Originally published in the Ann Arbor News, Bay City Times, Flint Journal, Grand Rapids Press, Jackson Citizen Patriot, Kalamazoo Gazette, Muskegon Chronicle, Saginaw News
March 24, 2013
It kind of got lost in the news shuffle last week, but in an amazing instance of honesty, the Republican National Committee put out a “what went wrong for us in 2012” report that actually self-reflected (which almost never happens in any big organization, government or otherwise). They squarely put a large part of the blame on themselves, which was, the concepts of conservatism are good but we do a lousy job of selling them. This is what I’ve been drawing about for years! Living within your means, self-reliance, grow slowly but consistently — sensible, positive ideas that are easily embraced. Instead in 2012, the GOP spent the majority of their time and money beating us over the head with how bad guys are plotting to take all our stuff. Fear is an even easier sell but it eventually gets tiresome you see the results. Why do Republicans consistently behave like Dick Cheney when they could embrace their inner Jerry Ford?
Case in point, in a lame duck session last December the Michigan legislature rammed through a right-to-work law. It was legal (despite continuing efforts by Democrats to find a legal loophole to prove otherwise), but it certainly violated the spirit of fairness and open debate. Now several unions, including those at Michigan universities, have been trying to lock in multiple year contracts before the law takes effect this month. Again, legal. Some have tried to set the terms of a new contract to, like, 10 years (whereas 3 would be more the norm) — that’s clearly violating the spirit of law. But getting a contract in before the new terms is understandable. Grouchy old Republicans in the Michigan legislature (aka, the pot calling the kettle black) were shocked at this violating of the spirit of the law and threatened to cut funding to universities who sign those contracts. And this is how you plan to win young voters in the next election?…