Artist: Miles Davis
Tune: So What?
My depression is lifting. I have read and heard a lot of stuff. There is some degree of finger pointing, which is normal and to be expected. Now someone needs to do the autopsy. What happened and why? No, Hillary Clinton wasn’t a perfect candidate. Do we need to run a perfect candidate, Barack Obama, all the time in order to win a national election? Obama was so good that the GOP had to make up stuff – Born in Kenya, was a Muslim, hates America, etc.
I have been watching Dallas Cowboys games all this week. With modern technology, you don’t have to listen to the news if you don’t want to. Ever. No MSNBC. No FOX News. No CNN. It was necessary in order for me to decompress. I needed to reassess.
So, we have been through this before. Progressives have lost elections which they (we) were supposed to win (see John Kerry verses George W. Bush). Where do we go from here? What do we need to do, not just to win an election, but to truly help the American people?
Let’s go to school. I was confused about the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Was does it do? Why was it necessary? Why was Section Five so important? Constitutional scholar Linda Monk answers all of these questions and more.
As you listen to this podcast, I would encourage you to check out some references. First, here is the Voting Rights Act. Secondly, Linda mentions a case that I had never heard of – South Carolina verses Katzenbach (more information here). You should also review the 15th amendment, which gives Congress the power to make voting fair across the US. We discuss the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section Five of the Voting Rights Act. Finally, we discuss Eric Holder’s bid to try and make sure that elections are fair for everyone.
This is a great interview and conversation. Sit back and enjoy.
Update: Linda Monk clarifies: “FYI, technically the Supreme Court did NOT decide to strike down Section 5 of the VRA; it struck down the threshold definition used in Section 4, which meant that Section 5 did not kick in.” As usual, I was kind of clueless. So, I went back to the Voting Rights Act and looked at Section 4. Of course, Linda is correct. Here’s how ScotusBlog puts it – Today the Court issued its decision in Shelby County v. Holder, the challenge to the constitutionality of the preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. That portion of the Act was designed to prevent discrimination in voting by requiring all state and local governments with a history of voting discrimination to get approval from the federal government before making any changes to their voting laws or procedures, no matter how small. In an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts that was joined by Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, the Court did not invalidate the principle that preclearance can be required. But much more importantly, it held that Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, which sets out the formula that is used to determine which state and local governments must comply with Section 5’s preapproval requirement, is unconstitutional and can no longer be used. Thus, although Section 5 survives, it will have no actual effect unless and until Congress can enact a new statute to determine who should be covered by it.
Wow, I have gotten behind in posting my radio show again. Here’s the podcast. (I thought that I would re-publish this since MSNBC has put out a documentary titled Hubris.)
Why aren’t elections held on Saturdays when most people are off? If you want folks to vote, then why would you hold elections on Tuesdays?
John Kerry’s gaffe. In the video, Kerry clearly loses his place. The Republicans go crazy over his gaffe. His reaction to the Republicans finger pointing was worse than the stumble in the first place.
How do you decide who to vote for? No, seriously. How do you know whom to trust? The newspapers? TV? The web? My answer is that you have to go to the web and read a ton. Start with the candidate’s web site, understanding that of course it will be biased. Then go to a site like that of the League of Women Voters. Trying to really find out information is an active process.
My guests are David Corn, former Washington Editor of The Nation, now with Mother Jones. We will continue our discussion of the new book he wrote with Michael Isikoff (writer for Time Magazine), Hubris, the Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War. I also have an excellent interview with Geoffery Nunberg, author of Talking Right.
There’s more fun and information. Sit back and enjoy.
Remember I’m on iTunes.