pli­cated story, but it starts and ends with the Republican-​​controlled leg­is­la­ture and with Rick Sny­der, the Repub­li­can Gov­er­nor. There were pro­tec­tions put in place to pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing. But those safe­guards are being will­fully ignored. (more…)