Democracy, Wingnut Style

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Don’t you dare call them fascists or authoritarians, though.

85 replies
  1. 1
    Hunter Gathers says:

    But the Dems were mean to Dubya, so that makes it fair and square. Also, votes don’t really count.

  2. 2
    redshirt says:

    Not too much longer…. courts failing us, states failing us, national government nearly paralyzed by partisan hate…

  3. 3

    The franchise is an awesome responsibility, one that a lot of people just aren’t prepared to handle, or handle responsibly.

    They may, for example, vote against self-interest.


  4. 4
    Poopyman says:

    @redshirt: Really. The Dems sued in Michigan courts, but what’s the remedy if a) the Rethugs ignore them, or b) the ruling is overturned by a higher court?

  5. 5
    PeakVT says:

    Current MI HoR makeup: 63/47 (57%/43%). Current MI Senate makeup: 26/12 (68%/32%).

    Is there any chance of a flip of the House this year? The Senate isn’t up until 2014.

  6. 6
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Paraphrasing Brad DeLong from the other day

    [fixing] dilemmas requires first the complete destruction of today’s Republican Party, and those of us who care about America’s fiscal future need to turn all of our energies to that end. Can you give me reasons not to believe that?

    Time to wake up, smell the coffee and WIN this thing …while we still can.

  7. 7
    phil says:

    Saw this segment last night and just felt.. burning anger.. Such arrogance is usually rectified, but never as fast as we’d prefer

  8. 8
    Rommie says:

    Come on, it’s not like they’ve complained about voting fraud being a problem.

    The endgame of getting their grubby mitts on Detroit and doing the deed in the bathtub is close at hand, bty. Midwestern Republican crazy is making the Southern branch green with envy.

  9. 9

    @MikeBoyScout: Are you sure when you said “WIN”, you didn’t mean ‘lose nobly…’?

    I think I read too many blogs.

  10. 10
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    Speaking of fascism. I just got done listening to Bob McDonnell talking about “the sound of freedom” during a segment on the F18 that just crashed into an apartment building in Va Beach.

    Earlier Kyra Phillips was on CNN praising the heroics of the pilots and rebuking people who lived in the neighborhood who complained that the planes have been flying too low in recent years and the maneuvers seemed more dangerous.

    This was a horrible accident. Period. It wasn’t a heroic accident. I thinks it’s creepy that the media’s kneejerk response is to try and shut down any criticism of the military.

  11. 11
    Rick Massimo says:

    Yeah, but no one’s making anyone buy broccoli, so FREEDOM!

  12. 12
    Tony J says:

    Wait a minute. What?

    Michigan Republicans have been forcing laws onto the books for 18 months by pretending that 2/3 of the State House voted for it to go into immediate effect?

    I have to ask, why hasn’t this been big news for, say, the last 18 months? Am I missing something here? Are there a dozen or so Michigan Blue Dogs who have been telling their caucus that their votes will go with the Republicans so don’t even bother opposing the Immediate Effect ruling?

    There would have to be, right? Otherwise this would be like Joe Biden and Harry Reid passing everything through the Senate on a filibuster-proof majority by just – saying – that 60 Senators had voted for it, and the Republicans not complaining.

    What am I missing?

  13. 13
    cathyx says:

    But this is what the majority of the citizens of Michigan wanted when they elected a republican majority. They voted for this.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:


    But Obama used some phrases in a speech that are similar to the ones Republicans use, so both sides are the same.

  16. 16
    Arm The Homeless says:

    So how long before they are deputizing the militias as police forces in Detroit?

    I don’t put anything past these fucking fools.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    DFH no.6 says:

    But they are fascists and authoritarians.

    Enemies of humanity, the whole fucking bloody lot of them.

  19. 19
    Poopyman says:

    @Tony J: Exactly my question while watching it last night. Were the Michigan Dems oblivious to this from Day 1? On the other hand, they DID sue, but there’s no telling how long ago the legal process started.

    Nice if there was a timeline, but at least the Dems are doing something, and it might be all they can do at this point. The war is almost over before the Democrats even realized there was going to be a fight. Sadly typical.

  20. 20
    rikyrah says:

    Maddow has done yoeman’s work on this issue since the beginning.

  21. 21
    rikyrah says:

    it’s this kind of stuff that the DNC needs to be all ove.

  22. 22
    scav says:

    Did I hallucinate the bit where the MI repubs got all snippy about Counts ruling on actions enacted by their legislature — I can only assume that in their mind States Rights!(tm) means state legislatures actions are above the courts which in turn rule absolutely over any actions of the national legislature because said MI Repubs are no doubt equally in arms about what they think Obama said about the Supremes.

