THEIR VIEW: One defeated GOP governor goes against the trend

Published on Sunday, 6 January 2019 18:34
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Following their thumping in November’s midterm elections, President Donald Trump pretended he had actually won, far-right members of Congress pressed for a government shutdown over border-wall funding, and outgoing Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed bills meant to cripple the Democrats who had defeated him before they even took office. But there is at least one Republican in the country who declined to behave like a sore loser: Rick Snyder, who was, until Tuesday, Michigan’s governor.

As in Wisconsin, Michigan’s lame-duck GOP legislature tried to clip the wings of incoming Democratic officials and force through conservative policies before the governor’s mansion changed hands. Unlike in Wisconsin, the outgoing governor, Snyder, refused to play along.

Snyder vetoed a controversial party-line bill that would have made it easier for the state legislature to intervene in litigation involving state laws and other official actions. The goal was, in part, to ensure the state defended a 2015 law allowing religiously affiliated adoption agencies to discriminate against gay would-be parents.

The outgoing governor also refused to sign legislation that would have undercut any effort to compel nonprofit organizations - which often serve as vehicles for political spending - to disclose their donor lists.

Snyder’s record is not spotless. He was complicit in a tricky GOP maneuver to dilute a popular minimum-wage hike and paid-sick-leave mandate behind the backs of voters. But his recent actions generally followed an essential principle in any functioning democracy: Sometimes your side loses, and when that happens, the other side gets to govern for a time. Basic rules should not change because a Democrat won an election.

Republicans are not the only ones who fear the consequences of handing over power to their opponents. But the GOP has done much more than the Democrats lately to stack the electoral deck against its political rivals.

-The Washington Post

Posted in New Britain Herald, Editorials on Sunday, 6 January 2019 18:34. Updated: Sunday, 6 January 2019 18:36.