The Republicans are masters at the dark arts of undermining America's inconvenient democracy. Today they're going far beyond the mundane tactics of gerrymandering and voter suppression although both are still flourishing.
In their unceasing quest to transform America into a one-party state, the GOP is getting no end of help from their corporate sponsors.
Former Wisconsin senator and partner with the late John McCain in the last desperate but failed attempt to implement campaign finance reform, Russ Feingold penned a Guardian op-ed yesterday describing how "Republicans are undermining democracy state by state." They're throwing out the rule books, flouting democratic tradition and convention, no matter what anyone says.
This is not how democracy works, and these maneuvers in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and North Carolina are not just power grabs. They are deliberate efforts to undermine democracy and our faith in it. And these efforts are getting more brazen and desperate every year.The infamous Koch brothers, Helmut and Gunter, are still at it, as ever. Only now they're spreading their filthy lucre into Britain. George Monbiot describes how the Brothers Sinister are fueling the hard right cause in the UK.
Everything from gerrymandering to attempts at voter suppression have been long-term projects of the monied interests. But, like the white supremacists’ public actions and the attacks on the media in the age of Trump, Republicans making their power grabs around the country are particularly emboldened right now. The lame-duck session concept isn’t new either – it has just being taken to new extremes. Congress has used lame-duck sessions repeatedly for work that should have been conducted during the regular session. North Carolina Republicans showed Wisconsin Republicans how to mess with democracy back in December of 2016 when they successfully diminished the powers of the incoming Democratic governor Pat McCrory. A lame-duck session should only be for emergency measures. Too many people voting is not an emergency.
Meanwhile TruthDig brings word from Reps.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) about how congressional freshmen are getting tuned up by corporate forces before they're even sworn into office.
...contrary to the ideologically neutral advertising—the private conference featured a heavy dose of speeches by corporate CEOs and completely shut out organized labor and members of the progressive community.
“Our ‘bipartisan’ congressional orientation is co-hosted by a corporate lobbyist group,” Ocasio-Cortez noted, likely referring to the Koch-funded American Enterprise Institute, which is co-sponsoring the event. “Other members have quietly expressed to me their concern that this wasn’t told to us in advance. Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where’s labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?”American democracy is on the ropes and, this time, it can't be blamed on the Russians. This time the country is being subverted from within by the GOP, decidedly not "the party of Lincoln" any longer.