“It was, bar none, the worst legislative process I’ve ever been through,”

Emotional testimony at the voting rights hearing in North Carolina yesterday:

Some of the most stirring testimony, though, came from Glazier, who as a lawmaker watched the measure unfold up close. “It was, bar none, the worst legislative process I’ve ever been through,” said the white Fayetteville attorney, who has served in the House since 2001. “This is in a league by itself.”
“It was the most emotional two hours I ever spent in public office,” Glazier said about the House debate. “This was, for many members, a feeling like their life’s work was being rolled back”.
Rep. H.M. “Mickey” Michaux, Jr., a Durham Democrat who in 1977 became the South’s first African-American U.S. Attorney since Reconstruction, stood on the House floor with tears in his eyes, Glazier said. All forty-one Democratic legislators asked to speak in opposition to the bill.
By contrast, only Lewis, the Republican committee chair, spoke in favor. As Democrats pleaded for the bill’s defeat, “there was hardly a person on the other side looking up from their notes or their computer,” Glazier said. “I knew what that meant… It was clear to me that directions were given that only Rep. Lewis was to speak.”
At the end of the speeches, the Democrats broke protocol and stood up to vote “no” in unison. The bill passed on a party-line vote. Some Democratic lawmakers prayed aloud in the House chamber, hands on one another’s shoulders. A Republican friend walked over to Glazier to apologize.
“I had never been through anything like it in public life, and doubt I will again,” Glazier said.

I felt some of the same intensity that the North Carolina lawmaker describes when I listened to the Ohio legislature debate Ohio’s voter ID law in 2006 and again when I attended the US Senate field hearing on voting rights in Cleveland in 2012. This isn’t just a southern thing. It’s an American thing.

I think it is difficult for those of us who have not personally fought for the right to vote and don’t personally carry this history of voter suppression to understand how profound this is and how deep it goes. It is not, for us, a feeling like “our life’s work is being rolled back.” That was true for me before I heard that same weightiness that Mr. Glazier describes in 2006 and again in 2012 in Ohio. I understand it a little better now. Mr. Glazier sounds like maybe he does too.

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65 replies
  1. 1
    James E. Powell says:

    The right-wingers have demonstrated that they have no interest in democracy. They impeached Clinton because they couldn’t handle the fact that he won the election.They didn’t care that there was no evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors, they didn’t care that the people were against it. They got their cronies on the supreme court to order that we stop counting the votes in a presidential election. They appointed the president because they could. They have worked very hard, for many years, to deny the ballot access to people who they do not agree with. They will never stop doing this. Do I need to go on?

    They don’t care for any of the civil rights that are thought to be essential to our political culture. Freedom of speech? Ask the Dixie Chicks. Freedom of religion? Remember the “Ground Zero Mosque.” Do I need to go on?

  2. 2
    MomSense says:

    I keep thinking about all the people I met in NC when I was part of a massive voter registration effort in 2008 and I am feeling both heartbroken and furious.

  3. 3
    Aimai says:

    Im reading “Devil in the Grove” about thurgood marshall. It really takes you back. We can all grasp the horror of the injustice being done. Its a small step from ones own experience to the experience of our fellow citizens if we are willing to open our eyes and look.

  4. 4
    Bobby B. says:

    He’s trampling out the vintage…NC wouldn’t be the least likely state where Civil War II started.

  5. 5

    Thanks for highlighting this. I am still hopeful that we can beat these seditious bastards.

  6. 6
    Botsplainer says:

    Perhaps people of color will learn a lesson about white folks, genuine attitude changes in the south, and non-violence.

    I’m not sure that you don’t have to be militant and occasionally violent to extract what you want from them. They view nonviolence as weakness, legal protections as processes to be subverted.

    If some pink cheeked pudgy Christian conservative Dookies have to get beaten or killed occasionally to make a point, I can’t say that I have a fuck to give, and it can be a lesson to others.

    Maybe instead of celebrating MLK Day or Juneteenth, Nat Turner, Stokely Carmichael, Elijah Muhammad could be memorialized in a rally outside Americans for Prosperity, Heritage Foundation or Federalist Society HQ. by Black Panthers, with guns.

  7. 7
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    A Republican friend walked over to Glazier to apologize.

    If one knew immediately that It was something which required an apology, then why do it?

  8. 8
    GroverRedNeck says:

    So proud of my state. (Snark) I also can’t believe how many of my family has switched sides in the last 2 years.

  9. 9
    dmsilev says:

    A Republican friend walked over to Glazier to apologize.

