Thursday, October 9, 2014

We Have Met The Enemy

Here's a chilling recitation of how Republicans -- America- and democracy-lovers all -- are going about accomplishing at the red state level what they'd do at the national level if only they could. Nothing really new in the piece; but it brings it all together as a whole, and makes even more clear the importance of voting in the upcoming election. A very partial sampling:
... The most visible effort is the drive to gut public sector unions, a key source of votes and financial support for Democrats. Wisconsin, under Republican Governor Scott Walker, has led the charge on this front. With support from the Koch brothers, the state has severely restricted collective bargaining rights for public employees, ended mandatory union dues and limited wage hikes to the rate of inflation...
... Perhaps the most controversial action taken by Republicans in states where they have power has been the approval of legislation designed to restrict minority and student voting through photo ID laws and limitations on early voting. In 2013, the North Carolina legislature enacted a major revision of state voting laws that Dan T. Carter, a prominent historian of the South, describes as the “nation’s most extensive effort at voter suppression.” Carter writes:
Every change in North Carolina’s new election code was targeted at reducing potential Democratic voters regardless of race, creed, color or national origin. The state’s VIVA/Election Reform law, passed on a straight party line vote, now requires a government-issued photo ID card to vote, but rejects student IDs, public-employee IDs, or photo IDs issued by public assistance agencies. Other provisions end Sunday voting (African Americans have a tradition on voting after church) and straight-party ticket voting (fifty seven percent of straight ticket votes are by Democrats), shorten the early voting calendar, (Democratic voters are thirty percent more likely to vote early than Republicans), ban same-day registration during early voting, (a majority of same day registrants are Democrats)...
... Democrats today convey only minimal awareness of what they are up against: an adversary that views politics as a struggle to the death. The Republican Party has demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice principle, including its historical commitments to civil rights and conservation; to bend campaign finance law to the breaking point; to abandon the interests of workers on the factory floor; and to undermine progressive tax policyin a scorched-earth strategy to postpone the day of demographic reckoning... 
(Emphasis mine. And it oughta be yours, too! Even -- especially! -- if you're what used to be called a conservative.)

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