USA Today is reporting that city governments across the country are finding themselves increasingly on the losing end when it comes to pushing liberal programs against what appears to be a political sea change in which conservatives hold the upper hand.
It’s a “turnabout is fair play” situation in many states, where Republicans control legislatures and governors’ offices. For years, Democrats held sway at all levels of government, but after handing their constituents one failed program after another from gun control to “sanctuary cities” the tide has changed.
As former Pennsylvania Democrat Gov. Ed Rendell lamented in The Hill on Monday, “Not only does the GOP have total control of Congress and the White House, they now have total control of 26 states where they have both houses of the legislature and the governorship. Democrats, on the other hand, have similar full control of only six states. In fact, this brings the number of Democratic governors in office to just 15, compared to 34 Republican governors.”
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Rendell offers five strategies for his party to regain control, but what does that mean? Is he more interested in power for the party, or improving life in the United States?
It is clear from political rhetoric of late that his party is apparently not interested in “making America great again.” That is, unless “greatness” is measured by how many “safe injection sites” can be created for drug addicts, or how much local laws can erode the Second Amendment, or how well angry mobs can shut down political speech with which they disagree.
According to USA Today, “Throughout the country, legislatures have approved laws prohibiting local action on both marijuana and sanctuary cities.”
The story quotes Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s statement of Aug. 4 when he delivered something of a political left hook to self-anointed “progressives:
“Where do we have all our problems in America? Not at the state level, run by Republicans, but in our cities that are mostly controlled by Democrat mayors and Democrat city councilmen and women.”—Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick
One line in the USA Today story jut might strike a raw nerve among voters: “Lawmakers during a special session that ends Wednesday have considered legislation that would constrain the ability of local governments to raise taxes without voters’ consent and regulate the bathroom use of transgender Texans.”
Apparently, municipal governments controlled by liberals don’t feel like they should be answerable to their constituents. Witness the resistance to soda, gun and income taxes adopted by the City of Seattle. When the liberal-dominated Washington State Supreme Court handed down an opinion supporting that city’s so-called “gun violence tax” last week, it sent a message to opponents of the other taxes that the city may be allowed to walk around the state constitution.
There is already talk about finding candidates to run and unseat that court’s justices.
Meanwhile, cities such as Detroit, Chicago, Baltimore and Washington, DC, which have been under Democrat control for decades have seen violent crime increase while social decay has set in for certain neighborhoods.
If Rendell thinks his party can sell itself with those examples, Democrats may be in for a bumpy ride.