Archive for September 8, 2015

Love the title of this short piece in New York magazine: “Scott Walker Finds Secret Cheat Code That Allows Him to Avoid All Campaign Questions”

Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who has previously declined to have stances on birthright citizenship, evolution, whether being gay is a choice, and whether he would meet with Black Lives Matter organizers, discussed the philosophical underpinnings of his political apathy when announcing that he has no opinion on the migrant crisis in Europe.

ABC News asked Walker how he would respond to the massive influx of refugees from Syria if he were president today. He explained that the query was flawed. As he is obviously not president, Walker argued, there is no way that he would be able to answer that question. “I’m not president today and I can’t be president today,” he said. “Everybody wants to talk about hypotheticals; there is no such thing as a hypothetical” — a sentence that probably would have moved Socrates to set Walker’s pants on fire himself.

Not president today. Not president tomorrow. How did this guy get elected to anything?

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50 years ago yesterday, the AP headline was, “Mississippi Suits Attack Vote Act”:

JACKSON, Miss., Sept. 7 (AP)–Attorney General Joe Patterson asked Mississippi courts today to keep off the voting rolls persons registered by Federal examiners under the new voting rights law.

He filed suits in the chancery courts of Leflore, Madison and Jefferson Davis Counties and said a similar suit would be filed in Jones County tomorrow. These are the four Mississippi counties to which Federal examiners have been assigned.

The suits set the stage for a local showdown on conflicted Federal and state requirements for voting.

In the suits, Mr. Patterson said the Federal voting rights law required county registrars to defy state law.

“The clears are on the horns of a dilemma,” Mr. Patterson also said. “They are put in the position of accepting these people registered by Federal registrars and violin state law.”

“These people” would be African-Americans that the good folks of Mississippi didn’t feel deserved the right to vote, because racism. Or the Bible. Or a principled stand. Or whatever.

It was ugly then. It’s ugly now.

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