It might not be one of the merrier Christmases for Rick Snyder, Michigan’s Republican governor. Oh, I know. He is happy enough to claim that he successfully supported the new right-to-work law in his state. But it came at a price that will stain his record with what the Detroit Free Press described as “failed” and “two-faced” leadership. This, from the same paper that endorsed his candidacy as a moderate in 2010. It’s not the sort of thing you want to brag to your grandchildren about.
There’s more. Down the road, the Toledo Blade accused him of a “betrayal” of the voters. It noted that Snyder engaged in a hasty ambush of his previous position that he really had no interest in turning Michigan into a right-to-work state. But faced with a lame-duck session, he and the Republican legislature tucked the measure onto an appropriations bill (which would make it more difficult to erase it with a referendum next year). You get the feeling that this band of marauding Republicans think of everything, except their own sordid legacy long after they are gone from the circus arena. It all happened in less time than reciting the Pledge the Allegiance.
You can begin to understand these papers’ outrage by their reference to Snyder’s earlier position that a right-to-work state was “not on my agenda.” Not until a week before the legislative vote did he “suddenly” switch positions, the Blade said, by announcing that not only did he favor right-to-work but that the time to act was during the current lame-duck session of the Legislature.
The Blade angrily – but fairly – accused the Republican steamroller of being “appalling, shameful and undemocratic.” That was being kind.
May we now safely assume that the governor didn’t wake up in the middle of a nightmare and decide that Michigan’s economy could not prosper as the home of all of those unions that vote for Democrats. I think not. Not without an apparent SOS and promises of more world class political contributions from the conservative Koch Brothers, whose international corporate reach ranges from thousands of miles of energy pipelines to making Dixie cups and fertilizer. The Kochs are like intensely political billionaire white-collar goons who are usually seen smiling in video clips after the bloodless deeds are done.
We know why.