Turning the clock back

No, I’m not referring to daylight savings time. The Supreme Court apparently thinks that making it hard for Texans to vote is a good thing. Catapult me back to 1964.
I guess we have to join Texas in that era. Bring back the Freedom Rides. I would hope that if we baby boomers got the ball (and buses) rolling, some of the Facebook generation might join us. Perhaps my youthful colleague Steve Davenport (who commented eloquently on Keith’s recent essay about Facebook narcissism) could be our liaison to the under-thirties. At my age, the prospect of a long bus ride does not thrill me, (please let there be adequate restroom breaks) but if a couple of my boomer pals from the RBC are in, I’ll ride to Texas to assist with voter registration. It’s just so confusing! Didn’t we do this already?

Author: Lowry Heussler

Lowry Heussler is a lawyer from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Having participated in the RBC as a guest-blogger, she made it official in 2012. Her most important contribution to the field of public policy to date was her 1994 instruction to Mark Kleiman, "Read Ann Landers every day. You need to learn about real people." Her essay on the 2009 arrest of Henry Louis Gates went viral and brought about one of her proudest moments, being described as "just another twit along the lines of Sharpton, Jackson, Gates, etc." (Small Dead Animals Blog). Currently serving as General Counsel to BOTEC Analysis Corp., she has been a public housing lawyer, a prosecutor for the Board of Registration in Medicine, a large-firm associate and a small-firm partner. She serves as a board member for NEADS, Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans, a charity that trains service dogs to increase independence for people with disabilities.

5 thoughts on “Turning the clock back”

  1. Don't Greyhound buses have onboard toilets? These are pretty standard on long-distance buses in Europe.

  2. Just to clarify: Not to say that every Texan is a registered voter but my understanding is that many or all of the roughly 400K-500K that are being spoken of as potentially disenfranchised are already registered but lack approved means of identification. In any case, the obstacle isn't that they can't register because nobody will register them but rather that getting a state approved ID is impossible or prohibitively difficult. That's what makes the system work to the Republican's advantage—you can't make it possible for somebody who never had a birth certificate or who can't afford to spend a day at the DMV just by going to Texas and engaging in "political activism".

    Like the Jim Crow era laws, today's Republican voter suppression statutes are very well designed to specifically (and almost exclusively) target people who are likely Democratic voters. The way to deal with this is by making it clear that the Democrats will retaliate not with voter suppression laws of our own (because that's anathema to us) but by striking increasingly hard blows at the businesses and individuals who are associated with the Republican Party, perhaps through boycotts or taxes on extremely high incomes, luxury consumption or environmental pollution. Democrats must also mobilize to attack the institutional bottlenecks that are allowing the Republicans to dominate national politics even though they now constitute barely more than a rump of the former states of the Confederacy.

    I would also point out that it was a terrible error that the Democrats were so preoccupied with being "the adults in the room" that they could never bring themselves to respond to the many violations of political norms by Republicans that have lead us to this situation where we are dealing with things like voter suppression efforts. If, for example, the Democrats had reacted to the Republican having redistricted outside of the 10 year sequence and so forth by doing so redistricting of their own and eliminating all Republican districts in California, New York, New Jersey and everyplace else with a Democratic controlled legislature, there would be more Democrats in the Congress today and the Republicans would think twice before doing things like voter suppression.

Comments are closed.