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MurphTheSurf3 On June - 26 - 2013
The Hollow Men Triumphant

The Hollow Men Triumphant


I’m not. I wrote most of this response six months ago in the belief that SCOTUS would rule as it did.

All five of the Justices who voted to gut the act have long been opposed to it. Citing what they called an outdated formula they did the dirty deed knowing that the GOP House will not move on any formula update. Given gerrymandering we are probably stuck with this until the Census of 2020 when redistricting will take place.

 Why did they do as they did? Take your pick:

a) A sincere belief that the nation has truly and deeply changed……

b) A desire to shift voting power back into the hands of the shrinking white majorities in many of the regions covered by Section 4….

c) An unwillingness to accept Congress’ overwhelming re-endorsement of the VRA in July 2006….

d) A belief that voter inequality is something the states are entitled to address and not the federal government….

e) A fevered loyalty to a GOP that cannot win in the shifting demographics of so many of the covered areas….

Whatever the reason……Now the battle is truly on…..If you are one of those who have had your right to vote challenged, or had your right curtailed by the conditions of voting, or had the results of an election unjustly challenge, it is clear who the enemy is.

The new Civil Rights Movement? I suspect it will be a return to the old Civil Rights Movement. It will focus on voters rights.

What must be done:

A) Win back the House – or at the least come close, throwing a scare into those who occupy seats in areas that are shifting….

B) Keep control of the Senate and change its rules of operation.

C) Hold the White House.

D) Wage battles to take back State Houses and Governorships especially in states that vote Blue on the national level and looking forward to 2020.

E) Challenge in protests, in courts and in elections every effort to limit access to voting, make it harder to vote, or manipulate voting.

F) Energize every voter who is a likely target for those efforts which includes those still labeled as minorities, GLBT’s, progressives/liberals, the poor, the lower middle class…..make it clear that this is an effort to stage a coup and they must fight it.

 Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.  (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

If we accept this decision as it now stands…..we will deprive ourselves of the right to shape our own future. I, for one, will not go quietly.

The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don’t have to waste your time voting. (Charles Bukowski)

The Supreme Court Majority today is standing by this definition. They want us to stand by the pretense that we are in a democracy but run it as a dictatorship. To hell with that and to hell with them.

Written by MurphTheSurf3

Proud to be an Independent Progressive. I am a progressive- a one time Eisenhower Republican who is now a Democrat. I live in a very RED STATE and am a community activist with a very BLUE AGENDA. Historian, and "Gentleman Farmer."

26 Responses so far.

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  1. funksands says:

    Murph, good piece and a great launching point for the mid-terms (ugh). I’ve got a lot of mixed emotions over this ruling.

    1) Short-term this is of electoral benefit to the GOP. Long-term very harmful. As more strident and blatent vote-supression and gerrymandering occur in the states, every voter that gets stomped on by these tricks will be lost to the GOP for a generation at least. However, in the meantime, enough damage will be done to retain many governorships and statehouses that by all rights should return to Democratic control. Enough foul infrastructure could get built to wipe away the advantages that sheer numbers should rightly confer.

    2) While the loss of section 4 (unlikely to be replaced without a completely different Congress) is a blow, it is in total a glancing one. 40 states currently have a process in which they may challenge fishy voting regs. And while it will take extra time, money, energy and litigation, preliminary injunctions under section 2 to stop these regs are relatively easy to file in district court (not state court) and quick to be heard. That said, there is no guarantee the judge will act favorably to your suit.

    (However the keystone of this hypothesis is an active and effective Justice Dept. Not a sure thing from administration to administration)

    3) What’s disturbing is that the court managed to strip away a law intended to help Congress enforce Amendments of the Constitution without actually saying what part of section 4 is unconstitutional. The last time the Court found agains a law designed to enforce an Amendment was 1883. This does not bode well for our “balls and strikes” Court in the future.

    All of this said, there is a lesson here. Just as everyone forgot about how and why the Depression started and repealed Glass-Steagall, just as everyone forgot about what we and the Soviets went through in our last excursion in Asia, perhaps now it is Civil Right’s turn. As the John Lewises and Jesse Jacksons, lynchings and Jim Crow fade into the history books, perhaps now is the time for another hard lesson.

    Maybe its one that needs to be had. Sometimes I think that’s the way most Americans learn.

    This is not a contest that is subject to the Marquess of Queensberry Rule. It is a knife fight to the death in a dark alley, and they are bringing friends. The sooner everyone gets that the better. Nothing better to combat apathy that fighting for your life.

  2. agrippa says:

    At the risk of being called kind to those people, I am inclined to think that the Justices went by reason “a)” and reason “d)”.
    I doubt that they are cynical or political enough for the other reasons shown.

  3. Well done Murph. These justices must be going on the assumption that now that we’ve elected a black man president, twice, there is automatically no racism any longer, therefore no need to protect against it. That’s the impression this decision gave me. Of course that is a bullshit assumption on the part of these justices.

