Ricochet is the best place on the internet to discuss the issues of the day, either through commenting on posts or writing your own for our active and dynamic community in a fully moderated environment. In addition, the Ricochet Audio Network offers over 50 original podcasts with new episodes released every day.
On Tuesday, as I reported, the voters in Michigan went to the polls to vote on a sales tax increase aimed in part – but only in part – at repairing the state’s disintegrating roads. The turnout was far larger than I expected. Something like one voter in four actually showed up – and the results were a sharp rebuke to Governor Rick Snyder and the Republican establishment in Michigan. Although the Republicans scheduled this vote at a time when only those guaranteed to profit from the measure were apt to be paying attention — and although the road-building lobby outspent the opposition by more than twelve-to-one — the voters rejected the initiative four-to-one. This was the most resounding defeat for a ballot initiative since the current Michigan constitution was adopted in 1963. If Snyder and his not-so-merry men were up for reelection tomorrow, they would be voted out in a landslide. That is what happens when a political party betrays its base.
Of course, Republican voters are used to being betrayed. Republican candidates nearly always tout their conservative credentials. They oppose abortion, they criticize tax increases, they whine about government regulation. But when push comes to shove, very few of them ever do anything for their constituents.
The ballot measure we voted on yesterday was a bipartisan measure supported by the establishment in both parties. Its defeat is a rebuke to Rick Snyder and the Republican leaders in the legislature. But it is also a defeat for the Democrats. It is, in fact, a rejection of the politics of compromise – in which the Republicans get a little something for the business community and the Democrats move us further down the road of total government control. The thing to keep in mind is that the hand in your pocket is not just there for money. That money is the means for micro-managing your life. As I have pointed out frequently in the past, the public provision of medical care will bring with it a requirement that Catholic hospitals perform abortions.