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Republican state legislatures are turning red states into smoldering hellholes right now – and that’s the real threat we’re facing

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Donald Trump keeps insisting, in spite of a metric ton of obviousness, that he’s somehow going to be a viable candidate for President in 2024. House Republicans keep insisting that they’re going to magically defund the DOJ and FBI in order to save Trump from being prosecuted, even though they literally cannot do that. Yet we keep hearing these imaginary and impossible threats repeated ad nauseum, and frankly, these imaginary threats are distracting us from some very real threats around the nation.

There’s this story out of North Carolina, where a Democrat in the state legislature became a conservative Republican overnight and handed them a super majority, which is disturbing and very weird. This is a scandal, and more will come out about it. We’ll need to have a better understanding of why this really happened before we can pick a smart strategy for fighting back against it, but there’s a battle coming here.

Then there’s Kansas, which somehow has a Democratic Governor, but the Republican state legislature has managed to override her in the name of doing creepy things to kids in the state.

Then there’s Tennessee, where the Republican state legislature is trying to expel three Democratic members on false grounds.

So what’s the common thread among all of these very real and very disturbing threats? Republican state legislatures run amok. For now we’ll have to fight each of these battles individually, on the ground, with peaceful protests and the kind of pushback that makes it harder for Republicans to carry out what they’re trying to carry out.

But remember the real solution to all of this. We just got done helping the Democrats win majority control of the state legislatures in Pennsylvania and Michigan. Voters in those states were already fed up with Republican extremism, and we took advantage of that by focusing on those state legislature races, and we won the close ones, and we took the majority.

Then there’s Wisconsin, where the state legislature is still controlled by Republicans. But we just won the deciding vote on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, which will force more fairly drawn maps, which will give us a chance to flip the Wisconsin state legislature in the next election. This is how it works. One step at a time.

In some of these red states, it’s not necessarily realistic for the Democrats to win the majority in the state legislature. But if nothing else, it is possible to win enough state legislature seats to keep the Republicans from having an all-powerful supermajority. As we’ve seen in places like Kansas and Kentucky, in some red states it is possible to elect a moderate Democratic Governor. Once you take the Republicans’ supermajority away, they can’t override a Democratic Governor’s veto.


So even as we gear up in the short term to fight these specific battles that are shaping up in these specific red state Republican legislatures, keep in mind that the long term solution is to win elections and take seats away from these Republicans.

Over the past few years many of you have gotten really good at saddling up alongside the Democratic Party and Democratic activist groups and focusing on winning these kinds of state legislature and state supreme court races. We’re going to have to keep focusing on those kinds of races even more closely going forward. These state legislature elections are where the real fight for our Democracy is now taking place.

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