Thursday, May 29, 2014

Election 2014: Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate

by Sunnyjane

Come January 20, 2015, President Barack Obama will have two years left to carry out those visions for the United States for which he was elected in 2008 and again in 2012.  He cannot do those things that would really benefit the country unless the American electorate is determined enough to get a majority in the House and enough of a majority (60) in the Senate to overcome the Republican Tea Party's ability to filibuster.

So many issues desperately need to be addressed:  jobs, gun control, equal pay for women, climate control...the list is endless.  The GOP has nothing to offer the electorate except Benghazi, repealing (still) the Affordable Care Act, protecting the Second Amendment, trying to stop the war on religion (huh?), repealing a woman's right to choose, and suppressing votes.  That is hardly a list on which to campaign, it seems to me.  Well, they can't exactly win votes by reminding people that they've taken away much-needed programs in order to protect the super-rich, now can they?

Of course, now they're going to campaign on the Veterans Administration scandal, which would actually make a lot of sense if they hadn't added to that misery by denying U.S. veterans much needed programs.  But then, no one has ever accused the Republican Tea Party of possessing an overabundance of integrity.

Voter Suppression Laws

After the black-robed Supremes gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 in 2013, the very states that had been kept in check by its enactment began shoving voter suppression laws through their legislatures as fast as possible.  Rick Perry glowed like a nuclear reactor on steroids, while Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott nearly ruined his rotator cuff with all his fist-pumping.  The Department of Justice filed suit and in April of this year asked for copies of the Lone Star legislators' emails that dealt with the state's voter suppression ID Laws.  They don't exactly wanna do that, of course, and 189 have claimed legislative privilege.  That's pending.

How Low Will They Go?

--  When Rick Scott's urge-to-purge ploy didn't work out too well, something else had to be done in Florida to keep Democrats from winning in 2014.  Hey, Scott's gotta do something, right?  He's not too popular in the Sunshine State, and at the moment, former governor Charlie Chris is way ahead of him in the latest polls.  So making restrooms unavailable at polling places in Dade County -- which traditionally votes Democratic and has a large population of Latino and African American voters -- seemed like a good idea.  There's something that stinks about this, and it can't be blamed on someone going  #1 or #2. tried to get an official response on the issue and came up with only vague conclusions.  Briefly, if the polling place is in a public, restrooms will be available.  If it's in a church or other private building, they do not have to offer restroom availability.  (I remember my parents voting in our small-town gas station in the fifties, and I can guarantee neither of them would have dared relieve themselves there.) 

--  While judges in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin have struck down voter ID laws this year, North Carolina continues to have the most restrictive voter suppression laws in the nation.  They are being challenged, but the trial will not be held until July of this year, and there is some question as to whether it will be in time to overturn them in time for the November elections should the plaintiffs prevail.

The GOP in Ye Olde Tar Heel State was not helped in their endeavors to support their repressive voting laws.  Seems one of their County precinct chairmen might have just slipped up and screwed the pooch.  Late last year, Don Yelton went on television and made rather telling statements, such as:  The [new ID] law is going to kick the Democrats in the butt and added if it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.  The GOP went ballistic and Yelton was forced to resign.

I do believe we can expect that to come up at trial.

So What Makes the GOP So Desperate?

Hmmmm...could be.
End Note


BONUS (by Patrick):

There were some important comments made on the last post, and I would like to repeat some of them here. 

 NebraskaNativetoo wrote:

It finally occurred to me tonight that I am profoundly depressed. My real daily life is better than it has ever been with home, hearth and family-- whatever that phrase is, I love my job, I have so much to be thankful for... and then I read about politics and it breaks my heart. Rachel M had a segment on about the ark park thing postulating about a dinosaur being found in/by Noah's ark, another mass shooting, idiot congresspeople from Nebraska, the race to be as far right as humanly possible, fucking Biblical references in the Constitution?, global warming. My list grows. WTF has happened?

I blame the election of 2008. It awakened my inner progressive political person and I have not been able to break away from politics since. The only other elections I remember being emotionally invested in before then were McGovern and Gore.

My entire family is Republican, except for my mom, who voted for Kennedy and took that fact to her death bed (except when she secretly told me) I grew up thinking box elder bugs were actually called democrats. I was in the Young Republicans in high school. (hanging head) Watergate changed everything for me, it was probably the watershed moment for many people my age.

So here I am, in my "golden years" looking at working for at least the next 7 years until I am 70. I don't get this. I really don't. We worked so hard for equality and respect and it seems to have been for naught. I have faith in my adult children... they didn't have to "unlearn" many of the things I did-- best example is gay marriage... they think it is stupid that it is even an issue. So I take hope from them, but what happens in the meantime? Ah, the meantime... the devil is in those details.

Haven't ranted in awhile, forgot how good it felt. Thank you for your indulgence for an old hippie's random thoughts.

Our reader yknott replied:

NebraskaNative.....I couldn't have put it better. I must be the same age as you are and come from a similar family background.

I look at my grandkids and wonder what will they be dealing with when they come of age. I don't know what has happened/is happening in this country, but I do know that money in politics is ruining our country. Our Democracy is in dire straits.

Our 24/7 nonstop media along with Social Media has given every crazed loon a platform to promote their craziness and hope it goes viral. I'm with you. It seems all the gains we made in the last 100 years are falling by the wayside.

Thank you for your wonderful random thoughts. I couldn't agree more.

Another reply by Freebird4:

I understand your frustration and concerns. Things today seem to be moving so fast and erratic. 2008 brought the very best in our country (AA POTUS) - but at the same time the very worst (bigots). The times are a changing and sure as hell not for the better... not yet anyway. Got to keep faith!

Our reader comeonpeople added:

We are seriously seriously looking at living abroad when we retire. If this is an option for you, think about it. If we then miss the states enough to come back to what is fast becoming nonsense, then we would....but we doubt it.

Our reader laprofesora952 replied:

We're right behind you. It gets more ridiculous every day and I become less and less tolerant. Just when you think you've heard it all, "Joe the Plumber" comes out with the most hateful, insensitive, horrible statement I've heard in a long time. It made me ashamed to live in a country that would tolerate such self-absorbed behavior. I agree, we're outta here.

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