How the Supreme Court just killed off the GOP

That partisan hacks of the Supreme Court did their job: They have helped their party win future  elections by gutting campaign finance reform in the Citizens United case, and now the Voting Rights Act in Shelby.

This is no surprise. Justice Kennedy does vote the right way from time to time (as he’s done on gay rights for a while now — it was Kennedy who authored US v. Windsor, the decision striking down Section 3 of DOMA last week) , but he votes the hard-right way when it comes to supporting his party. Kennedy voted against democracy and counting the votes in Bush vs. Gore, so it wasn’t particularly surprising that he would vote for the return of Jim Crow voter suppression in Shelby.

And the vote suppressors snapped into action immediately.

Texas announced it would be putting its Voter ID act into operation, two hours after the decision came down. This led John Oliver standing in for Jon Stewart on the Daily Show to observe, “It takes Texas less time to disenfranchise voters than to ‘barbecue a pig’. ”

The effects of Shelby on individuals are going to be severe. More people are going to be spending seven-plus hours waiting in line to vote, because they happen to be living in a Democratic majority precinct in a state run by corrupt Republicans. And there will be more Ken-Blackwell-type corruption where voter registrations are thrown away for being on the wrong weight paper. And there will be more cases of the voting machines being configured to silently reject misread ballots in some precincts and accept them in others.

The recent Voting Rights Act decision, Shelby, is likely to have rather less effect on election outcomes. Don’t get me wrong — Shelby may mean the difference between the Republican Party keeping the house and losing it. But Shelby alone isn’t going to put a Republican in the White House or turn the Senate red. And even in the short term, it might cost the Republicans more seats than it gains.

Republicans tried voter suppression tactics in 2012, but only succeeded in turning the act of voting into a demonstration of solidarity with the civil rights movement. One consequence of Shelby is going to be that every act of voter suppression will now be presented in the national media, and received by the public, through the lens of Jim Crow.

The longer term effects are rather easier to predict.

First and most important, every voter who gets the door slammed in their face by a corrupt Republican voter suppression law is a vote the GOP has lost for life. All the Democrats need do to claim those votes is to stand up for the disenfranchised voters. And they should be doing it now. Democrats control the Senate, they should be holding hearings on voter suppression, now.

The second effect is that the more desperate the Republican party gets for votes, the more the GOP is going to get even nastier and more racist. Shelby was like giving crack to a heroin addict. The GOP is already addicted to a strategy of pumping up the white vote with appeals to racism, homophobia and every other type of hate they can think of.

Contra Sean Trende, there is indeed a floor for Democratic support among white people: Women and gays, for starters, are unlikely to be lulled into voting Republican any time soon. Trende is the Republican version of Nate Silver, except that he’s wrong, a lot. According to Trende, the results of the 2012 election are due to 6 million ‘missing white voters,’ and all the Republican party needs to do to win is to get those missing voters to the polls.

Anyone paying attention knows where those ‘missing’ white voters are: Buried six feet under, or soon to be. Obama’s advantage among voters under 30 in 2008 became his advantage among voters under 39 in 2012. Bigotry is just a form of ignorance, and most people get less ignorant as they grow older, rather than more.

The Republican party does not have a lead in ‘white people’, it has a lead amongst elderly bigots who happen to be white.

Neither of these faces is going to woo young voters.

Neither of these faces is going to woo young voters.

The college Republicans have been trying to explain to their own party that young people vote Republican in spite of the nasty race baiting and bigoted politics, not because of it. And small thanks they have received in return. Shelby has cut the legs from under the reformers in the Republican party, giving the reactionaries the chance to double down on bigotry and voter suppression. As with marriage equality, universal healthcare and climate change, anyone who dares object will be shown the door. And as a result, the GOP will get even nastier and more factional.

In the short term, elections will continue to be close. And the Republican party will continue to find majorities in some states thorough racial messaging and voter suppression. But every election cycle fought on that basis means another lost cohort of potential Republican voters, and another exodus of party reformers fed up with having to explain away the bigotry that they’re constantly tarred with. The dam will eventually break, and there may be no reformers left by the time it does.

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69 Responses to “How the Supreme Court just killed off the GOP”

  1. Bill_Perdue says:

    The US is a banana republic. Unless there’s some critical initiative on the ballot then voting’s only effect is to validate a fake.

