Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the State of Michigan after a plan to kidnap her and other Michigan government officials was thwarted by state and federal law enforcement agencies. She started by saying thank you to law enforcement and FBI agents who participated in stopping this [...]
We gotta hand it to the Republicans. They are tenacious.
See, they were definitely defeated in their quest to take away health benefits for domestic partners of state employees. An independent office that administers human services to state employees, called the Michigan Civil Service Commission, decided on the benefits in January this year.
And state Republicans tried to reverse the benefits in the state legislature. They tried not once, but twice – and they couldn’t get the number of votes they needed.
But are they giving up? Nope.
Now, our Republican Attorney General, Bill Schuette, is suing the MCSC, saying that it acted beyond its authority. And Republican House members have put a penalty in a funding bill, taking away 5 percent of state funding from any university that offers its employees benefits to an unrelated or not-married person.
They’re like sharks circling the boat.
It’s amusing (or annoying) that Republicans, who say they want small government, are seeking to make government bigger by penalizing universities for how they spend their money. There are rules so that state universities are allowed to spend as they please – so that students are served properly and politics stay out of it.
But what’s even more amusing is how our state Republicans are scrambling.
Every day, we are reminded that life for LGBTs is changing for the better. Former President Bill Clinton, the boob who signed the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, just joined his daughter in support of gay marriage in New York. President Obama stopped defending parts of DOMA this winter and has appointed more openly gay nominees to high-level positions than any other president. Dick Cheney supports gay marriage. Dick Cheney, people. Things are changing.
And not just on the national level, but on the state level too: Just look at the graduating class at the University of Michigan Law School, gaining national attention last weekend for walking out of their graduation ceremony because the school invited an anti-gay-rights U.S. Senator to speak. More than one hundred graduates – roughly a third of them – quietly walked out during the senator’s introduction, and quietly walked back in when he was finished. And more than half of the auditorium wore rainbow-colored buttons or tassels in support.
So Michigan must look pretty bipolar to the nation right now, because every blog from New York City to San Francisco talked about the penalty for universities and the walkout, news events that happened just days apart.
But really, we know Michigan is not bipolar. We know that Republicans – those old white guys in Lansing – are a minority, no matter how much power they have.
So even though they circle like sharks, they’re finding a lot less space to do so.
And sharks look a lot less threatening when they’re stuck in a tank.