Michigan, Wisconsin GOP power grabs are like 'Breaking Bad'

"Breaking Bad," season four, episode six:Skyler White, in an argument with her husband, Walter, tells...

Posted: Dec 5, 2018 4:52 AM
Updated: Dec 5, 2018 4:52 AM

"Breaking Bad," season four, episode six:

Skyler White, in an argument with her husband, Walter, tells him he's in over his head and expresses concern for his safety. Walter turns and responds with one of the most chilling lines in television history:

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"I am not in danger Skyler, I am the danger."

That scene, that quote, is what I thought about when I learned Republican state leaders in Wisconsin and Michigan called emergency sessions in an attempt to pass a number of measures that will limit the executive power of the newly elected incoming Democratic governors (who unseated Republicans) and attorneys general while increasing their own. In Michigan, that Republican grab also targets a newly elected secretary of state.

Their Republican supporters, much like Skyler, may think the change of party in the governor's mansion is the pending "danger," but they are mistaken. The danger is here now, staring them in the face from the mirror. For history has shown that democracies like ours do not fall from outside attacks or osmosis. No, they are torn apart from within by the effective disenfranchisement of citizenry.

The group of men and women who are working feverishly in the dark to usurp the results of the midterm election are not fighting for freedom, or for voters, they are fighting for themselves.

This is not just politics as usual. Gerrymandering and voter suppression are despicable practices aimed at rigging the system. But what the Republicans in Wisconsin and Michigan are attempting is something beyond that. They would like to ignore the system. Ignore the results. Ignore the voters. And what they are banking on most is that fellow Republicans will be so obsessed with beating the Democrats that they, too, ignore the legitimate cost of the GOP's loss.

A Democrat as governor may not be the preference of Republicans, but it is no threat to democracy. A party being allowed to blatantly bypass the will of the people is.

This is why George Washington, in his farewell address, expressed his distaste for parties in general and a two-party scenario in particular. He was concerned that "alternate domination" would encourage politicians to seek self-preservation and revenge against political opponents. This 222-year-old bipartisan critique of American politics rings clearer and truer with each passing election. We've seen this before:

In 2016, North Carolina state legislators were not satisfied with having a Republican supermajority, thus making it possible to override any veto incoming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper might issue. They sought to increase the legislature's own power in response to the election result and continue to try to turn the governor into a figurehead.

If state legislatures in Michigan and Wisconsin are allowed to follow in North Carolina's shoes, others will do the same.

Consider this: Voter turnout hit a 50-year high this November and yet more than 50% of eligible voters did not participate. The United States of America is supposed to be the globe's biggest advocate for democracy, and more than half the country stays home on Election Day, some politicians are working to discourage people from voting and now elected officials in Michigan and Wisconsin are trying to undermine election results in order to maintain power.

If this keeps up, at some point the people who believe their vote doesn't matter will have a point, and once that sentiment festers within a population, democracy crumbles.

For Republican legislative leaders in Wisconsin and Michigan to suggest these extreme measures are necessary to protect voters from danger is an insult. What they are attempting to do is the danger.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 159036

Reported Deaths: 3879
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto10563104
Hinds10414204
Harrison7397113
Jackson6655128
Rankin6057107
Lee540396
Madison5120107
Forrest394786
Jones376188
Lauderdale3663147
Lafayette341053
Washington3321108
Lamar301950
Oktibbeha255262
Lowndes252867
Bolivar248084
Panola237353
Neshoba2280122
Marshall225051
Leflore211191
Monroe209778
Pontotoc208131
Lincoln200566
Sunflower194155
Warren183058
Tate180451
Union172926
Copiah170840
Pike166760
Scott161330
Yazoo161340
Itawamba159936
Alcorn159328
Pearl River158969
Coahoma155943
Prentiss154931
Simpson154053
Adams147252
Grenada145445
Leake141844
Holmes134461
Covington130040
Tippah130030
George129525
Winston128726
Hancock127641
Wayne123024
Attala122834
Marion121447
Tishomingo114043
Chickasaw110732
Newton110529
Tallahatchie99427
Clay96127
Clarke94853
Jasper87023
Stone82015
Calhoun79513
Walthall79330
Montgomery78426
Carroll75515
Lawrence74614
Smith74216
Yalobusha74228
Noxubee73317
Perry68726
Tunica63019
Greene62422
Jefferson Davis59617
Claiborne59216
Amite57615
Humphreys55219
Quitman5107
Benton50418
Kemper48018
Webster47714
Wilkinson40722
Jefferson38312
Choctaw3637
Franklin3635
Sharkey32917
Issaquena1214
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 256828

Reported Deaths: 3711
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson34214511
Mobile20299366
Madison13925150
Tuscaloosa13591156
Montgomery12659238
Shelby1095877
Baldwin9163137
Lee792566
Morgan710851
Etowah677467
Calhoun6695121
Marshall665757
Houston548239
DeKalb504738
Cullman472043
St. Clair451857
Limestone447546
Lauderdale436054
Elmore427564
Walker3818111
Talladega374457
Jackson350723
Colbert336443
Blount310043
Autauga287342
Franklin259734
Coffee254115
Dale242054
Dallas232932
Chilton230841
Russell22813
Covington227934
Escambia206131
Tallapoosa189191
Chambers185950
Pike162214
Clarke161819
Marion146136
Winston141924
Lawrence135336
Pickens127720
Geneva12638
Marengo125224
Bibb123938
Barbour120629
Butler118842
Randolph105922
Cherokee105524
Hale99732
Fayette96316
Clay93525
Washington93319
Henry8946
Monroe83811
Lowndes82129
Cleburne79914
Macon76522
Crenshaw72930
Conecuh72414
Lamar7138
Bullock70919
Perry6927
Wilcox64918
Sumter58922
Greene44218
Choctaw43519
Coosa3724
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