This is, even for this administration, mind-numbing:
The Justice Department has chosen this no-stoplight, courthouse town buried in the eastern Mississippi prairie for an unusual civil rights test: the first federal lawsuit under the Voting Rights Act accusing blacks of suppressing the rights of whites. The action represents a sharp shift, and it has raised eyebrows outside the state. The government is charging blacks with voting fraud in a state whose violent rejection of blacks’ right to vote, over generations, helped give birth to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Yet within Mississippi the case has provoked knowing nods rather than cries of outrage, even among liberal Democrats. I am not excusing anyone who attempts to keep people from voting or tries to fix elections- they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And there is a very good chance that what is alleged here is actually happening. But what boggles my mind is that in a country where blacks have, historically, been denied the right to vote and have been the victims of voter fraud and Jim Crow and segregation and, well, you name it, this administration has chosen, as THEIR VERY FIRST CASE, to target blacks as the ones committing fraud. I guess it just speaks to this administration’s priorities. Up is down, down is up, and thank goodness for the Voting Rights Act- otherwise white folks might not be heard.
I am a total idiot and misread the lede. Ignore me, as I always tell you that you should.
I’m confused. The article says it’s the first case to accuse blacks of suppressing white candidates. But it doesn’t say, unless I’m missing something, that it’s the first voting rights case brought by this administration.
The article paints a pretty compelling picture. Small-town politics can be a filthy, filthy business.
Well really where did you expect, Florida? I wonder if the 14th Amendment could possibly come into play here for both the Plaintiff and the Defendant. In other news, freedom is slavery.
This sort of thing was probably inevitable. Consider Alabama, which is also covered in perpetuity by VRA – the 6th and 7th districts were basically Jefferson County (Birmingham) and Tuscaloosa County (Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama) respectively. They were slashed up into an all-black district and an all-white district, or as close as makes no difference. Now all you need is one political machine to make a case for vote suppression.
One could argue that the way to go was to draw districts with about 40% black population, aiming to maximize potential influence rather than deliver one black seat (which would, from a partisan standpoint, be perfectly offset by a resulting white Republican seat). Consider again Alabama – the 6th and 7th were held by the D’s until redistricting, when each became a white-R and black-D lock.
The problem is that in the Deep South, race is still the primary partisan identifier, and until something happens to unclench that, I don’t know what you can to do prevent these sorts of things.
The decision to have this fight in this place over this issue, of course, is spectacularly tone-deaf, although I don’t think anyone outside the realm of the hard-core political or the academic study of Southern politics will give a third of a damn in the long haul.
The Other Steve
Haven’t you heard?
Whites are the minority now. We’re being oppressed.
Don’t you feel oppressed? I feel oppressed every time I listen to Rush Limbaugh, because he tells me I’m being oppressed.
The Other Steve
I still feel like I’m being oppressed, even if you did change the story!
Yes, but white Christians suffer more than anybody else in this country, possibly more than anybody else in the entire history of this country.
Yeah, just ask the Puritans. I guess that persecution complex is one thing they didn’t leave behind in merry old England. (full disclosure: I’m no doubt descended from some of them, too…)
Are there gays involved?
John, doesn’t this kind of mistake tell you something about yourself? Doesn’t it suggest that maybe you’ve gone over the edge?
Yeah, John – you should be a loyal Bush cheerleader like Thomas. Then you’d always be right about everything.
That’s not the point at all, lard lad. Rather, it seems to me that John’s reactions are now reflexive, not thoughtful. That’s good at provoking similar reflexive actions, but it isn’t what any of us aspire to.
I am acting as if the GOP and this administration do everything in bad faith- they have earned it.
So yes, I am reflexively down on them. Again, they earned it. And I will try to keep my cool- but I am pissed, and the GOP is full of shit these days, and that really honks me off.
Thanks for the advice, though. I will keep it in mind, although in my defense, I was reading emails and answering IM’s when I read it- and must have missed the vital info the first time I read it. Also, in my defense, you have to admit- that does sound like something these guys whould have the chutzpah to do…
And tomorrow, Thomas goes back to chiding Tim for making sweeping psychological generalizations based on isolated incidents!
I thought that was the Balloon Juice commenters‘ function!
Hhhmmm…. Here’s a thought exercise for you, John. Consider this – The Army used chemical weapons in Iraq!!! (well, white phosphorus, anyhow)
Not really chemical weapons, but that does sound like something these guys would have the chutzpah to do
Does THAT sound ok to you ? Balloon Juice and “thoughtful consideration” do not go together. Thomas nailed that right square on the head.
Thomas & Sherard, Cole is just using the “duck” method here…when it walks and squawks and acts and looks and does all the duck stuff after a while you don’t REALLY have to go through a lot of soul-searching to call the damned thing a duck…or at least I don’t. Now, in case you can’t connect the analogy let me make it a bit plainer…when you read or hear a headline that sounds counter-intuitive to common sense or decency…an idea just reeking of disingenuousness, well, maybe you don’t, but my mind just automatically pulls up a picture of the current “Master’s of the Universe” pulling the strings around here now. As in “Just what kind of crap are they trying to pull THIS time?” Do I “thoughtfully consider” the possibility that there might be a real, sincere, honest,positively-motivated attempt at equal treatment, fair play, goodwill, or a non-cynical reason or goal behind their acts? No…that would seem rather foolish at this point, wouldn’t it, people? Because at this point they are very much like the ducks…we recognize them for what they are, so now all we can do is listen and watch them flap their wings, waddle around and quack for attention. We don’t expect more than that from them because that is all they can do. All that’s left now is to wait for them to shut up and go away.