Friday, April 6, 2012

Rachel Maddow: Michigan is now Ignoreland

Last night, Rachel Maddow teased her viewers with a political news story about Michigan that she claimed was a scoop. I thought it might be something about the Emergency Manager Law or another attempt to recall Governor Snyder based on a tip from Chris Savage over at Eclectablog. Instead, what she presented in the final segment of her show was even bigger and Eclectablog wasn't mentioned. Watch "Autocratic for the People."

Maddow's blog captured Sonja Blair's reaction on Twitter.

I second that emotion.

Eclectablog wasn't mentioned, although some of his reporting on the follow-up to the passage of a law prohibiting research assistants from unionizing at the University of Michigan* most likely inspired Rachel and her staff to investigate. However, he has one of the best reactions to the story, both at his own blog and at Daily Kos. I highly recommend reading both copies, the one at Eclectablog so that Chris, who has that blog monetized, can get some money for his writing, and the one at Daily Kos for the comments (106 and counting). You'll see that Sonja Blair isn't the only one freaking out.

For a slightly more restrained reaction, check out ScottyUrb's story at Michigan Liberal. Site owner Eric B. has a rather low opinion of Rachel's reporting on Michigan, but even he thinks that Rachel has this one right. There is also an embed of Tony Trupiano's show, where he reacts to Rachel's reporting, over at Blogging for Michigan.

ETA: Digby has a righteous rant about this subject that minces no words, beginning with the title: Republican Coup.  PoliticusUSA also sounds the alarm in Rachel Maddow Eviscerates Michigan Republicans for Circumventing Democracy.

As for the song lyrics for this month's Nablopomo theme, I'm taking my inspiration from the title for the segment on the Rachel Maddow Show, "Autocratic for the People." This is a play on the name of the R.E.M. album "Automatic for the People," so I checked out its contents. One of the songs on that album is "Ignoreland," the title of which fits with the Republicans ignoring the Democrats in the state legislature. Better yet, the Wikipedia description of its lyrics looks even more promising.
The song's lyrical content is political, referring to the conditions of the United States during the Presidencies of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush.
Works for me.

*Full disclosure: I was a member of GEO, the union affected by the law, from 1989-1995, when I was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at the University of Michigan. During that time, I participated in a job action and actually voted yes on a strike authorization measure. Fortunately, GEO and U of M reached a settlement, so the union did not go on strike. I wasn't so lucky when I was a member of the Detroit Federation of Teachers in 1999, but that's a subject for another post.


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    1. Thanks for stopping by and glad to acknowledge your work and send page views your way.

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    1. That's pretty much the reaction of commenters at most of the articles I linked to. It goes beyond majoritarian to how ruling parties work in totalitarian states. The first totalitarian state was, of course, Mussolini's Italy.