Back in March of 1984, the owner of the Baltimore Colts moved Baltimore's beloved football team to Indianapolis. He said he wouldn't do it, but, in the middle of the night, 12 Mayflower moving trucks were hired to tear out the region's heart and soul under cover of darkness. It was incredibly unpopular, extremely underhanded, and it devastated the people. It even brought Baltimore's mayor to tears.
What's happening in Michigan this week is no less deceptive and devastating. The Republican legislature is ramming unpopular bills down the people's throats. That they're doing it in this murky, under-cover-of-darkness lame duck session is evidence enough of how unpopular it is.
First it was the right to work law, and now it's bills restricting women's freedom to control their bodies and health care choices. First the workers, now the women -- we can only wonder whose rights they'll pile into their moving vans next.
These bills restrict access to abortion with strict licensing requirements. They allow providers to opt out based upon religious beliefs. They limit insurance access; they give doctors a politician-drafted script to read to women seeking help and more.
And these bills will make Michigan one of the most regressive states in the nation in terms of women's health. Michigan. The friendly blue mitten is giving the people a slap in the face.
Part of me can't believe it, but part of me believes it too well.
When I was governor, the Republicans kept sending me anti-choice, anti-freedom bills like this, and I kept sending them back. I vetoed more bills than any governor in the history of the state, many of them restricting women's freedom to choose. Instead of trying to get our state back to work, the Republicans were trying to send our women back in time. But I said no.
Governor Snyder should say no, too. I've had great respect for my successor. Have chosen not to criticize him directly. But this week, I confess it's been a challenge for me. After going back on his word and signing the right to work bills, he must now stand firm for what he must know is right, and veto these anti-woman bills.
An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll out today showed that 45 percent of people feel negatively about the Republican Party, compared to only 30 percent who feel positive. Even more telling, when asked to describe the Republicans, a whopping 65 percent of people -- including half of Republicans -- used negative language like "bad," "weak," "broken," or "lost."
What happened this week in Michigan is exactly why people feel that way. The Republican Party -- in the capitols of our states and our nation -- is ignoring the voice of the people. And the people know it. And this is why the current GOP will fail. Maybe not today, maybe not in Michigan, but soon, we'll make that voice loud enough to knock down them down.