Me thinks the foul hand of ALEC is at work again.
ALEC: American Legislative Exchange Council. A right-leaning organization funded by some of the largest corporations extant, though a few, seeing ALEC’s rightward legislative output recently, have pulled their sponsorships. Bless ‘em.
Many states belong to ALEC through their legislatures. Idaho, Utah, Oregon and some others. Another dozen or so state members pulled out in the last few years because ALEC’s “one-size-fits-all,” very, very “conservative” output of such flavored legislation didn’t fit existing politics at home.
What got my curiosity awakened was the dual attempts by Idaho and Arizona legislatures to clamp down on their governors by axing some of their powers. And, curiously enough, the bills to do that are just about carbon copies of each other. Same effort going on in Utah and 16 other states. All trying to take away such powers as prohibiting mass gatherings in this time of COVID-19. Also, stopping governors from mandating face masks and a few other “treasonous” things.
When such legislative actions are occurring in concert, you’ll likely find the “right” hand of ALEC pulling the strings. Considering most of the former member states are in Democrat hands, it’s an even-money bet those left are almost entirely Republican-dominated.
But, even in historically GOP controlled states, such as our desert hideaway, a lot of Republicans aren’t happy campers. Since the Capitol riot, more than 9-thousand of them here have changed their voter registration from GOP to “no party affiliation.” Or Democrat. Less than two weeks.
Take the case of one Mr. C.J. Diegel who, upon leaving Republican ranks said “Arizona Republicans took Donald Trump’s side. It has to stop. Those people don’t represent what being ‘conservative’ here means and I just had to say ‘No, I don’t want to be associated with the Arizona party.’”
Mr. Diegel was also angry about the (possibly) ALEC-created legislation to remove some of our Republican governor’s powers. In Idaho and Utah, where this same smelly effort is afoot, there are also GOP governors challenged by GOP legislatures. And, I’d bet, in those states, you’ll find some other Republican voters making similar changes with voter registration offices.
And it’s not just the ALEC business that has a good number of Republicans upset. Some state parties are sliding further right. Here, the official GOP Party has censured former Senator Jeff Flake, Cindy McCain and our governor for not toeing the Party line. Flake and McCain? The Guv? Censured by their own party? Yes. And yes.
Oregon’s GOPers are a trifle piqued, too. The Party recently condemned 10 U.S. House members who voted to impeach one Donald J. Trump for inciting the January 6th D.C. riot.
To wit: “Whereas the ten Republican House members, by voting to impeach President Trump repeated history (read Benedict Arnold) by conspiring to surrender our nation to Leftist forces seeking to establish a dictatorship void of all freedoms and liberties and,
Whereas there is growing evidence the violence at the Capitol was a ‘false flag’ operation designed to discredit President Trump, his supporters, and all conservative Republicans; this provided the sham motivation to impeach President Trump in order to advance the Democrat goal of seizing total power, in a frightening parallel to the February 1933, burning of the German Reichstag.” Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Oregon’s not alone. There are a lot of in-party rebellions going on. Seems the far-right has seized control of state and local party organizations as is the case here in Arizona, Utah and Idaho. And, like Arizona censuring Flake and McCain, there’s some purging going on. “You’re with us or you’re out.” seems to be the message.
A lot of this roiling can be traced to the far-right “sample legislation” peddled by ALEC. For the last 15 years or so, ALEC has been hand-feeding local legislature’s ready-made bills on subjects dear to the hearts of its corporate sponsors. Upon receipt of an email, ALEC’s output has been scanned into local data bases, given a local format and run straight to legislative leadership. What could be easier?
If there’s an upside in all this, the far-right rigidity of “our-way-or-the-highway” may be forcing more and more moderates - and some moderate conservatives - to disassociate themselves from the GOP by voting “Independent.”
Trump has trash-talked starting a MAGA party. I doubt he will, though a small Texas group has filed. But, as more and more state Republican Parties become somewhat Trump-like, he might have some real “ground to plow.” Fertile ground and registered in all 50 states. A barrier to nearly all previous attempts to start a viable third party.
With more thinking-Republican defections, a realistic third party could be those Independents.
Keep watching. All this is changing on a daily basis.