The New Reconstruction

Posted on July 14, 2011 by

Republican state legislators and governors are rewriting election rules to make it harder for Americans to register and vote. 

Sponsors of laws requiring photo IDs at the polls, restricting early voting or barring ex-offenders from casting ballots cite alleged voter fraud.

Behind that ruse, however, is a keen understanding of voter demographics and republican reliance on limiting turnout.

Election “reforms” have been passed and bills have advanced in more than a dozen states, including Wisconsin, Texas, Kansas, South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.

Political disenfranchisement is an old story in America.  The post civil-war south – during reconstruction – systematically deprived blacks of their rights (then it was segregationist democrats doing the dirty work).

The idea now is to discourage young, poor and minority voters from going to the polls.

Republicans don’t miss a trick when they take power.

Just as they’ve done with their calculated and concerted attacks on government employee unions, conservatives craft legislation to maximize their political interests.

What would democrats have to do to increase their share of the electorate?

That’s simple.  Pass laws to ease union organizing.  Because union membership is the best way to flip a voter to the “d” column.

And if that had occurred over the past 30 years, we wouldn’t be talking today about states like Wisconsin and Ohio figuring out devious ways to prevent people from voting.

Comments (3)


  1. Alan K. says:

    Okay, that’s the climate. Now the question is how to get the Democrats off their asses and out playing hardball as the Republicans do. Democrats can’t seem to pull together, frame their message and/or sell themselves as the only alternative to a corporate state. Why is that so difficult?

  2. Good question- actually the Right Question. The answer is that the Demos are being paid by/bought off by the same corporate interests as the GOP. Obama’s #1 donor in election was Goldman Sachs (Matt Taibi, Rolling Stone). So when labor backs a corporatist, like Janice Hahn, against a Progressive like Marcy Winograd, labor is shooting itself in the foot. Yes, Hahn will back labor in its short term parochial project, contruction projects, defense spending, and then hollow out all other industries and do the corporate bidding against the interests of workers, like imperial wars and cutting entitlements, leaving workers high and dry – and poor. When Labor goes against their leadership and demands a Progressive agenda progressives will win and defeat corporate money- and not until then.

  3. rod bradley says:

    Rick is right. Actually the best way to increase democratic registration is to elect what might be called “real democrats” – the common sense democrats who see income inequality as the most corrosive force there is and understand that this is a strategy that their party has not only condoned but contributed too in huge measure with the policies of Clinton and now Obama.

    Corruption of the democratic party reached a tipping point under Clinton. Instead of trusting the honest majority, Clinton espoused the cynical winning is all about money, let’s do what the Republicans do and we’ll win. The mistake was believing that this is why Clinton won. He won because he had a certain credible charm with working class folk. He wasn’t the Rhodes scholar for them, he was the guy who just hound dogged all the women he could and had that snickery little old boy grin and by god he was going to get rich and did.

    And Obama is just a polished wanting to be liked, not knowing what he stands for other than wanting to be liked by his elite circle and appear to be reasonable and “balanced” — which automatically means status quo which is totally out of balance.

    Obama is like a high class nike commercial. Selling us a bill of goods very elegantly. You want to like it, but it’s all about selling business as usual. Not even he talks about change any more.

    There are a few good guy real democrats. Guys like Bernie Sanders. But they are marginalized by the corrupt careerist brethren. And Obama actually has contempt for the good guys, because basically they reveal him for the empty eloquent but insipid political chess player he is.

    Lou, I love you, man, but you’re dreaming if you think the democratic party can redeem itself. Its hypocrisy just runs too deep to appeal to the honesty majority of young people. Especially after what they regard as Obama’s “betrayal” of his “change” and “it won’t be business as usual” promises, as well as his continued embrace of war.

Leave a Reply