Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Literal Dictatorship in Detroit a Test Run For the Rest of the Country

Under a "law" rammed through by repugs, elected officials in Detroit have no authority to stop Wall Street from stripping every public asset - including utilities and the retirement checks of police and firefighters - and leaving the citizens of what is no longer a democracy to starve naked in the dark.

John Nichols at The Nation concludes his must-read article with:
Too many American cities face financial challenges similar to those that have destabilized Detroit. Snyder’s anti-democratic “answer” could well become the model for a response to those challenges that begins by blaming the victims and ultimately denies them a full and effective franchise.

“I believe Detroit and Michigan are ‘test cases’ for certain right-wing agents who want to do all they can to control future elections for this nation’s highest office and other posts,” says Watson. “Voter suppression, including the Supreme Court’s role in gutting the Voting Rights Act of 1965, are not incidental to the myriad of malevolence in Michigan.”

There is a lot more at stake in Detroit, and in Michigan, than one city’s balance sheet.

Our understanding of democracy, itself, is being subverted.

The voters of Michigan sent a clear signal last fall. They rejected emergency-manager authoritarianism.

Unfortunately, a federal bankruptcy judge has sided with a governor who could not win an election in Detroit and an approach that Detroit voters rejected.

This has nothing to do with budgeting, debt or broader fiscal matters. Those issues could, and should, be addressed by an elected mayor and city council.

This has everything to do with allowing unelectable and unelected officials—and the interests they serve—to achieve political results that could not be secured at the ballot box.
You really think a repug governor couldn't do this to Louisville or Lexington or Covington? You really think the white, rural legislature would even try to stop him?

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