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Why Arizona matters

by: Eric B.

Sun Feb 23, 2014 at 14:52:33 PM EST

Will Arizona become the first state to actively allow discrimination by businesses on religious grounds? Why are so few people interested in what's happening there? Why have so few of you who got angry when the rest of us didn't change our social media profile pictures to the red equality square speaking out on their legislature's passage of a bill that would permit discrimination against LGBT people if based on religious belief? It's damn important, and here is the reason why.

Campaign finance reports show his Top Gun PAC gave $500 to (Jim, of Benton Harbor) Walker as he challenges incumbent Republican Representative Dave Pagel of Oronoko Township and $400 to (Cindy, of Stevensville) Duran for her effort to unseat Republican Al Pscholka. Duran is active in the Tea Party movement in Berrien County, and is running against Pscholka due to his efforts to pass Governor Snyder's Medicaid expansion bill.

This is part of why the Establishment couldn't give him the heave-ho from his seat as an RNC committee man. He has a lot of influence with the Tea Party and is giving money from his PAC to get more of them elected, which means that should One Gutless Nerd win re-election, they'll have as governor a guy who has shown an inclination to veto noxious shit like Arizona's law.

Eric B. :: Why Arizona matters
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Doesn't you last sentence kind of actually point to the exact opposite why this wouldn't matter much to Michigan? i.e. the only way they get this "noxious shit" passed is if they are ever able to topple Snyder?  

I mean, they can replace every single last one of the sitting GOP senators and representatives in the legislature, but unless they can get the governor's seat or maintain their supermajority in the state senate AND build one in the state house (both of these are unlikely as they even lose one or two senate seats, and their supermajority is gone, and they will not be increasing in the house) it seems that the tea party will have done what they've done in the United States Senate the last two or three cycles: continue to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

This isn't to argue that anyone should take any risks with by even letting them replace establishment figures with tea party members.  And, we should never risk having to rely on Snyder to do the right thing, because his record is awfully checkered.  But, they've pushed about as far as they can push in a state like Michigan in terms of more electoral gains.  

My focus is that we need Democratic house, at least, to stop the remaining small erosions in policy that the state GOP will get away with (they've already accomplished almost all of their big-ticket items).  But, what I'd really like to see is that we gain the governor's office and the house to begin to repair the massive amount of damage the tea party did in a short time.

I guess what I'm saying is that I'll start getting worried about the tea party, again, when they show they can defeat Democrats in a state like Michigan, again, or hold everything they've already won.  Neither seems likely even going into a year where I wish Dems were polling more decisively.  Unlike some other places where they continued to make gains in state legislatures even into 2012, their influence peaked right after the 2010 wave, and they did the damage they were able to do subsequently.  Remember that Right-to-Mooch was passed in a lame duck, because they knew they'd have lost the state house had they done it before the election.  

As far as I'm concerned, they've shown themselves to be a one-trick pony in Michigan, which doesn't mean that they haven't or can't do further damage, but my worry isn't so much about these hugely controversial issues, anymore.  Hell, if the courts rule like we think they may, we might even have same-sex marriage here in Michigan this year (and if not, polling shows it pass in 2016 before voters at the very latest).  They are getting away with some of their most egregious stuff in states where they are least likely to be punished by it.  I mean, Michigan isn't Massachusetts - no state is Massachusetts - but it's not Arizona, or North Carolina, or Kansas, either.  Simple political demographics ensure a push-back (a push-back that started back in 2012).

I would contend
that there is much, much more damage that could be done by the Republican legislature, so long as they've got a governor that will sign their toxic legislation (or petition circulators to give them a referendum end-run option).  That last option is especially important: So what if Rick Snyder won't sign their ALEC or Arizona template legislation?  Get a bunch of their base to sign petitions and they don't have to get Rick (or Schauer) into the mix at all.

Lest I give Arlan Meekhof and the rest any ideas, I will leave it to your imagination all of the wicked things that may this way come.

Great Lakes, Great Times.

[ Parent ]
Republicans are now
swimming against the current on this, as they are on most of the other social issues they've hung their hats on for the last 30 years. The question is, will they figure it out in time to avoid the wrath of the voters, and even if they do, will the tea party fringe allow them to steer a different course? My feeling from watching the Agema debacle is that the party bigwigs already realize they've been left behind by the changing attitudes of the general public, but the teabaggers are having none of it.

Without evangelical and teabagger votes, the Republicans are a minority party, but the crazies are no longer willing to simply vote and STFU. They want a say in the direction of the party.

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