Republicans Versus Republicanism

A republican government is supposed to be one in which “power resides in elected individuals representing the citizen body and government leaders exercise power according to the rule of law,” according to Wikipedia. This appears to be a concept unfamiliar to today’s Republicans.

For example — I hadn’t heard Grover Norquist had been elected to anything by anybody. But it appears he holds supreme power in the state of Louisiana.

Republican state lawmakers in Louisiana and anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist are in a war of words over the state’s terrible budget options, with Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), a 2016 White House contender, stuck in the middle.

The state faces an enormous $1.6 billion budget shortfall, a reality Jindal blames on falling oil revenues. However, he is one of a number of GOP governors, many of them considering presidential runs, who have found themselves with budget crises due to their unwillingness to raise tax revenue. Jindal’s anti-tax orthodoxy has limited legislators’ options for balancing the state’s budget and means the state is facing the prospect of drastic cuts in key areas like higher education.

For months now legislators have accused Jindal of kowtowing to Norquist’s “no tax pledge,” which stipulates that taxes cannot be raised unless they’re offset by spending cuts elsewhere. And this weekend they’d had enough. A group of self-described “conservative” Republican state representatives took their complaints to Norquist himself, asking him to give them some wiggle room on raising taxes and to shoot down some Jindal-backed legislation that they say would set a “dangerous precedent” in how government could mask revenue hikes.

Norquist, president of the Americans for Tax Reform, shot back Monday in a letter of his own, in which he okayed the proposal in question and called legislators’ inability to find cuts elsewhere “disconcerting.”

I assume no one in Louisiana pays attention to the state government, since if any of them did they’d be storming the state house with torches and pitchforks.

But that’s not the worst thing I’ve heard this week. Apparently Sam Brownback wants dictatorial powers in Kansas.

On Thursday, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback signed a bill that threatens the entire state’s judiciary with destruction if it rules against a law he favors. Brownback has spent much of his tenure attempting to curb the state supreme court and consolidate power in the executive branch. Thursday’s startling maneuver suggests the deeply conservative governor has no compunction about simply obliterating separation of powers when another branch of government gets in his way.

That rule of law thing is so inconvenient sometimes

The Kansas trouble started in 2014, when the state supreme court ruled that the disparity between school funding in rich and poor districts violated the state constitution. The justices ordered the legislature to fix the problem. Soon after, the legislature passed an administrative law that stripped the supreme court of its authority to appoint local chief judges and set district court budgets.

… Just in case the court didn’t get the message, Brownback and the legislature have also threatened the justices with blatantly political reforms, like subjecting them to recall elections, splitting the court in two, lowering the retirement age, and introducing partisan elections. …

… Now the court has an opportunity to strike down the administrative law, which probably violates the state constitution. And that’s where Brownback’s insane new law comes in. The law declares that if the supreme court strikes down the administrative law, the entire state judiciary will lose its funding. Brownback and the legislature are essentially bullying the judiciary: Uphold our law or cease to exist.

On the bright side, Rushbo’s reign of error on the radio appears to be coming to an end.

2 thoughts on “Republicans Versus Republicanism

  1. Combine Kansas and Wisconsin’s Governor’s – Brownback and Wanker (sic) – and you will see the future of the USA if any, ANY. Republican President gets elected in the near future.
    I’m not sure that they’ll ever come back to some sense of sanity -and then, only if they get destroyed in Presidential AND off-year elections.
    But until then, they can’t be trusted to be anywhere near total control of the US Government.
    They’ll make W look like Truman – if not FDR.

    They are primed and ready to take America into a Christian Theocratic Fascist Plutocracy.

    I hate to paint a party in simple terms – but the GOP right now, is stupid, ignorant, and evil.
    And their sociopathic and bigoted voters, are ready to put real psychopaths in the Oval Office.

    Brownback and Wanker don’t want to learn.
    And, since they got reelected, they didn’t have to change their tune.

    Unless we MAKE the GOP suffer humiliating national and state-wide defeats, these festering pustules on the anus of humanity, will remain within striking distance of power.
    And woe to everyone who’s not a Authoritarian Christian Fascist Plutocratic/Oligarchical follower, and licker of Plutocrats and Oligarchs like the Koch Brothers…

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