    If you vote, you have no say and those who think they do are delusional.

    I have no doubt that you’re proud of your paytriotism. I’m not impressed.

  2. DrRandyG says:

    If you refuse to vote, YOU HAVE NO SAY. You have abrogated your RESPONSIBILITY as an adult citizen of this nation. You are no better than a five-year-old with his fingers in his ears, singing “Lalala, I’m not listening” – and I have no respect for you. Fuck, yes, I’m proud. I’m proud to be a citizen of this country, and an active participant in its system.

  3. Bill_Perdue says:

    When you voted for a Democrat, Libertarian or Republican or for centrists like the Greens you voted for more of the same.

    How proud you must be.

  4. DrRandyG says:

    Of course it’s voter suppression. When you require a birth certificate to GET a photo ID, and many elderly and minority persons don’t have such documents, or when the state charges you LARGE amounts of money to get such ID, you’ve de facto disenfranchised anyone without one – and lack of photo ID is disproportionately found among the poor, minority and elderly.

  5. DrRandyG says:

    “Eligible non-voters are the smart ones, refusing to pick form a field of
    un ending anti-worker lesser evils in what amount to non-democratic

    That’s utter nonsense. If you don’t vote, you have lost your only opportunity to participate in our (theoretically) representative republic. Vote for a fringe candidate, vote for yourself, but get out and vote. As Robert Heinlein once wrote, “There may not be anyone I want to vote FOR, but there will damn-sure be someone I want to vote AGAINST.”

  6. arleeda says:

    I am an elderly Southern white woman who is a feminist and supports abortion rights. But I am definitely in the minority hereabouts.

  7. shawnthesheep says:

    Yes because restricting early voting and closing polling places in Democratic districts has NOTHING to do with voter suppression. These are the laws that NC is enacting in the wake of the SC ruling. I guess they are just trying to curb voter fraud, right?

  8. Bill_Perdue says:

    I’d address you by your name but you’ve wisely decided to remain anonymous.

    The Democrat party is not democratic internally and does not promote democracy in its policies.

    The Democrat party is for those who admire Obama and the Democrat Party’s racist policy of murdering American citizens Anwar al-Aulaqi, Samir
    Khan, ‘Abd al-Rahman Anwar al-Aulaqi and Jude Mohammed and the murder of countless tens of thousands of other children and adult civilians in Libya, Palestine, Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    The Democrat party is for those who admire Obama and the Democrat Party’s union busting, their betrayal of socialized medicine and their plans to impose more austerity measures on workers while they continue to give money to the rich.

    The Democrat party is for those who admire Obama and the Democrat Party’s attack on civil liberties by their support for FISA, NDAA, Obama’s self described right to murder US citizens and by their support for the Paytriot Act.

    The Democrat party is for those who admire Obama and the Democrat repeal DOMA after nearly 20 years.

    In all those actions the Democrat party is in lockstep with the other rightwing party, the Republicans. As are you.

  9. SeekTheTruth says:

    Bill, because your lockstep illiteracy is so embarrassing, allow me to point out that the name of the party is the Democratic party, not the Democrat party.
    The word “Democrat” was inserted in your party’s playbook for idiots by people like Karl Rove an Lee Atwater, who decided that people were so stupid that if they heard the ‘rat’ sound at the end of the word, they would associate Democrats with rats.
    A juvenile, sophomoric exercise that only works on tools like you.
    So, know that you are being used by a scheming party that thinks the nation’s people are illiterate boobs. But also know that intelligent people will call you on your crap.
    And try using facts, not lies. Like grown-ups do.

  10. David Stephenson says:

    “Bigotry is just a form of ignorance, and most people get less ignorant as they grow older, rather than more.” – Going to respectfully disagree with that one. Show me a chart where FOX viewers and Rush devotees reach a certain age and start watching MSNBC, then we can talk.

  11. olandp says:

    Sedimentary, metamorphic, or igneous?

  12. So tired of the Perdue says:

    No Darlin’,
    Bill Perdue is a MEGAtroll.

  13. MyrddinWilt says:

    The US electorate has roughly 40 million people per decade between 25 and 65 and 40 million older than 65. The voting rights act passed in the 60s and open appeals to racism stopped being acceptable in the mid 70s.