  23. 23
    Catsy says:

    I don’t understand how this can hold up. If the law says they must have a two-thirds majority to pass laws with “immediate effect”, and they are fraudulently deeming these laws passed even though they didn’t have the votes, wouldn’t the laws lack any legal force?

    If the Michigan Supreme court doesn’t declare all of these fraudulent laws null and void, the MI GOP will have–literally, and without a shred of hyperbole–have committed an illegal coup d’etat.

    Seriously, is there any point at which the Federal government can step in to stop a group of criminals from overthrowing a state government by simply ignoring its own constitution?

    This coup should be on every newspaper, billboard, TV station and street corner in Michigan.

  24. 24
    PeakVT says:

    @Tony J: In the one clip Maddow showed, it was very clear that actual votes were not counted for the immediate effect provision of the bill being debated. She didn’t provide any statistics about how many, if any, were counted properly and received some Dem support. A few probably were passed in a “bipartisan” manner, but I suspect the rump Dem caucus is pretty liberal and has voted against immediate effect and the bills in general.

  25. 25
    scav says:

    @Catsy: A youtube of that frogmarch out of the both houses of the legislature might just take down the innertubes (and that would just be me, refreshing).

    ETA: Actually, there are several sychronized frogmarches I’d take down the inntertubez over, not just MI’s. Hell, for the Murdochs, I’d take it down over a two-step.

  26. 26
    Linnaeus says:

    There’s a reason why I called the revised emergency manager law “Snyder’s Enabling Act”.

    As for the courts, the MI Supreme Court’s been stacked with conservatives since the Engler days. Don’t see much chance for help there.

  27. 27
    MikeJ says:

    Is there a text version of this story anywhere? I’d like to know what it’s about.

  28. 28
    Loneoak says:

    Fucking goddamn mutherfucker bagofdicks cunthammers.

  29. 29
    DanF says:

    Someone needs to go to jail for this shit.

  30. 30
    Tony J says:


    I suppose it’s theoretically possible that it could take this long for a legal challenge from the minority to get through various roadblocks on the way to a court hearing. But that seems a long, long time.

    Plus, if they – did – make this challenge a long time ago, where has the coverage been? I mean, I remember hearing here (IIRC) about the Appointed Dictator Law Michigan passed, but I don’t remember it being linked to a story about how Michigan’s Democrats were challenging it on the grounds that it wasn’t actually passed into law.

    Shorter – Any Michiganites (I have no idea what you people call yourselves, I’m foreign and exotic) out there want to weigh in and clarify this? It just seems bizarre that Michigan’s GOP majority would be doing this – without – a much earlier and louder outcry that would have reached the blogs.

    Much shorter – WTF?

  31. 31
    PeakVT says:

    @Linnaeus: I was wondering about the MI SC, too. Unfortunately Michigan has elected judges and the Republicans are in control with a 4-3 majority.

  32. 32
    Sophist says:

    @Tony J:

    Any Michiganites (I have no idea what you people call yourselves, I’m foreign and exotic)

    I’m pretty sure it’s “Michiganders”.

  33. 33
    KG says:

    @Tony J: a good lawyer would file the complaint and then immediately seek a TRO or preliminary injunction to prevent the law from taking immediate effect. At least, that’s what I’d do.

  34. 34

    @rikyrah: It’s yeoman, actually. /pedant

  35. 35
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Tony J:

    I have to ask, why hasn’t this been big news for, say, the last 18 months? Am I missing something here? Are there a dozen or so Michigan Blue Dogs who have been telling their caucus that their votes will go with the Republicans so don’t even bother opposing the Immediate Effect ruling?

    Totbagging on a unprecedented scale “well if we object, we’ll just be part of the problem”?

  36. 36
    Loneoak says:


    I’m pretty sure it’s “Michiganders”.

    There’s debate about that. Michigander was originally used by Illinois rapscallion Abe Lincoln as an insult, but we appropriated it. It’s like the n-word—we can use it to describe ourselves, but you can only guiltily mutter it amongst your friends.

  37. 37
    Corey says:

    Something doesn’t smell right here. If this is really a thing, why hasn’t anyone sued? Like, any judge with a half a brain would’ve issued immediate injunctions against enforcement of the laws in question, right?

  38. 38

    2nd Amendment solutions, baby!

  39. 39
    Tony J says:


    That’s the thing that baffles me.

    On the one hand we’ve got video evidence of the Wisconsin GOP not even bothering to count votes before passing legislation into law by non-existant super-majority. OTOH, we’re only hearing about this now?

