Trump to Blue States: Drop Dead

The guy with a smile on his face is Florida governor Rick Scott. And why not? The other guy is Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who has just agreed to exempt Florida from new rules opening up offshore oil drilling everywhere else.Scott Keeler/Tampa Bay Times via ZUMA

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It just never ends:

“Local voice matters.” But only as long as that voice is a Republican governor in an important swing state. West coast states with Democratic governors who didn’t vote for Donald Trump can pound sand. Ditto for Virginia, which opposes drilling off its coast. Ditto for northeastern states, all of which oppose drilling off their coasts. You guys didn’t vote for Trump, so tough luck.

To state the obvious, the problem here isn’t so much that California is likely to see lots of new offshore oil rigs in its future. Lease auctions for public lands in the West haven’t attracted much bidding, and I suspect the same will be true for offshore leases. Rather, the problem is that the Trump administration is being run like the mafia, with friendly states getting explicitly favorable treatment and enemy states—this is how Trump seems to think of them—being gleefully punished. This attitude has already spread to Republicans in Congress, who crafted their tax bill with petty punishments of blue states as a top priority.

This is not—repeat not—something that Democrats have ever made a habit of. The stimulus bill treated every state fairly. Obamacare treated every state fairly. Even in judicial appointments, a favorite playground for partisan politics, every state was treated fairly. But now Republicans are doing their best to bring back the kind of frankly punitive spoils-system politics that we all thought had been long abandoned. We’re sure learning a lot these days about what “conservative” means in the 21st century.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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