By Bankole Thompson
After delivering the desires of the Koch brothers in dealing a blow to labor and the Democratic Party by making Michigan a divisive right-to-work state, where does Gov. Rick Snyder now stand with President Barack Obama on the new International Trade Crossing (the new bridge to Canada) that the Obama administration has long supported? The Obama administration’s support for this new bridge was the biggest trump card for the Republican governor in harshing out this deal with Canada.
Snyder has a lot of explaining to do when next he meets President Obama who supported him on the new bridge. No wonder Obama’s senior advisor David Axelrod tweeted that the right-to-work law in Michigan is an attack on middle class families.
There is no way Snyder could have continued discussing with Canada about the new bridge without the support of the federal government under Obama.
Does Snyder now think that after pushing such a law that he himself repeatedly called divisive will enhance his position with the Obama administration after the president called the right-to-work law in Michigan Monday afternoon nothing but politics?
Will the administration of Gov. Snyder be seen as a serious partner with the federal government after his right-wing legislature pushed him to sign a deal that strikes at the heart of labor, a key ally of President Obama?
We live in the Obama era for the next four years and whether the right-wing legislature in Lansing likes it or not, Michigan stands to miss out on key federal infrastructure projects with this wrong-headed move on right-to-work. Will the administration now pull its support of the new bridge and leave Snyder out there in the cold?
Who was Gov. Snyder listening to before he signed the legislation aside from the fact that the Koch brothers (the billionaires who hate Obama with so much passion) have their fingers all over this new law? Because we saw this movie played out in Wisconsin and voters there delivered a blow to Gov. Scott Walker and his right-wing cabal by voting for Obama in the presidential election despite the fact Congressman Paul Ryan who served as Gov. Mitt Romney’s running mate was from Wisconsin.
That a law such as this came into being with no public debate and no town hall and no imput from those it will most affect betrays the conscience of independents and those who voted for Snyder two years ago. That a law of this magnitude got through like the night of the long knives without public debate chips away at the credibility of a governor who said he wants to bring people together and values public opinion.
Even Detroit’s financial road to recovery had more public debate and town hall discussions than the new right-to-work law. The age of bi-partisanship is now gone as Snyder’s signing of the law now shows the governor once considered a moderate will go along with the wishes and aspirations of a right-wing legislature even if that means hurting Michigan.
And the next wish of the right-wing legislature is to make it extremely difficult for women in Michigan to have access to birth control pills and basically ban abortion totally in the state by allowing doctors to inject their religious beliefs in cases of abortion. That means a doctor can refused to carry out abortion if it is against his or her religion and an employer can refuse to cover the cost. Unbelievable theocracy at play.
Welcome to the new right-wing era but at whose expense?
Yes, voters will suffer again if these anti-abortion bills get signed by the governor (which I have no doubt he’ll sign since he already made right-to-work a law in Michigan so quickly) but Snyder and his right-wing cabal will also face consequences in their dealings with the federal government for the next four years.
It is no secret that the hatred for President Obama was part of the energy behind the right-to-work law. It is no secret that the rush to push this kind of a major law was obviously a payback against Obama’s reelection. But what the right-wing cabal in Lansing failed to realize is that the Nov. 6 election results showed that the Republican Party needs to expand not contract. The lesson is that the GOP in Michigan should be working hard to reach out to groups including women whose interests have long been ignored by conservatives and now prove to be potent forces in delivering elections.
What message is the Republican Party in Michigan sending to women across the state with another onslaught on women’s reproductive rights by moving with all deliberate speed on the new anti-abortion bills?
Given that the right-to-work law inspires fancy economic calculations and unproven results, what is the new anti-abortion law seeking to inspire?
Based on compassionate conservatism I expected the GOP in Lansing to deliver a more compassionate Christmas gift to Michiganders than the ones that are being distributed now in the form of rushed laws.
Bankole Thompson author of “Obama and Christian Loyalty,” is a distinguished journalist and presidential author. Since 2008 he has been a member of the weekly “Obama Watch” Sunday evening program on New York’s WLIB-1190AM. You can tune in every Sunday to hear his take on the Obama administration from 9-10:30pm and simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut. You can listen to him every Thursday morning on WDET-101.9FM (Detroit NPR Affiliate) where he is a political analyst. Thompson is the editor of the Michigan Chronicle and author of the forthcoming book “Rising from the Ashes: Engaging Detroit’s Future with Courage.” No part of this blog must be republished without the appropriate designation or expressed permisison of the author http://www.bankolethompson.com