Water Flowing Underground

My only quarrel with Rick Perlstein is that he’s 3% high in his estimate:

The reactionary percentage of the electorate in these United States has been relatively constant since McCarthy’s day; I’d estimate it as hovering around 30 percent. A minority, but one never all that enamored of the niceties of democracy—they see themselves as fighting for the survival of civilization, after all. So, generation after generation, they’ve ruthlessly exploited the many points of structural vulnerability in the not-very-democratic American political system to get their way.

The whole thing is worth a read, because Perlstein does his usual good job reviewing wingnut history.

That said, now that we have the diagnosis, doctor, what’s the treatment? This is where we’re all struggling.

Obviously, he needs the long-form vault copy “original” of his birth certificate, certified, with the raised seal

Back to North Carolina again, with new developments in the student voter + candidate story:

Within hours of Gov. Pat McCrory signing a Republican-backed bill this week making sweeping changes to the state’s voting laws, local elections boards in two college towns made moves that could make it harder for students to vote.
The Pasquotank County Board of Elections on Tuesday barred an Elizabeth City State University senior from running for city council, ruling his on-campus address couldn’t be used to establish local residency..

William Skinner, the panel’s lone Democrat, sharply dissented with the other board members. He argued King had clearly shown ECSU was his permanent residence, supported by his right to vote in local elections. He urged the board to dismiss Gilbert’s challenge. “If you are able to vote, you should be able to run for office, barring any restrictions against you, which we have found none,”

The Elizabeth City State University senior who wants to run for city council is Montravias King:

images mk

King said he plans to continue to run for office, and considers Gilbert’s challenge part of a broader Republican effort to discourage student voting. “I don’t see this as personal, I see this as an attack on college students across North Carolina,” he said.

The County Board of Elections made the decision to disqualify Mr. King first as a voter and then as a candidate based on residency. Mr. King has now appealed that decision to the state board of elections:

Ms, Kim Strach
Executive Director, State Board of Elections
Mr. Don Wright
Counsel for State Board of Elections
Dear Ms. Strach and Mr. Wright:
Please find enclosed the appeal by Mr. Montravias King from the August 20th order of the Pasquotank County Board of Elections disqualifying Mr. King as a candidate based on residency. From my telephone conversation with Mr. Wright, it is my understanding that the Pasquotank County Board has been directed to not print ballots for the October election until the State Board decides the merits of this appeal. If my understanding is incorrect or the status of Pasquotank’s ballot printing changes, please let me know immediately so I can file a motion to stay the Pasquotank’s Board’s order pending these proceedings.

Excerpt from appeal:

The North Carolina Constitution Article VI § 1 guarantees that “Every person born in the United States and every person who has been naturalized, 18 years of age, and possessing the qualifications set out in this Article, shall be entitled to vote at any election by the people of the State, except as herein otherwise provided.”
Article VI § 2(1) states: Residence period for State elections. Any person who has resided in the State of North Carolina for one year and in the precinct, ward, or other election district for 30 days next preceding an election, and possesses the other qualifications set out in this Article, shall be entitled to vote at any election held in this State.

Equally fundamental is the right of a qualified voter to run for elected office. Under
North Carolina Constitution Article VI § 6, “[e]very qualified voter in North Carolina who is 21 years of age, except as in this Constitution disqualified, shall be eligible for election by the people to office.”

Candidate Montravias King is a rising senior at Elizabeth City State University who has resided on campus since the fall of2009 and who has been an active member of the college community. Ruling on a challenge to Mr. King’s candidacy based on residency, the Board held that a dormitory address could not be considered a permanent address. Combining the Board’s conclusions of law, the Board’s ruling can be summarized as “We do not know where Mr. King resides because he cannot claim to reside here.” The Board’s conclusions oflaw are illogical. Under their conclusions, any student who abandons their former home and goes to a dormitory would be completely barred from establishing domicile anywhere. The Board’s conclusions of law classifying dormitories as insufficient addresses for voting purposes would effectively disenfranchise every student who attempts to register at his or her college dormitory address, in clear violation of United States Supreme Court precedent and holdings of the North Carolina Supreme Court.

Evidence presented at the August 13th hearing showed that Mr. King established 1704 Weeksville Road as his permanent address by:
• Registering to vote at that address in 2009 and voting in subsequent elections
• Attending classes every semester and during summer school at that address
• Using that address for the place where he does his banking
• Using that address for medical records
• Obtaining employment in Elizabeth City and using that address with his employer
• Changing his driver’s license to that address
• Removing treasured possessions such as photos and mementos from his parents’s home and keeping them with him in Elizabeth City
• Actively engaging in community life by serving as President of the ECSU Chapter of the NAACP
• Testifying that he intends to stay in the Fourth Ward after graduation

via election law blog (pdf)

Game Change

So Game Change premieres tonight on HBO, and I am honestly still unsure whether or not I will watch it. I’ve barely recovered from listening to that ignorant harpy in 2008 and am really not sure I can take a sustained two hour exposure to her tonight, even if it isn’t actually her. This may be one of those movies that is so painful I can only watch it in ten to fifteen minute increments.

Palin elicits feelings in me I am not proud of having, and this is a testament to what a truly ugly, awful human being she really is. Just the other day on Fox, she was there spewing her mindless bile, accusing the President of hating white people because of the color of their skin. She had the audacity to claim thet the nation’s first black President actually wanted to revert to pre-Civil war era racism. Why? Because Obama hugged his law professor 20+ years ago.

