Here is Elizabeth Drew’s latest essay in the New York Review of Books, Can We Have a Democratic Election? In which she raises many important questions that escape the ‘pundits’ who are covering the campaign as a ‘horse race’. She asks some basic questions that escape the handicapping mentality of her competitors, in the forth estate. That is what gives this essay it’s political resonance: her arguments are powerful, her reasoning hard to refute. She also describes a Republican Party, in the states, as engaging in a concerted campaign of ‘voter suppression’, and the devastating effects of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.
The Republican Party in desperation after the defeat of 2008 has progressively descended into political nihilism, using the idea of ‘voter fraud’ as rationale for restrictive laws that demand state issued ID’s, in order to cast a vote. No voter fraud has been demonstrated, but the laws were passed in the name of protecting the electorate, from a pernicious problem that does not exist. The young,the poor,black folk and students generally vote Democratic, so that restrictive election laws aimed at these groups make perfect sense, in the domain of Rovian politics.
On the Citizens United decision, one must just recall John Roberts thrilling encomium to stare decisis before the Senate Judiciary Committee, as not just a tribute to his intellectual brass,and mendacity but as simply a eulogy to that legal workhorse, when political motive rules the day. Have I gone too far in the arena of respectable bourgeois political commentary?
If the Republican Party is at the end of it’s political rationality, and Barack Obama asserts the right to execute American citizens by presidential fiat, to attack ‘terrorists’ by the use of drones, wherever they may seek refuge, and NDAA has been passed by Congress and signed into law by the president, which weakens habeas corpus protections: where are we as citizens?