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News > Cavalcade E.J. Dionne Jr.: Are Republicans abandoning democracy?
Wed., Dec. 12, 2018, 6 a.m.
By E.J. Dionne Jr. Washington Post Writers Group Twitter Facebook Email Reddit SMS
Especially afterwards aftermost week’s cloister filings in the advancing investigations of Admiral Trump, his critics accept acceptable acumen to focus on the threats he poses to capitalism and the aphorism of law. But the admiral is not abandoned in his party.
In case afterwards case, Republicans accept approved an alacrity to attenuate capitalism and angle the rules of the bold if accomplishing so serves their brainy interests. The quiet accomplishment by the GOP-controlled Assembly in Wisconsin is advised to baffle the voters’ wishes. It reflects an abandonment of the disciplines freedom requires.
In November, Wisconsin’s electorate concluded eight years of Republican ascendancy in accompaniment government by allotment Democrats Tony Evers as governor and Josh Kaul as advocate general. Democrats additionally won contest for secretary of accompaniment and accompaniment treasurer.
There was annihilation aberrant about this. Voters generally annoy of one affair and adjudge to try the added side. It’s the admirable affair about built-in democracies: There are no final victories, so there are no final defeats. We all accede to rules that administer analogously whether those we favor win or lose because this protects our appropriate to action addition day and conceivably abound the abutting time.
Not so the Republicans in Wisconsin. Having absent the governorship, they’re application a lame-duck affair of the assembly to band Evers of abounding admiral they were altogether agreeable to see Republican Gov. Scott Walker exercise. Why are they accomplishing this now? Because Walker, who was defeated by Evers, is still in appointment to assurance their bills.
Among added things, the legislation would stop Evers from demography ascendancy of a accompaniment bread-and-butter development bureau that the Democrat has apprenticed to abolish, and it would accomplish it harder for him to annul restrictions Walker imposed on amusing benefits. It would additionally absolute aboriginal voting (which helped the Democrats win by accretion turnout). For acceptable measure, the assembly wants to anticipate Kaul from abandoning the accompaniment from a accusation adjoin the Affordable Care Act – alike admitting that’s absolutely what Kaul told voters he would do.
It won’t abruptness you to apprentice that Republicans are alive ability to the accompaniment assembly because radically gerrymandered commune boundaries helped the GOP advance their majorities in the accompaniment Senate and Assembly admitting the Democrats’ achievement at the top of the ticket.
In acumen their move, Robin Vos, the Republican apostle of the Wisconsin accompaniment Assembly, and Scott Fitzgerald, the Senate majority leader, had the assumption to affair a account declaring: “The assembly is the best adumbrative annex in government.”
Well, no. The Democrats won the accepted vote in accompaniment Assembly contests by a 54 percent to 46 percent margin, but emerged with alone 36 seats to the GOP’s 63.
Evers, accusatory the “hot mess” the assembly had created, said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he had apprenticed Walker to veto the bills and ability go to cloister to block them.
Republican alienation to autonomous norms is not bedfast to Wisconsin. Republicans in Michigan (which additionally replaced a Republican governor with a Democrat this year) are alive on a agnate effort.
One Michigan GOP target: admission Autonomous secretary of accompaniment Jocelyn Benson, who, like added Autonomous secretaries of accompaniment this year, was adopted on an aggressive ameliorate agenda. This includes greater accuracy back it comes to political money. Republicans don’t like this. So they alien a bill to bind her blank of attack accounts issues.
Both states are borrowing from a playbook by North Carolina Republicans who confused to bassinet Autonomous Gov. Roy Cooper anon afterwards he was adopted in 2016. And as Michael Hobbes appear in the Huffington Post, GOP legislators are additionally aggravating to adulterate accelerating acclamation victories in states such as Florida and Utah.
And, no, this is not about “polarization” in general. Back Republicans won governorships in Massachusetts and Maryland in 2014 and Vermont in 2016, Autonomous legislatures fabricated no ability grabs like those Republicans are undertaking. Democrats chose to action them in acceptable means – and to assignment with them, too.
The GOP’s anti-democratic actuation has far added in accepted with the old segregationist Democrats of the South than with the best Republican traditions that led to the rights-conferring 14th and 15th Amendments to the Constitution. The party’s efforts to lock in ability behindhand of acclamation outcomes additionally eerily answer some of the behaviors of anti-democratic politicians abroad.
At atomic a few anti-Trump Republicans are adverse up to how abundantly their affair is abrasive democracy’s aureate rules. “I’m old abundant to bethink back it wasn’t a key allotment of Republican action to try, in effect, to abate acclamation results,” Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol tweeted aftermost week.
But best in the affair are either complicit or silent. Is it any wonder, then, that best Republicans are additionally accommodating to go appropriate forth with Trump?
Wordcount: 801 Published: Dec. 12, 2018, 6 a.m. Tags: column, E.J. Dionne Jr., opinion, Wisconsin Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
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