Tag Archives: voting rights

No, you actually don’t get a medal for voting in your own best interests

Roy Moore

Reuters news photo

Democrat Doug Jones, pictured above at his victory celebration, will represent Alabama in the U.S. Senate after yesterday’s special election in the deep-red state. Black Alabama voters are being praised for their high turnout, but they’re supposed to vote in their own best interests anyway, and I easily could argue that because black American voters supported the widely despised Billary Clinton over the much more popular Bernie Sanders by a margin of three to one, they were instrumental in putting “President” Pussygrabber into the White House — so the meme that black voters are saving the nation needs to stop right about right now…

I was happy to learn last night that Democratic candidate Doug Jones (to whom I gave $20…) beat Repugnican candidate Roy Moore in the special election for the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated by Nazi elf Jeff Sessions when he became U.S. attorney general.

For a left-wing Californian like me, Doug Jones is pretty centrist, but I get it: He ran in Alabama. And the alternative was “Christo”fascist Roy “Moses” Moore.

But I was disturbed today to hear the meme that this narrow victory (Jones reportedly won by around 1.5 percentage points) was brought to us by black voters.

Let’s unpack that:

About 27 percent of Alabamans are black (whereas nationally, blacks are about 13 percent of the population).

I would hope that the voters of Alabama of all races would vote in their own best fucking interests, and it was not in their own best interests to vote for backasswards sex criminal and far-right piece of shit and nut job Roy Moore.

Is the message that white Americans sure should be thankful that black Americans voted for Doug Jones — even though he is white? Are the black voters of Alabama to be praised for not being black supremacists?

I voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and I didn’t expect a fucking Brownie button for having done so because I’m white; I perceived Obama as the most progressive yet still viable candidate, and therefore I voted for him.

Obama’s being biracial wasn’t high on my list of reasons for having voted for him (and it wasn’t at all on my list of reasons for being unable to vote for him again in 2012; it was how he lost the House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term elections by having spectacularly squandered his political capital in 2009 and 2010 that prevented me from being able to vote for him again*).

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it over and over and over again: I vote for the most progressive yet still viable candidate; that is, I vote in my own best interests, at least as how I perceive them. I don’t give a rat’s ass about a candidate’s race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

Perhaps what I find most disturbing about the heaps of praise for the black voters of Alabama for simply having wisely voted in their own best interests is that it probably is going to be parlayed as a race-based quid pro quo: We black voters voted in white man Doug Jones, so now the Democratic Party had better make, say, Sen. Kamala Harris or Sen. Cory Booker its 2020 presidential candidate; if not, we black voters will bolt from the Democratic Party! You can’t win without us!

To that I say: OK, go ahead and bolt. I won’t be your fucking political hostage. Because the Democratic Party is not actually supposed to be the vehicle through which only 13 percent of the U.S. population gains political control over the entire fucking nation. That’s not democracy. That’s a race-based takeover of the entire fucking nation by a minority of Americans.

Should a black candidate be the most progressive yet still viable Democratic Party presidential candidate for 2020, he or she will have my full support. But it won’t be because he or she is black; it will be because he or she is the most progressive yet still viable candidate.

Thus far I don’t see Kamala Harris or Cory Booker as presidential material. Harris hasn’t done anything thus far — she hasn’t even been in the Senate for one full year yet, and anyway, as long as the Repugnicans control the Senate, what could she do? — and Booker is a fakey-fake, a self-serving corporate whore and a pathetic knock-off of the “Kumbaya”-singing Obama whom I find unacceptable.

(Deval Patrick, another black American whose name is bandied about as a potential 2020 presidential candidate, works for Mittens Romney’s Bain Capital; I’ll very probably pass on him, too. I rejected Billary Clinton in no tiny part because of her coziness with Wall Street, and I love Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren in large part for their distaste of Wall Street and their refusal to be Clintonian corporate whores.)

Black Alabamans, I am glad that you voted en force to prevent Roy Moore from being your new U.S. senator (even though Alabama makes it as difficult as it can for you to be able to vote; you probably do deserve credit for your perseverance). But you did your civic duty, I think I’d argue. You are, after all, between a fourth and a third of the population of your state. Methinks that you probably don’t get special props for doing your civic duty and for voting in your own best interests.

I’ve voted consistently since I turned 18 — one could argue, I suppose, that voting is pointless, but I vote religiously because I know that the religious and the other assorted wingnuts vote religiously — and I expect no thanks or praise for doing what I should do anyway. (Yes, in fairness, California doesn’t put up as many roadblocks as possible to prevent Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters [or any voters] from being able to vote.)

It is sweet that Alabama’s new U.S. senator is a Democrat, but the bigger picture is that if the Democratic Party hasn’t learned what a losing game toxic identity politics is over the long run, then it will continue to — and it will deserve to — keep losing.**

Billary Clinton lost in November 2016 in no tiny part because she and her supporters basically told voters that if they didn’t vote for her, they’re sexist pieces of shit. Not only was this toxic-identity-politics message related to us “Bernie bros” relentlessly, but Team Billary even trotted out crone Madeleine Albright, a war criminal, to tell women that if they didn’t vote for Billary, they’d find themselves in “a special place in hell,” to which Billary gave one of her grating cackles.

Calling Democratic voters “racist” for rejecting a black presidential candidate who, like Billary, is a center-right Democrat in name only, will result in yet another instance of the Democratic Party snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. You can’t win a national election by catering to 13 percent of the national population. That’s just called math.

*While I didn’t vote for Obama again in 2012 because I don’t believe in rewarding an elected official who has violated his or her campaign promises by voting for him or her again, let me be clear that it was safe for me to decline to vote for Obama in 2012 because I live in California, and it was a foregone conclusion that Obama would win California and all of its electoral votes in 2012 as he did in 2008. So shut the fuck up and educate yourself about the Electoral College.

