Rachel Maddow Can't Decide Whether She Loves or Hates Democracy
Rachel Maddow reveres democracy. Except when it might not go her way.
An example of this was evident on her MSNBC show Friday night when she spent yet another segment bad-mouthing Michigan's emergency manager law. (video after page break)
Once again, Maddow declined to invite a guest to defend the law since doing so risked resembling journalism.
An amended version of the law signed by GOP Gov. Rick Snyder in March 2011 allows Synder to appoint emergency managers in municipalities or school districts facing insolvency. The managers are authorized to override decisions of local officials, nullify contracts with public-sector unions, sell public assets and even dissolve municipalities if necessary.
Here's Maddow criticizing the law as an assault on democracy, followed quickly by Maddow appearing to harbor doubts about whether democracy is the way to go --
Pontiac and Detroit and a lot of other places in Michigan have trouble, major financial trouble. But why is the solution to those problems to get rid of democracy, to get rid of elected officials, to get rid of the quaint American idea that we vote for elected officials to represent us to make decisions about what is best for our towns? Why is unilateral authority by one person better? Is democracy a problem in America now? Is it a bad system of government? Is it too risky when the going gets rough? Does it only work in rich places? Is Pontiac better off for having its fate in the hands of the guy who made this deal (referring to sale of Silverdome stadium for $583,000 in 2009) instead of the city council that wouldn't have done it this way?
Earlier this year these Michiganders turned in enough signatures in a petition drive to put Republican Gov. Rick Snyder's radically expanded emergency manager law up for a citizens' repeal. Then last month, the Republicans on a state elections board threw those hundreds of thousands of signatures out. They said they could not be sure that the type was large enough. They could not be sure that the font size on one part of the petition might be big enough. And so, with worrying about that they decided to throw out all those signatures, doesn't matter that they got enough.
The group trying to overturn the new, radically expanded emergency manager law in Michigan is going to get a hearing on their appeal on the signatures issue next week, before a panel of (points finger for emphasis) elected judges. The case, people in Michigan tell us, will almost surely end up in the state supreme court, where the judges are elected (pumps arm in false enthusiasm) and they come with party ties.
That's odd, a minute ago she was positively swooning about democracy.