    Racism is still alive in America, but with all the emphasis on political correctness, racism has merely gone underground. The coded language is still in the GOP lexicon, and with some, they just outright say racist things, with no shame or apology, unless the “people” and press calls for it.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      I think this very political court made no such assumption. They used that event as cover in their cynical effort to turn back the clock, to defeat demographic shifts, and to keep their people in power for just a little while longer.

      And the base that they feed with this nonsense is as badly served as those who are disenfranchised because the ruling pretends that there is an America which is not the real America -- the oligarchs have won a short term victory..I want to make it a very short term victory. 2014…take ’em down.

  4. SallyT says:

    Murph, have I told you lately that I am so glad I have you on my side of the world? If I haven’t, I am! Get us up and motivated! Wake up those sleepwalkers! Me’s awake, Murph, Me’s awake!

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      How very kind of you. Activism is the key. Use this “setback” to name names and then take them down.

      You might like to know that I have been using the Sunday Funnies each of the last three weeks to select about a half dozen cartoons and then to copy them using a screen capture program. I put them in a folder on my desktop and send them out with e mails. Hah! People now think I am so well read not knowing I have a “service” that provides me with so many choices. Again, thanks.

      • SallyT says:

        I am so glad to hear that I provide something to you that you can use. Get ready…..I have some great ones on the SCOTUS this coming Sunday! Oh and on Snowden, too!

  5. agrippa says:

    First, people have to be, or get, registered to vote. Whatever it takes. This happens at the local level. Then, at election time, people need to vote. Both will take individual and collective effort. If that is done, that will seriously impede GOP efforts.

    The voter ID? make it free and easy to get. Failure to have voter ID should not prevent anyone from voting.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      100 percent in agreement. You might want to look at the discussion I had with Ad Lib further down this thread. Look for “Georgia”. I lay out a brilliant strategy by the Dems in that state legislature. Just what you are alluding to.

  6. SueInCa says:

    Once again, Murph you lay it out in a calm cool way. I think when people truly understand the ramifications of this decision, they will react and then take action. I am just puzzled that they could take the action they did yesterday and today go to the other end of the discrimination scale. Or perhaps they think these rulings, too, will wash away all the discrimination in America? SMH

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      The core conservatives walked the troglodytes road on both days. Thomas, Scalia, Alito.

      On Voting Rights it was the Three Stooges plus Kennedy, and Roberts. Roberts has been against VRA since his days in the Reagan administration. But Kennedy is different. In an USA Today interview he said: “No one questions the validity, the urgency, the essentiality of the Voting Rights Act,” Kennedy said of the law that ended poll taxes, literacy tests and other devices that kept some minorities from the polls for most of the 20th century. “The question is whether or not it should be continued with this differentiation between the states.”

      Today was different.

      It was Kennedy who joined Ginsberg, Breyer, Soto Mayor, and Kagan did so because he has stood for gay rights issues for a long time. His record is clear. BUT, on Prop 8, his dissent was based on what he regarded as the inappropriate application of process. “The Court’s opinion fails to abide by precedent and misapplies basic principles of justiciability,” Kennedy wrote. “Those errors necessitate this respectful dissent.”

      Oddly, Roberts joined the liberal for the same reason. The lower court had rule that those coming to the court did not have “standing” and he agreed.

  7. jjgravitas says:

    Once again SCOTUS stands up for rich puffy white guys and gives the finger to everyone else.

  8. choicelady says:

    Very pithy and to the point assessment, Murph. Thank you!

    The one thing I cannot unearth due to inattention is the previous ruling earlier this week (or maybe last) that 8-0 maintained that states may NOT override the federal guidelines on registration and voting. I know I’m not making that up -- I read it. But now it’s as if it’s disappeared from the radar. This was the decision that peeved Jan Brewer and all the voter ID fanatics. So…

    How the HELL can the Red Southern White Old Men states suddenly take the lack of prior oversight as license to void the earlier decision?

    What the Grumpy Old Poops seem to forget is that voiding Section 4 is NOT voiding federal actions and/or jurisdictions. It means it shifts to a case by case basis, but doing something as dumb as violating a SCOTUS ruling that is still warm off the presses seems pretty blatant.

    While I stand totally with you on voting, reigniting a new Voting Rights Movement, I also think we will see a major uptick in federal crackdowns against Red State actions. And I for one will welcome the laser beam being turned on Ohio et al. for their disgusting racism.

    This may have opened a can of worms OK -- and it may NOT be to the interests of the tottering white guys. They seem to be over-reaching right from the git go, and that could be SO FUN to watch as they get shot down.

    And all the while we’re mobilizing, moving, educating, changing, and VOTING.

    Wow. Brand new day.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      I argue that while it is easier to have a pre-judgement on a proposed change in voting law, I think that the exposure that comes with protests, law suits and political grandstanding is more likely to point out a pattern. Further, there are two states in the group that are likely to be immediately affected by the kind of changes that “their” voting laws bring: Virginia and Arizona. Both have significantly large and activist groups that stand against the GOP…I expect a lot of fireworks.