**Largely because of toxic identity politics, a while ago I switched my voter registration from Democratic to independent. I approach 50 years old and it’s the first time in my life that I’ve been registered as an independent (I’d only ever been registered with the Democratic Party and with the Green Party before I switched to independent).

After the pro-corporate, anti-populist, center-right Democratic Party establishment royally fucked over Bernie Sanders, I left the Democratic Party and I won’t ever return to it until and unless it earns my support by ceasing and desisting with the Clintonian bullshit, which includes pushing identity politics while ignoring our grave socioeconomic problems, since our corporate overlords and campaign contributors don’t much care about identity politics but sure the fuck don’t want the socioeconomic status quo to be threatened.


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States wisely resist fascist request for personal info on every voter in nation


Washington Post news photo

“President” Pussygrabber meets with Repugnican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach early in Pussygrabber’s illegitimate administration. Kobach, who never met a voter who isn’t a Repugnican whose vote he doesn’t want to suppress, is the “vice chair” of the so-called “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,” which Pussygrabber himself in a tweet tellingly referred to yesterday as the “VOTER FRAUD PANEL.” The “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” sent a letter dated June 28 to all 50 states asking for extensive personal and sensitive information about all of their registered voters. With an approval rating persistently stuck below 40 percent, Pussygrabber is in no political position to ask for anything.

On the surface, it might seem like no huge deal: The “president’s” “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” sent a letter, dated June 28, to all 50 states, asking them to turn over extensive information on all of their registered voters.

But this isn’t a normal “president” that we’re talking about. This is a “president” who already has pulled it out of his orange asshole that he only lost the popular vote in November 2016 because more than three million people (the margin of the popular vote that he lost by, very conveniently) voted illegally.

This is a claim for which Team Pussygrabber has offered no proof, of course, because no such proof exists — because it’s a wholly bogus, bullshit claim.*

At least half of the states thus far, including my great state of California, have refused to give any or at least some of the information to the “president’s” “commission” on “election integrity.” 

“Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?” “President” Pussygrabber predictably tweeted yesterday, stupidly revealing what we already knew: that the “commission” isn’t set up to ensure “election integrity,” but is meant to “prove,” retroactively, Pussygrabber’s bullshit, bogus claim that he actually won the popular vote because of “voter fraud.”

I mean, in his tweet — in which he at least isn’t talking about some woman bleeding from somewhere — Pussygrabber calls the “commission” “the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL.” Pussygrabber himself tells us that the “commission” isn’t interested in “election integrity” but instead is interested in “proving” “VOTER FRAUD,” which he even puts in all caps, for fuck’s sake. This conclusion obviously already has been reached before the “very distinguished” commission (which isn’t “distinguished” at all, which is why the Pussygrabberian qualifier “very” is necessary) has even done any work.

Just as “President” George W. Bush — another fascist who lost the popular vote and who thus never was a legitimate president — ordered his underlings to find evidence of Iraq’s connection to 9/11 (to “justify” his Vietraq War), evidence that didn’t exist because Iraq had had nothing to do with 9/11, “President” Pussygrabber has ordered his “very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL” to find voter fraud that doesn’t exist.

It’s not, of course, that the states that wisely are resisting the fascist, illegitimate “president’s” demand for detailed information on every single voter in the nation are trying to “hide” anything; it’s that it’s fucking obvious that you don’t turn over highly sensitive, personal data for millions and millions of voters to a fascist, illegitimate, wholly untrustworthy White House regime that obviously intends to use the data only for evil.

(If you can’t get on board with “evil,” you at least have to admit that the “commission on election integrity” fucking obviously is not a non-partisan, neutral, disinterested operation that dispassionately, objectively and fairly would delve into the subject of “election integrity.”)

The actual wording of the “commission’s” June 28 letter to the 50 states, signed by the “commission’s” “vice chair,” Repugnican-of-course Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a real Nazi known only for his voter-suppression efforts** (and who is running for governor of Kansas, of course), is scary.

The letter reads, in part:

… In addition, in order for the Commission to fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting, I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly available voter roll data for [your state], including, if publicly available under the laws of your state, the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security [sic] number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information.

You may submit your responses electronically to ElectionIntegrityStaff@ovp.eop.gov or by utilizing the Safe Access File Exchange (“SAFE”), which is a secure FTP site the federal government uses for transferring large data files. You can access the SAFE site at https://safe.amrdec.army.mil/safe/Welcome.aspx. We would appreciate a response by July 14, 2017. Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public. … [Emphases in bold are mine.]

“Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.” I interpret that line very broadly, because of the treasonous Nazi weasels with which we are dealing.

The letter does ask for other information besides individual voters’ extensive personal information, but I think that in order to be safe and not very, very sorry, we have to assume that the “commission” indeed would make all individual voter data stupidly submitted to it “available to the public.”

Imagine hordes of Orc-like Pussygrabber supporters poring over millions of voter registration records — provided to them by Pussygrabber’s “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” — with the purpose of harassing, say, those who have Spanish or Arabic surnames or whose names suggest that they are black Americans.

And, of course, they would seek to harass all of those who are registered as Democrats (and maybe even also anyone who isn’t registered as a Repugnican; I, for example, am registered with the Green Party, and I would rather castrate myself with a pair of fingernail clippers than cast a vote for a Repugnican).

This harassment of voters could be illegal, classical harassment, such as by personally, directly contacting and harassing and trying to intimidate these registered voters whose contact information so helpfully has been made public by the “commission on election integrity,” and/or it could be bureaucratic harassment, such as by challenging the validity of individuals’ voter registration — challenging mostly or only Democrats or (perceived) Democratic leaners, of course. (These challenges almost always turn out to be bullshit, but local elections officials have to deal with them anyway.)

I am happy to live in a state whose laws wisely fiercely protect my voter registration information from those who would misuse it. Indeed, the verbiage in the “commission’s” June 28 letter, “I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly available voter roll data for [your state], including, if publicly available under the laws of your state…,” apparently would exclude California, because a voter’s information isn’t publicly available under California state law.

