Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Republicans Pushing Boldly Ahead

The November 2010 election was a major triumph for Republicans across the country. Capturing a net six governorships and net 680 state legislative seats (blowing away the post-Watergate record 628 seat swing), Republicans now control 29 governorships and 25 state legislatures (the Democrats control fifteen, ten more are divided or nonpartisan and the other seven are imaginary). So what have the Republicans done with this victory? You might be surprised.

No doubt, you’ve heard about the brouhaha in Wisconsin between Governor Walker and the unions. But that’s only the beginning. Indeed, Wisconsin Republicans are now pushing through their entire agenda before recall elections can rob them of control of their Senate. This includes (1) plans to legalize concealed weapons, (2) deregulation of the telephone industry, (3) expanding school vouchers, (4) undoing early release of prisoners, (5) requiring photo ID from voters before they can vote, (6) circumventing the court imposed stay and stripping public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights, (7) cutting one billion dollars from the budget, and (8) passing a redistricting plan to implement the 2010 census. The consequences of this could be enormous. And Wisconsin is not alone:

● Twenty states are currently taking up or completing measures designed to limit the power of public sector unions. These efforts should ultimately result in a neutering of public sector unions, who use their position to support Democrats, both financially and with volunteers. As an aside, even the Democrats in Massachusetts just took away the unions’ rights to bargain their health care . . . oddly, there were no protests or death threats when the Democrats acted.

● Eighteen states are trying to pass right-to-work laws to join the 22 states that already have them. New Hampshire passed such a law, but it doesn’t look like the Republicans can overcome a veto by the state’s Democratic governor. Right-to-work laws make closed shops illegal and prevent unions from forcing employees to pay union dues. This generally kills off unions once employees are given a genuine choice. Passage of more of these laws could spell the end for private sector unions, who are near death in most states already, and will further cripple the Democratic Party.

● Another thirty states are cracking down on illegal immigration. This has the potential of robbing the Democratic Party of its base of illegal voters.

● Another thirty states are trying to pass laws requiring voters to produce a drivers license or official picture identification before they can vote. Since Indiana’s law on this point was upheld by the United States Supreme Court 6-3 in 2008 (Crawford v. Marion County Election Board), seven other states have enacted similar laws: Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Louisiana, Michigan and South Dakota. Kansas just passed such a law. Ohio’s House has passed a similar law, which is expected to pass their Senate and be signed by the governor. Wisconsin will pass theirs as well. And 27 more are trying.

The Democrats are, of course, furious. They are making all kinds of false claims about the horrible consequences of passing these laws. For example, they are trying to claim this change could cost millions in training costs for poll watchers. Of course, that ignores the fact that poll watchers get training already and adding a line that says “check their drivers license” won’t add a penny. They are claiming this will intimidate minorities, which is also garbage. Any minority “brave enough” to appear at a voting booth should be brave enough to bring their drivers license. They are claiming this will keep people without drivers licenses from voting, which deliberately ignores the fact that each of these laws allows people without drivers licenses to provide alternative proof. . . which, to the horror of angry Democrats, does not include college IDs.

What’s really going on here is that this has the potential of eliminating a good deal of Democratic voter fraud, see e.g. ACORN and Wisconsin, where Democratic groups pretend to be other registered voters. This could eliminate the Democrats' ability to magically find an extra 1-2% during close elections.

● Wyoming and Missouri have barred their courts from applying Sharia law or foreign law.

● And there’s more. Gun rights are being solidified, conservative social policy issues are being passed, taxes are going down, spending is being cut and states are regaining their financial health. And redistricting is starting and it looks like a total disaster for the Democrats.

That's not a bad return on an election that only happened a few months ago.

Naturally, liberals are very upset. They are so upset that liberal mouthpieces like the New York Times are actually encouraging people to sue or protest or do anything else they can to stop these evil Republicans. Even funnier, their most recent talking point has them all whining that this “goes way beyond what Republicans campaigned on. . . they campaigned on jobs. . . not any of this!” Aw, poor babies. I guess elections do have consequences after all.

So, what else have you heard about and what else would you like to see (or not see)?

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