|Another case of GOP anti-democratic instincts: South Dakota|
Gov.Dennis Daugaard and his fellow state Republicans
are mad at his state's voters for approving an ethics las
for state lawmakers.
Republicans there just declared a "legislative emergency" since voters there had the gall to want ethics in their government. Because it's definitely an emergency when voters want their lawmakers to be ethical.
According to Huffington Post, the goal of the "legislative emergency" is to wipe out the new ethics and campaign finance law South Dakota voters approved in November.
The regulations would create an independent commission to oversee proves into ethical misconduct by elected officials, impose tougher limits on campaign contributions and lobbyists' gifts to lawmakers, place restrictions on lawmakers who become lobbyists, increase disclosure requirements from independent political groups and set up a system to publicly finance elections, says the Huffington Post.
Sounds pretty comprehensive, right?
Much too comprehensive for the Republicans running South Dakota. The state's governor, Dennis Daugaard said South Dakota voters were "hoodwinked" into voting for the law.
I don't think the voters of South Dakota are that dumb. They knew what they were doing, since there was a lot of back and forth about the merits of the proposed law before South Dakotans approved it in November.
But, the voters had the gall to want to hinder political hijinks. A big no-no, especially among Republicans, it seems.
The people have no right, apparently to influence the decisions of their so-called leaders.
Exhibit Number 1 is Donald Trump, of course, who obvious thinks what he wants in his Big Ego alternative universe, where he has a "mandate" despite losing the popular vote by around 3 million people.
Trump's life is life guided by "alternative facts" such as the YUUGE crowds that supposedly turned out for his inauguration, and the billions of lies he's told. (I don't have the space to list them, obviously.)
State Republican-led legislatures are big into this game, too, and it's not just South Dakota.
We saw the spectacle a month or two back, after North Carolina voters narrowly got a Democratic governor into the State House.
The Republicans there pounced, calling an out-of-the-blue special session in December stripping the new Democratic Governor Roy Cooper of many of his powers before he took office on the first of January. (Cooper is of course suing these Republicans.)
Republicans have been deft at gerrymandering Congressional districts, .adopting voter suppression laws, and pleasing their dwindling ultra-conservative base.
CNN noted the Republican M.O. in relation to the atrocity in North Carolina, but they could have been talking about Trump and many other Republicans across the nation.
"Extremist Republicans wo cut taxes for the wealthy, denied health care to poor people, attacked public education, suppressed votes and targeted immigrants and minorities with mean-spirited legislation are making their last stand against the ballot box and the courts."
Despite the huge damage that Trump, Congressional Republicans and many rank-and-file Republicans in red states are doing and will do, I'm still optimistic that demographics and decency will win out.
We're just going to have to spend a few painful years first. I can see already that Trump is proving every bit as terrible a president as his many critics predicted.
The arch-conservatives are overstepping, and people are going to rebel. The first real sign of that was the Womens Marches last weekend. Almost all of them drew far more participants than even some of the most optimist organizers predicted.
It was basically old white people that got Trump into power, and have enabled Republican state legislators to do their damage to everyone else.
I still think these mostly old white people will realize they've been conned. Also, as crass as this sounds, a lot of them are dying off, leaving us with a far more diverse, tolerant, moderate populace.
Moderate does not mean "not pissed off." People are pissed off, and the pendulum will swing. We'll have to be patient.
Push Americans far enough, though, and they tend to get revolutionary. Yep, we are living in interesting times. Let's hope the short term pain of the next few years leads us to long term gain.
That prospect is what keeps us going.