Look, nobody likes losing. That’s just science.
So why on earth, when you weren’t even around to be on the losing side of a war that took place 150 years ago, would you opt to side with they guys who got their butts handed to them? Especially when those losers were also the bad guys?
(Hey, everyone’s entitled to their own opinion about the Civil War, but if you think the folks who fought on the side of preserving slavery weren’t the villains, you should probably just stop reading now.)
Last week I explored some of the lousy things Republicans have done to preserve symbols of oppression (Confederate monuments erected after Reconstruction and during the Civil Rights era) and promote systematic inequality by effectively disenfranchising hundreds of thousands of voters of color (through voter suppression laws). And I thought maybe we’d all move on after that.
Yeah, not so much.
What? A Republican lawmaker in Idaho has some thoughts on the violence in Charlottesville earlier this month.
You see, it was somehow all Barack Obama’s fault.
As a reminder, Zollinger is someone who makes laws.
- Zollinger is in good company, though. Another Republican lawmaker from Idaho actively defended white nationalism last week, attempting to claim that it’s totally not a racist thing and actually isn’t all that bad (it is, and it is).
- Rep. Heather Scott is a known Confederate flag aficionado with a history of promoting conspiracy theories, sometimes through actual legislation.
- When she first took office, she climbed on her desk to pry something off the ceiling with a knife, asking her colleagues if they thought it could be a “listening device.”
Again, as a reminder, Scott is someone who makes laws.
Huh? The Virginia Republican Party ignited a bit of a firestorm (not to mention some tweetstorms) on Wednesday when it sent a (since deleted) pair of tweets basically accusing Democratic gubernatorial nominee Ralph Northam of being a race traitor because he happens to be descended from white slaveowners who fought for the South in the Civil War, yet he’s calling for the removal of Confederate monuments from publicly owned spaces.
Because Republicans regard being a decent human being who objects to the institutionalized and systematic oppression these monuments represent and celebrate as objectionable, I guess … ?
- The Republican Party of Virginia eventually deleted the tweets and offered a total no-pology, blaming everyone else because their words “were interpreted in a way we never intended.”
- But seriously, y’all. If this is the best you can do in terms of a hit on Northam, Ed Gillespie might be in pretty bad shape.
- Republicans running for House of Delegates seats this fall remain, as of this writing, silent on their party’s race-baiting ways.
Wha—? The GOP-controlled legislature in Texas has a fresh loss under its belt.
Ugh, these guys again: Speaking of legislators trying to silence the voices of voters of color at the ballot box, Republican lawmakers in North Carolina have new state House and Senate maps! (You may remember that courts ruled that the old ones were unconstitutionally racially gerrymandered.)
- Facing a swiftly-approaching Sept. 1 deadline, the legislature’s Republican majorities rolled out new maps over the weekend and held public hearings on them on Tuesday.
From 4 to 6:30 p.m.
- As if scheduling hearings on a single day during a tiny time window during arguably the most inconvenient hours for basically everybody weren’t bad enough, the GOP held the hearings in rooms unequipped to hold more than a couple of dozen humans.
And who could have expected that a fire marshall would have been on hand to enforce it?
I mean, except everybody.
It’s almost as though Republican lawmakers don’t want voters to dispute, or even weigh in on, the new legislative district maps.
Which, considering how they’re looking, makes sense.
- The courts found 19 House districts and nine Senate districts to be unconstitutional racial gerrymanders, so lawmakers needed to disregard race when drawing the new maps.
- Instead, they relied on partisanship data from recent elections to draw maps that are extremely partisanly gerrymandered.
- According to good-government group Democracy North Carolina, Republicans’ new maps would produce competitive races in just 15 out of 170 legislative districts.
- Even some Republicans had beef with the maps, claiming that lawmakers had divided communities of interest and saying they were upset that some conservative incumbents had been drawn into districts with other lawmakers.
Fun fact! The guy North Carolina Republicans hired to draw these maps is the same guy who drew the illegal ones in 2011.
- The GOP-controlled legislature is expected to approve the new maps by next Friday’s deadline. (North Carolina’s (currently Democratic) governor has no power in the redistricting process.)
- The maps must still be approved by the court, which may see this ploy for what it is but may not be able to do much: Currently, partisan gerrymandering is totally legal.
Oh hey here’s some good news! Missouri activists have effectively put the state’s new so-called “right to work” law on ice until at least 2018 by submitting more than enough signatures to put the law on the ballot for voters to potentially repeal at the polls in 2018.
- … and by “more than enough” signatures, I mean more than three times the 100,000 required to make a law subject to statewide referendum, a provision that hasn’t been used in Missouri since 1982.
- The state’s GOP-controlled legislature passed the union-busting “right to work” law in February, something they’d tried to do for years but that had been blocked by the then-Democratic governor. Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, however, was more than happy to sign the measure.
Fun fact! Since 1914, popular referenda have successfully repealed laws 24 of the 26 times they’ve been on the ballot in the Show Me State.
Expect this battle for the future of Missouri’s workers to be expensive and savage.
Tired of winning: Oh hey Democrats won yet another special election on Tuesday.
- This seat was a Democratic hold in the Rhode Island state Senate. Democrat and grassroots activist Dawn Euer “cruised to victory” to keep this seat in Democratic hands and add yet another win to blue column this cycle. What’s more, Euer, a supporter of reproductive rights, replaced a Democrat who was anti-choice.
Speaking of victories, Daily Kos-endorsed Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh was sworn into the New Hampshire state Senate this week. Cavanaugh won a hotly-contested race last month for a seat Republicans frankly had every reason to win. Oops.
Maps on maps on maps: This week’s data interlude features not one, not two, but THREE NEW STATES for which we’ve finished calculating the 2016 presidential results in all legislative districts. Check out Oregon, Kansas, and Missouri. You can find our master list of states right here.
Well, I’m off to Richmond, where I’m diving into information on some super hot races for the Virginia House of Delegates (stay tuned!). Until next week, y’all, when hopefully everything’s a little less awful!