    What have the Wisconsin Dems being doing for 18 months? Have they no telephones? Was there an Immediate Effect Law passed that stopped them from communicating with anyone outside the state until the matter reached a court?

    It’s bizarre.

  40. 40
    Poopyman says:

    @KG: OK, some of you that can watch the clip above can tell me whether Rachel said it was a TRO or injunction that was just put in effect. I’m relying on last night’s viewing and was seeing red too much to latch onto details, and I can’t watch at work.

  41. 41
    Poopyman says:

    @Tony J: Wrong state. It’s MI, not WI.

    Is that vertical dyslexia?

  42. 42
    The Golux says:

    Just when I thought I couldn’t get any angrier…

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Tony J says:


    I think that’s the best gloss we can agree to put on it. 8-)

    I guess I’m just so used to typing ‘Wisconsin Republicans’ when something like this is happening.

  45. 45
    Tony J says:



    That’s a goose joke, yes?

    edit/ Loneoak sez yes. I blame Lincoln.

  46. 46
    Lee says:

    Do they not think liberals own guns?

  47. 47
    Tony J says:


    Well, yeah. Why didn’t that happen? Or if it did, why wasn’t the fact put out there a long time ago?

  48. 48
    Tony J says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    That level of totebagging would require construction of a totebag from unstable molecules that do not actually exist outside of comic books.

    I refuse (at this moment) to believe that Michigan Dems are so spineless that they – all – answer to Mojo.

    Marvel Comics references – off.

  49. 49
    Poopyman says:

    @Lee: As a matter of fact, many uncritically swallow the “East Coast pansy elite” story about “liberals”.


  50. 50
    replicnt6 says:

    Here’s a press release from the MI House Dems:

    Not entirely clear, but it would appear that they only filed the suit on March 27th (based on the date of the release).

    I’m very curious about how often the immediate effect rule was used in previous sessions. I could imagine that this has been abused for a long time, since the standard session + 90 days really does seem like a long time, but I have no idea. This could explain Dems’ reluctance to file a suit. I’m glad they finally did.

    I may contact my rep to see if I can get a bit more context.

  51. 51
    kindness says:

    I don’t get why the Michigan Democrats didn’t sue much earlier? Makes no sense.

    I know Democrats aren’t the ones who are supposed to be crazy with guns, but if the government is actively crapping on you and the judges don’t help you someone somewhere is going to start shooting people. Is that what Republicans are hoping for? They may very well be. It’s crazy.

  52. 52
    Librarian says:

    At the risk of seeming hyperbolic, as I was watching that I realized that that was practically the same way that Hitler and the Nazis got the Enabling Act through the Reichstag in March 1933. I’m not kidding, go read about it.

  53. 53
    Poopyman says:

    @Librarian: Aww, whadaya skeered of? It Can’t Happen Here (TM).

  54. 54
    Martin says:

    My mom is visiting and I made her watch Rachel last night. She semi-freaked out when Rachel said that 50% of african americans are in cities that Michigan either has taken over, or is planning on taking over.

    My mom said that if any GOP candidate had said that, they’d be called racist – for ignoring the impact on whites and latinos, etc. in those cities. It was a hell of a lot of work to talk her down even a little bit on that point.

    In the end, she was looking at the GOP constantly straying into food stamps = black territory and taking it as a given that it was true, so when the left accused those individuals of being racist, that it was no different than this. The difference I pointed out is that most food stamp recipients aren’t black, so creating that assumption was wrong, and was racist. But I’ve seen Rachaels 50% statistic before, and I’m pretty sure that it’s true.

    She’s gotten it into her head from Fox that mentioning race is racist. I had to note that, no, lying about race is racist, or drawing conclusions along racial lines for things that aren’t racially connected is racist. She’s generally a very good person, so these little excursions are quite painful for me.

  55. 55
    Nimm says:


    I practice law in Michigan. Our appellate courts are extremely politicized. You can often predict the outcome of cases simply by knowing the identity of the parties, which is a travesty.

    The University of Chicago law review tried to rank state supreme courts in 2008, using several different metrics.

    You can find the results here (pdf). Michigan’s high court did not fare well. To say the least (dead last on most scales).

  56. 56
    Glyph_2112 says:

    Republicans are always screaming about the constitution this and constitution that, but then are the first ones to ignore the law and start abusing power.

  57. 57
    kerFuFFler says:

    I understand that it may take a while for the legal process to unfold regarding the legality of these “super-majority” gavel votes. But I’m astonished that the Dems did not manage to make noise about this issue on the national level when this authoritarian nonsense started. Did they contact reporters who thought there was no story here? How can things like this happen?

