When officials consider democracy a problematic inconvenience

WHEN OFFICIALS CONSIDER DEMOCRACY A PROBLEMATIC INCONVENIENCE…. We talked a month ago about the remarkable power grab underway in Michigan, where newly-elected Gov. Rick Snyder (R) is now exercising his power to unilaterally fire elected officials, dissolve entire local governments, and impose local dictators “Emergency Managers” without any input from voters. One of the proponents of this new policy called it “financial martial law” — and that was intended to be a defense of the scheme.

To her enormous credit, Rachel Maddow, far more than anyone else in national media, is taking this story seriously, and shining a light on developments that are already underway in Michigan.

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I hope readers will take a few minutes to watch this segment, but there was something Rachel said towards the end of the story that stood out for me: “What is new here is that this state has decided that local elections, locally elected officials are a problem that has to be done away with, that democracy is in the way of fixing problems in the United States now, of making things more efficient, particularly in poor places. Not that democracy is the way we fix problems but that democracy is the problem and it therefore needs to be sidestepped for efficiency sake, for our own good. Governor knows best.

“The point here, what makes Benton Harbor a national story and Katherine Ferguson Academy a national story is that the whole idea of choice for them anymore is purely hypothetical. The state has chosen for them. And that they’ve got is, frankly, that aforementioned dictator. Their hope — their one hope — is the dictator is benevolent.

“Is that how we think problems should get solved in America now?”

Bob Cesca argued yesterday, “We have to help Rachel make this a major national story.” That strikes me as a very good idea.