The GOP’s Ruthless Assault on Democracy

In North Carolina, the GOP legislature has called a last minute surprise session following the election of a Democratic governor. According to the New York Times:

The new legislation moved quickly through committees and floor votes on Thursday, where Republicans hold large majorities in both chambers. In separate incidents, both the State Senate and House galleries were closed and cleared of protesters after outbursts interrupted proceedings.

Senators passed one of the major bills, which removes partisan control of the state and county election boards from the governor. Currently, the boards, which set hours and polling places and adjudicate ballot disputes, have a majority from the governor’s party. Under the new law, the boards will have bipartisan memberships, but a Republican will lead the state board during election years and a Democrat in nonelection years.

The House passed another key bill, enhancing the power of the state superintendent of education, who is a newly elected Republican, and mandating Senate approval of Mr. Cooper’s cabinet appointments, a significant shackling of the governor’s authority.

Reporters and protestors were barred from the proceedings with arrests eventually being made, including a journalist.

This hyperpartisanship should not be a surprise; this is not new behavior. This is an escalation and continuation of the McConnell strategy of complete obstruction of President Obama from the very beginning. This is an escalation and continuation of the GOP’s obsession with flinging every possible scandal at Bill Clinton in the 1990s and against Hillary in 2016. This is the same strategy the GOP employed in 2000 to win the election through a coup at the Supreme Court. Moreso than any other party in America, this faction craves power and is willing to destroy democracy to retain it.

This is the faction that sought to flout the Constitution by illegally nullifying federal laws they feared would be used to attack slavery. They are the faction that instituted a gag rule in Congress in the 1830s prohibiting any discussion or debate about abolition or slavery. They are the faction that, by viewing any kind of compromise as capitulation, careened the country into a civil war. They are the faction that sees every instance of granting the same rights and privileges that they enjoy to those who have historically not enjoyed them as an attack and personal affront. They are the faction that will stop at nothing, including flagrant violation of the Constitution, democratic norms, and the spirit of the Republic. They are a threat to both democracy and to the freedom and liberty of the people of this country and must be resisted, fiercely.

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