Rick Snyder’s new law allowing emergency managers to abolish local governments that have financial troubles has already claimed its first victims – the residents of Benton Harbor, where the elected city officials have been stripped of their decision-making power.
MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow has been covering this implementation of financial marshal law for a couple weeks, focusing on the likelihood that it will pave the way for real estate developers to grab the community’s beautiful Jean Klock Park on the shores of Lake Michigan and turn it into a private playground for the rich. The rest of the national media has mostly been silent about Snyder’s take-over of local government.
But can you imagine if this big government take-away of local government’s power had been carried out by a Democratic governor instead of a Republican one? I wonder how Fox News and Glenn Beck would be treating that development.
Maybe it would go something like this:
Glenn Beck, wearing a tri-cornered hat, begins his show, on the verge of tears.
“Michigan, you are under attack. Your constitution is hanging by a thread,” Beck says, barely able to hold back the tears.
“There is news tonight that fits together like a puzzle, and it all adds up to government control.”
Then Beck heads to the blackboard. He writes "Obama," "FEMA," "Benton Harbor," "concentration camps" and begins drawing arrows connecting them. "I can’t debunk this," Beck says, and then claims that President Obama is in league with the Democratic governor of Michigan to have a financial emergency declared so that the Federal Emergency Management Agency can come in and take over Benton Harbor and lock up all the residents in concentration camps.
"We are a country that is headed toward totalitarianism beyond your wildest imagination. I wanted to debunk these FEMA camps, but I can’t. I’ve done research for several days and I’ve found no evidence that they don’t exist," Beck says, by now openly weeping for the good citizens of Benton Harbor.
"If you trust our government, it’s fine. If you have any kind of fear that we might be heading towards a totalitarian state: Look out. Buckle up. There’s something going on in our country that is--it ain’t good."
The Michigan Militia and tea bagger crowd would be outraged at the plot against their rights that Beck had uncovered. There would be rallies and protests with posters of Obama dressed like a witch doctor or his face painted up to look like the sinister Joker.
Oh, but a Republican governor proposed this. So since Obama can't be involved, it must be OK.
(The above quotes are slightly modified from ones in Dana Milbank’s Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America.