This group will not willingly cede its power.
“After hours of mysterious closed-door meetings that went past midnight, the Wisconsin Senate convened at 4:30 on Wednesday morning and passed by one vote a package of bills devised to curb the powers of the incoming Democratic leaders.”
.. “In Michigan, where Democrats last month won the governor’s mansion as well as the races for attorney general and secretary of state, Republican lawmakers last week introduced measures that would water down the authority of those positions on campaign finance oversight and other legal matters.”
.. Altering the structure of power in a state to limit the influence of an incoming executive of an opposing party wasn’t something I thought I’d ever see in America, but unfortunately this isn’t even the first time we’ve seen it. This is not the first time Republicans have done it.
.. In 2016, Republicans in the North Carolina legislature also pushed through legislation designed to limit the power of an incoming Democratic governor. Kevin Drum wrote a fascinating column about this in Mother Jones titled “Republicans Are No Longer Committed to That Whole Peaceful Transfer of Power Thing.”
.. Republican anti-democratic tendencies aren’t limited to the transfer of power. They extend to areas like the widespread efforts to enact voter suppression, from voter ID laws to voter roll purges to shortening early-voting windows to gerrymandering.
.. a report this year by the Brennan Center for Justice found that voter purging was on the rise:
We found that between 2014 and 2016, states removed almost 16 million voters from the rolls, and every state in the country can and should do more to protect voters from improper purges. Almost 4 million more names were purged from the rolls between 2014 and 2016 than between 2006 and 2008. This growth in the number of removed voters represented an increase of 33 percent — far outstripping growth in both total registered voters (18 percent) and total population (6 percent).
In some cases it is clear that minority voters are disproportionately affected by the purges. One reason is the method used. The report found that 28 states now submit data to the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck Program, the purpose of which “is to identify possible ‘double voters’ — an imprecise term that could be used to refer to people who have registrations in two states or who actually voted in an election in multiple states.”
.. But many people have the same name, which poses a problem for the database. That problem is heightened for minority voters because, as the report says, “African-American, Asian-American, and Latino voters are much more likely than Caucasians to have one of the most common 100 last names in the United States.”
As for gerrymandering, it is “the biggest obstacle to genuine democracy in the United States,” according to Brian Klaas, a political scientist at University College London.
.. eight of the ten most gerrymandered districts in the United States were drawn by Republicans.”
..Even our current immigration debate is far more about future voters than about safety or criminals or the other canards Republicans typically use to oppose it.
.. “among all Latino immigrants who are eligible to vote (i.e. are U.S. citizens) many more identify as Democrats than as Republicans — 54 percent versus 11 percent.”
That is why immigration is such a burning issue on the right and why Donald Trump is able to exploit it: Immigration, both legal and illegal, represents a loss of political power for Republicans.
.. Republican power is increasingly synonymous with white power. The party’s nationalist tendencies are increasingly synonymous with white nationalism.
.. This group will not willingly cede its power just because demographics predict its downfall and current circumstances demonstrate its weaknesses.
If the Republican Party can’t maintain power in the democracy we have, it will destroy that democracy so that its power can be entrenched by limiting the impact of the vote.