Protect and Defend

Welcome to my blog, Protect and Defend. You don’t have to understand me. You only have to agree with me. I can live with losing the good fight, but I can not live with not fighting that good fight at all. - Publius

Friday, July 21, 2006

More Voting Rights Act Nonsense

Voting Rights Act Extension Passes In Senate, 98 to 0

By Charles Babington (Washington Post, Friday, July 21, 2006; A01)

The Senate voted 98 to 0 to renew key provisions of the Voting Rights Act yesterday, permitting the federal government to continue its broad oversight of state voting procedures for the next quarter-century, and allowing Republicans to claim equality with Democrats in protecting minorities' clout at the ballot box.
The act requires several states, mostly in the South, to obtain Justice Department approval before changing precinct boundaries, polling places, legislative districts, ballot formats and other voting procedures. It also requires many jurisdictions throughout the nation to provide bilingual ballots or interpreters for voters whose English is not strong.
Those two provisions caused a mini-revolt among House Republicans last week. GOP leaders had to scramble -- and rely on heavy Democratic support -- to defeat proposed amendments that they said would dilute the bill and prove politically embarrassing.
The law, first passed in 1965, retains near-iconic status in civil rights circles, even though some elected officials say it is no longer needed. GOP leaders were eager to renew it before the November elections. Unlike the House, where some Southern Republicans opposed provisions that focus on their states, the Senate passed the bill unanimously after hours of one-sided debate in which member after member praised leaders of the 1960s desegregation movement.
President Bush, addressing the NAACP's annual convention while the debate was underway, said he looked forward to signing the measure. "A generation of Americans that has grown up in the last few decades may not appreciate what this act has meant," he said. "Condi Rice understands what this act has meant," Bush said, referring to the secretary of state, an African American who grew up in Alabama in the 1950s and '60s…
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) shook hands with Rep. Melvin Watt (D-N.C.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, when the result was announced...
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) was a bit more grudging. "While I support this bill, I continue to have some serious concerns with several aspects of it," including its "extension for an extraordinary 25 years," he said from the floor. The defeated House amendments, he said, "would have strengthened this bill and updated it to reflect the reality of profoundly improved race relations" in Georgia.
The act, originally signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, outlawed practices such as poll taxes and literacy tests that many Southern jurisdictions used to depress black voter turnout. As amended over the years, it required such jurisdictions to obtain federal "pre-clearance" for an array of voting-related practices that might have the effect of reducing minority voters' influence.
Some local and national officials say the targeted oversight is no longer justified and is a relic of days when Southern states could not be trusted to treat all citizens justly. But others say abuses still occur. "Where would the citizens of Georgia be -- particularly low-income and minority citizens -- if they were required to produce a government-issued identification or pay $20 every five years in order to vote?" Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) asked …

So this bill once again alludes to the belief that racism is still prevalent in this country but only in the South. That although the talk around the bill mostly involves black people and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, the bill will allow bilingual ballots which means that this country will only require non-Spanish speakers to learn English. And John Kerry outright attacks the state of Georgia for being racist still.

This bill was once a necessity. But, to believe that racism only exists in the South is ignorant and yet the bill only covers Southern jurisdictions. And that it allows for bilingual ballots only reinforces the notion that the Senate is doing everything it can to placate Hispanic voters. This extension for 25 year of the bill does not cover all immigrants or treat them all fairly. Someone from Europe, the Middle East, India, Asia, or Africa is forced to learn English if they wish to vote but we don’t hold Spanish speakers to the same standards.



Blogger betmo said...

you apparently have to pander to get votes. and here i thought you could get elected on vision and leadership. my mistake.

Sat Jul 22, 09:44:00 AM  
Blogger Obob said...

betmo - you silly rabbit, you said "vison" with "election."
publius - do think the democrats want the South to remain red? You shouldn't insult those you wish to reenlist

Sat Jul 22, 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Wadical said...

I don't think we're in for any color changes here in the south. God, Guns and Gestation are the big issues here...we'll be remaining RED, thank you very much.

Sat Jul 22, 01:08:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Well actually I think there could be a color change in Virginia. Virginia has been a Republican state going back as far as Eisenhower, but Northern Virginia with the bulk of the population, money, and diversity is becoming more and more blue – so goes NOVA and so goes Virginia.

If you read more about the bill you will see that House Republicans were not against the bulk of the legislation, just the bilingual provisions. I still don’t understand why we have suddenly changed our American ideals on immigration for Spanish-speaking immigrants, both legal and illegal.

I am getting ready for term-limits and restrictions on campaign contributions because I think too many politicians don’t side so much with the Party line or with the people as they do with big money.

Sat Jul 22, 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger betmo said...

i agree publius.

Sat Jul 22, 09:32:00 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

Betmo, I really am the most evil of social conservatives because by doing something so simple as using LOGIC, it becomes difficult to disagree with me.

Sat Jul 22, 09:48:00 PM  

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