Thursday, July 4, 2013

Are conservatives winning the battle but losing the war?

Let's hope. The Week, links at site.

Their short-term political victories may bring them long-term electoral pain.
It had better, or else the American people are truly brain-dead and deserve whatever they get and thanks a great steaming pile if we do.

Recall that when conservatives did not have a clear court majority, they railed against '"judicial activism." Now that they have the capacity to impose their will, many of the same conservatives defend extreme acts of judicial activism by claiming they involve legitimate interpretations of the true meaning of the Constitution. It is an inconsistency that tells us all we need to know. This is not an argument about what the Constitution says. It is a battle for power. And, despite scattered liberal triumphs, it is a battle that conservatives are winning. [Washington Post]

Immediately after the Supreme Court's Voting Rights Act ruling, six southern states moved with breathtaking speed to put in place measures effectively aimed at suppressing voters who favor Democrats. But it's a double-edged sword. As The New York Times' Ross Douthat notes, the ruling is a "gift from the Roberts court for Democrats" because it will help them mobilize the party base, provide a rallying point, and be a potent fundraising tool.

So a lengthy battle over voting rules and voting rights seems almost precision-designed to help the Obama-era Democratic majority endure once President Obama has left the Oval Office... Liberal demagogy notwithstanding, voter ID laws aren't a way for Republicans to turn the clock back and make sure that it's always 1965. But they are a good way for Republicans to ensure that African-Americans keep voting like it's always 2008. [New York Times]

The stage seems set for the party's nearly-complete takeover by the hard-right. Conservative court victories will likely continue dismantling key pieces of New Deal-New Frontier-Great Society programs — and traditional political assumptions. Republicans will cement their hold on conservative, southern, and mostly white districts with continued hyper-partisan rhetoric and gerrymandering that pushes the party further right — and will continue to hold the House.
I'm hoping against hope that folks will get the message that these throwback obstructionist congressmen are what we get if we blow off mid-term elections as happened in 2010. Gerrymandering or not, the only reason these clowns get in is because the Tea Party knows they can prevail if they show up. That has got to change or we're permanently screwed.

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