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Friday, December 9, 2016

Wisconsin’s Republicans got most of the attention, but Michigan’s Republicans have recently proven to be the best example of a midwest gerrymandered Republican majority drunk with its power.

In 2010, in the lowest turnout since 1990, Michigan elected a Republican governor who ran as a moderate backed by big majorities in the state House and Senate. Many of the freshly minted Republicans proudly waved the banner of the Tea Party — a banner that read “Taxed Enough Already!”

Immediately, the newly elected governor and legislature raised taxes on pensioners and cut the earned income tax credit for the poor to help pay for a huge tax cuts for business. Over the course of the next two years, the legislatures explored the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation and even banned a female lawmaker from speaking because she used the word “vagina.”

But they saved the worst of their agenda until President Obama beat Mitt Romney in Romney’s birth state by 9.5 percent. Republicans lost seats in the house as gerrymandering protected Republican majorities. With only 4,000 more votes in four districts, Democrats would have tied up the House 55-55. Instead they only lost 5 seats and maintained a 59-51 majority.

Instead of moving to the center, Michigan’s GOP launched into what Eclectablog‘s Chris Savage has called an “inflamed duck” session that shook the state and finally revealed to the nation what happens when a far-right Republican majority takes over a blue state.

Photo credit: Dwight Burdette

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