Patterico's Pontifications


Virginia Dems Threaten To Boycott Commemoration In Virginia If Trump Attends

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:15 pm

[guest post by Dana]

You just can’t make this stuff up:

Virginia Democratic lawmakers said Friday they will boycott an upcoming ceremony to mark the 400th anniversary of representative democracy in America if President Trump attends, urging organizers to “Send Him Back.”

The July 30 event will be held in Jamestown, the site of the first permanent English colony, and will mark the founding of the House of Burgesses, which was the first representative legislative assembly in America. It is part of a weeklong celebration of the state’s colonial past — including the first arrival of African slaves in the former British colonies.

Virginia’s House and Senate Democratic leadership said in a statement that they “will not be attending any part of the commemorative session where Donald Trump is in attendance.”

“The current President does not represent the values that we would celebrate at the 400th anniversary of the oldest democratic body in the western world,” they added before ending the statement with “Send Him Back,” a reference to the “send her back” chant repeatedly shouted by Trump supporters at a July 17 rally in Greenville, N.C. The crowd began the chant after Trump criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn.

Oh. Wait. What’s that? Well, whatd’ya know:

The invitation to Trump to attend the Virginia event was extended by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and two Republican state lawmakers.

Oh, snap!

Yearbook Photo Closeup

Guess what? Trump has accepted the invitation from Gov. Northam:

The White House says President Donald Trump will travel to Williamsburg, Virginia, on Tuesday to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first representative legislative assembly in America.

The event comes at a time of heightened election-year partisanship in Virginia, and some Democratic lawmakers have threatened to boycott the event if Trump attends.

Trump will also be delivering remarks during the commemoration, a White House official confirmed.

Republican lawmakers are pushing back against the Democrats threatened boycott of the event:

“It’s disappointing, but not at all unexpected, that Democrats would put politics ahead of this historic occasion,” House majority leader Todd Gilbert said in a statement provided to the Washington Free Beacon Saturday in response. “The continued hypocrisy demonstrated by Democrats this year is stunning.”

Gilbert noted Democrats who had called on Northam to resign after a racist photo of an individual in a KKK robe and another in blackface was found on his yearbook page are now accepting campaign contributions from him. The Free Beacon was the first to report that the governor had resumed doling out political contributions to many of these state legislative Democratic incumbents and candidates.

“No Democrat has refused to attend the commemoration with Northam, despite insisting there’s no room for racism at this commemoration,” Gilbert added.

Geez. All of these people richly deserve each other. And I mean that in the worst way possible.

[Ed. Trump should read “Roots”. It’s what the professional P.R. folks advise when it’s time to do some serious damage control and get an elected official out of the racist doghouse. Look how well it work for Northam.]

Anyway, here is a detailed schedule of the commemoration events.


Virginia’s Legislative Black Caucus is boycotting Tuesday’s events marking 400 years of English-style representative government in what is now the United States.

The boycott is due to a planned speech by President Donald Trump and concerns that the separation of the commemorative session from other ceremonies in coming weeks marking 400 years since the first arrival of enslaved Africans in Virginia minimizes the significance of slavery.

The group would like to see everyone boycott all of this week’s events in Historic Jamestowne. They have planned alternative events, and also state that those who choose to attend tomorrow’s event, and “remain silent are complicit in the atrocities that [the president] incites”.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


Preclearance under the Voting Rights Act

Filed under: Government,Law — DRJ @ 7:00 pm

[Headlines from DRJ]

Ten years ago, I wrote about preclearance under the Voting Rights Act:

The Obama Justice Department has rejected Georgia’s voter ID system that requires voters provide Social Security numbers and driver’s license data in order to vote. The rejection letter cites the law’s disproportionate impact on “African-American, Asian and/or Hispanic voters” that burdens their right to vote.

The rejection resulted from a requirement that Georgia obtain “preclearance” of voting changes under the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Georgia and 16 predominantly Southern states, including Texas, are required to get “federal approval before changing election rules because of a history of discriminatory Jim Crow-era voting practices.” Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 requires that the local government prove to federal authorities that the voting change is not discriminatory and will not adversely affect minorities.

