Sunday, November 09, 2014


I'm still digesting this week's midterm election results.  Here in North Carolina, what particularly rankles is the vindication of the Republican legislature that comes not only from Tillis beating Hagan but from their picking up a seat in the state senate.  That's hard on our boy Josh, and it's hard on us.

What makes it worse is looking at the map of the painfully gerrymandered congressional districts that let the Republicans take all but three congressional seats in Washington, and how Tillis's narrow margin of victory clearly reflects the success of the Republicans' making it hard for college students to vote.

And it will be worse in 2016, when voter ID laws come into effect.

It is rather dispiriting to see Tillis sent to Washington, after reading the history of the Senate with which Caro begins Master of the Senate, volume 3 of the LBJ bio.  The US Senate, with its 6-year terms which provide for a third of the chamber to turn over every two years, was designed by the Founding Fathers to be a brake on law-making, to make things go slowly, and throughout its history it has fulfilled that function pretty darned well, and has been driven by white southern bastards like Tillis.  The first half of the 19th century was spent dithering over letting states into the Union so as to maintain a balance of power between free and slave states, and for much of the 20th century and into the 21st, the Senate has been a place where southerners have trumpeted the doctrine of states rights as a constraint on such noxious efforts at the "dangerous concentration of power" inherent in things like federal anti-lynching laws, or the dreaded Obamacare.


So last night I was at a fundraiser here in liberal Chapel Hill for an excellent organization ( that provides funding for lower-income kids to do afterschool and summer activities, take trips and the like.  As is all too often the case, almost everybody in the room was white, except some kids and representatives of an organization that received money from it.  This happens all too often.  It is hard to change things.

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