Thursday, October 04, 2012

How serious is the voter suppression problem?

Elizabeth Drew in Voting Wrongs NYR Blog 09/21/2012 says it's this serious:

Having covered Watergate and the impeachment of Richard Nixon, and more recently written a biography of Nixon, I believe that the wrongdoing we are seeing in this election is more menacing even than what went on then. Watergate was a struggle over the Constitutional powers and accountability of a president, and, alarmingly, the president and his aides attempted to interfere with the nominating process of the opposition party. But the current voting rights issue is even more serious: it’s a coordinated attempt by a political party to fix the result of a presidential election by restricting the opportunities of members of the opposition party’s constituency—most notably blacks—to exercise a Constitutional right.

This is the worst thing that has happened to our democratic election system since the late nineteenth century, when legislatures in southern states systematically negated the voting rights blacks had won in the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution. [my emphasis]
And there's a direct line of the political tradition that leads from the anti-Reconstruction and anti-democracy Southern "Redeemers" of the 1870s to today's Republican voter suppression efforts.

These are straight-up segregationist measures.

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