In any event, on June 29, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla released this strongly worded press release:

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla today released the statement below in response to a letter from Kris Kobach, Vice Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The Commission was established through executive order by President Donald Trump after he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election. Because he lost the popular vote, Trump has falsely alleged that three to five million votes were cast illegally in the 2016 election. This, despite the fact that his claims of voter fraud are unsubstantiated and that academics and bipartisan leaders have confirmed that there is no evidence of large-scale, let alone massive, voter fraud.

“The President’s commission has requested the personal data and the voting history of every American voter — including Californians. As Secretary of State, it is my duty to ensure the integrity of our elections and to protect the voting rights and privacy of our state’s voters. I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally.

“California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach. The President’s Commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections [oh, snap!].

“The President’s appointment of Kobach — who has a long history of sponsoring discriminatory, anti-immigrant*** policies, including voter suppression and racial profiling laws — sends a clear and ominous message. His role as vice chair is proof that the ultimate goal of the commission is to enact policies that will result in the disenfranchisement of American citizens.

“I will continue to defend the right of all eligible voters to cast their ballots free from discrimination, intimidation or unnecessary roadblocks.”


And Padilla isn’t alone.

The Associated Press reports that at least 10 states (California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia) and the District of Columbia won’t give the “president’s” “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” any voter information at all.

Even Mississippi’s Repugnican secretary of state said that the “president’s” “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” “can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from,” adding, “Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”

The only states that are going to participate in Pussygrabber’s “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” sham are those red states that already are on board with voter suppression that helps the treasonous Repugnican Party, which is faltering so badly that to survive is has to cheat, such as to steal presidential elections (as in 2000 and in 2016), to engage in gerrymandering on crack, and to engage in the suppression of those voters it deems (correctly or incorrectly) aren’t supportive of it.

*As CNN reported at the time, “President” Pussygrabber’s own legal team claimed in a court filing in response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s quest for a recount of Michigan’s vote for president that “All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake.”

Clearly, it’s “fraud” only when it benefits Pussygrabber that it’s “fraud.” When it doesn’t benefit him, then it isn’t.

**Wikipedia notes of Nazi Kobach:

In 2015, [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach received from the [state] legislature and the governor the right to prosecute cases of voter fraud, after claiming for four years that Kansas had a massive problem of voter fraud that the local and state prosecutors were not adequately addressing. At that time, he “said he had identified more than 100 possible cases of double voting.” Testifying during hearings on the bill, questioned by Rep. John Carmichael, Kobach was unable to cite a single other state that gives its secretary of state such authority.

By February 7, 2017, Kobach had filed nine cases and obtained six convictions. All were regarding cases of double voting; none would have been prevented by voter ID laws. One case was dropped. The other two were still pending. All six convictions involved elderly citizens who were unaware that they had done anything wrong.

One of those prosecuted, Randall Kilian, thought he was expressing his preference about marijuana legalization as it affected his new Colorado retirement property after receiving a mail-in ballot in 2012. He didn’t want pot growing next to his home, so he marked that issue only, and mailed it in as instructed. The sheriff and county attorney of Ellis County, Kansas, learned of this and questioned Kilian. Both concluded he had not intentionally broken the law and decided not to prosecute. However, when Kobach got prosecutorial authority in such cases, a year later, he reopened the case. Trying to avoid the expense of a trial, Kilian pleaded guilty in 2016 and paid a $2,500 fine.

Critics of Kobach’s crusade say that he overreaches on cases that district attorneys deemed not worth prosecuting, and allege that he is motivated by racism. University of Kansas assistant professor of political science Patrick Miller includes voter intimidation as a form of fraud. “The substantially bigger issue with voter fraud has been election fraud being perpetrated by election officials and party officials tampering with votes.” “It is not the rampant problem that the public believes that is there. Kris Kobach says it is. Donald Trump says it is. And the data just aren’t there to prove it. It’s a popular misconception that this is a massive problem.”

A Brennan Center for Justice report calculated that rates of actual voter fraud are between 0.00004 percent and 0.0009 percent. The center calculated that someone is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.

Indeed. The Brennan Center’s report is here.

***Indeed, this is a blow-up of the document that Kris Kobach had in his hand in the photo of his meeting with Pussygrabber above:

The document Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach is holding during a photo-op with President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday in Bedminster, NJ. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press photo

The meeting between Pussygrabber and Kobach was on November 20, 2016, at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, in Bedminster, N.J, and Kobach was lobbying Pussygrabber to become the U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary by showing his xenophobic, nationalistic chops.

His right-wing, anti-immigrant sentiment is clear just from the portion of the document that he stupidly left in view.

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The Supremes give me reverse November 2008 déjà vu

Updated below (last on Friday, June 28, 2013)

For this progressive Californian, this week feels like an uncanny reversal of Election Day 2008: In November 2008, we Californians saw our nation’s first non-all-white president* elected, a historical milestone — but with the narrow (52-48) passage of Proposition H8, which wrote homophobia into the California state Constitution by banning same-sex marriage, we non-heterosexual Californians were stripped of our constitutionally guaranteed right to marry, which the California Supreme Court earlier that year had ruled was ours.**

Yesterday, in a typically 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, claiming that the act’s provisions were too outdated, despite the fact that Congress had renewed it overwhelmingly in 2006, which wasn’t all that fucking long ago.

In her dissent, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg nailed it on the head when she remarked, “Throwing out [U.S. Justice Department] pre-clearance when it has worked and is continuing to work to stop discriminatory changes [to voting laws] is like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.”

While I surmise that Congress will restore the Voting Rights Act in the future, that won’t happen, of course, with the current wingnut-dominated U.S. House of Representatives. Indeed, media reports are that the fascists of the red states, in light of this new U.S. Supreme Court decision, are working fast and furiously to reinstate their voter suppression laws (previously shot down by the Justice Department) just in time for the 2014 midterm elections.

