Column, 289 words

Michigan Bucks Democracy

With no warning, no hearings, no public input, no floor debate, and no time for citizens to even know what was happening, Michigan's Republicans rammed a union-busting bill into law.

Jim Hightower

Michigan is no longer a state. It is now “Michiganistan,” an autocratic czardom in the hands of Emperor Rick Snyder.

Formerly the Republican governor, Snyder has been enthroned by the GOP’s lame-duck, legislative supermajority to rule with an iron fist — democracy, rule-of-law, fairness, and the people be damned.

Ironically, voters had given Snyder and his cohort of right-wing corporate ideologues a spanking for this kind of nastiness in a November referendum. The GOP cabal in Lansing had conspired last year to usurp the local authority of city governments and allow Snyder to send in unelected, unaccountable autocrats to fire elected officials and seize control, but last month, Michigan voters overthrew this absurdity.


Peace Education Center/Flickr

This month, however, Snyder and gang doubled down on their dumbfounding, anti-democratic zealotry. With no warning, no hearings, no public input, no floor debate, and no time for citizens to even know what was happening, the same legislative czarists rammed a union-busting bill into law. Even though he had publicly rejected such a proposal earlier this year as being “very divisive,” Emperor Snyder gleefully signed this measure.

Who’s behind this madness? Say hello to two infamous, anti-union, billionaire plutocrats: the Koch brothers. They had funneled as much as a million dollars into Snyder’s 2010 gubernatorial election, and three Michigan front groups funded by the billionaire brothers aggressively pushed the exact same anti-worker proposal that the Republican thugs just bullied into law.

Two things not long for this world are dogs that chase cars and politicians who deceive and cheat the people. Already, Michiganders are organizing a petition drive for another referendum to overturn the law and return the Czardom of Michiganistan back to democratic rule. Stay tuned.

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer, and public speaker. He’s also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

  • salwa

    I have a lot of respect for Mr. Hightower. However, I think it is possible to find many more similes here at home than a country we have had a great hand in destroying, namely, Afghanistan, which was working v. well in the late 1970’s, before Brezinski & co. decided to use it as fodder & target for the then USSR.

    • Midlandr

      Hightowers a dirtbag.

  • Midlandr

    Ah Jim Hightower, the Texas douchebag, he is such the dweeby little marxist troll, as funny as a festering sore.

  • Ming Bucibei

    as in dearbornistan which flies the crescent moon flag

    hightower is a commie ‘ho, hateful biotch,drooling marist brainless pinnheaded useless idiot

    Ming Bucibei

  • ESGreco

    Note to the people who have attacked Jim Hightower in this comments section: If this is how you express yourselves during the holiday season with all its joy and generosity, how crude and rude do you get the rest of the year? Or is this just how you prefer to celebrate Christmas?

  • Stephen Boyle

    It would be inappropriate to allow departing representatives and senators PEACE for the crimes against the people that were passed. These laws wear like shackles on the poor and disadvantaged.

    No Justice NO PEACE

  • bill

    Union have out lived themselves. Now they only make union bosses rich and production in the US to expensive to afford. Besides it’s a right to work law not an anti union….