Is Reconstruction Over?

Read this … and then you tell me.

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28 thoughts on “Is Reconstruction Over?

  1. Reconstruction is over. Virginia is no longer a one party, white supremacist State. There’s nothing to stop Democrats from re-drawing districts or changing the rules in their favor once they’re back in power.

    Why should some people assume that blacks will always vote Democrat either?

    • As long as Republicans continue to do this type of crap, they can certainly assume blacks will vote Democrat. The Republicans rushed this to a vote on, of all days, MLK day while the potentially deadlocking voter, a veteran of the civil rights struggle of the 1960′s, was attending Obama’s inauguration. Then closed the session by honoring Stonewall Jackson according to the news report I saw (more likely Robert E. Lee?).

      Smooth …

    • Reconstruction is never over anywhere in the United States. Efforts to limit access to the ballot or to distort the results for partisan, racial, religious, regional or other reasons is an endemic problem which requires constant vigilance by all those who value democracy.

      • I would argue that it’s just politics today and the way to fight this in Virginia is for Democrats to do a better job of getting elected at the state level. In some states it is Republicans bitching about this kind of stuff.

        It’s all just a game. White supremacy is dead in America, but I’m sure Democrats will keep calling Republicans racists. It’s part of their game.

    • “Why should some people assume that blacks will always vote Democrat either?”

      “Always” is a bit of a red herring. But I think it’s safe to say that the majority of American blacks, given a choice, are *not* going to be voting Republican any time soon. Hasn’t happened in my lifetime, and danged sure ain’t about to happen now. Blacks aren’t the demographic most prone to vote against their own interests in this country. ;) And you’d better believe that the Republican right of today knows it.

      • Blacks aren’t the demographic most prone to vote against their own interests in this country.

        I wonder if history will judge this to be the case. ;)

      • >> Blacks aren’t the demographic most prone to vote against their own interests in this country. And you’d better believe that the Republican right of today knows it.

        This is rich, since under Obama blacks are worse off in every respect except racial pride. It’s the rationalization for their plight that it isn’t Obama’s fault or that he deserves a pass that makes voting for him still acceptable since their plight is considerably worse off than before. Emanuel Cleaver, the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, admitted that if Obama weren’t black they should be marching on the White House.

        “Well, I’m supposed to say he doesn’t get a pass, but I’m not going to say that. Look, as the chair of the Black Caucus I’ve got to tell you, we are always hesitant to criticize the president. With 14 percent [black] unemployment if we had a white president we’d be marching around the White House. However, I [also] don’t think the Irish would do that to the first Irish president or Jews would do that to the first Jewish president; but we’re human and we have a sense of pride about the president. The president knows we are going to act in deference to him in a way we wouldn’t to someone white.”

        • You’re the one talking about Obama. Not me. I’m talking about poor, uneducated, unenlightened whites following the Tea Party line as they’ve followed every party line which has served them in allowing them to feel superior to blacks, since the days of slavery; even when they were being economically hoodwinked. What’s going on here isn’t something new. And for the record, contrary to what folks like you believe, neither Cleaver, nor the Black Caucus, nor any other you choose to point up as speaking for American blacks is doing so, any more than Rush Limbaugh is speaking for all whites.

  2. Disregarding some of the first few comments, especially the Republican complaint, this, if enacted, would violate the Supreme Court’s one man, one vote rule and would be ultimately overturned.

      • Unfortunately, this is not likely to be the case since their are two states Maine and Nebraska who use the district plan already. These are very small population states, however, where the distortions possible in larger states like Virginia is unlikely. To make presidential elections dependent on congressional gerrymandering by what ever party is clearly a recipe for bias.

        The basic problem is that the whole Electoral College system is fatally flawed from a one-person-one vote perspective. There is only one system to ensure one-person-one-vote. Direct election by popular vote just like for Governor, Senator, Representative, State senator, state representative and almost every other office in the U.S. including dog catcher (if elective).

        • It would all depend on questions of districting, for in the examples you cite the districts are of roughly equal size. Still, states do control the selection of their electors in the Electoral College.

          • Under Supreme Court guidelines, the districts must be of substantially equal populations in all states. The problem is gerrymandering where those controlling the reapportionment process design districts to advantage themselves. Even if there is no purposeful design of districts for partisan advantage, the pattern of geographical distribution inevitably creates problems anyway. Direct election is the only way to achieve voter equality. A vote is a vote where ever comes from rather than where it is cast.