    There is a generational divide on racism round about the mid 1960s with a strong majority against racism born after 1965 and a large group of covert racists born before that. Gay bashing is merely a proxy for race bashing which is why views on gay marriage turned on a dime in a 5 year period.

    Ten years ago the voting population born before the race divide was roughly 120 million. Today it is 80 million. In 2024 it will be 40 million. Appealing to residual pro-segregation sentiment is decreasingly effective. The GOP loses 8 million from its core demographic every two years.

    Why on earth would anyone expect those tactics to continue to work?

  14. And now that I have reread your comment, I will add: Go fuck yourself.

  15. I appreciate the head’s up. While I agree with some of what Bill writes, there is no way in hell I am not going to vote. I have voted in every election since 1964.

  16. olandp says:

    We need to work on getting the poor and minorities concealed carry permits in Texas, that will make conservative heads explode!

  17. olandp says:

    Honey, if you are getting your information from Bill, you are dumber than a box of rocks. The independents that he is talking about are Republicans that are so embarrassed that they supported W that they can’t say they are Republicans, but they are, and voted for Romeney. In case you missed it, Bill’s advice is, “Don’t vote.” If you think that way maybe you shouldn’t vote, but just so you know, Bill is a troll.

  18. Bill_Perdue says:

    As are millions here and around the world.

  19. Thank you for the info. I cannot fault you. You know more about this than I do. I become more radicalized every day.

  20. Bill_Perdue says:

    It’s not just independents, although people describing themselves as independents are on the rise and the Democrats are losing them because they betray everyone but the rich and the banksters. They lost the independent vote in 2010 and in 2012. “President Barack Obama won a second term by taking the majority of swing states. But a closer look at exit polling data shows Obama lost the independent vote in most of those states over the last four years. Independents, who do not align with one political party or another, make up a fast-growing and coveted voting bloc. … Obama garnered less of the independent vote in 2012 than 2008 in eight of the nine battleground states: Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and New Hampshire.”

    In the presidential elections since the Clinton, Bush 1, Perot race in 1992 presidential elections there results gave Democrats, Republicans and non-voting eligible voters roughly one third plus or minus a bit.

    Congressional elections can be be much more lopsided, especially midterms.

    Eligible non-voters are the smart ones, refusing to pick form a field of anti-workers lesser evils in what amount to non-democratic elections. The Electoral College and a host of anti-third party laws in the states to rules which financially favor right wing parties like the Democrats, Libertarians and Republicans make this a banana republic.

  21. Wisconsin and Ohio are compromised electorally and need help from the DOJ and the FBI.

  22. And this is how it works in PA. You must go through a careful identification process when you register to vote. A permission to vote is then mailed to you. After that you go to a specific polling place and sign a record that is kept year after year every time you vote. The polling places and workers get to know who you are. Hard to cheat. Very hard and not one case of cheating was found.

  23. Bullshit. They tried that in my state and we smacked them down. It was straight out voter suppression. I think this article is correct. Now we are watching the baggerpukes closely.

  24. And they are therefore partly responsible for the growth of the de facto third party in US: Independents.

  25. rhallnj says:

    Had they not had a President of their own, AA might have accepted disenfranchisement more docilely. But now it will be civil disobedience and maybe violence.

  26. Bill_Perdue says:

    In his first election FDR, like LBJ in 1964 and Obama in 2008 pretended to be progressives. But Democrats have been consistently moving right and since FDR’s second election. They’ve never looked back.

  27. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrat politicians – liberal and progressive – are the problem.

    A more likely prospect is that the emergent union left – especially among nurses and other healthcare workers, teachers, rail workers, longshore workers, teamsters and newly organizing fast food and Walmart workers – will move towards creation of a labor party in spite of the efforts of the AFL-CIO suits to stop us.

  28. Bill_Perdue says:

    The Democrats are shifting right on a consistent basis and Republicans who want to win elections, will, like their Democrat cousins, try to rebrand.

    Each party of gangsters might split as the radicalization deepens and more and more people reject both.

  29. Bill_Perdue says:

    They have no choices so the fact that many are confused is perfectly understandable. There are few significant differences between the two parties and most of those are cosmetic.

  30. Bill_Perdue says:

    It’s hard to think of a question less important than which party of gangsters wins or loses.

