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The rabid right-wing of the Republican Party, swept into office in Congress and taking over statehouses in many states because of widespread voter dissatisfaction with the status quo, is wasting no time putting their conservative agenda into play.
A rapid push to restrict abortions while expanding gun rights is sweeping the nation, put into place by GOP governors and state legislators who see their election as mandates to do whatever they damn well please.
Democrats find themselves out manned and out maneuvered from one end of the country to another as Republicans push through polling station photo ID laws, clamp down on public employee unions.
Reports The Associated Press:
A tug to the right was in the cards ever since voters put the GOP in charge of 25 legislatures and 29 governors’ offices in the 2010 elections. That is turning out to be every bit as key to shaping the nation’s ideological direction as anything happening in Washington.
A close-up review of the first wave of legislative action by Associated Press statehouse reporters shows the striking degree to which the GOP has been able to break through gridlock and achieve improbable ends. The historic and wildly contentious curbs on public sector bargaining in Wisconsin, quickly followed by similar action in Ohio, were but a signal that the status quo is being challenged on multiple fronts in many places.
The realignment in Florida has produced a law imposing more accountability on teachers, along with 18 proposed abortion restrictions, some bound to become law. Immigration controls are motivating lawmakers far from borders, constitutional amendments against gay marriage are picking up steam, Michigan is shortening the period people can get jobless benefits and Indiana may soon have the broadest school voucher program in the U.S.
At least 20 states are going after public-sector benefits, pay or bargaining rights.
Republicans rammed through a law closing Virginia’s 21 abortion clinics. Missouri Democrats sat back and offered little resistance when the GOP passed a tax break for business that they had stopped for the past 10 years.
About all the shell-shocked Democrats can do is hope Republicans will overreach and turn off voters. Polls suggest that is happening with voters suffering “buyer’s remorse” and wondering why they put the party of the elephant into power.
“You can’t get up on every issue when you’re in the minority,” Missouri state Sen. Tim Green, a Democrat from St. Louis. told the AP. “So you pick the ones you’re most passionate about.”