When last we left Virginia, the Republicans were passing a redistricting bill under cover of Presidential inauguration. Looks like that was just step one of their plan to disenfranchise voters who are not white males.
The party of John Calhoun‘s (Ta-Nehisi Coates link!) next step is to make sure someone like President Obama can never be elected in Virginia again. You see, Obama had the gall of winning Virginia twice. He did this by winning the popular vote in Virginia. And that just won’t do. No sir, not at all. Now that they have gerrymandered the district boundaries to all but guarantee a Republican majority, they need to guarantee a Republican president too. To do this, they plan on splitting their electoral votes by whoever wins the district instead of a winner-takes-all electoral system. Ta da! Virginia now will give more electoral votes to a Republican instead of a Democrat even though the Democrat had a lot more votes. As Ta-Nehisi Coates says, “If the GOP can’t convince enough people to win, it will rig the rules so that certain people matter less than others.”
And by “certain people”, we, of course, mean non-whites. More Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Efforts to disenfranchise black people, have always been most successful when they worked indirectly. After the initial post-war Black Codes were repealed, white supremacists turned to less obvious modes of discrimination — poll taxes, grandfather clauses, and literacy tests.These were cloaked under a colorblind argument — “We don’t discriminate against black people, we discriminate against people who can’t read the Constitution.” By “read the Constitution,” they meant “recite the Bill of Rights by heart.” And they’d ask you to do this after reducing your school funding to a pittance. I say this to point that this is not a “new” racism. This is how it scheme went before the civil-rights movement, and this is how the scheme works today.To see the only other major political party in the country effectively giving up on convincing voters, and instead embarking on a strategy of disenfranchisement is bad sign for American democracy. There is nothing gleeful in this.
Nothing gleeful, indeed.
South Carolina kneels and kisses the hand of the new master.