Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mid-Term Election 2014: Why Getting Out the Vote is Essential

by Sunnyjane

1965: Black college students wait peacefully to be arrested for trying to register to vote.
Before the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed, Alabama was one of the most hostile states in the union for African American voters.  In Selma, where whites were the minority by a large percentage, harsh measures were used to, shall we say, discourage blacks from participating in the political system.  Along with beatings, arrests, and humiliating literacy tests, the voter registration office was open only two days a month, and would only process fifteen applications a day.  For the fifteen thousand blacks who wished to register, this was hardly adequate.

Civil Rights groups -- the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and the Dallas County (Alabama) Voters League -- were prohibited from gathering in groups of more than three people to prohibit demonstrations.  Thus, non-violent protests, as seen in the photo above, were a common occurrence during the first six months of 1965.

And then in 2013, the far-right-majority Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the VRA, saying in their opinion that racism no longer exists in the United States of America.  They were wrong.  Minority groups continue to be discouraged from voting, albeit by more subtle methods.

So the mission this year is twofold: Ensure that all Americans have unfettered access to the polls and that they understand what is at stake in this election.  We need to give the President, and ourselves, House and Senate majorities.

The Rigid Republicans

It will take liberal voters to repair the House and Senate.
House Speaker John Boehner is a worthless piece of humanity, trying to lead his party of even more worthless subhumans.  Since that's pretty much like herding headstones, he's decided to sue President Obama for lawlessness(Translation: The President is doing, by Executive Order, the job Boehner won't or can't do.  Boehner is pissed.  Boehner gets petulant. President Obama is a Constitutional lawyer.  Boehner is not.  Boehner decides suing is the only thing he can do.  Pfft.)

It was pretty much a yawner down at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, where the President called the whole thing a stunt.  Even Erick Erickson at RedState said, John Boehner's lawsuit is nothing more than political theater and a further Republican waste of taxpayer dollars. If the Republican leaders in the House are too chicken to use their constitutional powers to rein in the President, they should just call it a day and go home. Whoa!  If you've lost Erickson, you're in mighty deep doo-doo, John.

Anybody got an extra pad of PostIt thingies?  I used all mine writing "Benghazi" a trillion times.
There is one issue the House is determined to take up, of course -- BENGHAZI!  Trey Gowdy has had two months to sling together his select committee on the subject, and is proposing that it will cost $3.3 Million to put on this little dog-and-pony show -- which is far more than the Veterans Affairs investigative committee was allowed.  So much for the vets, eh?  

No timetable from Gowdy has been forthcoming, because it's hard to put together a team of thirty investigators, and going from not existing to fully functioning takes some time.  Let me repeat: he's had two months already, and he's still in the preliminary stages. 

The Dithering Democrats
Impeach Obama's golf clubs!  Sue Obama's Dijon mustard! 

I'm at a loss to explain why candidates of the Democratic persuasion are so loath to tout the successes that have been gained over the last six years.  Even the White House doesn't do a very good job of promoting the gains that have been made, especially in light of the do-nothing House and the so-so Senate.

So, maybe it's incumbent upon us to share some talking points they can use:

-- Republicans are telling Americans that raising the minimum wage and giving workers a living salary would be bad for the economy, would be a burden on companies, and would result in job losses.  Well, no.  Many states have already raised wages for employees, and business is booming.  In addition, several companies are not waiting for legislation that might never come to pass, and have begun raising their employees' wages. Considering that House representatives earn $87 an hour for doing nothing -- or about $192 an hour since they're only in session 113 days this year -- it seems only fair to give Americans a little raise now and then, dontcha think?

-- Funny thing about Republicans:  they don't believe that man contributes unfavorably to climate change, but they'd most likely swear that God sends messages of his existence through eggplants.  No, seriously.

-- John Boehner famously touted that the 113th congress would focus on jobs for all Americans.  It hasn't; the House has never introduced a jobs bill.  And in 2013, GOP senators shamelessly killed the Jobs for Vets bill by filibustering, a fine example of why we need a greater Democratic majority in the Senate.  But despite the fact that over nine million jobs have been created since Barack Obama became president, Orange Tan Man Boehner still repeats -- robot style -- that every time he talks to folks, they ask Where are the Jobs?  And then blames the president, of course.  John doesn't read the paper: Obamacare -- that job-killing piece o'crap -- alone has added almost one million jobs to the economy.  Perhaps JB believes that until Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney are gainfully employed, no numbers are good enough.  I dunno.  But never forget:  If something horrible were to happen to President Obama and Vice President Biden, John Boehner would become president of the United States.

--  President Obama has done more to end gender identification discrimination than any other president in the history of the country.  Still, far-right states have done whatever they can to make it legal to refuse to do business with anyone who infringes on their religious beliefs.  Thus, Mississippi has passed an appalling Religious Freedumb Freedom Bill, much like the  Arizona bill that Jan Brewer refused to sign.  So a group of business people designed the above window or door sticker to provide -- for free -- to any Mississippi business that  wanted one.  The initial printing of five hundred was quickly snapped up, and the group is printing more for a growing waiting list.

There, that ought to do it for a while, huh?

End Note


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