Reblog: In Case You Missed This…

Published September 8, 2021 by Nan Mykel

Dana Milbank is a regular opinion writer for The Washington Post. As a native Texan, who still has strong emotional ties to the state, I found his analysis to be deeply upsetting. Since the Supreme Court’s decision not to overturn the Texas abortion ban, I can no longer buy anything from Texas, including Tito’s, my favorite vodka. When the anti-vaxxers show up at school board meetings proclaiming “My body, my choice,” I wonder why they don’t feel the same about women’s reproductive rights.

Milbank wrote:

Texas this week showed us what a post-democracy America would look like.
Thanks to a series of actions by the Texas legislature and governor, we now see exactly what the Trumpified Republican Party wants: to take us to an America where women cannot get abortions, even in cases of rape and incest; an America where almost everybody can openly carry a gun in public, without license, without permit, without safety training and without fingerprinting; and an America where law-abiding Black and Latino citizens are disproportionately denied the right to vote.
This is where Texas and other red states are going, or have already gone. It is where the rest of America will go, unless those targeted by these new laws — women, people of color and all small “d” democrats — rise up.


On Wednesday, a Texas law went into effect that bans abortions later than six weeks, after the Supreme Court let pass a request to block the statute. Because 85 to 90 percent of women get abortions after six weeks, it amounts to a near-total ban. Already on the books in Texas is a “trigger” law that automatically bans all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. At least 10 other states have done likewise.


Also Wednesday, a new law went into effect in Texas, over the objections of law enforcement, allowing all Texans otherwise allowed to own guns to carry them in public, without a license and without training. Now, 20 states have blessed such “permitless carry.”


And on Tuesday, the Texas legislature passed the final version of the Republican voting bill that bans drive-through and 24-hour voting, both used disproportionately by voters of color; imposes new limits on voting by mail, blocks election officials from distributing mail-ballot applications unless specifically requested; gives partisan poll watchers more leeway to influence vote counting; and places new rules and paperwork requirements that deter people from helping others to vote or to register. At least 17 states have adopted similar restrictions.




All three of these actions are deeply antidemocratic.
Texans overwhelmingly object to permitless carry. Fully 57 percent of Texas voters oppose such a law and only 36 percent support it, according to a June poll by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune. The partnership’s April poll found that, by 46 percent to 20 percent, Texans want stricter gun laws — and support for tougher laws is 54 percent among women, 55 percent among Latinos and 65 percent among Black voters.


Texans also oppose banning all abortions if Roe is overturned, with 53 percent against a ban and 37 percent for one. Women oppose the ban, 58 percent to 33 percent. A narrow plurality (46 percent to 44 percent) oppose the six-week ban, too.


Furthermore, pluralities of Texans opposed the ban on drive-through voting and restrictions on early voting hours. The drive-through ban was particularly objectionable to Black voters (52 percent opposed to 30 percent in the April poll) and Latino voters (44 percent to 36 percent), as were the limits on early voting hours, opposed 52 percent to 28 percent among Black voters and 46 percent to 31 percent among Latino voters.


And that’s the whole point of such voter-suppression laws. Texas became a “majority minority” state more than 15 years ago — and the country as a whole will follow in about two decades. But White voters still dominate the electorate. Latinos are about 40 percent of the Texas population, but only 20 to 25 percent of the electorate.
Texas legislators aren’t answering to the people but rather to the White, male voters that put the Republicans in power. The new voting law, by suppressing non-White votes, aims to keep White voters dominant. As demographics turn more and more against Republicans in Texas, their antidemocratic actions will only get worse.


Bad things happen when leaders don’t reflect the will of the people. This is happening already in Texas and some other red states. It will be happening more nationally if Republicans get their way.




 

8 comments on “Reblog: In Case You Missed This…

  • Nan, when I heard Steve Schmidt, a former Republican strategist, say about three years ago that this push for fewer civil rights, for restricted voting, for less immigration, by the Republican party has always been about demographics (he noted it dates back to the late 1990s), it scares the you-know-what out of you. The projections have long shown the whites would not be in a majority in a few decades and the future of the GOP is a concern, it scared people. So, per Schmidt there were two paths – recruit more demographic groups to the party or restrict voting rights.

    The fervor for voting restrictions by the GOP began in the 2010 midterms and a census year. ALEC helped GOP led states with cookie cutter voter restrictive laws and gerrymandering rules that gave us some of the extreme voices in Congress today. But, with the former president’s planned and unproven election fraud claims, these states like Texas are using the opportunity to restrict votes more. The fact the former president has lost well over 60 cases winning one small one, shows his attorneys cannot prove in court what their clients says. Yet, that does not seem to matter.

    Keith

    Liked by 1 person

      • Nan, we need to reach out to GOP legislators and note concerns over the party and beseech them to help return the party to viability. We need a GOP party that is based on truth and right now it denounces the truth tellers and praises the liars.

        They could begin by telling the former president to get over it, stop the bogus election fraud claims and accept your loss like a grown-up. He has probably the worst litigation record on this issue, winning one case out of well over 60. And, GOP election officials continue to disagree with his claims.

        The 2020 election was one of the most secure in history per Chris Krebs, who led the effort. But, he was fired for saying so. These attacks on the voting process led by Texas is a solution looking for a problem. Jim Crow has been alive and well in Texas and other states.

        So, we need to pass the national legislation to make the process better, seek term limits on Congress and Senate and shorten the election process. If we can get more of the money out of the process, that would be great, but that may be a pipe dream The term limits would at least restrict the ROI on funders of candidates. They do want something for their funding.

        Keith

        Liked by 1 person

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