Politics

The SCOTUS Voting Rights Decision Catalyzes the Passage of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act


Today was a busy a busy news day with lots happening around our struggle to save our democracy. Of all of the events two are of interest when it comes to passing the voting rights legislation currently in Congress:

Both of these news items made it seem worthwhile to post yet another article urging us to Call our Members of Congress to get these bills passed and onto President Biden’s desk. So, skip ahead to the calling parts of the post or just stop now and start making your calls or whatever if that’s what you feel the need to do. In any case, call your members of congress during Stacey Abrahms’ #HotCallSummer extravaganza or visit YOUR MEMBEr of Congress’ Office during their July recess (up til 12 July).

The Supreme Court Ruling

As Neal Katyal said on Nicolle Wallace’s Deadline: White House, because today’s decision guts the Section 2 article of the 1965 Voting Rights Act by stating that as long as a state can produce a “good enough” reason to change voting laws they no longer have to demonstrate that it doesn’t inadvertently affect the voting rights of a protected minority. It “is going to have to catalyze the voting rights bills that are right now pending on the floor in Congress.”

Katyal went on to point out that by incorporating the Big Lie into the majority decision — the Big Lie of voting fraud — it allows every state legislature to use the decision as an excuse to pass even more restrictive bills. It forms a kind of authoritarian ouruborus of lies about voting fraud and bogus evidence for it to be used in writing unnecessary and discriminatory voting legislation to correct voting fraud that gets upheld by the courts citing voting fraud that never existed in the first place.

Because this decision allows states to be as racist as they wanna be in their voter suppression legislation as long as they don’t screw up and say the quiet parts out loud, you know, that they wanna suprress the votes of communities of color, then they get to be as racist as they wanna be. It fits the racist motto of hurting Black folks first and worst so any harm to white folks is worth it.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s Demoralized Office Staff

As it turns out, Sen. Kyrsten (D – Personal Brand) is as hands off with her office and staff as she is with her policy positions. She takes the policy positions that (a) get her the most money and perks from PACS and lobbyists and (b) gain her the most news coverage. She’s fixin to pull a Sarah Pallin and abandon her service to her people for unbriddled self-promotion and grift. You know, in keepig with the Zeitgeist of our times.

Apparently, she isn’t in the office much and doesn’t give much direction to her staff. So, the poor interns — remember how every Call Your MoC post admonishes you to be nice to whoever answers the phone because that person is a real live human being with real live feelings and everything? Turns out it is good advice since some of the people calling aren’t nice to the interns who field the calls. Unfortunately, the interns have to follow a script and can’t just react how they like. Even more unfortunate is that if they deviate from the script, they are punished and threatened with a bad reference for their next internship or job. So, these poor folks are working far too many hours over a forty-hour work week for poverty-level wages and get emotionally abused by their supervisors in the process all so we can have $5.00 t-shirts — no wait, that is the garment workers in Bangladeshi and Cambodian garment factories — so we can have posh politicians write the laws that serve the interests of their corporate masters like Sinema apparently does for Exxon.

The pertinent point here is that Sinema’s office is experiencing a “deluge of phone calls from furious constituents raging about Sinema’s controversial policy stances.” That’s good. Arizona residents keep it up. But, be nice, Gotterdammerung!

Honestly, call YOUR Members of Congress and in the immortal words of grandmother, Play NICE!

Call your members of Congress regardless of party affiliation, stance on the issue, or place on the ideological spectrum!

  • If they are a member of the Democratic leadership team, tell them that we cannot (a) stand for the bills to be weakened by compromise with unfaithful Republican negotiators, (b) cannot wait for them to be passed since it will take time to undo the damage done by state legislation already passed ahead of the 2022 elections, and (c) the vote by members needs to be whipped to ensure party support.
  • If they are a progressive, (a) thank them for supporting voting rights and (b) that we cannot tolerate compromise on this issue. They need to hang tough and be strong. They have your support.
  • If they are a moderate, tell them that they need to ignore threats from the GQP that they will be called socialist or making this into a partisan political issue or whatever other smear campaign the GQP will come up with since they’re going to do it no matter what their vote is. We need to protect our democracy through legislation.
  • If they are a conservative, tell them that it is clear that the Republicans — we mean Mitch McConnell — is not a faithful negotiator and will not allow any Democratic sponsored legislation to pass if he can help it. Any dreams of bipartisanship in the name of saving our democracy or the courts saving our democracy have ended. We can only ensure that the republic continues through federal legislation.
  • If they are a Republican, tell them that (a) you are very aware of how they’re voting on these issues, (b) you expect them to defy the party line in trying to gut our democracy by suppressing the vote, and (c) you will be an active member of their electorate in the 2022 election.

Instead of copying pasting this infromation from previous posts:

  • background information on the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act,
  • tips and suggestions, and
  • links for contact information

I’ll just link to them.

