Attention Alabama Republican Party: You have officially lost the “But we’re not racists!” contest.
A federal judge accused two state Republicans, called by federal prosecutors in a massive Alabama corruption case, of cooperating with the feds because of their “ulterior motives rooted in naked political ambition and pure racial bias.”
State Sen. Scott Beason and former Rep. Benjamin Lewis, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson wrote, “lack credibility for two reasons.”
“First, their motive for cooperating with F.B.I. investigators was not to clean up corruption but to increase Republican political fortunes by reducing African-American voter turnout. Second, they lack credibility because the record establishes their purposeful, racist intent,” Thompson wrote.
Oh but ladies and gentlemen, it gets even more awesome.
Beason, Lewis, and their political allies sought to defeat SB380 partly because they believed the absence of the referendum on the ballot would lower African-American voter turnout during the 2010 elections. One of the government’s recordings captured Beason and Lewis discussing political strategy with other influential Republican legislative allies. A confederate warned: “Just keep in mind if [a pro-gambling] bill passes and we have a referendum in November, every black in this state will be bused to the polls. And that ain’t gonna help.
Now let’s keep in mind a massive number of federal charges on this corruption case were tossed out by a federal jury over the summer. The DoJ went after the remaining charges that were deadlocked with a new trial scheduled for this month. But I never honestly thought I would see this level of brutal honesty by any federal judge on the issue of the relentless GOP efforts to disenfranchise Democratic voters. Even though the decision is just an order allowing the racial aspects of their testimony into the record of the new case (the DoJ argued that race was irrelevant to the actual corruption charges) for anyone to publicly admit like this that this is what the GOP is doing to people is so refreshing it’s almost stunning.
And yes folks, Republicans understand that if they can keep minorities from voting, they win. It always was that simple.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
It’s impressive to be legally declared a racist. That was an order of the court. I’m being pedantic here, but that really is amazing. Tragic that it had to happen, but the court was brutal in his honesty.
Kudos to judge thompson. Cue calls for his head from the racists and amplified by the msm.
Nice catch. This gives me hope that if we really start calling these assholes out, we can stem the tide on this type of voter suppression.
This serves 2 purposes. 1) The obvious of a story that actually surprises a bit, 2) The sociological experiment of which dipshit fanboys come out to play because the post is by Zandar and not ABL.
If a judge says it, then I guess it must be true.
Meanwhile there’s Herman Cain winning the Mobile, Alabama straw poll. Damn racist Alabama Republican rank and file.
I hope this story makes you somehow feel better. Maybe a couple of victory laps or something.
This is a strong right on moment we’ve got here.
Herman Cain will be on the TEE VEE extolling these men as “Patriots” who are being smeared by the liberals.
He’ll say that no one denied him the vote and that he’s as black as the Ace of Spades.
Then he’ll eat some watermelon, dribble a basketball, and start singing “Shortening Bread”
And Fox and the GOP will say that the proof that the GOP takes Cain seriously lays to waste any charge of racism.
@Observer: I dunno Observer, sure looked to me like this story’s about the party’s elite, not the rank and file.
Has it not occurred to you that the bagmen in the party are acting against the interests and even the wishes of the party rank and file? I mean, that’s never happened before, now has it?
Villago Delenda Est
This is a pretty good example where the old “heads on pikes as a warning to others” might not be a bad option.
@Observer: Way to rant over the messenger. And stupid strawman too
As opposed to yet another blogpost accusing some Republican of racism? That’s a pretty thin reed too.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
Yeah, it really is kind of impressive. I didn’t know a court could label someone as a racist. Legally declared a racist. Is that a first?
It wasn’t a judge who said this, it was the Republican officials themselves.
I remember back when you were posing as the “reasonable liberal”. Can’t you at least change your name when you change your trolling shtick?
@Observer: I gotta say, every time I hear of Cain winning a straw poll or something, it makes me feel better. It would be quite awesome to have a Presidential election between two African Americans. And Cain would get clobbered.
Cain/ Bachmann 2012!!!
Yeah, but those two repo operatives were just “lone wolfs”. And Herm Cain’s popularity in Alabama proves that the judge is a racist. And that new Koch Bro study proving that global warming actually is happening still doesn’t even begin to explain the circumference of Algore’s belt, which, as all us good godfearin’ Christublicans, believe, is the true cause of the warming of global racism. So there.
I see what the writer did there.
Isn’t that supposed to be a capital C?
@Ben Cisco: (#17)
Yes, the writer’s choice to describe one of Beason and Lewis’s allies as a “confederate” was deliberately delicious. Moreover, the quote itself is evidence of their racist idee fixes: “every black in this state will be bused….” Blacks and buses; they still can’t get over it.
