Thursday, July 13, 2006

VRA

Following up on the cartoon from a couple weeks ago on the GOP and racism, 33 House Republicans should have their titles permanently changed to reflect their votes today... as in Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-VOTED AGAINST EXTENDING THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT):
“This is multiculturalism at its worst,” Representative Dana Rohrabacher, Republican of California, said, referring to bilingual ballots. “When we come from various ethnic groups and races, what unites us? It’s our language, the English language. We’re hurting America by making it easier for people not to learn English.”

So, you see, he was actually standing on principle. Nothing at all to do with racism...

And what about you, freshman Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-VOTED AGAINST EXTENDING THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT)?
"It's true that when the Voting Rights Act was first passed in 1965, Georgia needed federal intervention to correct decades of discrimination," said freshman Rep. Lynn A. Westmoreland (R-Ga.), whose amendment to ease the pre-clearance requirement failed 302 to 118, although a majority of Republicans backed it.

Surely 41 years of the VRA should be quite enough to fix 400 years of racial oppression, right?

2 comments:

Greg AKA Rhymes With Right said...

But there is another perspective on this -- one that says we ought to be correcting voting rights problems in elections today rather than in the 1964 presidential election.

http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu/archives/186077.php

No Mind said...

Greg,
I would have no problem with the pre-clearance requirements applying to all 50 states, but my understanding is that this would be functionally impractical, both in terms of the legal challenges that would arise and the strain on the Justice Department. Of course, the act's coverage formula will need to evolve over time, as it did in 1975. However, eliminating the pre-clearance requirement is not an option, and arguments suggesting that there aren't special circumstances in the covered jurisdictions demonstrates a lack of appreciation for the unique historical contexts in those areas. Southern Republicans and Dixiecrats have been screaming that the act is unfair from the day it was enacted.