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Image Attribution

“December 10 march for voting rights” by Michael Fleshman is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

34 replies »

  1. The conservatives on SCOTUS have never tried to just overturn the Voting Rights Act on constitutional grounds. They don’t have to kill it if they can just pull its teeth. If the current voting rights bills can be passed, they may have to deal with the constitutional questions of the relation between Federal and State rights and duties in regard to elections, the essence of the system of federalism. Are we a single nation, or a collection of sovereign states?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      In some ways that’s been the cunundrum of the States from the beginning and one that we’ve shied away from answering after realizing that a confederation was too weak to stand as a country. The Civil War was fought over the same ground. We came down solidly on the side of federalism taking precident so long as the federal government can send an army and make ’em, as President Jackson once taunted Chief Justice Marshall. Shortly after the Civil War, the States won out again when the federal government didn’t have the wherewithal to send the army to stop Jim Crow and enforce Reconstruction.

      The gun and pandemic thing is being fought over similar ground. Does the state have jurisdiction over the individual? Can the state force the individual to obey? Are we a collection of individuals or a country of a people?

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • We deal (and often push the boundaries of) the limitations of the Posse Comitatus Act. For better or worse, and the potential in both directions of the involvement of federal active military force in law enforcement is immense, those limits are there, leading to the frequent use of National Guard (that “well regulated [State] militia) troops in response to protests and riots (or, “riots”), almost always under state, not federal command.

        The fight also goes on, especially in the West over who should control the publicly owned lands, with every variation from federal ownership and control to outright privatization represented. Again, the question of nation, state, local, or individual (corporate) rights, duties, finance, and obligations (We dislike talking about the duties and obligations that go with the rights.)

        And, as the rash of voter suppression efforts shows, we are still unsettled about who the “We” in “We the people” includes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Bob!

          I can’t tell you how I fretted over the possibility of another Kent State happening last summer and fall during all of the protests. We were close. I can’t believe they didn’t just shoot people in Portland, for example. Turns out Trump wanted them to, so someplace in the chain of command, cooler heads prevailed.

          The development of a violent security force to use on our own populace is one of the signs of rising tyranny. They were doing just that by moving ICE officers off of the Southern Border and up to Portland. They were conditioning the officers and the public to accept real police violence against our white citizens.

          The we in we the people obviously ain’t just anyone who happens to have citizenship.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

          • Part of the point of supplying gobs of military gear and hardware to local police is to get the public used to that presentation of police, as opposed to the un-armored officer in blue with just a hand gun, baton, Taser, and hand cuffs.

            “We, the People” must be everybody. no other definition is acceptable.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              It is a comfort that now that as push is becoming shove, most people are coming down on the side of We the People must be everybody. Some of our norms have been deeply engrained: one person one vote, no one is above the law, and we are all equal before the law and god seem to be three of them. Hopefully, we can retain them.

              The police have been being militarized for quite some time. It has not only been in equipment but in attitude, too. That insistance that the most important thing a citizen can do when encountering the police is immediate and total obedience to any and all commands. That militarization has led to many of the abuses that we’re experiencing today. In terms of the attitude shift, I only have to assume that it is, at least, in part due to the military equipment.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Liked by 1 person

              • It used to be just certain urban neighborhoods that police saw as enemy territory. That has spread to a general sense of em-battlement among police and their unions. In training, they get the message that they are in danger everywhere. So, then they feel the need of ever more of that military stuff.

                Whoever is selling that stuff, some taxpayers at whatever level are paying for it. It’s a business model.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Howdy Bob!

                  Ironically, part of the danger police face is the sheer number of guns in society. The source of so many guns used in crimes is the legitimate legal gun owner. They get stolen and used in crimes.

                  It is hard for me to escape the feeling that the destablization of our country is a deliberate attempt by the embodiment of the oil industry in the Kock Bros to continue their profit taking off of fossil fuels until the bitter end. It dovetails with your Wired article about how a small percentage (psychopaths and narcissists?) tanked the game, which is reflects their inability to see anyone else’s perspective or value anything other than the immediate since it can’t be blamed on diffusion of responsibility. I’ve been in those games before. Everybody knows who dunnit.

                  Digging our way out of this mess is going to be a Himalayan task. Given my graduating students over the past ten years, one that I’m sure they’re up to. In our “better” schools, like Stoneman-Douglas, those students are taught to organize, think, and act as we saw after the shooting. Their reaction was exactly what we teach our students to do at the schools I work at.

                  Huzzah!
                  Jack

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • “No country that permits firearms to be widely and randomly distributed among its population – especially firearms that are capable of wounding and killing human beings – can expect to escape violence, and a great deal of violence.”
                    Margaret Mead

                    Wise words.

                    The young have always been the drivers of systemic change, and the experiences of the present rising generation combined with their need to visualize a future we older folks will not live to see is part of that. All we can really do is teach them how to do it.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Margaret Mead got some bad press, but she really knew her stuff. Thanks for reminding me of one of her better insights. And, again, I’m back to who benefits from the chaos and strife that widespread gun violence gives us? Who does this help? It helps keep the forces that would reform our society and economy making it more equitible and sustainable at bay for just a little bit longer.

                      There’s a reason why the Nazis had the Hitler Youth and the Soviets the Young Pioneers. and China the Youth League. Young adults are brash and full of righteous black and white thinking. They will take risks, have passion and energy, and are malleable.