    The only apology that would mean anything is how this “friend” cast their vote.

    On second thought, perhaps a Captain Needa apology would also be acceptable.

  10. 10
    Kay says:

    @Ben Cisco (onboard the Defiant):

    I am too. I’m glad he testified. I saw the photo of the lawmakers with their hands on one another’s shoulders when it happened. It’s hard to keep up for people, I think. It’s happening in so many states.

  11. 11
    Botsplainer says:

    Here’s the thing – older black folks, particularly those who are from rural areas, have a really high home birth ratio due to poverty and lack of medical resources. Makes it real tough on getting birth cents.

  12. 12
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): I thought the same thing. That Republican is no real friend if he behaved like that. Don’t care if he apologized. He chose to do the wrong thing and then wanted his friend to forgive him. That’s crap.

  13. 13
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    @Aimai: I am about 3/4 of the way through that book. Someone brought it up in the comments a few months ago. It’s heartbreaking.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Botsplainer: My family is as white as milk and never was particularly poor, but, until 1910 or so, most children in the family were born at home.

    ETA: Doctors were present and records were kept, but the births were at home.

    @Violet: That move probably would have ended my friendship with the person. If the guy believed in the law and we simply disagreed, I would have an easier time with it The guy knew what he was doing was shitty at the time he was doing it.

  15. 15
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Yeah, that’s what gets me. The Republican guy knew it was wrong. He did it anyway. He hurt people with his actions and knew what he was doing was wrong. Then he wanted his friend to forgive him. The forgiveness is up to Glazier and holding onto the anger only hurts him. But forgiving doesn’t mean continuing the friendship. That person is not his friend.

  16. 16
    Kay says:

    @Violet:

    I imagined it as “I had to do this because of the Party but I’m not like this” typa thing.

    Not that it’s better, but that’s just how it sounds to me.

  17. 17
    kc says:

    This story brought tears to my eyes. So shameful.

  18. 18
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    I hope Glazier told the apologetic Repiglican to fuck himself and his entire Klan party on his way to hell.

  19. 19
    Violet says:

    @Kay: Yeah but it’s bullshit. The guy knew it was wrong because he apologized immediately. It’s like the Neuremberg defense. He “was only following orders.” Sorry, that dog don’t hunt. It’s morally wrong. The party is morally wrong. He was wrong and he knew it.

  20. 20
    Violet says:

    @Kay:

    I imagined it as “I had to do this because of the Party but I’m not like this” typa thing.

    Also, this reminds me of the family friends whose kid is stealing from them. They call the kid on it and the kid freaks out: “You can’t tell anyone I did this. I’m not this person. I don’t want to be that person. I’m not the kind of person who does that sort of thing.” Bullshit. You stole and that makes you the kind of person who does that sort of thing.

    Just like the kid who stole, the Republican has to accept his own actions and own his own choice to vote that way. He doesn’t want to be that person? Don’t do the thing the person you don’t want to be does. He’s a coward along with someone morally wrong.

  21. 21
    cmorenc says:

    @Aimai:

    Im reading “Devil in the Grove” about thurgood marshall. It really takes you back.

    What’s an especially infuriating disgrace is that when Thurgood Marshall retired in October 1991 due to failing health at age 83, his direct successor, appointed by George Bush (the elder) was…Clarence Thomas. It’s one of the really bitter turns of historical fate that Marshall’s failing cardiovascular system couldn’t carry him through one or two more court terms (Marshall died of heart failure on January 24, 1993) so that Bill Clinton could have appointed his successor instead. Marshall also probably never imagined Bush would be so crass as to appoint someone as repulsively unworthy and hostile to everything Marshall had risked, worked for, and stood for, even though he understood Bush would appoint someone more conservative to the Court than Marshall would have preferred.

  22. 22
    some guy says:

    Over the past 14 years, Israel has killed Palestinian children at a rate of more than two a week. There seems to be no Israeli child in harm’s way that Barack Obama will not compare to his own daughters, but their Palestinian counterparts are brushed aside with mantras about Israel’s right to self-defence. The institutionalised disregard for Palestinian life in the West helps explain not only why Palestinians resort to violence, but also Israel’s latest assault on the Gaza Strip.

  23. 23
    Steeplejack says:

    @GroverRedNeck:

    I also can’t believe how many of my family has switched sides in the last 2 years.

    Which way?

  24. 24
    wenchacha says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): My Mom was born in 1926, in the front parlor of her home. And it was in smallish city neighborhood.

