Republicans in Wisconsin and Michigan are trying to block incoming Democrats by changing the powers of the governor. The midterms saw big losses for the GOP in both states as several seats flipped—realizing that, Republicans made it their goal to hamper their state’s government.
Republicans are using the aptly named lame-duck session, which takes place after elections and before new politicians come into power. That means anyone on their way out the door can participate in one final round of decision-making, despite voters’ decisions. What it boils down to is a last-ditch effort to make things worse for whoever comes next; a final opportunity to pour gasoline into the capitol building and light a match on the way out.
That’s what Republicans are doing now. Per NBC, the Wisconsin lame-duck session was the first held in eight years. Outgoing governor Scott Walker is putting a choke hold on incoming governor Tony Evers. For example, one of Evers’ chief campaign platforms was to bring his state back under protection of the Affordable Care Act with the help of Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul. If Walker’s new legislation passes, the power to do so will be taken from the attorney general’s office and transferred to a legislative committee, per WaPo. Republicans would then squash Kaul’s ability to fulfill his campaign promise.
There’s a history of doing just that in Wisconsin and the government itself showed data proving that. It’s gerrymandered its districts so vigorously that many lost faith in a blue wave. Despite overcoming years those of gerrymandering, Evers is going to have a tough time doing his job.
More significantly though, Republicans are taking away the power of voters. In this childishly malevolent move, voters are being robbed. A majority spoke up and said they wanted Kaul and Evers to bring back the ACA. Walker and his Republican thugs think they know best. Wisconsin state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald mocked the frustration in comments to a conservative radio show, as NBC observes.
“The manufactured outrage by the Democrats right now is hilarious,” Fitzgerald said. “I mean, most of these items are things (that) we never really had to kind of address because guess what—we trusted Scott Walker and the administration to be able to manage the back and forth with the Legislature. We don’t trust Tony Evers right now in a lot of these areas.”
These obstructions to democracy are met with hearings and protests.
Over in Michigan, Democrats are slated to occupy the governor, secretary of state and attorney general seats for the first time in three decades. Republicans oppose a smooth transition of power there, too. The Detroit Free Press reports that “State Rep. Robert VerHeulen, R-Walker, introduced a bill that would allow the state House of Representatives and Senate to intervene in any legal proceedings involving the state, which has traditionally been the purview of the state attorney general or the governor’s office.”
Michigan Attorney General-elect Dana Nessel hoped to reform laws that allowed adoption agencies to refuse to work with couples based on religion or sexuality. If Republicans succeed, bigoted legislation like that will continue to thrive in Michigan.
It’s blatantly obvious that these bills are intended to block Democrats and voters everywhere. The GOP doesn’t care. Its party members are abusing their power. They bend the law to its breaking point to serve their own interests. In these states, Republicans prove they have no respect for what a democracy is supposed to be.