Today the Senate Judiciary Committee held their first hearing on the post-Supreme Court gutted Voting Rights Act. Only two Republicans attended the hearing, and both of them left early.
Ari Berman of The Nation reported, “Beyond Sensenbrenner, there wasn’t much enthusiasm among Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to revise the VRA. Only two Republicans attended the hearing, Senators Grassley and Cruz, neither of whom stayed the full time. Cruz praised the Supreme Court’s decision, while Grassley and witness Michael Carvin, a prominent Republican lawyer at Jones Day, suggested that Section 2 would be an adequate replacement for Sections 4 & 5. (Section 4 determines how states are covered under Section 5, which requires that states with the worst history of voting discrimination clear their voting changes with the federal government.)”
Ted Cruz was only there to score points with Republicans ahead of his dreamed of 2016 presidential run, and Grassley showed up just to reassure people that there was no need to restore the gutted portions of the law. Grassley’s comments were a variation on that old Republican standard, If It Isn’t A Problem for White Republicans, It Isn’t A Problem At All. (If you this tune, feel free to hum a few bars while you read, but it goes something like this.)
If Republicans can’t be bothered to even show up for a hearing, it is very unlikely that they intend on doing anything to repair the Voting Rights Act. Since they can’t get minorities to support their agenda, the Republican goal has shifted to making sure that these potential Democratic voters can’t vote. Heck, if Republicans had their way they would make it difficult for all Democrats to vote.
The Republican response is exactly what most observers feared would happen after the Supreme Court decision. Republicans are going to everything in their power to prevent the return of the Voting Rights Act. They view disenfranchisement as the key to taking back the White House.
Republicans are already signaling that they are going to do what they do best, nothing. It is going to be up to Democrats to demand, fight, and sue for our right to vote. It is a sad state of affairs but this is what the Republican real (white) America has in mind.