      I think this is why the smarter Republicans are not rejoicing in this ruling…..it makes it clear how big the stakes are and it seems to me to be the kind of ruling that is going to provoke a strong response.

      I was encourage today at how many gay activists bridged today’s win to yesterday’s loss. Good for them.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:


      June 17, 2013

      7-2 ruling

      Struck down Arizona Law that tried to overrule Motor Voter requirements.

      • choicelady says:

        Yup -- that’s it. I finally motivated myself to look and realized I’d forgotten it was AZ v. indigenous people who ought to be asking Jan Brewer for HER papers, IMHO.

        With this ruling (7-2 not 8-0 sorry) the flurry of slavering white old men to impose new standards on registration are totally NOT going to work. The Section 4 voiding does not change this ruling AT ALL. How dumb are they to think this suddenly, a few days later, doesn’t matter??? The DOJ has every capacity to stick it to the states that violate this law.

        And why do I keep asking “how dumb are they” when the answer is perfectly clear…

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          And the Supremes did not strike Section 5 which is the real heart of the preapproval statute. Section 5 says that it is permissible to have preapproval and to have a formula by which it is applied. The principle is upheld, only the formula was struck. In practical terms I am pretty sure that this will not result in getting the formula updated BUT efforts to block that from happening will now be labeled for what they are. AND if it is played properly it will make it clear that anyone with a “R” behind their name is an enemy of anyone affected by the striking down of Section 4.

          • choicelady says:

            The more I go over the Arizona decision, the more clear it is that NO STATE CAN DEMAND ID AT ALL. While I’m definitely in favor of activism to help people get it, I’m MORE in favor of people getting in the face of any official who demands it illegally.

            This is the new ‘sit in’ moment -- occupying court houses demanding the official comply with the Arizona decision, calling in the feds to enforce it.

            We shall NOT be forced to get ID when the Supreme Court said no state can make the federal application for voting HARDER than the federal standard. No special laws -- isn’t that the anti-equality whine from the Right? Well -- no special laws for white supremacists trying to block other people’s right to vote.

  9. AdLib says:

    I’m not typically the silver lining type, sometimes a crap sandwich is just a crap sandwich but I do wonder now if the same kind of backlash that Voter ID laws created, inspiring higher minority turn out, might not be the case once again due to this ruling?

    As most Americans see that their highest court is protecting racist laws to prevent certain Americans from voting, maybe there will be more activism and concerted effort at turnout in 2014 and beyond.

    I sure hope so, that’s the only way for Americans to thwart the agenda of the elitists.

    • MurphTheSurf3 says:

      Let me add this. There is going to be a move to get a voter id here in Missouri.

      I am suggesting to my Democratic friends that we not bother to fight it but take a page from the playbook of our Georgia friends who backed it AS LONG AS IT WAS FAIR…..

      Fair is free, easy to access (via the DMV’s and rural mobile centers), with reasonable standards taking into account changing identification procedures (such as when a child was born in a home by a midwife- still common here through the 1950’s), and with the public mission of ensuring that every Missourian with the right to vote would have an ID card AND that this card can also be used as another form of state ID.

      This needs funding and time. Worked in GA. Actually increased the number of minority voters there.

      • AdLib says:

        Murph, the thing is, the whole purpose of these Voter ID laws is about disenfranchising minorities. So I do think it is a good strategy to co-opt the bill into something that isn’t prejudicial but I wonder if trying to make it a bill that isn’t aimed at minorities would be fought just as strongly by Repubs as direct opposition to it would be.

        After all, we all know there is no problem with voters faking IDs at the ballot box, that only Republican governors and legislatures are pushing this and that the Repub House Majority Leader in PA admitted that passing Voter ID would help Romney win there (wrong again, Repub!).

        So if it came to passing such a bill wouldn’t disenfranchise Dems, wouldn’t Repubs fight that just as hard?

        It certainly puts Dem opposition in a stronger position to support Voter ID but demand it not discriminate, I do like that strategy.

        • agrippa says:

          Turn voter ID law into a positive.
          make it easy to get voter ID -- and virtually free.
          and ‘applaud’ the idea of ‘preventing’ voter ‘impersonation’. We are all ‘against that’.

        • MurphTheSurf3 says:

          The key is that stony faced opposition to the idea plays into their game plan- “You see the demoncrats don’t want voter id’s because they want the opportunity to commit massive voter fraud.”- I know there is no proof, but facts don’t matter.

          SO…with lemons, make lemonade.

          If the GOP realizes they are being trapped and try to fight the provisions of a fair law then they are on very shaky ground. The GA legislators with strong civil rights backgrounds made it clear that they anticipated any gambit- it will cost too much money (how much is a fair election worth), the window is too wide and the time for implementation too long (once set up, the ID program is self perpetuating, surely we want to to register everyone who is eligible for it), everyone should be held to the same id standards, such as birth certificates (that 89 year old lady who was born in a log cabin in the backwoods makes for great TV).

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