It’s really hard to measure what an awful, hideous, disgusting human being she is- a worthless sack of flesh whose only mission in life is to sow hatred and animosity, a sad soul with no ability to empathize or behave as a rational actor, and it is worth remembering that this foul beast almost was the Vice President of the United States. Thanks for that, John McCain.

It is my belief that without the elevation of Palin, in all her ugly ignorant glory, we wouldn’t have had the ascent and acceptance of the tea party. When Palin’s odious vitriol and ugly beliefs were mainstreamed, it paved the way for the Joe the Plumbers and the rest of the ugly uninformed orthogonian lumpenproletariat to wear their ignorance, racism, religious sophistry, hatred, and crude nativism as a badge of honor.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

NIXONLAND, Final Week (15): “Celebrities”, “In Which Playboy Bunnies…” & “Not Half Enough”

The Gallup poll showed it 59-36 for the president. One of the people who didn’t believe it was one of the nation’s most respected political columnists, Scotty Reston of the New York Times, the Sunday before Election Day. Nixon would win, “but the thought that the American people are going to give Mr. Nixon and his policies and anonymous hucksters and twisters in the White House a landslide popular victory… is a little hard to imagine.” To believe that Gallup was right, “you must also believe that the American people regret corruption but have accepted it as an unavoidable part of American life and really don’t care about all those millions of dollars given to the Republican party by a few rich men and women, all the secret funds, and the bugging and burglary of the Democratic party and the fake letters and political sabotage and the guerilla warfare used in this campaign… that it’s all right for the President to seek four more years in the White House without defining his program for the next four years, without debating the opposition candidate, or answering questions from the press… that the American people don’t mind or haven’t noticed that Presidential power is now unbalancing the whole American system.”

And, for all demonstrable purposes, the American people — or at least that portion of the Silent Majority Real Americans who bought newspapers and voted in every election — didn’t mind. Which was a great relief to Mr. Reston’s employers, because comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted is so much easier than doing it the other way around. If national elections are just another variety of Survivor or American Idol, then the courtiers of the press get to demonstrate their most finely-honed talents to a much wider audience!

As a coda, it is not possible for me to despise Hubert H. Humphrey any more than I already did, but damned if Perlstein doesn’t convince me that George McGovern wasn’t a good man out of his depth in a particularly filthy race, but a pious fraud willing to make himself a puppet for whichever cabal offered him the best chance at a higher office than his natural talents allowed. Kind of the Democratic George H.W. Bush, with (per best Dem practice) less money and more guts. I don’t think this was Perlstein’s intention, but did it seem to anyone else like McGovern couldn’t have done more to ensure Nixon’s re-election if he had been a GOP plant?

NIXONLAND, Week 14: “The Coven”, “Party of… George Wallace”, and “Spring Offensive”

And when [Liddy] considered the 1972 Presidential election… he realized that for Nixon to fight according to the normal procedures of democratic politics would have been just such a surrender. It was like one of the agents in a novel by Howard Hunt said: “We become lawless in a struggle for the rule of law — semi-outlaws who risk their lives to put down the savagery of others.”

Brave words from a desk jockey wanna-be-007, determined to glamorize his petty criminality against honest political opponents. Nixon’s ‘Plumbers’ were every bit as silly as their Yippie / Weathermen “enemies”, but the hippie kids with the big mouths didn’t have anywhere near the weapons at the WH’s disposal.

And this is where I tried & failed to find a usable YouTube version of Tom Paxton’s “The Hostage”, which he wrote right after the Attica uprising:

“I’m a guard in the grey iron prison, or at least I was till now;
It was never a picnic social, never a day;
The cons didn’t come in laughing, and you know we never taught them how,
It was damned hard work and you wouldn’t believe the pay…
Let ’em take the governor [Rockefeller], hold him for a couple of days,
See who comes in shooting to set him free —

Hell, they’d open every cell in the country, and send them on their way!
They’d never do to him what the governor did to me…

One more reminder that the compact had been broken. The Top Ten Percenters, having lost interest in running the country rather than ruling their personal fiefdoms, were about to helicopter away from the wreckage and leave their former servants and bodyguards behind. The ‘servant class’, aka ‘Silent Majority’, had nobody to retaliate against except each other and the miserable outcasts even lower on the social scale.

Meanwhile there were the broadcast networks to flay… OTP general counsel Antonin Scalia had drafted a series of memos on how the Corporation for Public Broadcasting might be made a more pliant vassal of the White House.

Another familar name in the War Against American Democracy emerges from the cesspit! If any right-wing criminal of the past 40 years didn’t play a part in Nixon’s White House, it was only because they hadn’t been born soon enough…

Finally, for the capper:

Nixon arranged for Hoover’s half-ton, lead-lined coffin to lie in state in the Capitol Rotunda as if he’d been a president and said at his funeral: “The good J. Edgar Hoover has done will not die. The profound principles associated with his name will not fade away. Rather, I would predict that in the time ahead those principles of respect for law, order, and justice will come to govern our nation more completely than ever before. Because the trend of permissiveness in this country, a trend which Edgar Hoover fought against all his life, a trend which was dangerously eroding our national heritage as a law-abiding people, is now being reversed.”