Monday, February 11, 2013

Extended Reads

If you have a LOT of time, invest it in this New Republic piece, "Original Sin Why the GOP is and will continue to be the party of white people."
The true problem, as yet unaddressed by any Republican standard-bearer, originates in the ideology of modern conservatism. When the intellectual authors of the modern right created its doctrines in the 1950s, they drew on nineteenth-century political thought, borrowing explicitly from the great apologists for slavery, above all, the intellectually fierce South Carolinian John C. Calhoun. This is not to say conservatives today share Calhoun's ideas about race. It is to say instead that the Calhoun revival, based on his complex theories of constitutional democracy, became the justification for conservative politicians to resist, ignore, or even overturn the will of the electoral majority.
If you don't have as much time, Michael Lind at Salon hits similar themes:
It is difficult, if not impossible, for many white Southerners to disentangle regional culture (Southern) from race (white) and ethnicity (British Protestant). The historical memory of white Southerners is not of ethnic coexistence and melting-pot pluralism but of ethnic homogeneity and racial privilege. Small wonder that going from the status of local Herrenvolk to local minority in only a generation or two is causing much of the white South to freak out.
Both pieces touch on the current conservative effort to cling to power through electoral gamesmanship, such as cuts to early voting. ANother semi-related issue that could hurt early voting: the likely end of Saturday mail.

One place where early voting ISN'T likely soon: New Hampshire, where Secretary of State Bill Gardner is the law unto himself.
Gardner said he doesn't favor early voting; data from the recent federal election proved it doesn't improve turnout. And he contends it "diminishes the significance of Election Day itself."

There's another problem with early voting, Gardner said: "We've had people that have pulled out of the presidential primary the week before the primary."

He recalled former Republican presidential candidate Alexander Haig did just that in 1988, endorsing Bob Dole just days before the primary. Gardner's office started getting calls from people who had voted for Haig by absentee ballot and wanted to vote again.
Probably from all three of Haig's supporters.

As an Iowa Democrat I'll just say the realignment corner of the room is over there.

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