    It is both disheartening and disgusting that so many advances that were hard-won in the past by liberals/progressives. As a kid, I was deeply impressed by the struggle and commitment to gaining civil rights for all Americans, not just whites.

    Doesn’t everybody “get” that our country claimed to stand for good things? And where did all the hateful people come from?

  25. 25
    David Koch says:

    Kay,

    Any buzz in your community on the return of LBJ?

  26. 26
    jenn says:

    @Botsplainer: Seriously, this is shameful.

  27. 27
    scav says:

    To knowingly and deliberately do something this wrong, and then prove it by immediately and publicly asking for absolution. They do themselves, their party, state, familial, cultural, ethical and religious background proud.

    NC? No Class.

  28. 28
    Kay says:

    @David Koch:

    I’m not a sports fan, so I wouldn’t hear it. All I hear is Ohio State football at the courthouse, and Detroit Tigers at home. I don’t really listen, but those two things seem to be what they’re always talking about :)

    I like how baseball games sound on the radio, but only because it reminds me of summer. Doesn’t matter who’s playing.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @wenchacha: I watched the first two episodes of News Room again last night. Sorkin may be embarrassingly earnest at times, but, underneath my musical hipsterism, I buy into his view of our country and our politics. We, as a country, have generally tried to do better. We have often failed, but it is a goal.

  30. 30
    KS in MA says:

    OT (sorry), but I really enjoyed having something to laugh about today … maybe you will too.

    http://www.juanitajean.com/201.....christmas/

  31. 31
    Petorado says:

    Americans are asking “Why do they hate us?”

    They hate what they see right here in this chamber: a democratically elected government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.

    And that’s why Republicans did what they did in NC – hatred.

  32. 32
    some guy says:

    death toll in Gaza now stands at 68. rockets on their way towards Tel Aviv even as we speak.

  33. 33
    Stillwater says:

    Very good post Kay. Rolling back these types of things ought to strike everyone who’s paying attention as insidious and craven. I don’t know what else to say except something cynical about politics.

  34. 34
    phoebes-in-santa fe says:

    I’m a little sketchy about how these court rulings work, but wasn’t a bill like this somehow struck down in Pennsylvania a couple of years ago?

  35. 35
    GregB says:

    Every single time I wade into the wingnut fever swamps they are waxing poetic for the day they get to resort to their beloved Second Amendment remedies.

    Their side is full of wannabe violent creeps.

  36. 36
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Stillwater:

    I don’t know what else to say except something cynical about politics.

    Please don’t. Our side is winning, slowly and painfully. The right is fighting so viciously because they are losing and they know it. Let’s have the courage to push forward.

  37. 37
    some guy says:

    ruh roh, Cacti’s pals amongst the Syrian “rebels” are up to their old tricks again:

    “Two cylinders reportedly seized by Syrian government troops in an area controlled by armed opposition groups contained deadly sarin, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in a letter to the U.N. Security Council published on Monday.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article.....U420140707

  38. 38
    some guy says:

    the names of the first 35 killed by the colonialists. to their credit, WaPo reprinted and published this list in today’s edition.

    Tuesday, July 8:

    1. Mohammed Sha’aban, 24, was killed in a bombing of his car in Gaza City.
    2. Ahmad Sha’aban, 30, died in the same bombing.
    3. Khadir al-Bashiliki, 45, died in the same bombing.
    4. Rashad Yaseen, 27, was killed in a bombing of the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.
    5. Riad Mohammed Kawareh, 50, was killed in a bombing of his family’s home in Khan Younis.
    6. Seraj Ayad Abed al-A’al, 8, was wounded in the same bombing and succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday evening.
    7. Mohammed Ayman Ashour, 15, died in the same bombing.
    8. Bakr Mohammed Joudah, 22, died in the same bombing.
    9. Ammar Mohammed Joudah, 26, died in the same bombing.
    10. Hussein Yousef Kawareh, 13, died in the same bombing.
    11. Mohammed Ibrahim Kawareh, 50, died in the same bombing.
    12. Bassim Salim Kawareh, 10, died in the same bombing.
    13. Mousa Habib, 16, from Gaza City’s al-Shujaiyah neighborhood, was killed along with his 22-year old cousin while the pair were riding a motorcycle.
    14. Mohammed Habib, 22, was killed with Mousa Habib.
    15. Sakr Aysh al-Ajouri, 22, was killed in an attack on Jabaliyah, in northern Gaza.
    16. Ahmad Na’el Mehdi, 16, from Gaza City’s Sheikh Radwan neighborhood, was killed in a bombing that wounded two of his friends.
    17. Hafiz Mohammed Hamad, 30, an Islamic Jihad commander, was killed in the bombing of his home in Beit Hanoun, along with five of his family members.
    18. Ibrahim Mohammed Hamad, 26, died in the same bombing.
    19. Mehdi Mohammed Hamad, 46, died in the same bombing.
    20. Fawzia Khalil Hamad, 62, died in the same bombing.
    21. Dunia Mehdi Hamad, 16, died in the same bombing.
    22. Suha Hamad, 25, died in the same bombing.
    23. Suleiman Salman Abu Soaween, 22

