Monday, August 13, 2012

Suppressive Cycles

I confess to having similar thoughts to Harold Meyerson:
If voter suppression goes forward and Romney narrowly prevails, consider the consequences. An overwhelmingly and increasingly white Republican Party, based in the South, will owe its power to discrimination against black and Latino voters, much like the old segregationist Dixiecrats. It’s not that Republicans haven’t run voter suppression operations before, but they’ve been under-the-table dirty tricks, such as calling minority voters with misinformation about polling-place locations and hours. By contrast, this year’s suppression would be the intended outcome of laws that Republicans publicly supported, just as the denial of the franchise to Southern blacks before 1965 was the intended result of laws such as poll taxes. More ominous still, by further estranging minority voters, even as minorities constitute a steadily larger share of the electorate, Republicans will be putting themselves in a position where they increasingly rely on only white voters and where their only path to victory will be the continued suppression of minority votes. A cycle more vicious is hard to imagine.

This does not strike me as a negligible risk. The voter suppression tactics of today are "justified" by reference to a non-existent phenomenon, so its not like Republicans have to worry about a fig leaf jarring loose. And if GOP's only path to competitiveness is in each year blocking more and more minority voters from reaching the polls, there's a real chance that's the strategy that they'll adopt.

1 comment:

PG said...

I am amused by the Republicans who are pointing to a mail-in ballot fraud scheme in South Florida as proof of the need for voter ID laws. Wha-huh? Usually not mentioned, however, is that the fraud was perpetrated by a Republican operative working in the Cuban-American community.

Also, does anyone know to what "chicken and yellow rice" refers?

"There is no suppressing any voter. We may be suppressing some canvassing boards, but we might have to serve them a little bit more chicken and yellow rice," said Republican Rep. Seth McKeel.