@Chyron HR: I’m still reasonable but thanks for noticing.
And I suppose someone other than Bob Somerby should be asking how continuing to spend massive amounts of time talking amongst “ourselves” telling each other that Repubs are racist is actually going to solve anything.
That’s actually the point. It was very subtle, admittedly. The original “hope this makes you feel better” was the tell.
And also I just like Herman Cain. No not to vote for him, no, no, no, nooooo. He just cracks me up, he’s a really good salesman that’s all.
Racist? Republicans? The party where a black man needs to equivocate, backtrack and apologize for taking offense at the word “nigger?” Racist? Now why would we think that?
That’s what happens when you comment while watching a batch of cookies, you get beaten to the punch
pretty sure it was a federal judge, not a blogpost, that did the accusing, in this case.
@Observer: yeah, the world is flat too.
@Ben Cisco: Was gonna say the same thing.
@cleek: I would say that it was more of a finding or concluding than an accusing, but whatevs.
@Observer: I dont think you’re handle means what you think it means.
@ppcli: No. One styles himself as Black American ‘cos his ancestors were slaves. The other denotes himself as African American. That was what Herman Cain said. He does NOT want the tag ‘African American’
“Attention Alabama Republican Party: You have officially lost the “But we’re not racists!” contest.”
Were they competing?
Yet another tale of institutional racism from the heart of Dixie: let’s not only keep minorities from voting, let’s keep them from serving on juries.
From the Guardian (of course): “Black people blatantly excluded from Alabama juries, lawsuit claims: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/21/race-discrimination-alabama-death-penalty
A class action lawsuit has been lodged in US federal court alleging that black people have been systematically and intentionally prevented from sitting as jurors in serious criminal cases.
Shorter Observer: now that you’ve got a judge to agree with you that Alabama Republicans are raaaaacist, can you declare yourselves vindicated, note the occasion with some kind of symbolic ritual and move on to more important things.
@Observer: Which important things are we not focusing on to your satisfaction at the moment, given that this is one blog post out of many?
Short Bus Bully
See: American Civil War and 1990’s South Africa.
He didn’t say nigger, therefore he isn’t racist.
Black is still a politically correct term for referring to African Americans, until they decide to change their label again, so they can keep branding white people as racists by not keeping up with the politically correct terminology.(last sentence=snark)
Here’s evidence in the public record on the Republicans’ efforts to suppress voters likely to vote for the opposition party. Even if it were just this single case, it’d still be a heap more evidence than there is of the so-called “voter fraud” over which the Republicans successfully concern trolled the Supreme Court.
perhaps i missed the point here but it seems to me that one might want to be a bit careful about imputing beliefs to an organization on the basis of a third party’s conclusion as to two members of that organization.*
*if the individuals acted at the behest of the organization, that’s a different story.
Added that because it’s kind of fucking key to the story, which makes it way more important than “some kind of symbolic ritual.”
Oh, so you’re cool with voter suppression tactics? Okay.
Herman Cain is every Teapartier But One of My Best Friends Is Black.
Gotta admit, tis very white of them!
@Observer: That’s funny, you keep typing Observer but I keep reading Derailer.
Going after a white guy (I assume) for posting this story just doesn’t hold the same juicy thrill as sinking their teeth into a black woman for doing the same. So I fully expect the shitheads among us to ignore this story, by far and large.
A somewhat minor quibble: This is not so much a question of disenfranchisement, but legal election rigging based on assumptions of racial categories. If these two scumbags had used their assumptions about race to, say, alter voting districts or target individual registrants for removal from the voting rolls, they’d be in pretty deep shit. Provided, of course, you have a Civil Rights Division at the DoJ that actually gives a shit about protecting voting rights.
They thought they could manipulate turnout based on what is on the ballot in terms of initiatives and what they thought would make blacks more interested in voting. That’s a somewhat separate issue than disenfranchisement. There’s not a barrier being erected that would prohibit people from voting. The story shows Republican intent to reduce voter turnout among blacks, which is important, but it needs to be connected to actual cases of literal disenfranchisement.
Now, why do you have to spoil everybody’s fun by bringing facts and context into this discussion? Can’t we have a good ol’ racial flamewar without clearheaded people coming a long and ruining things? Or some former black politician saying that sometimes voter registration laws are both necessary and just?
Naw. For many commenters on this site it seems that racial gerrymandering is only right when it supports the minority of their choice or the party of their choice. But not for those who are intellectually honest. See, from a color-blind POV I can condemn what these Republicans did. But I can’t condemn them if I’m going to defend racial preferences of any type.