GOP Crack — Race and Abortion

Joshua Green writes at Bloomberg Businessweek that yesterday’s voting rights decision is a poison chalice for the GOP.

Many of the GOP’s current problems stem from the fact that it is overly beholden to its white, Southern base at a time when the country is rapidly becoming more racially diverse. …

… The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a central provision of the Voting Rights Act will make it easier for Republicans to hold and expand their power in those mainly Southern states. That will, in turn, make it easier for them to hold the House. It will also intensify the Southern captivity of the GOP, thereby making it harder for Republicans to broaden their appeal and win back the White House.

Several states are rushing ahead to put voter ID laws in place. Will redistricting be far behind? See also Voter IDers Hit The Ground Running After Supreme Court Ruling.

The first comment to Green’s opinion piece says, “More apt, this decision is a crack pipe for the GOP. They won’t be able to help themselves.” That’s right. Just watch the Republican base push to disenfranchise every person of color south of the Mason-Dixon, wherever that is, and quite a few north of that, as well. I am hoping for a new and energetic voting rights movement to arise from this. I’m also hoping for a big fight in Washington, with clearly drawn lines between the pro- and anti- voting rights crowd.

The other issue they cannot leave alone is abortion. Following Wendy Davis’s heroic filibuster in Austin that blocked an abortion restriction bill, you know that a bunch of old white guys (and a few addled women) will keep trying until they see to it that Texas women will be going to Mexico for abortions. Mexico will have to build its own fence.

But in the long run, I don’t see this as helping the GOP expand its base. It’ll thrill the base it’s already got, but it’s also serving notice to younger women that they’d better get their butts to the polls if they want to keep their reproductive rights.

See also Wendy Davis’s Filibuster By the Numbers