      • I’m not so sure. As I have thought of electoral college reform over the years, the proposition to allocate electors by to the winner of the Congressional district with the state wide popular vote determining the two at large electors actually conforms more closely to one man, one vote, then the winner take all. In a state that consistently in its popular vote goes to a particular party, a winner take all disenfranchises the other 49%, where a proportional allotment allows for a set of electors that more accurately reflect the full population of the state. .

        • To do that one would have to end gerrymandering. Look at Pennsylvania and Virginia. How do you have more districts representing rural voters than urban voters when the urban voters outnumber the rural ones? A set of electors that represent the minority of a states votes seems to be in defiance of the one man, one vote concept. If anything, the entire argument is not one the Republicans should be trying to wage because it really advances the idea of a direct vote which is definitely not good for the modern Republican Party. The ideas advanced by the GOP are espoused by a minority of the nation’s population and on national matters the GOP would consistenly lose.

          The GOP is playingwith fire, but I don’t think thye understand how this could rebouncd on them negatively. What they really need to do is address why their party’s ideas are and have been rejected in five of the last six presidential elections.

  3. It would open up a big can of worms and definitely force the Supreme Court into a landmark decision because it would affect gerrymandering significantly. You can bet that if this passes it will be taken to the Supreme Court and fairly quickly. Rural voters are at a disadvantage due to population shifts, but that reflects the demographics of the nation.
    Personally, I think the Republicans would be playing with fire here. It is highly likely that a ruling against them would be issued with a real possibility of a ruling that would hurt them even more than if they did not make this attempt.

  4. The governor may have the guts to veto it if it gets out of the house. Redistricting in Virginia has always been done every 10 years after a census, This is more of an attempt to do what Pennsylvania is talking about — allocating electoral votes based on Congressional districts.

  5. “To see the only other major political party in the country effectively giving up on convincing voters, and instead embarking on a strategy of disenfranchisement is bad sign for American democracy. There is nothing gleeful in this.” Amen. The Republicans are also trying to do this in other states which voted for Obama but whose Federal representative districts are gerrymandered Republican; states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. Had their schemes been in place last November, Obama, winning 51% of the popular vote, would have lost reelection in the Electoral College. Romney’s resulting presidency would not have been worth a fig and the GOP would have died.

  6. This seems to embrace the historic Virginia problem with disproportionate representation for select areas. Just look at all the 19th century arguments about representation and favoritism for Tidewater versus mountain areas.
    =

  7. I must have read a different article than anyone else? What I read is the idea is to allocate electoral votes by congressional district. Setting aside the current USSC position that legislatures’ power to appoint electors is plenary, since congressional districts are allocated by apportionment, and follow requirements of one man, one vote, I don’t see the problem? Is this just a re-hash of the arguments that minorities are rounded up into “majority-minority” districts?

  8. “would violate the Supreme Court’s one man, one vote rule and would be ultimately overturned.”

    Really? I don’t think so. Of course the SCOTUS is well know for disguising political opinions as constitutional ones – so anything is possible. However, if the congressional districts have already been accepted under the voting rights act and other states have allocated EV’s by congressional district’s its hard to see how the VA plan violates “one man one vote.” There’s nothing unconstitutional about either winner take all OR EV by congressional district.

  9. Let me let you know how it feels to be living in the suburbs of the state capital, in South-Central PA, and to be “represented” as of this month, by a Congressman from Hazelton, near Wilkes-Barre in NE PA. I’m under no illusions that there is any way I’d get a progressive Congressional representative no matter how Congressional districts were drawn. That’s just not in the cards in South-Central PA. Our previous Congressman was a Blue Dog Democrat. However, I’d have a Congressional representative who has some connection to and feeling for my part of the state. Instead, I’m in a snake of a District which would make Gerry himself blush.

  10. Any objective observer would certainly note that the underlying issues which split the American nation 150 years ago have continued to develop and evolve over the decades to the present day. Two hundred and thirty seven years after the birth of their nation, Americans are still struggling to define their democracy and its ideals within the context of a never ending conflict between individual and collective rights, racial injustice, religious intolerence, class divisions and the inequitable distribution of economic and political power. These factors were a significant part of the equation in 1860, 1865, 1965 and remain so in 2013. The one constant throughout American history is the enduring fissure splitting the nation’s body politic between the forces of change and reaction, dividing those who believe that the American nation needs to move forward to achieve it’s ideals againsts those who believe that the American nation betrays its ideals by doing so.

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