    I remember hearing about the takeover of Benton Harbor, but I had no idea the process was possibly illegal on its face.

  58. 58
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Tony J: Gambit, Mojo, and Deadpool …

    Worst. Characters. EVAH!

    Also, too. New Mutants

    /comic nerd

  59. 59
  60. 60
    PeakVT says:

    @Nimm: Thanks for the info.

  61. 61
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    Do they not think liberals own guns?

    @Lee: Ha, oh that’s a good one. Yeah, some liberals own guns – I’m one of them – but the overwhelming majority of liberals (at least 75%) treat guns like an Ebola-laced turd. Every damn week I’ll have a conversation with a fellow traveler who will express a fear that either a crazed GOP administration or bands of roving citizen militias will force us all into camps and kill us. I ask them if they’d like a trip to the range. They refuse. I’ll ask if they’d like to see one. They usually do, but will refuse to even touch it.

    I can’t defend fifty percent of the populace by myself. Y’all are on your own.

  62. 62
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease:

    Punji Traps: It’s a weapon AND an outhouse. Plus the bamboo is sustainable. I wonder if CERCLA requires pit lining for one of these?

  63. 63
    kerFuFFler says:


    She’s generally a very good person, so these little excursions are quite painful for me.

    Plaudits to you for taking these little “excursions”. My parents, now in their late 80’s, are “old-fashioned” on issues of race—–that is to say somewhat racist….

    They are good people though. They were brought up to believe certain lies and have been willing to question their own attitudes when confronted politely with new information. I’m proud to say that both of them voted for Obama and plan to again!

    I hope that there are more folks out there that have a chance of influencing their elderly relatives to vote for Democrats this time around. I know sometimes it just strains family relationships to talk politics, but when an election is as important as the upcoming one, it might be worth a few heart to hearts.

  64. 64
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @redshirt: He is a bad copy of Wolverine without the nifty claws. If Marvel ever wrote a comic re-telling of Waiting For Godot, he would be the perfect character, otherwise he is simply one of those villains that lazy writers like to use. YMMV

  65. 65
    redshirt says:

    @Arm The Homeless: Good sense of humor though!

  66. 66
  67. 67
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @redshirt: I did enjoy his appearances in McFarlane’s Spider Man, but mostly because Scott knows how to bring out interesting body-language, and a surprising amount of facial acuity for a character with a mask on.

    My question is why immolating him doesn’t actually destroy his brain-cells?

  68. 68
    redshirt says:

    @Arm The Homeless: I would ask the same for Wolverine – how much is enough to regenerate the entire body? Could you dissolve him entirely and he’d regenerate?

    In “Messiah War” Deadpool was hanging around for a 1000 years or so in the future for some time travelers to show up. He went insane in a highly entertaining fashion.

  69. 69
    brettvk says:

    I listened to this segment on RM’s audio podcast. She’s been the only person I know of reporting on MI’s hideous “emergency manager” law. I’m astonished that this story never seems to get any national traction, and I suspect that’s because it’s been used primarily to target predominantly black governments and communities. Even Nancy Nall — a journalist/blogger I have heretofore respected — seems to be okay with it, or at least complacent that her voting rights won’t be compromised in Grosse Pointe. I get a little nauseated whenever I think about this.

  70. 70
    Arm The Homeless says:

    @redshirt: Haven’t bought any new books since Transmetropolitan, I will read that series.

    Friend gave me about 85 digital issues of Walking Dead last week. I have been having fun reading those.

  71. 71
    lee says:

    @Forum Transmitted Disease: you need to hangout with better liberals. I would guess that a little over half the ones I know own weapons of some sort. Of course I live in Texas which may skew the results :)

  72. 72
    satby says:

    @Martin: It’s the Fox-watching that addles their brains. My mother was a lifelong Democrat until she started regularly watching Fox. Now we can’t even talk about politics, but at least the spiteful meanness of the GOP is starting to bother her a lot. And the whole birth control kerfluffle also disturbed her; but as long as they continue to get away with lying to oldsters about Obama trying to do away with Medicare she’s safely in the Repug camp. While I consider just abandoning the country…

  73. 73
    Citizen_X says:

    See, this is why it drives me nuts when “liberals” say, “Hur, let the south secede again…Give Texas back to Mexico, haw haw!” There is nowhere to run to. This cancer is everywhere in this country. The bastards have to be defeated everywhere.

  74. 74
    Joseph Nobles says:

    No taxation without representation.