                      I’m just hoping that the kids our schools have been turning out will have cooler heads and more constructive ideas. They do seem to be decidedly against racism and for socialism, for example. Their world is going to be much harsher than the one you and I came of age in that’s for sure.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • It will be harsher and many of them do know that better than many of their elders. The trick is to combine critical thinking with the passion and energy. Some of them can, maybe, enough.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • At least the students I’ve taught have been some impressive individuals who are making an impact. I have a lot of confidence in them. Hopefully, it will be enough.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Hopefully so.

                      On another subject, the Koch Bros, I had to remind myself today that they are not a one generation deal. Their father was either associated with or part of the group that tried to persuade Gen. MacArthur and others that it was necessary to mount a military coup to overthrow FDR, also the founding of the John Birch Society. They are their father’s sons. I don’t know what their grandfathers were up to.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • And, I don’t know what their children were up to, either. But, it is a good point. Like Trump’s father being at that Klan rally and his grandfather clearly being another psychopath who ran brothels and was a petty thief among other things.

                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      It sounds like the father of the Kock Bros and Trump’s father and grandfather were all psychopaths or narcissists. Each generation was subjected to gaslighting abuse. It isn’t an excuse for their behavior, though. Each generation had more than enough resources to recover from their abuse and stop the cycle. Certainly, the Trump kids certainly have had options and opportunities that they’ve chosen to not exercise.

                      These families have been compounding that abuse with each generation ending up with the monsters of Trump and the Koch Bros. Strange that they are of the same generation.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • And, the Koch Brothers despise Trump, even while funding organizations that support him. But they were raised to be of the elite of the elite. Also, their wealth is real.

                      The generational thing is something of a puzzle. It might help to have general look at the children of the Robber Baron generation and their children (which is who we are talking about). How were these two generations brought up to view their inherited wealth? Look at Trump and Biden – almost the same age – Pelosi and McConnell also – The Kochs and Buffett – there is a clear divide with one side believing they are supposed to get all the money, power, and goodies.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Look who is likely to be a personality disorder, either narcissist or psychopath. The psychopaths and narcissists are all on the side of entitlement and the non-personality disorders are on the side of fair distribution. Personality disorders are genetically based. It runs in families and lands on a continuum.

                      Having a closer look at the family histories of all of these 70 and 80 year olds and the robber barons would be interesting and allow for some possible conclusions to be drawn. Maybe in my retirement, the world will still exist and I can pursue it.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yesterday. I did look up the Wikipedia articles on the Koch brothers and their father. It explains a lot. The father, Fred C. Koch (1900–1967), was a chemical engineer and developed the modern petroleum cracking process, the foundation of the family fortune. He worked in the Soviet Union in 1929-32 setting up refineries and developed a hatred of the communist system, especially after Stalin purged several of his Soviet engineers who he saw as loyal veterans of the Revolution. He also worked in Germany in the 1930s. But it was the Soviet experience that set his political outlook, seeing any small move in the direction of socialism as a slippery slope to the US eventually being taken over by communism, and his political mission to do everything he could to prevent that. If his sons have any sense of obligation other than increasing the family wealth, it is that mission, an end which does justify all means.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      It certainly suggests an obsessive trend in the family. Obsessive people with much more limited means have been able to corral and subdue families and small groups. An intergernerational plan to subvert US democracy and install a Nazi regime with the wealth and patience to see it through is a formidable opponent and one that I don’t know if we’re up to the task of defeating.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      Our prisons are full of psychopaths with poor executive functioning; our boardrooms and political offices, psychopaths with good executive functioning. Many have lots of money, but few have that obsessive sense of misison… other than to their own needs. Would that the Koch Bros have been climate zealots bending their wealth and will to the promotion of renewable energy.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • That would be better than obsessively battling an essentially dead enemy. Even the Chinese aren’t really communist anymore, practicing, as they do state capitalism.

                      Another thought on the robber baron generation: It was not just the enlightenment that formed their thinking. They were mostly from the Calvinist branches of the Protestant churches with the doctrine of The Elect which besides making them feel worthy of their wealth, also included a sort of noblesse oblige toward the lower classes. Carnegie’s libraries were meant to improve the moral understandings of the working class. IDK if he thought that would make them not want to join unions.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Thinking of that reminded me of a song that has a verse about John Knox: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8nIFwpb3NQ

                      “Did you no’ think tae tell when John Knox himsel’
                      Preached under your branches sae black
                      To the poor common folk who would lift up the yoke
                      O’ the hops and priests frae their backs
                      But you knew the bargain he sold them
                      And freedom was only one part
                      For the price o’ their souls was a gospel sae cold
                      It would freeze up the joy in their hearts”

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Howdy Bob!

                      I guess the Calvinist dogma isn’t 9appealing to those who aren’t counted among the chosen. Who knew?

                      Great song. I had forgotten about the Battlefield Band.. Thanks for reminding me of them.

                      Huzzah!
                      Jack

                      Liked by 1 person

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