Then, in 2013:

On June 25, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to use the coverage formula in Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act to determine which jurisdictions are subject to the preclearance requirement of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Shelby County v. Holder, 133 S. Ct. 2612 (2013). The Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of Section 5 itself. The effect of the Shelby County decision is that the jurisdictions identified by the coverage formula in Section 4(b) no longer need to seek preclearance for the new voting changes, unless they are covered by a separate court order entered under Section 3(c) of the Voting Rights Act.

Since then, the only way for a state to be put under federal preclearance was through litigation, i.e., a “separate court order.” Texas had already been sued for discrimination in redistricting, and the litigation continued after the Shelby County decision. In early May 2019, a Texas federal court heard arguments regarding whether Texas would still be subject to preclearance because of past attempted discriminatory redistricting:

A federal judge in San Antonio will hear arguments Thursday over whether Texas should have to clear its political maps with the federal government in 2021.

Any ruling on this question would be a test of a little-known part of the Voting Rights Act, sweeping legislation passed during the civil rights movement.

“This is pretty uncharted territory,” said Michael Li, senior counsel for the Brennan Center for Justice’s Democracy Program. “Texas will be the first big test of this, and so it’s something that certainly people around the country are watching closely.”


“The Texas case will be a big test of whether the Voting Rights Act has any teeth after the gutting of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act,” Li said.

Now a federal court panel has decided Texas is no longer subject to preclearance, at least not because of this pending litigation:

After a yearslong fight over Texas’ political maps, a panel of federal judges on Wednesday denied the requests of voters of color, civil rights groups and Democratic lawmakers to put Texas back under federal supervision of its redistricting.

Although they noted “grave concerns” about Texas’ past conduct, the judges who have overseen the long-winding case against the state ruled that the drastic intervention was not warranted despite previously ruling that state lawmakers discriminated against voters of color when they first drew up new maps in 2011.


Although findings of intentional discrimination against the 2011 maps, which were never used, remained intact, the panel of federal judges said they were bound by the Supreme Court’s opinion that “nothing further remains to be remedied.”

The outcome is a massive loss for those who had hoped that Texas — a repeat offender when it comes to undermining the voting rights of people of color — would be back under federal oversight of its map-drawing ahead of 2021, when lawmakers will have to redraw maps to account for population growth.

Without an appeal to the Supreme Court, the 2021 redistricting cycle could mark the first time in nearly half a century that Texas will be able to implement new legislative and congressional districts without first proving they don’t undercut the electoral power of voters of color.

This may be appealed but it seems the preclearance requirement may be gone unless a court finds a state has engaged in current discriminatory intent or actions.


Breaking News & Off Topic Links (7/29/2019)

Filed under: General — DRJ @ 6:30 pm

[By DRJ]

This post is for everyone who wants to share a link to a breaking news story or to an interesting news story/blog post that is not related to a current post. Put your link in the comments and, if you want, a brief discussion of why it is important or interesting.

Discussion about any links is welcome here, too.


Live By the Sword. . .

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:27 pm

[guest post by JVW]

. . . die by the sword:

The executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) resigned Monday after Democratic lawmakers and DCCC staffers lashed out publicly at the organization’s leadership over their failure to prioritize racial diversity.

Allison Jaslow announced her resignation during an emergency meeting that was held on Monday morning in response to calls from staffers and lawmakers for an “immediate restructuring” of the group’s senior leadership, Politico reported.

Democratic representatives Vicente Gonzalez and Filemon Vela of Texas specifically called for Jaslow’s resignation in a statement provided to Politico on Sunday.

“The DCCC is now in complete chaos,” Gonzalez and Vela said in their statement. “The single most immediate action that Cheri Bustos can take to restore confidence in the organization and to promote diversity is to appoint a qualified person of color, of which there are many, as executive director at once. We find the silence of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on this issue to be deafening.”

It was apparently a pretty ugly scene:

DCCC chairwoman Cheri Bustos was forced to return to Washington on Monday to address lawmakers’ and staffers’ concerns after an emergency meeting on Friday, which Bustos did not attend, and a conference call on Saturday, proved insufficient.

Jaslow reportedly wept while assuming blame for the lack of diversity during the Friday meeting while Bustos responded to the complaints by emphasizing her marriage to a Mexican man and her son’s engagement to an African-American woman during the Saturday call. She also agreed to hold mandatory diversity training for Committee staff.

