Tuesday, December 20, 2016

The Republican Coup In North Carolina (Cont.)

The Republican coup in North Carolina has now been formalized with outgoing Governor and despicable poltroon Pat "Private Parts Pat" McCrory signing bills limiting the powers of his Democratic successor Roy Cooper, who has vowed to take the Republicans to court to overturn their anti- democratic power grab.  Stay tuned.

In the meantime, pundits are seeing this as a template for stifling opposition and consolidating power by the incoming neo- fascist Russo- Republican (credit Hackwhackers!) administration of Donald "Rump" Trump (h/t Daily Kos):

The Nation
First, after taking power after the 2010 election for the first time since 1870, North Carolina Republicans gerrymandered legislative and congressional districts by resegregating the state politically in violation of the Voting Rights Act.  [snip]
Second, a month after the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in June 2013, the North Carolina legislature passed the country’s worst voter-suppression law. [snip]
Third, even after the courts restored a week of early voting in 2016, GOP-controlled county election boards limited early-voting hours and polling locations. [snip]
Fourth, despite all of these suppression efforts, Cooper managed to defeat McCrory—the only race in 2016 where Democrats picked up a governor’s seat in a state Trump carried. [snip] 
The pattern in North Carolina is clear: When Republicans win, they suppress the Democratic vote to solidify power in future elections. And when they lose, they rig the rules to prevent their opponents from being able to fairly exercise and maintain power. This is what happens in a dictatorship, not a democracy. And it’s a preview of what’s to come in Trump’s America. (our emphasis)
The Week
It's not hard to predict how Republicans will attempt to cement their control of political power during the Trump years. Indeed, the tyranny is already some distance towards completion. Part of the plan will be what they have already been doing since they won the 2010 midterms and especially since the Supreme Court gutted the Voting Rights Act in 2013. They'll continue gerrymandering district boundaries to make it as hard as possible for Democrats to win (indeed, the way those selfsame state legislative districts are drawn in North Carolina is already an unconstitutional abrogation of civil rights, according to a federal court). They'll enact further targeted vote suppression measures to disenfranchise as many minorities and white liberals as possible, this time at the federal level if they can manage it. And for Democrats who manage to jump through all the hoops, they'll make it as onerous as possible for them to vote by restricting polling locations and hours in Democratic-leaning locations. 
Finally, as we're seeing in North Carolina, any inconveniently lost elections can be overturned so long as the GOP controls enough other chunks of government. Legislatures can core out a governor's power, or Supreme Court decisions can overturn legislation with reverse-engineered legal argle-bargle. Who knows where it will stop. And from there it's really quite a short distance to stuffing ballot boxes or rigging the election counts. It has all happened before. 
Finally, Samantha Bee wraps it up by telling us to, for one thing, get busy in local politics (via Crooks & Liars):

BONUS:  Infidel 753 gives us one way, through the National Popular Vote initiative, we can act locally right now.

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