Election 2012

The Great Right-Wing Overreach Continues

This is why I remain entirely unconvinced that the Republican party has any chance of winning the presidency next year.

Officials in Troy, Michigan, worked for years to build a local transportation center, and the Obama administration agreed to fully fund the project with federal stimulus money. In fact, the local community would have received an $8.5 million grant to cover all of the costs, with no strings attached.

But Troy’s elected leaders decided to turn down the money. Their Tea Party principles told them it was a bad idea. [...]

Troy’s ridiculous, right-wing mayor justifies the decision by saying it’s more important to pay down the federal debt than it is to create jobs in her community. This only helps underscore one of the problems with Tea Party governance: it’s often based on striking ignorance (the $8.5 million grant will now go to help create jobs in some other area, not go back to the Treasury to pay down the debt). [...]

The Troy Chamber of Commerce, which worked for years to help with the plans for the transportation center, is reportedly outraged by the city council’s stupidity, and the president of a local manufacturing company said the community could use the economic boost the transit center would have provided, but will now go without.

It's true that years of neglect and overlooking the fundamental rule that "all politics are local" has left the Democrat party in a position where 39 of 50 states are controlled by Republican legislatures, but it's also true that in nearly every case of local Republican dominance, the Republicans in control have completely screwed their constituents. And this is not lost on average voters, because all politics are local.

People may not pay attention to their state senators and representatives, but they do notice when their school board votes to slash the number of teachers at their children's schools, or the city council votes to turn down millions, or billions, of dollars in federal grant money. It's all fun and games until it affects you, the individual.

The gross overreach of local Tea Party groups, backed by the likes of Governors John Kasich of Ohio, Rick Snyder or Michigan, Rick Scott of Florida, and Scott Walker of Wisconsin have done more damage to the lives of individuals in their states than any amount of political pandering and shitkicking can make up for over the next 10 months.

I believe the result will be a greater number of people voting straight Democratic on their tickets than perhaps ever before, at least in these key battleground states. And I also believe it's important for us to remember that the kicking and screaming of pundits and political personalities almost certainly does not represent the average voter or the 84 percent of the Democratic base who wishes to re-elect President Obama.

The great overreach of 2011 won't be forgotten, because they're still overreaching.