Democracy is in trouble and the GOP is blaming State’s Rights. If you’re from the South, you know exactly what they mean when they say “States’ Rights.”
The Confederate South said that the reason that they seceded was “States’ Rights.” Of course, that was after the fact. If you read the Texas Declaration of Secession or Confederate VP Stephen’s Cornerstone Speech, you would know that the real reason that Texas seceded was that they didn’t want to lose their slaves. In 1865, “States’ Rights” became a code word for “white supremacy.”
Today, Mitch McConnell said, “The federal government is not going to expand and supplant the States which have been involved in conducting elections throughout history.“
Then, Senator John Thune, from South Dakota, said, “The way that we’ve been doing elections in this country for over two centuries, the States have always been primary.”
The Dixiecrats bolted from the Democratic Party for supposed “States’ Rights.”
During the 1948 Democratic National Convention, Southern Conservative Democrats, angry over the nomination of Harry S. Truman and the civil rights plank added to the Democratic platform, stormed out of the Convention and started a third party. They swore up and down it wasn’t based on white supremacy, but it was based on how they had to maintain States’ rights to keep the poll tax, block federal anti-lynching bills, and segregation.
Of course, that was bullshit. “States’ Rights” was once again the code word for “white supremacy.”
After Senator Thune’s statement today, Wisconsin Senator John Barrasso took the mic.
He said, “HR1 would unravel all of the positive attributes of a decentralized election process at a state level and it would implement requirements that would implement bureaucracy and fraud.“
Iowa’s Republican Senator, Joni Ernst said, “This is all about a national power grab to take away power from our local election officials and our state election officials.”
The meaning of State’s Rights is the same today as it was in 1865 and in 1948.
The GOP is using the “State’s Rights” argument to block the For the People Act.
The For the People Act will save Texas from the racist Jim Crow voter suppression bills. It would stop partisan gerrymandering, give us automatic voter registration, reimplement the parts of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that was struck down in 2013.
After that speech Republican Senate leaders gave today, they marched back onto the Senate floor and voted against allowing a debate on the For the People Act. Not a vote on the bill, a vote to debate it.
All 50 Republicans voted against a debate.
On the plus side, Senator Manchin and Senator Sinema both voted for the debate. However, they will still be a roadblock in ending the filibuster.
Within an hour of Senate Conservatives blocking the debate, news broke that Speaker Pelosi was expected to appoint a select committee to investigate January 6. However, she hasn’t made the announcement yet herself. This is important because if a committee finds that certain elected Republicans (like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley) contributed, encouraged, or helped plan the insurrection, there might finally be consequences for their actions, like removal from committees or even expulsion. Of course, that could be a far-reaching expectation, too.
Also, this afternoon, our Governor announced he was scheduling a special session for July 8, but he didn’t list the agenda items.
Why would Abbott hold back that information?
Because it would give Democrats plenty of heads-up notice to plan how they will respond, if it is to implement voter restriction legislation, Democrats can high-tail it out of town to a casino, as they did in 2003.
Likely, at the last minute, Abbott will announce what the agenda items will be voter suppression and other Republican wish-list items they didn’t get in the legislative session. He won’t announce it until he has the Texas Rangers on standby, ready to apprehend any Democrat that tries to disappear.
Hope is not lost. Democrats will surely do everything on a state level to stop any anti-democratic bills. After this last session, we all should have the utmost faith in them. They showed the rest of the country how big this fight is and how they will do whatever it takes.
Nearly all Democrats support reforming the filibuster. If they can talk the few holdouts into it, we might get real things done.
Senator Sinema says she’s worried that if we kill the filibuster, eventually the pendulum would swing the other way. However, if the filibuster ends and then we pass HR1 and give DC Statehood, we’ll control both the House and the Senate for some time. Then maybe we can do something about the electoral college.
That would be the FAIR thing to do. From Mother Jones today: “The 50 Democratic senators who support the For the People Act (or at least Manchin’s compromise) represent 43 million more Americans than the 50 Republican senators who oppose it.”
Democrats in America outnumber Republicans substantially, but we don’t have adequate representation.
Right now, in America, the minority is ruling. They’ve done it by voter suppression, voter intimidation, roll purging, gerrymandering, and anything else they could pull out of their bag of tricks. That’s why we are we we are now, and enough is enough.
Hope isn’t lost. We have some really good people in all the right places fighting for us. The Republican Party is dying, and they refuse to go gracefully. We, the people, aren’t going to take it anymore.
You can now read an ad-free version of Living Blue in Texas and help support our mission to turn Texas blue. Sign up now.
Sign up for our weekly blog roundup: