I hope you'll excuse the indulgence but I have some very exciting news about my blogging career that I want to share with this community where I truly first got my start.
It is with great enthusiasm, pride and excitement that, for the first time since I started Eclectablog, I am bringing on another writer. And this isn't just any writer. This is the genius behind the Twitter phenomenon LOLGOP.
LOLGOP delivers the most consistently incisive progressive political commentary ever crammed into 140 characters. When I interviewed him for A2Politico last summer (now behind a paywall, excerpted HERE), LOLGOP had about 7,000 followers. When Politico.com wrote a piece on LOLGOP in November, he had about 20,000. Today he has a shade under 40,000 Twitter followers.
He's that good.
His tweets are the "tweet of the day" for countless sites. His work appears regularly on the front page of sites like Daily Kos and he is retweeted like nothing you've ever seen. If you're not an LOLGOP Twitter follower, you should remedy that immediately.
What's been missing for LOLGOP is a platform that allows him to break out of the cramped box of 140 characters. That's no longer true. LOLGOP will be posting daily on Eclectablog, bringing his brand political commentary to this site and pointing out the absurdities of Republicans with humor and smarts.
You are in for a very big treat.
With that, I now turn you over to LOLGOP who will introduce himself. And stuff. Also.
[Tap, tap] Is this thing on? Ahem...
When Chris asked me to write for Eclectablog, I immediately said, “No.”
Of course, I wanted to do it. But I didn’t want him to figure out that compared to him, I know nearly nothing about the nuts and bolt of politics. Nothing.
Chris’ reporting and commentary helps people all over these Internets make sense of the war on democracy and the working class being waged by the right wing, especially here in Michigan.
For me, politics is all wingnuts and dolts. I’m trying to counter the fire-breathing halitosis of the right wing news clowns with a few minty fresh LOLs. But I also would like a forum to make pithy points that occasionally stretch past 140 characters—like a real life blogger.
So I said, “Yes,” providing that he explain a few things to me. (See below.) He agreed and now we’re reunited for the very first time.
3 Questions I Need Chris Savage to Answer for Me
- Has the Michigan GOP always been like this?
No. In fact, it wasn't until 1991 when John Engler (R-Mackinac Center for Public Policy) took office that the Republican assault on the middle class really began. That was when there was an unabashed drive to divert public funds into private coffers at the expensive of infrastructure and the middle class. Prior to that, Republicans were in the mold of men like William Milliken and another moderate governor with a familiar-sounding name: George W. Romney. Yup. Another George W. This one, however, was moderate. Check out this tidbit from his Wikipedia page:
Romney worked to overhaul the state's financial and revenue structure, culminating in Michigan's first state income tax, and greatly expanded the size of state government. Romney was a strong supporter of the American Civil Rights Movement. He briefly represented moderate Republicans against conservative Republican Barry Goldwater during the 1964 U.S. presidential election.In other words, he was European-style socialist Muslim bent on destroying our country with his Kenyan ideals of Christian liberation theology communism. Poor George W. must be rolling over in his grave when the sounds of his son Willard "Mitt" Romney waft up into Heaven for him to hear. Unless it's the alternate day when his son is on the other side of the issue, of course.
The Republicans in Michigan government today are a different breed. These are men and women of George Orwell's 1984. They want to fix schools by cutting $1 billion out of education. They want to help our failing cities by slashing revenue sharing funds promised to them. They want small enough government that it can take up residence in your genitalia to prevent sex with anyone of the same gender and to prevent any sort of pregnancy prevention or termination. And they want to (I still can't believe this) cut taxes by raising taxes on 51% of Michiganders.
We've gone down the rabbit hole with the White Rabbit Republicans in Michigan, to be sure.
- You’ve noted the tax burden has been shifted from big corporations to the poor, the retired and the working class in Michigan. When, if ever, will people begin to know this?
They will begin to know this in 2012 because that's when the new Republican budget kicks in, what I have called the "Tax Time Bomb" or "Tax Bomb" of 2012™. Our elders are going to see taxes on their pensions that they've never seen before. Our working poor families and others at the lower end of the middle class are going to see the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Homestead Property Tax Credit severely curtailed or eliminated. People will lose the tax break for having children and will no longer be able to deduct charitable donations to food banks, food pantries, universities or public radio & television stations. They will, in fact, pay MORE in taxes than they have in quite some time.
All the while, they will see that businesses have gotten a staggering 86% tax cut. That's when they'll really notice it, actually: when they hear that evil, maniacal laughter coming from the stretch limo that splashes them with mud puddle water as it is driving by.
The most clever part of the Republicans' plan, however, is that these things will all hit in April, just about the time the legislature is debating Governor Rick Snyder's 2013 budget (the one for next year.) Since the new budget has some token give-backs to schools and the arts, etc. these geniuses are going to be redirecting the conversation to their faux benevolence at exactly the same moment people are paying higher taxes. That's a very nice shiny thing to distract the poor and huddled masses. Squirrel!
- What is the most important non-presidential election this year?
This is going to be a fascinating year, electorally-speaking. In Michigan, it's not out of the realm of possibility that we will have the presidential election, a powerful Senate seat up for grabs, all of the U.S. Members of Congress, all of the state Representatives, a handful of state Senators, a repeal of Public Act 4 (the Emergency Manager law), and a recall of Governor Snyder all on the same ballot. That's pretty incredible.
At the end of the day, though, for me at least, it's the state legislative races that are the key. I say this for two reasons.
First, if Democrats fail to regain control of at least one of the two houses in the Legislature, we can expect to continue seeing the same legislative steamrolling that we saw last year. 323 new almost entirely partisan laws. Whatever they didn't get to with regard to knee-capping & demonizing the unions and public employees, demoralizing the poor, eviscerating the middle class, and taking away women's reproductive rights in the first two years will be finished off in 2013 and beyond. We simply have to get some control back or I'm going to have to brush up on my German.
Second, the state legislature is the incubator for Representatives and Senators that we send to the U.S. Congress. We have to fill the pipeline with good, progressive, non-corrupt Democrats so that, a few years down the road, we have a pool of seasoned politicians we can send to Washington, D.C. to represent us. The other things on the ballot are all important but making sure your local Democrats win and go to Lansing to represent you is the key to the future. I think that's true nationally, in fact.
Welcome to the new Eclectablog. As always, I'm keen to hear your feedback. I think you're really going to enjoy the intelligent & hilarious commentary that LOLGOP will be bringing to the mix. It'll bring a little levity to a sometimes-too-serious blog, in my opinion. I hope you agree.
P.S. We reserve the right to call this a "soft opening" with a more splashy event later. Maybe even a party where we invite our friends & readers (& friends who are readers) to join us.
Cross-posted from Eclectablog.