Elections matter. So does race.
We all know the Republicans can’t slough off their racist image. They made their white 4-poster canopy bed and they’ll just have to lie in it – likely in the Midwest and with Scott Walker.
This repulsive scenario is what the widely respected political prognosticator Sabato’s says we’ll see going into the GOP presidential primary. You have to admit it fits with the GOP’s already offensive push for vote suppression. Which continues, if you haven’t noticed.
Sabato’s places the recall win and Walker’s ascent to conservative stardom in the Dairyland Dictator plus category. They also pretty much dismiss the John Doe investigation since he, in their words, “has escaped without real damage”. (*wave of nausea* Let’s delve into how THAT could happen in a later post.)
Sabato’s Crystal Ball seems to flat out *advise* Republicans to choose a Midwestern candidate so they can get the white vote.
“Republicans might want to consider a Midwestern candidate in 2016 because if current demographic trends continue, the Midwest could be the must-win area for Republican presidential candidates. It’s whiter than the nation as a whole. This matters because Republicans may not be able to do much better than their current 20% of the votes of non-white voters (all racial groups combined), and non-whites will probably make up about 30% of the presidential electorate next time. Therefore, the GOP nominee will need to squeeze even more votes out of the nation’s white presidential electorate, which will make up the other 70% or so of 2016’s voters. (Keep in mind that Romney won whites with a landslide 59% on his way to a losing 47% of the total vote.)”
Here are the 5 of the 12 swing states that are “much whiter than the nation as a whole” according to Sabato’s.
Sabato’s makes no mention of the fact that Republicans have been working to enact voter ID legislation in those whiter-than-usual states as well.
It wasn’t just demographics. It was anger and action too.
There was much punditry around “demographics” delivering that win to Obama in 2012 and a lot less on shoe leather organizing. That’s why I think a lot of people don’t know that
NAACP registered 432,000 voters in 2012 – a 350% increase over their 2008 efforts according to NAACP president and CEO Ben Jealous
CNN commentator Roland Martin, surmised that groups like the NAACP ramped up efforts so successfully due to massive anger and alarm at GOP attempts to suppress the vote. In attempting to disenfranchise people of color the GOP both riled their opponents and solidified their racist image:.
“Not only were black folks angered and shocked at Republicans’ blatant attempts at voter suppression in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, Texas and other states, they exacted revenge at the ballot box.
Conservatives have valiantly tried to assert that voter ID laws, trimming the early voting days and even eliminating early voting on Sundays was a prudent and practical decision that had nothing to do with black, Hispanic and young voters, or anyone else.
But anyone with half a brain could see that the GOP was desperate to upend the coalition that proved so pivotal to Obama in 2008.”
I think the GOP will apply thin reforms to their party in the name of diversity. It will be awkward to watch, as if we’re seeing lipstick smeared on a pig. Meanwhile with their efforts to squash minority votes forging ahead, they’ll stir up the anger Martin noted all over again.
It’s a risky proposition for the GOP, but apparently they need to take it. It’s now or never. And there’s Scott “Divide and Conquer” Walker. Just the sort of on-message puppet who could do it for them.
Where we the people are a whiter shade of pale
Since we know that voter ID legislation disproportionately impacts the non-white voting population (“demographics” in journalism-speak) I thought it would be interesting to take a quick look at how that’s going in the pale-complected states.
from April 16, 2013:
“Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz called for the state to implement a voter ID law at a Faith and Freedom Coalition event on Monday by comparing the act of voting to drinking alcohol.” Schultz undermined his presentation by pushing it a wee bit too far though – telling his audience that they couldn’t push their social agenda unless they institute voter ID. [it’s on video].
He’s the same person who used federal funds to investigate voter fraud in Iowa and came up with nothing.
Also of note: Schultz attempted to cross-reference the eligibility of 3,500 Iowa voters with a federal immigration database but was halted in September 2012 when a judge placed a temporary injunction on the process.
Minnesota is not promising ground for Voter ID. They have a Democratic Farmer Labor party Governor AND a DFL-majority legislature and there’s not much online chatter about Voter ID after November 07, 2012 when this headline appeared: “MN only state to vote down voter ID referendum”
Ohio has as Secretary of State the problematic Jon Husted.
He issued a directive only a couple of days before the 2012 presidential election which changed provisional ballot handling in a way that threatened many absentee votes already in the pipeline. In response U.S. District Judge Algenon Marbley said, “The surreptitious manner in which the secretary went about implementing this last-minute change to the election rules casts serious doubt on his protestations of good faith.”
That about sums up his career.
More recently we have this Apr. 17, 2013 report from Ohio:
“Known for his fiery tirades on the House floor, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Tuesday blasted the Justice Department’s assertion that voter ID laws are discriminatory to minorities.”
Ohio House Republicans Sneak Student Voting Barrier into Massive Budget Bill– 4/18/13
It’s stalled in court there.
From the Washington Post, March 26, 2013-
“In the key swing state of Pennsylvania, expect to hear more about the battle over voter ID laws later this year. Before the election last fall, a judge put on hold a law that would have required voters to show photo identification. The fate of the measure will be decided in a trial that is set to kick off on July 15. The law will not apply to Pennsylvania’s May primaries.”
Voter ID arises again and again here like a zombie. A developing piece of legislation could revive voter ID and deliver a big blow to any future state judicial action against it.
At the moment, 4 cases are filed to fight a Wisconsin voter ID law that was signed by Scott Walker: 1 is before the Court of Appeals in Waukesha, a 2nd is before the Court of Appeals in Madison, and the other 2 are federal and are on hold while the state lawsuits are sorted out.
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has on 3 occasions refused the DOJ’s request to take up one of the state cases. A bill currently being circulated by Senator Grothman and Rep. Craig would effectively render a Wisconsin circuit or appeals court injunction on any legislation mute. Their bill allows a timely appeal of blocked legislation to immediately unblock it instead of keeping it halted while all concerned wait for the next judge’s decision. It seems universally understood that the proposed legislation defies our state constitution. And yet nobody is laughing it off.
If it goes ahead, Wisconsin’s Voter ID law would be activated plus all the judicial “teeth” in this state would be with our conservative-majority activist Wisconsin Supreme Court.