    Republicans won in 2010 because Obama and the Democrats betrayed everyone but the rich. Now Obama and the Democrats are campaigning to gut Social Security and slash Medicare even more, gutting the Bill of Rights and plotting to extend and expand their wars of aggression. Who can see the difference between them.

    The problem with elections is that they primed to present an endless series of lesser evil parties and candidates who constantly rebrand their racism, union busting, homophobia and warmongering to pretend they’re something other than what they are – enemies of working people and world peace.

    The power of the rich destroyed our standard of living, puts us in real military danger because of their ceaseless wars of aggression and eliminates any prospects for real democracy. The current state of economic chaos and the relentless march towards a police state are all clear indicators that the society created by the rich is in it’s death agony.

  31. Dakotahgeo says:

    It’s agin their reli-jun!

  32. NCMan says:

    In the PA case, the court found that there was no way that the DMV even had the time to process all of the IDs if the people showed up to get them.

  33. keirmeister says:

    Notice that I didn’t use the past tense.

  34. Hue-Man says:

    TeaParty/GOP defenders of ‘demogracy”: “One (angry old white) man, one vote.”

  35. nicho says:

    It’s not just for voting. I was in the DMV one day. A woman was there. Her purse had been stolen along with all her IDs. She wanted to get a new license. No problem — as long as she could gjve them three forms of ID.

  36. MyrddinWilt says:

    One state introduced voter ID laws then told the state colleges they would be defunded if they gave students the documents they need to comply with the registration requirements. That was a typical Jim Crow era tactic.

  37. BillFromDover says:

    Say “Hello.”

  38. BillFromDover says:

    Cleaned up? As in this mess they left us is now history?

    They left a shit stain on our country, not a carpet that can be cleaned in one fell swoop!

  39. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Try looking at the percentage of the popular vote the Republican candidates for President have been getting since Eisenhower. There’s a trend. Nice try, though.

  40. BeccaM says:

    No one, huh? Then why did you come here to this blog where at least a dozen or more folks will be happy to tell you you’re full of BS.

  41. BeccaM says:

    Cleaning up the GOPer presidential crap from the last few decades would go much faster and be far more effective if they tried cleaning rather than hiding it under the carpet.

  42. cole3244 says:


  43. sherman says:

    In Texas to vote you can use a concealed carry permit for ID, but not a college ID.

    In Pennsylvania, the ID requirements the Republicons tried to push through would have required several hundred thousand people to try to dig up documentation and make trips to DMV offices, and yet they could not find a SINGLE case of someone voting fraudulently.

    It is beyond believability that these voter ID laws are anything other than voter suppression.

  44. FUFatherEisenman says:

    My generation was going to change the world. It started out ok by ending the Vietnam war. Peace, love, helping each other. Civil rights legislation and the list went on and on. Then the money won out and greed took over. Our generation went to hell in a hand basket and look at the mess we’re in now. Hell, civil rights is even getting kicked back 50 years. I am ashamed of my generation (most of them anyway)

  45. nicho says:

    But they have it down to a science. (Congrats on your marriage. Let us know when the Green Card comes.)

  46. nicho says:

    That’s because a lot of idiots like you voted against their own best interests because of relentless propaganda, racism, and outright stupidity.

  47. Peter says:

    But never underestimate the stupidity of the American populace. To attend a tea party rally, and rail against national healthcare being socialism, and say in the same breath hands off medicare, is truly astounding. I find it amazing how these people can be convinced to vote against their own best interests. Shocking really.

  48. nicho says:

    Hey, to get a photo ID, all you need is three forms of photo ID. What’s so hard about that?

  49. Peter says:

    It has always seemed to me that for whatever reason, Democrats just do not put up much of a fight. Do not know why, nor can I figure it out. There is so much they could speak out about, but just never do. Same as that fool in charge of the Senate by not passing filibuster reform, and then having it bite him in the arse, as we all knew it would. We also know that the Rethuglicans will have no concerns about passing that rule change if they were in a small minority.

    Opportunities lost over and over again.

  50. Naja pallida says:

    Wisconsin, working as intended.

  51. keirmeister says:

    This is an interesting thesis, and it goes along with my observation that Republicans always eventually overdo their extreme behavior because they simply can’t stop themselves. They’re like drug addicts.


    This also requires Democratic leaders to STEP UP, and I have no faith in their ability or willingness to do so.

