I'm trying to catch up on a lot after vacation, attending Netroots Nation in San Jose last week, and then, thanks to a certain airline delaying one flight and causing me to miss my connection on another yesterday upon my return, I'm now just a little more behind. But enough about our corporate overlords who dismiss consumer inconveniences they cause, simply because they can...
I still wanted to address the unconscionable decision handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court today in striking down the key provision of the Voting Rights Act, and the all but resounding silence on the issue coming out of Florida. As far as I've seen as of this writing, Gov. Rick Scott has not been heard from. No doubt, if history serves, he'll perhaps issue a statement a few days after the fact, which will probably consist of his now boilerplate comment to nearly every issue he favors:
They did the right thing.
We have however, heard from his Secretary Of State Ken Detzner, who gave at least two statements.
One to Politico:
"We're free and clear to follow through with our law now without any restriction by the Justice Department... Last year I think we spent over a half a million dollars defending our pre-clearance cases. That cost will be eliminated in the future as a result of this opinion."
And a shorter, cut to the chase statement to the Tampa Bay Times:
"It will be better without the Department of Justice looking over our shoulder all the time."
Yes, laws that you don't like can be so pesky. Luckily for Detzner and Scott, they have a sympathetic five member majority in the Supreme Court who care as little for the rights of others of either the wrong party, or skin color, as they do. They're also "bought and paid for" just as a majority of our elected officials in Florida are, because that's how things roll ever since that same SCOTUS gave us Citizens United.
Short of issuing a photo of Detzner and Gov. Scott extending a middle finger to minority voters in Florida, their collective glee over this decision is unmistakable. Scott's silence is consistent with his not giving a flying leap for the rights of voters in Florida. They're simply not worth the time it would take him to comment on the ruling.
Republicans have become so extreme that they are fast becoming the dinosaur of American politics, and because of that, their chances of winning elections has dwindled. And they know it. The only way they can win is by suppression and blocking the vote. When that didn't work under the law, the SCOTUS simply struck down the law for them. Problem solved. As if it weren't enough that SCOTUS forced George W. Bush on voters against their will, Bush in turn gave us justices who are more than happy to do the bidding of the Republican Party, even when they push the envelope beyond what even a few of their own party think is acceptable.
Yes, the last thing people like Ken Detzner and Rick Scott want is to have someone "looking over their shoulders" as Floridians overwhelmingly vote for anyone other than unpopular Republicans (not to mention Rick Scott himself) in 2014.
When you're too unpopular to win an election the traditional way, and transparent, laughable attempts at "re-branding" fail, it helps to have like-minded, anti-democracy members on the Supreme Court to add their thumbs to the scales of justice.