    Wednesday, July 9:

    24. Abdelhadi Jamaat al-Sufi, 24, was killed in a bombing near the Rafah crossing.
    25. Naifeh Farjallah, 80, was killed in an airstrike on the town of Moghraqa, southwest of Gaza City.
    26. Abdelnasser Abu Kweek, 60, was killed in the bombing of Gaza’s central governorate along with his son.
    27. Khaled Abu Kweek, 31, Abdelnasser Abu Kweek’s son, was killed in the same bombing.
    28. Amir Areef, 13, died in a bombing in Sha’af.
    29. Mohammed Malkiyeh, one and a half years old, died in a bombing along with his mother and a young man.
    30. Amniyeh Malkiyeh, 27, Mohammed Malkiyeh’s mother, died in the same bombing.
    31. Hatem Abu Salem, 28, died in the same bombing.
    32. Mohammed Khaled al-Nimri, 22
    33. Sahar Hamdan, 40, died in the bombing of her home in Beit Hanoun.
    34. Ibrahim Masri, 14, Sahar Hamdan’s son, was killed in the same bombing.
    35. Unknown

  39. 39
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @some guy: Christ, is it possible for you to be more dishonest? Cacti, a commenter with whom I have had many disagreements, reacted to reports that the Assad regime was using chemical weapons by advocating that the US take action against it. He(?) also became far more strident about it than others were. This does not meant that is he(?) is a supporter of the rebels. He(?) could simply be among the the vast fucking majority of people who are opposed to the use of chemical weapons.

  40. 40
    billb says:

    Any man [or woman] that votes party line to restrict the freedom of another American, is no man at all, he [or she] has no honor, and should forever be shunned as no-friend or fellow citizen. This is not play-school this is life-or-death.

  41. 41
    GregB says:

    Holy shit. The Newsmax site has a headline about General Hayden. “Treat immigrant influx like an insurgency.”

    Is the good General proposing we water-board women and children?

  42. 42
    James E. Powell says:

    @Violet:

    Exactly. As Cool Hand Luke put it, calling it your job don’t make it right, Boss.

  43. 43
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @GregB: Are we trusting Newsmax? Just checking.

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Of course we are! Just as always.

    My current favorite Noisemax headline:

    Doctor: Christians Face New Health Dangers Never Seen in Bible

    I’m kind of curious what in the world they’re talking about. Must be related to gay marriages in the FEMA camp abortionplexes or something.

  45. 45
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Violet: I am just waiting for “some guy” to explain how I have been a bad person by supporting anything that ever happened in the Middle East. Rabin was on a track that could have generated results. His assassination fucked up everything for a long time.

  46. 46
    Little Boots says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    the hell did you wind up in that fight?

  47. 47
    Rafael says:

    I point to stuff like this when I hear idiots telling me that voting doesn’t matter. If it didn’t, they wouldn’t be fighting so hard to make it as difficult as possible to vote. Here’s to hoping it backfires, I hope it makes more people go vote and stay in line to kick their behind on the next election.

  48. 48
    Little Boots says:

    I seriously wish were a better person.

  49. 49
    Fred says:

    @Petorado: I don’t think Republican politicians do these kinds of actions out of hatred. It is pure cold calculation to hold power. The hatred is what they stir up in their ignorant base as another part of that cold calculation.

    If there are degrees of evil I think the knowing calculated acts are of a greater degree than the hatred of the ignorant tools. Imagine Dante’s circles of Hell.

  50. 50
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Violet: Christians Get Slandered, Libeled, They Hear Words They Never Heard In The Bible

  51. 51
    Betsy says:

    Just remember that North Carolina was invaded by Koch/pope/AFP/ALEC money. This didn’t happen until thebig dirty money came in after citizens united. This didn’t happen by popular vote.

    Make no mistake – it’s not the people of North Carolina who did this. 60% of their votes cast were for Dems. Yet due to Republican gerrymandering we got a Republican takeover.