I have to wonder, of course, if that was the goal of the wingnuts on the high court: To help the struggling Repugnican Tea Party in the next national elections. Hey, they’ve certainly involved themselves in election-fixing before, which even former U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Sandra Day O’Connor, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan and who, with four other like-minded “justices,” put George W. Bush in office, has expressed a potential problem with.

Yesterday was a giant leap backwards for the equal human and civil rights of non-whites, and was yet another stain on our nation caused by yet another 5-4 vote by the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, right up there with the court’s 5-4 coronation of George W. Bush as president in late 2000 even though he’d lost the election by more than a half-million popular votes and even though the pivotal state of Florida clearly had been stolen as a “victory” for Bush and with the court’s 5-4 Citizens United decision, which reinforced the bogus concept that corporations are just like individual people, and that just like individual people, corporations have First Amendment rights.

It’s mind-blowing to ponder the fact that the voting rights for which so many Americans fought and even died were eliminated at the stroke of the poisoned pen of just one right-wing U.S. Supreme Court justice. (Yet at the same time I suppose that it’s a little encouraging to know that it was only a 5-4 vote, that only one “justice” made the difference.)

I hope that the backlash against the right wing’s ongoing attempt to suppress voters is considerable. Generally speaking, the right-wing traitors among us win little battles here and there, but over time, they continue to lose the war. They stymie and delay progress as much as they can, but progress still marches on, and the haters go down in history as the haters that they are or were.

But today, unlike in November 2008, there was good news for us non-heterosexuals when the US. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4 (of course), that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act, which Congress passed in 1996, is unconstitutional, as it violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws (duh).

This ruling means that no same-sex couple that has been married in a state with legalized same-sex marriage may be denied any of the federal benefits of marriage that are enjoyed by opposite-sex married couples.

However, this also means that same-sex couples in most states will not have the same rights as do same-sex couples in other states (those states that have adopted legalized same-sex marriage), which, of course, is a patently unfair and thus an untenable situation.

Yes, the nation’s high court, while it struck down DOMA, by yet another 5-4 vote refused to touch Prop H8, ruling that, as Reuters puts it, “supporters of [Prop H8] did not have standing to appeal a federal district court ruling that struck the law down.” Thus, the court apparently very intentionally avoided directly ruling on whether or not any state may constitutionally outlaw same-sex marriage, leaving same-sex marriage, for now, as an untenable issue of “states’ rights.”

Because the U.S. Supreme Court wouldn’t touch Prop H8, the lower federal courts’ rulings that Prop H8 is unconstitutional (because it violates the Fourteenth Amendment) stand, and my understanding is that this means that California will have same-sex marriage again, as it did briefly in 2008 (between the effective date of the California Supreme Court’s ruling for same-sex marriage and the effective date of the same-sex-marriage-nixing Prop H8) — but, I understand, there’s more legal wrangling ahead as to what, exactly, the Supremes’ refusal to touch Prop H8 means for California.

It was cowardly, irresponsible and short-sighted of the court to rule that DOMA is unconstitutional on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment but to then refuse to rule that accordingly, no state may outlaw same-sex marriage on the grounds of the Fourteenth Amendment, but apparently today’s rulings were, pathetically, the best that we could get from this right-wing court.

Of course it would have been nice if either or both of today’s high-court rulings on DOMA and Prop H8 (the court’s cowardly refusal to issue a ruling on Prop H8 was the court’s “ruling” on Prop H8) had been 6-3 or even 7-2 (or hell, even 8-1 or 9-0), but the right-wing homo-haters have no credibility in (predictably) calling the 5-4 decisions the “tyranny” of the U.S. Supreme Court against the American majority when a series of recent nationwide polls clearly show that a clear majority of Americans favor same-sex marriage.

And those fascistic haters who claim that to overturn Prop H8 is to overturn the will of California’s voters conveniently ignore the two facts that (1) any ballot measure passed by a majority of any state’s voters can be overturned by a federal court if that court deems it to be unconstitutional (Civics 101 — duh) and that (2) while Prop H8 passed in November 2008 with 52 percent of the vote, polls show now that around 60 percent of Californians support same-sex marriage; were Californians to vote again on the issue again today, same-sex marriage would pass by a decisive margin. Prop H8 no longer is the will of the majority of California’s voters.

So: Today we can celebrate a significant although incomplete victory for same-sex couples who desire legalized marriage and the rights (and, yes, the responsibilities) that come with legalized marriage.

But we need to fight like hell to regain the ground that we just lost where voting rights are concerned, and we need to fight like hell to gain full marriage equality for same-sex couples in all 50 states.

The U.S. Constitution’s demands for fairness and equality demand that we do so.

*True, Barack Obama (whom I don’t really consider “black” but consider to be of mixed race) turned out to be a huge disappointment, a George W. Bush Lite, but I did cast my vote for him in November 2008 before I knew how his presidency was going to unfold. I voted for him in 2008 at least in part because I thought that it was great to be able to vote for the first non-all-white president in U.S. history. (In 2012 I could not, in good conscience, vote for Obama again; I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.)

**And this was no radically left-wing California Supreme Court; when it ruled in favor of same-sex marriage in 2008, most of its justices at that time had been appointed by Repugnican, not by Democratic, governors.

Update (Wednesday, June 26, 2013): Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown has instructed the California Department of Public Health, which comes under his authority, to direct all of California’s 58 counties to begin to issue same-sex marriage licenses as soon as is legally possible, which might take a month or so.

Update (Friday, June 28, 2013): The homo-hating wingnuts here in California (and elsewhere) are going apoplectic over this (from The Associated Press today):

The four plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned California’s same-sex marriage ban tied the knot [today], just hours after a federal appeals court freed gay couples to obtain marriage licenses in the state for the first time in 4 1/2 years.

