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governing
Red Dawn Turning to Dusk?

Two WSJ stories point to the growing problems and contradictions in red state governance:

First, North Carolina’s Republican-controlled legislature was forced to backtrack on the aggressive “bathroom bill” that created a culture war firestorm this past year.

Second, Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas vetoed a Medicaid expansion bill that was passed by a strong legislative majority, and which is supported by 82 percent of voters, according to one poll.

North Carolina and Kansas have been among the states that have pushed to envelope on state GOP ideas. But in both states voters have rebelled, and the forces of pushback are strong.

It’s important to watch whether this trend spreads. Republican state governments in the Midwest have made progress reforming the civil service and beating back public sector union power, but state-level GOP innovation has been disappointingly elusive overall.

If Republicans in state capitols can’t articulate a coherent governing agenda that satisfies the political center, the red tide that has brought the GOP to its most commanding position in state governments in a hundred years could begin to shift.

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  • dwk67

    Money and privileges bestowed by government are ALWAYS going to be popular with a majority of the voting populace. Taking them away is always going to be unpopular. The thought of saying “No” makes backbones soften when the thought of re-election comes to mind because the spoiled children in the media and the academy will throw their public tantrums until the pressure builds enough to get their way. Either we make all representative government one term only, or perhaps eventually replace humans with a disinterested AI, otherwise the excrement is bound to hit the fan in a huge way by 2030 or sooner. The current system will only truly do what needs to be done when it has no other choice but immediate collapse…

  • Unelected Leader

    The economics are more important. Kansas and all plains states are suffering from three years of low grain prices more than anything. Corn going from $8 per bushel to just over $3 has been fairly catastrophic. And that’s less a function of demand, and more of unfair trade with Europeans and Chinese not buying unless US biotech giants hand over patent rights to amazing GMO technology. Dirty dirty dealing, and Trump and Navarro had better correct it.

  • f1b0nacc1

    The so-called ‘backtrack’ on the bathroom bill (which lets all remember was provoked not by social conservatives in the legislature, but by the city council of Charlotte attempting to impose ‘tolerance’ on private entities in the city) was anything but. The bill (HB2) was indeed repealed, but the ‘status quo ante’ (i.e. the ability of municipalities to impose ‘tolerance’ in such things was withdrawn) was restored, which removed any need for it. The LBTQIAMOUSE crowd his howling with fury at their betrayal, which should tell us who won that round…

    As for the Medicaid expansion bill, the legislature is perfectly welcome to try to override Brownback’s veto….want to take odds on the result? This sort of silliness was going on next door here in MO, where the governor (along with ‘strong public support’ in polls that never seemed to translate into actual votes) kept trying to force through Medicaid expansion, only to be stopped by solid legislative majorities every year. Strangely none of those legislators ever paid a penalty for their votes, and the Governor’s hand-picked replacement (who also favored expansion) lost to a Republican who takes a very, very different position indeed.

    Look, there are plenty of things one can point to in the various Red states that show poor governing at work, but your two examples are not only wrong, they are not EVEN wrong….

    • D4x

      Not only are you wrong, you’re wrong in hyperbole, comes to mind. Voters in NC did NOT rebel in 2016, Cooper narrowly stole the election, probably because of the NCAA boycott over HB2, because, it’s Basketball! This ‘repeal’ was all about another NCAA deadline: Thursday, March 30, 2017 at Noon or NC loses all championship games through 2022.

      Whoever wrote this is so wrong about the “red tide” in state governments, this post might be a test run for the new DNC talking points on how Dems are going to win back the red states in 2018 at all levels. Because the Dems did not notice losing all those elections since 2009, until the media told them, after Nov 8, 2016, exactly how many losses since 2009.

    • Andrew Allison

      Medicaid, which is not insurance but welfare pure-and-simple, is just another artifact of the purblind refusal to recognize what every other member of OECD has, namely that single-payer insurance (which requires participation by 100% of wage earners) is the only way to provide basic healthcare for everybody. The States which signed up for expansion did so because Uncle Sugar offered to let the federal taxpayer pay for it. The biggest beneficiary is the most populous State in the Union (CA), ONE-THIRD of the population of which is on Medicaid and which, not coincidentally, give Clinton 156% of her nationwide plurality. The solution is relatively simple: a (small) per capita block grant from the Federal government.

      • f1b0nacc1

        Tell you what, lets agree not to argue about the benefits (or lack thereof) of Single Payer, and instead confine ourselves to Medicaid…if we do so, I completely agree with your sentiment (grin)…

  • FriendlyGoat

    Maybe when the evangelical church voters are publicly embarrassed enough for making these governmental messes, they will stop making them.

    • Tom

      They’ll learn as soon as you do.

  • Jim__L

    It’s about time for a Constitutional Convention.

    Priority: Eliminate unfunded Federal mandates, and any strings attached to Federal money altogether. If the Fed wants it, the Fed pays for it. All of it.

    Priority: Clarify the “commerce clause” to narrow its interpretation to something sane, to tie activist judges’ hands.

    Priority: Permanently devolve onto the States any current Federal program (Medicaid, Social Security, etc) not specified by the Constitution as part of the Federal government’s mandate. Notice I did not say “end” these programs. States can maintain them if they so choose.

    Priority: Specify that men and women are different, and that that matters in terms of family / reproduction and public safety to the point of national interest. Eliminate the San Francisco Activist insanity infesting our legal system.

    That’s an interesting start, if anyone can think of others the floor is open.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    I don’t see the Red Dawn, as you’re calling it, weakening at all. If the “trend is your friend”, then the trend of increasing Red support from the voters, must be assumed to continue until the voters start throwing Republicans out of office.

    Cherry picking a couple of Red policies, and ignoring numerous others like Concealed Carry, Open Carry, Right to Work, etc… and saying the “Red is Dead” is piss poor reasoning.

    The fact is, that while the Right has given “Globalism” a bad name, there is a Global political shift to the Right going on at the moment, and it will continue until is stops. Geert Wilders Party just gained 1/3rd more seats in Holland (15 to 20), Le Pen is drawing Trump sized crowds in France, Great Britain just invoked article 50 withdrawal from the EU, and the Nationalist Parties throughout Europe continue to draw more support.

    On a side note: There is so much political bias in polling now, that taking a poll at face value isn’t a valid argument. Actual votes are the only way to determine what the voters are thinking.

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