    Make no mistake — it’s not because NC is in the South. This is a purple state that was hijacked red and it can happen in other purple states.

    The most counterproductive and unhelpful thing a progressive can conclude from the NC story of the last couple of years is to write it off as being just part of the Stupid South. That would be a strategic and a factual mistake. It’s Big Money in politics that captured our state.

    Why does understanding this matter? It’s key to fighting back effectively in many other states. Ohio. Wisconsin. Similar hijackings — in purple states. Northern states.

  52. 52
    James E. Powell says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Rabin was on a track that could have generated results. His assassination fucked up everything for a long time.

    Wasn’t his assassination some evidence that the right-wingers were never going to allow an end to that nightmare? Cf. Anwar Sadat.

  53. 53
    TriassicSands says:

    This isn’t just a southern thing. It’s an American thing.

    No, it’s a Republican thing, an UN-American thing.

    There are Conferderates living all over the US today. They’ve spread out from their southern base.

    And the South shall rise again — and it sure is, and not only in the South either. A plague is on the loose, and it’s the Modern Republican Party.

  54. 54
    JGabriel says:

    “This was, for many members, a feeling like their life’s work was being rolled back.”

    Because their life’s work is being rolled back. The idea of America as a participatory democracy is being rolled back in favor of religious and corporate fascism

    American Right-Wing Republicanism is evil.

    But I probably don’t need to tell everyone here what they already know.

  55. 55
    JGabriel says:

    Betsy:

    This [North Carolina] is a purple state that was hijacked red and it can happen in other purple states.

    It has happened in other states. Take a look at Pennsylvania – over 50% of the vote for House Representatives went to Democrats, yet PA somehow ended up sending a delegation that consisted of 13 Republicans and only 5 Democrats.

    That’s not democracy; it’s election theft. Every member of the state congress who approved that gerrymander, all Republicans, should be pilloried and/or shot.

    And PA is far from the only state with a gerrymander that egregious, undemocratic, and Un-American.

  56. 56
    VOR says:

    @wenchacha: First US President born in a hospital was Ronald Reagan. That’s how prevalent home births used to be.

  57. 57
    another Holocene human says:

    @Botsplainer: Fuck Elijah Muhammad. Malcolm X did more to change this country than that selfish wanker ever did.

    I think sometimes the fear of violence could be useful but this is not South Africa in the 70s not is it even Sri Lanka in the 90s. When the other side has the advantage of state power and overwhelming force, armed struggle is not going to have use as anything more than a limited tactic. Just ask MOVE how that worked pour for them. Why are you asking people to immolate themselves when non violent struggle has proven so effective within memory and looks to remain effective for the near future.

    Who would you rather be? India or Ireland? Think about it.

  58. 58
    Another Holocene Human says:

    @Botsplainer: No shit. Florida law used to accommodate that before REAL ID.

    Florida implemented it on the driver’s license/state ID side (you can still vote with a social security card, of course some of the shenanigans that agency puts you through is another story). In Florida’s rural areas this means that your employment is now called into question. And of course it means that if poor people move into Florida, or just lose their old ID, they may lose their eligibility for state administered federal benefits like, oh, food stamps.

  59. 59
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): it does mean he’s a fool, however.

  60. 60
    liberal says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): could have, maybe, but Labor’s track record on settlements makes it questionable.

  61. 61
    Juju says:

    @VOR: Actually Jimmy Carter was the first president to be born on a hospital.

  62. 62
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @some guy:

    death toll in Gaza now stands at 68. rockets on their way towards Tel Aviv even as we speak

    kind of sums up the whole issue – the Israelis do something viscous so the Palestinians reply with something both futile and dumb that covers for what the Israelis are up to. Those rockets will never do enough damage to slow the Israelis down while at the same time just turn it into both sides do it.

  63. 63
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @GregB:

    Holy shit. The Newsmax site has a headline about General Hayden. “Treat immigrant influx like an insurgency.”

    Because the US military has such a good track record with insurgencies. Not to mention if they were really serious about stopping the illegals they would be prosecuting the companies that employ them.

  64. 64
    smedley the uncertain says:

    @Botsplainer: “…black panthers with guns.” Open Carry??

  65. 65
    priscianus jr says:

    @Betsy: Just remember that North Carolina was invaded by Koch/pope/AFP/ALEC money. This didn’t happen until thebig dirty money came in after citizens united. This didn’t happen by popular vote.

    What you’re saying in your post is very important, Betsy. Everyone here should read your whole comment and take heed.

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