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After democracy dies

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Wisconsin Republicans quickly rejected a fully-funded federal offer to provide healthcare to the poor:

Republicans who control the Wisconsin Legislature on Tuesday convened and within seconds ended a special session called by Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to expand Medicaid, dashing chances for the state to receive a one-time bonus of $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief funding.

The Senate and Assembly gaveled in and adjourned the special session in mostly empty chambers with only a handful of lawmakers in attendance.

The Assembly session lasted all of about 40 seconds, while the Senate was done in less than 10 seconds. There was no debate, let alone any votes taken, on the bill Evers called on the Legislature to pass. It marked the latest in a long line of defeats for Democrats on the issue.

Democrats have for years advocated in vain to expand eligibility for the state’s Medicaid program known as BadgerCare Plus. This time, with the $1 billion in federal stimulus money at play, Democrats said it made no sense not to join 38 other states in accepting expansion.

Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz said rejecting Medicaid expansion was “absurd” and that no private business would make the same decision with so much federal money on the table.

The normal solution in a 50/50 state to legislators acting like sociopaths and doing extremely unpopular things would be to defeat them at the ballot box. But Wisconsin Republicans have conveniently ended democratic elections for legislature in the state. Weeee!

At least in terms of its consequences, you can make a strong case that Rucho v. Common Cause is even worse than Shelby County. The latter allows vote suppression at the margins [and is only relevant going forward during Democratic administrations]; the former allows states to simply deny their citizens a democratic form of government.

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