State Attorney General Kamala Harris presided at the San Francisco City Hall wedding of Kris Perry and Sandy Stier as hundreds of supporters looked on and cheered. The couple sued to overturn the state’s voter-approved gay marriage ban along with Jeff Katami and Paul Zarrillo, who married at Los Angeles City Hall 90 minutes later with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa presiding. …

Although the couples fought for the right to wed for years, their weddings came together in a flurry when a three-judge panel of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a brief order [this] afternoon dissolving, “effective immediately,” a stay it had imposed on gay marriages while the lawsuit challenging the ban advanced through the courts.

Sponsors of California’s same-sex marriage ban, known as Proposition 8, called the appeals court’s swift action “outrageous.” Under Supreme Court rules, the losing side in a legal dispute has 25 days to ask the high court to rehear the case, and Proposition 8’s backers had not yet announced whether they would do so. …

Call the homo-haters a waaaaaambulance! Anyway, the AP story continues:

The [U.S.] Supreme Court said earlier this week that it would not finalize its ruling in the Proposition 8 case until after the 25-day period, which ends July 21. But San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who joined the two couples in the lawsuit, said [today] that the Ninth Circuit panel had the power to lift the stay it imposed.

“The fact of the matter is the only thing holding up the weddings was the stay that the Ninth Circuit had in place,” Herrera said. “The fact that there is a separate 25-day period allowing the petition to go for a rehearing is separate and apart from that stay.”

[California Gov. Jerry] Brown directed California counties to start performing same-sex marriages immediately after the appeals court’s order. A memo from the Department of Public Health said “same-sex marriage is again legal in California” and ordered county clerks to resume issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. …

Anyway: Wow. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s handed-down decision on Wednesday not to touch the Prop H8 case, we Californians had figured that there would be a wait of at least around a month for same-sex marriages to resume in California; we didn’t expect them to resume this quickly.

I misspoke above, by the way: The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday did not uphold both federal district court Judge Vaughn Walker’s 2010 decision that Prop H8 violated the U.S. Constitution and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in February 2012 to uphold Walker’s original ruling.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday vacated the circuit court’s ruling, which then reverted the matter of Prop H8 to Walker’s original 2010 ruling.

Frankly, Vaughn Walker, who is now retired, is a hero to me. Yes, he is a gay man, and yes, the homo-haters tried (but failed) to have his 2010 pro-same-sex-marriage ruling invalidated because he’s gay (apparently only [presumedly] straight white men can be fair and impartial judges, you see), but Walker is no left-wing radical: He was nominated as a federal judge first by Ronald Reagan and then by George H. W. Bush, and apparently his political leanings are conservative-libertarian.

I consider Walker’s ruling to be a landmark document in U.S. gay, lesbian and bisexual history. You can read it, if you want, here.


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Repugnican Indiana secretary of state found guilty of felonious voter fraud

FILE - This June 8, 2011, file photo shows Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White in Indianapolis.  White faces voter fraud charges Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012, in a case that could decide if he remains as the state's top election official. Prosecutors claim White fraudulently used his ex-wife's address on his voter registration form in the May 2010 primary when he actually had a condo elsewhere with his fiancee. They also allege that he collected his Fishers Town Council salary after moving out of that district. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Associated Press photo

Repugnican Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White (pictured above in June 2011) today was found guilty of felonious voter fraud. Gee, could it be that the true face of voter fraud in the United States of America is not brown-skinned and brown-eyed?

For all of the right-wing, democracy-hating traitors’ viral lies about rampant voter fraud being committed on the left — in order to make it more difficult for likely Democratic voters to vote by passing voter-suppression legislation because of this supposed rampant voter fraud on the left — the worst enemies of a fair and untainted democratic process always have been on the right.

Think Repugnican Katherine Harris, the former secretary of state of Florida, who made damn sure that George W. Bush “won” that pivotal state in 2000, even though he lost it, and how she not only was the state’s top elections official, but c0-chaired the state’s committee to elect Gee Dubya at the same time.

Think ditto for Repugnican Ken Blackwell, the former secretary of state of Ohio, who made damn sure that George W. Bush “won” “re”-election in that pivotal state in 2004 — even though Blackwell also as the state’s top elections official also was a co-chair of the state’s committee to “re”-elect Gee Dubya.

Now, think Repugnican Charlie White — the secretary of state of the state of Indiana who has been found guilty of, of all things, felonious voter fraud. (Harris and Blackwell also are, in my book, felons, but many if not most such felons never see the inside of a prison cell because they never are convicted because their status as elitists protects them from being subjected to the criminal justice system, which is only for those of us who don’t have money and power.)

Reports The Associated Press today (emphases are mine):

Indianapolis — Indiana’s top elections official could lose his job and his freedom after jurors convicted him of multiple voter-fraud-related charges [today], leaving in flux the fate of one of the state’s most powerful positions.

Republican Secretary of State Charlie White has held on to his office for more than a year despite being accused of lying about his address on voter registration forms.

A Hamilton County jury found White guilty of six of seven felony charges, including false registration, voting in another precinct, submitting a false ballot, theft and two counts of perjury. He was acquitted on one fraud charge.

White expressed no outward emotion as the verdict was read, and later said outside the courtroom: “I’m disappointed for my family and the people who supported me.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what would happen to White’s elected office. He has resisted calls to resign from Democrats and Republicans, including Gov. Mitch Daniels, but state law bars anyone convicted of a felony from remaining in office.

White’s attorney, Carl Brizzi, said he will ask the judge to reduce the charges to misdemeanors because his client has no criminal background and has a long record of public service. [Bullshit — a felony is a felony, and to let White off the hook with a misdemeanor or misdemeanors is to say that voter fraud committed by a state’s top elections official is no big deal.]

Daniels announced [today] he had appointed White’s chief deputy, Jerry Bonnet, as interim secretary of state.

“I have chosen not to make a permanent appointment today out of respect for the judge’s authority to lessen the verdict to a misdemeanor and reinstate the elected office holder,” Daniels said in a statement. “If the felony convictions are not altered, I anticipate making a permanent appointment quickly.” …

The jury verdict came after a weeklong trial in which White, who had vigorously protested the charges in hearings before a state elections panel, presented no defense.