    If there’s any lesson we should have learned from Republicans is the necessity to WIN first, then affect change.

    My worry is that by the time Republicans finally implode, the damage they will have caused will be too severe. Look how long it’s taking to clean up Reagan’s and Bush’s crap.

  52. Marco Luxe says:

    Shhhh! Let them find this out on their own in 20 years, when it’s too late to do anything about it. Although, I doubt Republicans, by definition, learn anything new.

  53. Marc Long says:

    Yeah, they ran on a ‘Jobs’ platform…and aside from defeating a couple of jobs bills, after getting in office, they got nothing done to create more jobs. They tried to make Obama a one term President, and it seems that job program didn’t work out either…

  54. NCMan says:

    one midwestern state did it this way. They instituted voter ID laws. The IDs were to be issued by the DMV offices. Then they closed all the DMV offices in the poor areas claiming to do it as a cost saving measure. And, they eliminated DMV office hours on weekends.

  55. Jim Olson says:

    It is voter suppression when you make the requirement for an ID, and then make it virtually impossible for the poor, minorities and students (you know, mostly Democratic voters) to get the proper ID.

    Make the ID affordable or free, and make it possible for everyone to get the ID without having to take very much time off of work or so inconvenient to get to where the IDs are issued. So yes, it can be and is provably, demonstrably used as a voter suppression tactic. If you want everyone to have an ID to vote, then you must work to make sure that absolutely every qualified voter has one. To do otherwise proves our point.

  56. nicho says:

    Yes. That’s one of them.

  57. pogden297 says:

    Of course, because in every election it’s gotten worse for Republicans, right? Well, just in 2010, they got clobbered. No, they won a landslide victory in the midterms? So much for that theory.

  58. pogden297 says:

    You mean those horrible “voter suppression” tactics like asking for a photo ID when someone votes? No one is buying that is voter suppression.

  59. Outspoken1 says:

    And we need to support those elderly DEMOCRATIC voters. My 81 year old father has voted Democrat his entire life. All of his fishing and shooting buddies are hard-core, irrational Republicans. During the 2012 election, I realized how hard it is for him to be a Democrat in the white, male, veteran, elderly stereotype. And I can tell you he will crawl, if he has to, to vote Democrat until he day he dies.

    So please watch out for elderly Democratic disenfranchising. It is very hard to the elderly to have a legal ID once they cannot drive or if they are homebound or in assisted living/nursing home. You are allowed to vote until you die (yea, and sometimes after you die – but that is a whole other post!!) and these voter ID laws will disenfranchise many elderly voters.

  60. FLL says:

    Actually, I think the implosion of the Republican Party will help in that respect. Nature (and politics) hates a vacuum. As the right-wing Republican base atrophies, the entire spectrum will shift to the left, which will leave a vacuum on the left.

  61. FLL says:

    “The Republican party does not have a lead in ‘white people’, it has a lead amongst elderly bigots who happen to be white.”

    Quite right. They will drown in a tsunami of younger voters and Hispanic voters. Unless the Republican’s changed their bigoted ways, you can say hello to the 21st century’s Whig Party.

  62. BeccaM says:

    The GOPers may be in the process of eating their own, but I’m still wishing we had a progressive-liberal party as a viable alternative.

  63. Houndentenor says:

    Great points. Yes, the Senate needs to hold hearings on voter suppression. There’s a lot of it and not just in the south.

  64. Dave of the Jungle says:

    Their demographic predicament with evolve with mathematical certainty into an inevitable downfall.

    I will live to see it. This I believe.

  65. cole3244 says:

    my generation stopped doing good a long time ago and has made up for that good by living in the past and supporting a bigoted racist agenda, america will be better off without that cross to bear and i’m not so diluted i can’t see that.
    thanks for the kudos though.

  66. ericxdc says:

    Your generation got us to where we are today. There are good and great people in every generation. Thank you… and I hope you live a long and happy life knowing we’re not squandering the opportunities you afforded us.

  67. g1brown says:

    It is now a fight to the death with the rabid weasel that is the Republican party. They are diseased, dying, and angry. They will likely inflict massive damage as they go down, but go down they will.

  68. cole3244 says:

    my generation is dying off and that makes me as happy as can be, when we are gone the dark days in america will be a thing of the past, its just too bad i won’t be around to enjoy it.

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