So it turns out that Cheri Bustos is originally Cheri Callahan, who likely traces her family to County Cork in the Muenster province of the Emerald Isle. In other words, about as ethnically Latino as, oh, Joe Biden. But don’t you just cringe thinking of her earnestly telling the Sacred Council of Progressive Grievance Hierarchy Ratings that her marriage to a Mexican-American and her son’s impending betrothal to an African-American woman (you mean “African-American” like Charlize Theron?) establishes her intersectionality street cred?

There might be more to this story behind the scenes, including payback for Rep. Bustos’ apostasy in questioning whether her party can win by emphasizing an anti-Trump message. But I frankly don’t care about the inside baseball of Democrat politics; I’m just enjoying them holding themselves to the standards to which they have insisted upon holding their adversaries for the last couple of generations. It’s also a beautiful touch that relatively-new Reps. Gonzalez (first term) and Vela (third term) are giving Aunt Nancy and Uncle Steny fits over the lack of wokedy-wokeness in the party leadership. Let’s just be done with it and make our delightfully clueless but insufferably woke niece the new Speaker of the House already.


Baltimore Sun Responds To Trump Tweets About Elijah Cummings And Charm City

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:33 am

[guest post by Dana]

The Baltimore Sun responded to President Trump’s Twitter rant about Maryland’s 7th congressional district and Rep. Elijah Cummings. This after Trump’s descriptions included “no human being would want to live there,” it is a “very dangerous & filthy place,” “Worst in the USA” and it is a “rat and rodent infested mess”:

Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner — or ruefully point out that he failed to spell the congressman’s name correctly (it’s Cummings, not Cumming) — we would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are “good people” among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one.

P.S. This morning, Trump upped the ante, and referred to Cummings as “King Elijah”.


Team Trump’s Smart Marketing Strategy

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:27 am

[guest post by Dana]

A week ago, JVW humorously walked us through the campaign swag of the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. He also included some items from from the Trump shop, including the TRUMP straw. Marketing genius, apparently:

Brad Parscale had just boarded a Jet Blue flight earlier this month when the paper straw he was using ripped in half.

As he tried to keep his iced tea from spilling onto his suit, the annoyed Trump campaign manager tweeted that he was “so over paper straws.” Prodded by his wife not to leave it at that, Parscale emailed his staff from the air with an idea: Let’s sell plastic Trump straws.

In short order, the campaign sent an email to supporters with the subject line, “Making straws great again.” By the time Parscale landed in Florida, the presidential straws were already in production and an advertising campaign was up and running. The first batch was sold out within hours.

The “ploy was part of a strategy to stoke and validate the grievances of Trump’s base — and then turn them into hard cash, has been a major success:

The straws (they are actually reusable and recyclable) have been a cash cow, generating more than $456,000 in sales since they first became available July 19, according to the campaign. That and other offerings have attracted scores of new donors to the Trump campaign, and helped the president build a massive early financial advantage over Democrats.

Even Democrats are taking notice and begrudgingly acknowledge the successful marketing strategy:

“I think something Trump has always understood very clearly is how to tap into a cultural moment or zeitgeist and leverage it to his advantage,” said Tara McGowan, a top Democratic digital strategist who served on a pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC during the 2016 campaign and has been active in the climate change movement. “So for him, taking a relatively new thing in the world that most people hate (paper straws) and leveraging it to both make a political statement and raise [hundreds of thousands] of dollars by selling plastic straws is both brilliant and sinister.”

[Ed. sinister??]

Following the Trump playbook, Team Trump zeros in on Trump supporters’ resentment of all things politically correct, as well as their love of country. Many items sold are on the cheap side, and as such, draw in new, small donors for whom this might be the first time they are giving to a campaign.

The overall strategy is working.

Additionally, although it sells for $45, three months ago, the Trump campaign had raked in $45 million from the sale of nearly one million MAGA hats. I haven’t taken the time to research it but it would be interesting to know whether the campaign sees an uptick in sales of Trump swag after he goes on tweet rants attacking Democrats (four Democratic congresswomen, Elijah Cummings this weekend, etc). Also, it’s curious there’s no “Send Them Back” swag in the Trump shop yet. Seems like that would be a real moneymaker…

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


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