Prosecutors said he used his ex-wife’s address instead of a condo he had with his fiancée because he didn’t want to give up his $1,000-per-month Fishers Town Council salary after moving out of that district. He faced seven felony charges, including voter fraud, perjury and theft.

White, 42, has said the charges ignored a complicated personal life in which he was trying to raise his 10-year-old son, plan his second marriage and campaign for the statewide office he won that November. He said he stayed at his ex-wife’s house when he wasn’t on the road campaigning and did not live in the condo until after he remarried. …

No sentencing date was set. …

Republican special prosecutor John Dowd expressed satisfaction about the verdict.

“We believe it was about someone who violated the law and cheated the system — and gamed the system,” Dowd said. “And, obviously, the jury thought the same way.” …

During his closing arguments, assistant special prosecutor Dan Sigler Jr. argued that White knew that he was committing voter fraud but did it anyway for political power.

“If we aren’t going to enforce election law against the secretary of state of Indiana, who are we going to enforce it against?” Sigler said.


Where was the right-wing criminal James O’Keefe’s hidden camera, I wonder, when the right-wing, white male Repugnican Indiana secretary of state was committing voter fraud?


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Voters soundly reject the wingnut agenda

“Elections May Signal a Pause in Conservative Trend,” the Los Angeles Times reports of yesterday’s elections throughout the nation in an odd-numbered election year.

“May Signal a Pause”?

No, I think it’s fair to conclude that the political pendulum already has swung back to the left.

(Admittedly, though, we’re such a flip-flopping nation — thanks mostly to the “independent”/“swing” voters — that although Barack Obama’s re-election chances lately have been looking better and better, it’s not inconceivable that Mitt Romney just might be the next Flip-Flopper in Chief.)

In 2008, a left-wing wave enabled “Hopey-Changey” Obama to win “swing” states that Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry couldn’t win in 2004. The 2010 mid-term elections, by contrast, brought us Repugnican John “Cry Me a River” Boehner as the new speaker of the U.S. House and governorships that flipped from Democrats to Repugnicans, such as with Wisconsin’s Scott “Dead Man” Walker and Ohio’s union-buster in chief, John Kasich. An emboldened Repugnican Tea Party in 2010 also enacted unconstitutional and un-American legislation against those who commit the heinous crime of breathing while brown-skinned (a.k.a. “illegals”).

Yesterday, Ohio voters shot down Kasich’s union-busting legislation that was even more draconian than was Walker & Co.’s. (Walker & Co. at least had had the sense to exempt cops and firefighters, because the [mostly-white-]male-dominated professions are far more important than are the female-dominated professions, such as teaching and nursing, you see.)

Mississippi voters yesterday voted down a draconian anti-abortion measure (again: Mississippi); Mainers repealed a Repugnican Tea Party state law that would have ended the state’s long-standing same-day voter registration (and which was part of the Repugnican Tea Party’s nationwide campaign to suppress Democratic-leaning voters); and in what to me might be the greatest victory yesterday for the left, the architect of Arizona’s illegal (unconstitutional) and immoral anti-immigration legislation, Repugnican Tea Party state Sen. Russell Pearce, a stupid white man who until now has been the president of the state’s Senate, was recalled and replaced with a moderate Repugnican. The L.A. Times notes that it was Arizona’s “first recall election of a sitting lawmaker.”

(Disclosure: I donated money toward Pearce’s removal from office, even though I live in California. [Unfortunately, I was born and raised in Arizona.] And I did so gladly. [I also, late in the game, gave a donation to the campaign to overturn the Repugnican Tea Party’s labor-busting legislation in Ohio.])

So: Even in a state that is as red as is Arizona, there was a consequence at the ballot box for the race-based hate campaign that Pearce and his ilk started, the campaign that literally cost the state dearly (because of the bad name that the Repugnican Tea Party racists gave the state throughout the world, making Arizona seen, correctly, as the South Africa of the U.S. Southwest — and the resultant boycotts of the state). Pearce’s head on a pike should serve as a warning sign to those who dare to follow in his pointy-white-hooded footsteps.

In Wisconsin, in reaction to Walker & Co.’s assault on public-sector labor unions, while Democrats were not able to wrest control of the state’s Senate from the Repugnican Tea Party, recall elections that were held in Wisconsin this past summer did cost two Repugnican Tea Party state senators their seats (and no Democratic lawmaker lost his or her seat in the state’s recall mania). The state’s Senate now is comprised of 17 Repugnican Tea Party members and 16 Democratic Party members.

I expect the Democrats to recapture the state’s Senate in the November 2012 elections — and I fully expect Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to be recalled in 2012. (Wisconsinites can start the recall process against him in January 2012. I’ve given money toward that cause already, and I’m sure that I’ll give more, because the Repugnican Tea Party traitors need to continue pay the price for so stupidly and so treasonously having attacked the working class and the middle class.)

These off-year election victories — especially for labor (and thus for the middle class and the working class) and for those of us who despise the race-based persecution of brown-skinned “illegals” (and those incorrectly believed to be “illegals” because of the color of their skin) — bode ill for the Repugnican Tea Party brand in November 2012, as does Herman “Gropey-Feely” Cain’s ongoing crusade to soil the already soiled Repugnican Tea Party brand even further.

The cocky Repugnican Tea Partiers way overplayed their hand after their victories in the 2010 mid-term elections, and next year they’re going to continue to pay the price for their gross political miscalculations.


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Winds of change are blowing leftward

Dare I be hopeful?

The right wing’s second wind seems to have run out of steam already, and the winds of — dare I say? — change are blowing leftward. Let me count the ways:

The Repugnican-Tea-Party controlled Arizona state Senate just shot down some more anti-immigrant legislation, dealing Grand Dragon — er, state Senate President Russell Pearce a blow to his pink baby-boomer face.

