The efforts last week in Wisconsin and Michigan and, earlier, in North Carolina to limit the powers of incoming Democratic governors (not to speak of the attempts by Gov. LePage and the legislative Republicans in Maine to reverse the results of popular referendums) are merely the latest episodes in the assault by Republicans on democratic norms.

Those efforts began almost 30 years ago with the rise of Newt Gingrich and a new breed of Republican in Congress. The impeachment of Bill Clinton was clearly motivated in part by a desire to nullify the results of the 1996 presidential election. That was followed in 2000 by Republican litigation to stop the Florida recount, which might have given the election to Al Gore.

Other, similar examples abound. Why is one political party still willing to live by democratic norms, but not the other party?

William Luneburg

Cape Elizabeth

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