The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

It took two votes, but months after Governor Rick Snyder (R-MI) told legislators to “take a vote, not a vacation,” Medicaid expansion has finally passed Michigan’s state senate. An estimated 470,000 Michiganders who currently earn too much to qualify for Medicaid are likely to get fully subsidized health insurance as part of the Affordable Care Act.

Now a state Republican official is predicting the political wrangling that ended with Senator Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba) switching his vote in favor of expansion will cost the state GOP big in 2014.

“We will see division in our county, district and state party,” Adrian M. Poulisse, the Michigan GOP’s 1st Congressional District Secretary, wrote on the Delta County Republican Party website. “We will see primary challengers step up against incumbents. We will see some of the most divisive conventions we have ever seen.”

Poulisse went on to say that passing an element of Obamacare without even a majority of the Republican caucus will reverberate into next year’s election.

“We could end up losing the vacant Senate seat and thus cost a GOP majority in the U.S. Senate. We could lose our slim majority in the state house. We will likely lose our governor race because our own party sits it out or votes third party.”

Poulisse included “30 Peices of Silver,” (sic) “Barack H Obama,” and “Judas Iscariot” as tags on his post.

Divisions in Michigan’s GOP have been brewing for months. In February, Snyder had to cut a trip to Washington D.C. short in order to prevent Tea Partier Todd Courser, a favorite of the so-called “Freedom Caucus,” from defeating the governor’s choice for state party chairman.

Lt. Governor Brian Calley — a Tea Partier who was willing to be the tie-breaking vote in favor of Medicaid — is facing a primary challenge from an even more conservative Tea Partier, Wes Nakagiri.

The irony of course is that despite Medicaid expansion, Governor Rick Snyder and the state’s Republicans have steamrolled through a right-wing agenda since taking office in 2011. They slashed education, cut taxes for corporations, eliminated tax breaks for the poor and pensioners, made it harder for a woman to get an abortion and passed legislation that makes it much more difficult for unions to organize.

But Snyder, facing re-election in a state that voted for President Obama by more than 9 percent, knew his party could not turn down the $7 million a day the state would have lost by rejecting Medicaid expansion. Just that one small step toward moderation was a “crushing blow to hope for Michigan Republican unity,” according to Adrian M. Poulisse.

(h/t @JPughMI)


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mark Levin

Politico reported Friday that John Eastman, the disgraced ex-law professor who formulated many of former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, was also apparently in communication with Fox News host Mark Levin. The story gets even more interesting from there, revealing the shell game that right-wing media personalities engage in while doubling as political operatives.

A legal filing by Eastman’s attorneys reveals that, among the messages Eastman is still attempting to conceal from the House January 6 committee are 12 pieces of correspondence with an individual matching Levin’s description as “a radio talk show host, is also an attorney, former long-time President (and current board chairman) of a public interest law firm, and also a former fellow at The Claremont Institute.” Other details, including a sloppy attempt to redact an email address, also connect to Levin, who did not respond to Politico’s requests for comment.

Keep reading... Show less

Sen. Wendy Rogers

Youtube Screenshot

There have been powerful indicators of the full-bore radicalization of the Republican Party in the past year: the 100-plus extremist candidates it fielded this year, the apparent takeover of the party apparatus in Oregon, the appearance of Republican officials at white nationalist gatherings. All of those are mostly rough gauges or anecdotal evidence, however; it’s been difficult to get a clear picture of just how deeply the extremism has penetrated the party.

Using social media as a kind of proxy for their real-world outreach—a reasonable approach, since there are few politicians now who don’t use social media—the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights decided to get a clearer picture of the reach of extremist influences in official halls of power by examining how many elected officials participate in extremist Facebook groups. What it found was deeply troubling: 875 legislators in all 50 states, constituting nearly 22% of all elected GOP lawmakers, identified as participating members of extremist Facebook groups.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}