This additional mean-spirited, white supremacist, racist, xenophobic legislation among other things would have challenged U.S. citizenship by birth (which is provided for by the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution) and would have required public schools to out the children of illegal immigrants and hospitals to out patients who are illegal immigrants.

Boycotts work, apparently. Arizona state senators, in shooting down the further racist, xenophobic legislation, noted the detrimental effect upon Arizona’s economy by last year’s passage of Pearce’s woefully misguided S.B. 1040.   

Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker is popular within the Repugnican Tea Party — but among the Wisconsin electorate, upon whom his political fate in the state actually rests, um, not so much.

Oh, and today a Wisconsin judge issued a temporary restraining order against Walker’s union-busting legislation from taking effect.

Reports The New York Times today:

A judge issued a temporary restraining order [today] that prevents Wisconsin’s new law cutting collective bargaining rights for public workers from taking effect, at least for now.

The decision, issued by Judge Maryann Sumi of the Dane County Circuit Court, temporarily bars Wisconsin’s secretary of state from publishing the controversial law, one of the procedural requirements for it to come into effect in the state.

Publication had been expected late next week, but Judge Sumi’s ruling delays that until at least March 29, when she plans to hold a full hearing on a lawsuit that questions the validity of the collective bargaining law based on the speedy manner in which it was carried out earlier this month….

Um, yeah, anything done as quickly and dirtily as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin’s state Senate rammed through their union-busting legislation — and anything done against such a backdrop of public outcry — is probably illegal as well as unethical and immoral.

And the Times notes that the judge “was first appointed to the court in 1998 by Tommy Thompson, a Republican former governor, then elected in 1999 and 2005.” (Emphasis mine.)

Politico reports today that for the first time in the poll’s history, a Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that a majority of Americans — 53 percent — support same-sex marriage. The poll backs up a recent Democratic poll that put the national level of support at 51 percent, Politico notes.

Right now, same-sex marriage is legal in Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and the District of Columbia. It’s coming to your state soon.

The pundits more and more  are calling President Barack Obama’s re-election in November 2012 more or less a foregone conclusion.

While Obama is a weak president, a Bill Clinton carbon copy, and while I resist the lesser-of-two-evils “argument,” quite admittedly what the Repugnicans are offering up is much worse than is another four years of Obama: such jewels as union-busting (and anti-environmentalism) in the name of job recovery; attempting to destroy national treasures like Planned Parenthood and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in the name of reducing the federal budget deficit (while the sacred cows of the bloated military-industrial complex and the too-low tax rates for the rich and the super-rich — the real causes of the federal budget deficit — go unaddressed); and blaming “illegals” and other minorities — and labor-union members — for the nation’s economic collapse when it is the still-unprosecuted Wall Street crooks who drove the economy into the fucking ditch.

Less than a full three months in power after the mid-term elections, Repugnican Tea Party traitors in the U.S. House of Representatives and in some of the states (like Wisconsin), drunk on power, already shot their political wads in their stunningly politically tone-deaf political overreach. Promising to aid the economy, they instead have focused on trying to achieve their right-wing wet dreams, such as union-busting, outlawing (or at least severely restricting) abortion, continuing to make political piñatas out of “illegals,” keeping same-sex marriage illegal in most states, and yes, attacking National Public Radio.

But in a rapidly diversifying United States of America, the electorate is resisting continued rule by stupid white men. That’s the good news.

The bad news?

Well, what do you do if the voters are rejecting your agenda? If you are of the Repugnican Tea Party ilk, you do your best to fix the elections.

Reports Yahoo! News recently:

If some GOP lawmakers get their way, it could be a whole lot tougher for people across the country to cast a ballot in the upcoming 2012 presidential election.

Boosted by major electoral gains in state legislatures nationwide in the 2010 campaign, Republican lawmakers in 32 states are pushing measures that would require citizens to show a state identification or proof of citizenship to vote.  Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, GOP lawmakers are proposing new limits on college students who vote in the state, potentially eliminating a key base of electoral support for Democrats in the state ahead of the upcoming presidential election.

As the Washington Post’s Peter Wallsten writes, the measures have set off a partisan battle over voting rights across the country, with Democrats accusing Republicans of trying to suppress voters, including young people and minorities, who would cast their ballots for President Obama and other Democratic candidates next year.

In New Hampshire, Republicans are pushing to end rules that allow same-day voter registration in the state, which has often provided key swing votes for candidates from all parties in the state. State GOP lawmakers are also proposing new limits on students, including a bill that would allow them to vote in college towns only if they or their parents had established permanent residency in the state.

Some GOP lawmakers in New Hampshire have billed the measures as an attempt to crack down on voter fraud in the state — but recent remarks from the newly elected GOP state House speaker have suggested otherwise.

In a recent speech to a tea party group in the state, House Speaker William O’Brien described college voters as “foolish.” “Voting as a liberal. That’s what kids do,” he said, in remarks that were videotaped by a state Democratic Party staffer and posted on YouTube. Students, he said, lack “life experience” and “just vote their feelings.”

GOP lawmakers in the state have distanced themselves from O’Brien’s remarks.

“It’s a war on voting,” Thomas Bates, vice president of Rock the Vote, a youth voter-registration group, told the Post. “We’d like to be advocating for a 21st-century voting system, but here we are fighting against efforts to turn it back to the 19th century.”

Meanwhile, Republicans have also revived measures that have been debated on and off over the last several election cycles that would require voters to provide state-issued IDs at the polls.

In Wisconsin, GOP lawmakers are moving forward with legislation that would block students from using school-issued identification to verify their identity at the polls. Meanwhile, in North Carolina, Republicans are preparing to introduce a similar measure requiring state IDs — a plan that the North Carolina Board of Elections has said could be problematic for African-American voters, a key base of support for Obama in 2008.

Why is it that everything that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors claim is their motivation actually has or would have an opposite effect? Busting unions makes employment much worse, not better, and their claims to care about “preventing election fraud” — which is yet another “crisis” fabricated by the right — actually are all about depriving a huge group of Americans the right to vote, or at least about erecting more hurdles between them and the voting booth.

