Rachel Maddow looked at recent events involving Republicans in Michigan, Ohio, Arizona and Tennessee and painted a picture of a party completely out of step and becoming more extreme.
#Maddow talks about how Tennessee Republicans are leading the GOP race to the bottom with their attack on trans rights. pic.twitter.com/CkEuRzNjee
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) July 11, 2023
But you know, if we’re looking for a grand prize here, let’s just jump in. Obviously, Ohio is at odds, Michigan is at odds with their repeated fist fights at statewide Republican Party conventions. Arizona is apparently at odds with a Republican speaking tour at a neo-Nazi college. But I think if anyone has come out on top in this current news cycle, it’s probably not the Republican parties in any of those states. It’s probably Tennessee.
You may have seen over the weekend that there was a weekend ruling from a federal appeals court in Tennessee. Republicans in Tennessee have cracked down on transgender people in every way they can. A federal appeals court this weekend on Saturday allowed this state to ban certain forms of health care for transgender people in a split 2-1 decision. And that’s not, you know, some remote threat or something that’s sort of locked up in court now. Thanks to the Court of Appeals’ decision this weekend Saturday, this weekend’s decision is now officially illegal for anyone under the age of 18, regardless of the ongoing health care they received in Tennessee. This judgment took effect immediately. Any such health care, ongoing health care you have received to date must be stopped immediately.
But that’s also happening in the context of this other thing that Republicans are doing in the state of Tennessee. I think they’re sort of on the front lines at the moment. The Republican Attorney General in Tennessee uses his office to obtain private medical records, unredacted complete medical records of patients treated at a specific Tennessee clinic at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He uses his office as Attorney General to take over people’s private, unredacted medical records for the purpose of an investigation at his state Attorney General’s office. Now, Vanderbilt University Medical Center says they had no choice but to turn over the records after the attorney general asked for them, but they also didn’t notify their patients that they had turned over their records until they were already with the handover had begun.
The Michigan Republican Party’s descent into Lord Of The Flies chaos is funny, but shows how extreme and dysfunctional it has become. Arizona College Republicans support Nazism, which poses a long-term threat that needs to be watched. Republicans in Ohio are trying to bar people from voting against them in a blatant assault on democracy, but what’s happening in Tennessee is chilling.
The former small government and privacy party is using the biggest tactics of big government to violate the rights of Tennessee people and deny them access to health care.
After the 1/6 attack, it became clear that far-right is no longer something to laugh at and dismiss.
Republicans are a dangerous threat, and the more elections they lose, the more extreme they become. Looking at Rachel Maddow’s overview, it’s clear why the Republicans, but what’s not so easy to see is how, or if, they’re interested in halting their slide into authoritarianism.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also White House press secretary and congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a bachelor’s degree in political science. The focus of his thesis was on public policy with a focus on social reform movements.
Awards and professional memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Political Science Association