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The Tennessee GOP presents itself as a defender of democracy. Do not fall for it | Jan-Werner Müller

‘Tennessee Three’ were accused of breaching ‘decorum’ of the legislature, but civil disobedience is key to resisting tyranny

This past week, a Republican supermajority voted to expel two young African American men from the Tennessee legislature; a third Democrat – who happens to be white and female – only narrowly escaped this punishment. The charge? The lawmakers, who are now being called “the Tennessee Three”, had participated in a protest against the GOP’s cynical inaction after the elementary school shooting in Nashville on 27 March.

According to Republicans, using bullhorns breached the “decorum” of the legislature. This de facto disfranchisement demonstrates yet again that the problem with the GOP is not one lone demagogue (who may or may not be consumed by lawsuits), but a commitment by plenty of its members to authoritarianism at federal, state and local levels.

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