The good news is that if the Repugnican Tea Party were strong, it wouldn’t have to try to disenfranchise voters, as it has been doing since at least the blatantly stolen presidential election of 2000.

The bad news is that this shit so often works, at least in the short term.

We truly patriotic Americans have to be vigilant.

The right is weak, and the winds of change are blowing in our favor, but the right is not dead yet.


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Election of President Barack Obama is no excuse to kill the Voting Rights Act

Even as they push out their first black party chairman, the Repugnicans are claiming that the election of Barack Obama as president in November is proof that there no longer is any such thing as racism in the United States of America.

Reports the Los Angeles Times:

The election of Barack Obama as president has been hailed as a crowning achievement of America’s civil rights movement, the triumph of a black candidate in a nation with a history of slavery and segregation.

But in a twist, Obama’s success has emerged as a central argument from conservatives who say his victory proves that some of the nation’s most protective civil rights laws can be erased from the books.

Conservative legal foundations and the Republican governor of Georgia, challenging key parts of the Voting Rights Act, filed briefs in the Supreme Court this month pointing to racial progress and a high black turnout in the fall election. They said Obama’s victory heralded the emergence of a colorblind society in which special legal safeguards for minorities are no longer required.

“The America that has elected Barack Obama as its first African American president is far different than when [the Voting Rights Act] was first enacted in 1965,” argued Texas lawyer Gregory S. Coleman, whose client, a utility board in Austin, is challenging parts of the law….

The Texas case to be heard next month will decide whether certain states and localities, mostly in the South, must continue to obtain Justice Department approval before changing voting districts, polling locations or other election procedures. The requirement is viewed as something of a badge of dishonor in the South.

By invoking Obama, conservatives are in effect asking the justices to issue not only a legal decree about the fate of one law, but also to weigh in on emotionally charged questions about American society: Does the election of a black president mean that racism is no longer a factor in American politics? And are civil rights laws outdated in the age of Obama?

Conservatives said they planned to apply the Obama argument in the court of public opinion as well. It could play a role, for example, in potential ballot initiatives in 2010 in Arizona and Missouri seeking to roll back affirmative action laws.

“We will say, ‘How do you account for the election of Barack Obama?’ ” said Ward Connerly, a leading anti-affirmative-action activist [who himself is black]. “If we can’t get rid of these laws now with Obama, I don’t know what yardstick we’re going to use.”

Civil rights advocates bristle at the assertion that Obama’s victory signals it is time to dismantle the Voting Rights Act and other laws.

“It’s an overly simplistic argument that doesn’t reflect the facts,” said Jon M. Greenbaum of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

He and others pointed to state-by-state voting data from 2008, presented to the Supreme Court, showing persistent racial polarization in the Deep South and elsewhere. In Alabama and Mississippi, for example, Obama won only about 1/10th of the white vote — less than his party’s white nominee in 2004, Sen. John F. Kerry, who waged a far weaker campaign than Obama. Kerry won 19% of the white vote in Alabama and 14% in Mississippi.

The gap was even bigger in Louisiana, where Obama won 14% of the white vote, down from Kerry’s 24%.

“How can [conservatives] make this case, when the effete Massachusetts liberal with a rich foreign wife who loves windsurfing and spandex got more white votes in Mississippi — in much less negative economic circumstances — than a highly popular candidate who was as hot as can be?” asked David Bositis, an expert on racial voting patterns at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Overall, Obama won just one in four white votes in the areas covered by Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which is the provision being challenged in the Texas case, while he took nearly half of the white vote nationally….

The 15th Amendment, adopted after the Civil War, says the “right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied … by any state on account of race.” Yet blacks were largely denied the right to vote in the South for another century. County registrars controlled the voter rolls, and they used various schemes, including literacy tests and poll taxes, to prevent blacks from registering….

Obama and his administration reject the conservatives’ arguments.

Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., who is black, vowed in Selma last week to protect the voting rights law, which he said was “under attack.” White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said that even as Obama acknowledges “tremendous progress” since the Voting Rights Act was enacted, “he does not presume that his election or those advancements have wiped out the need for laws that protect the voting rights of all Americans.”

Federal oversight under the Voting Rights Act is most important in small towns and rural counties across the South, said Laughlin McDonald, director of the ACLU’s Voting Rights Project in Atlanta. The law requires changes in election districts and procedures to be cleared in advance by the Justice Department….

Congress voted in 2006 to extend the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of the Texas challengers who say the law is no longer needed.

Asked what would happen if the provision was rolled back, Nathaniel Persily, a Columbia University law professor who compiled voter data in a court brief, said: “It’s like removing the police presence from what had been a high-crime area. You don’t know what would happen.”

If racism really is a thing of the past (and it is not, of course), then why are the Repugnicans so adamant that the Voting Rights Act be killed? If the act is superfluous, then it’s superfluous, and no harm is done, but the only reason to want to kill the act is so that it no longer has to be followed.

That Obama won the vote of only one in four white voters covered by the Voting Rights Act — that speaks volumes, I think.

Further, as I have written before, the mixed-race Obama is half-white and half-black and is not the descendant of black American slaves (his father was from Kenya). As even Vice President Joseph Biden once infamously indicated, Obama acts like a white guy. No “angry” black man like Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson — both fully black descendants of black American slaves — would have been elected president in November.

And Obama was boosted greatly by the fact that George W. Bush was the worst “president” in at least recent American history (the last four decades or so, or at least since Repugnican Richard Nixon). Bush never legitimately was elected, he started the bogus Vietraq War, and he plunged the national economy into the ground, leaving his successor a record federal budget deficit, just like his daddy did.

In short, Bush’s stunning failures as “president” in large part, I think, made the much more presidential Obama’s mixed-race heritage a non-issue in a good number of American voters’ minds.

The Voting Rights Act should stand.

Obama’s election is no “proof” that racism is a thing of the past.

Obama believes so himself.


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