  75. 75
    redshirt says:

    @Citizen_X: Indeed. Our current situation is far more difficult in many ways than in 1860. There’s no Mason Dixon line to separate them from us.

    It’s an infection of the brain – Wingnuttery – and can affect anyone with a TV capable of getting Fox, or internet capable of getting the FW:FW:FW:FW OBAMER EAT OUR CHILDREN!!! emails from delusional Uncles.

  76. 76
    Linnaeus says:

    I grew up in Michigan (now I live in Washington) and every now and then, my family (solidly Democratic voters for the most part) asks me if I have any plans to move back to Michigan. They don’t do it a pressuring sort of way; it’s more like a, “we’d like to have you closer to us so if you find your way back here that would be great” way. Sometimes I think about it. There’s a lot of great things about Michigan and I still feel a tie to that place even though I’m happy to be in Washington, too.

    Then I see stuff like this going on in Michigan and I think “why go back? what good would that do?”

  77. 77
    Snowwy says:

    @redshirt: But there is a vaccine- a proper education.

    Alas, I have no ideas whatsoever for getting the funding for THAT.

  78. 78
    JC says:

    The question I haven’t seen addressed is, this ‘not til next session’ law has been in effect for 50 years.

    Was it followed?

    Or, has it been standing practice – the excuse of ‘this is how we’ve been doing it for the last 20 years’ – is this true?

    In this case, has the ’emergency exception’ to pass routine bills been standard practice – or at least semi-regular practice – for the last ten or twenty years?

  79. 79
    jpe says:

    Hard to see how the courts could intervene given separation of powers. If they demand on the record votes, they’re really getting into the guts of internal procedure, which is generally seen as a no-no. Maybe MI conlaw differs from other states on SOP caselaw, though.

  80. 80
    JC says:

    Found this from Free Press:

    “Over the years, as majority control shifted back and forth, both political parties in the state House have ordered immediate effect for legislation without recording a roll call vote. Because immediate effect requires a two-thirds vote majority the practice has often frustrated efforts by the minority party to slow down legislation they oppose. ”

    So, it seems like this has been done. Probably like with the Rethug ’60 vote rule’, and in the Senate filbustering EVERYTHING they have taken it to extremes, so that now there is no voice for the minority party.

  81. 81
    RossInDetroit says:

    I just had a long visit from a Detroit friend who says “Fine. Let the state take over the damn place. They couldn’t do worse than local politicians have done.” He’s lived in (historic) Indian Village for years and has seen the value of everything he owns and values plummet. And he’s a Democrat.
    So it’s complicated.

  82. 82
    Original Lee says:

    @Loneoak: IIRC, it can only be a voice vote if it’s unanimous. If one person says NAY, they have to vote again either by show of hands or by standing, and the person with the gavel has to count. Also, the Speaker has to recognize a motion from the floor for a roll call vote, and the Speaker hasn’t been. There are some arcane rules for making sure there’s a roll call vote on a bill that do not involve floor recognition, but most of these maneuvers require advance preparation, and apparently the GOP has been playing with the voting schedule, too. Go figure.

    I think the reason the Dems were so slow to twig to this is that the legislators are not normally seated by party, so it would probably take a while for the Dems to compare notes and realize that there was no supermajority. Some of the Dems are Blue Dogs and vote on certain issues with the GOP, so I could see the Dems not being sure that they were voting as a bloc the same way. But I think after the summer recess, they started sitting together because they were tired of being railroaded (I don’t remember the exact timeline – I was talking about it with a friend who works in the Capitol Building over Thanksgiving) and discovered that even if they were all sitting on their hands, the supermajority was being declared. Also, there have been times in the past when the GOP has had the majority in both houses and the governorship, and there’s always been a certain aout of riding roughshod over the Dems, so they were sort of expecting some of this, but as Rachel pointed out, the use of the emergency supermajority has been unprecedented this session.

  83. 83
    tofubo says:

    and the R.I.C.O. lawsuit against the G.O.P. starts when ????????

  84. 84
    Original Lee says:

    @JC: This has been done in the past, but not to the extent of not actually having the votes (very often). Frequently the majority party in the House has a supermajority all on its own.

  85. 85
    Some Guy says:

    They’re destroying my home state, targeting my people. I’ve never felt so angry before. I want them dead. I want all these Republicans cocksuckers dead. Try them for fucking treason and hang their asses. All of them. Wipe these evil, foul bastards out like a disease! Cleanse Michigan from this infection.

    This has been eye opening for me. I can finally see where Republicans come from. I can see where their obsession with hardcore gun laws and stand your ground laws come from! Sometimes you just want to shoot a bastard. Watch him die.

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