Monday, January 23, 2006

gop election tactics start at justice

The GOP, which has over the past decade transformed lobbying from a sleazy, amoral, largely nonpartisan exercise in seeking favor for corporations into a sleazy, amoral, largely partisan-Republican exercise in seeking favor for corporations and extending Republican power, is now transforming the office at the Justice Department that oversees voting issues.

This is as surprising as hearing that Tom DeLay is corrupt. Professional members of Justice's Civil Rights Division note that over the past five years, Justice has consistently ruled in favor of the GOP in various voting disputes; often political levels have overturned judgements of the nonpartisan professional lawyers and analysts in doing so. Justice defends itself, saying it has approved thousands of redistricting plans including those from Democrats -- but it ALWAYS does that, there are routinely thousands of plans submitted. It is the controversial ones where they overturn professional judgement that make it clear it is being politicized for partisan gain.

Specifically, the Tom DeLay-engineered Texas mid-term redistricting plot comes to mind. That decision to redistrict was unprecedented in the post-WW2 US. I suspect if a state legislature had come up with that plan to deny the Republicans a half-dozen seats in the House that Justice would not have been so accommodating -- as was the case in Mississippi in 2002, when Justice "political appointees rejected a recommendation from career lawyers to approve a redistricting plan favorable to Democrats. While Justice delayed issuing a final decision, a panel of three GOP federal judges approved a plan favorable to a Republican congressman."

Not to mention their support for a Jim Crow style law in Georgia that would overwhelming applied to poor blacks in requiring them to get a voter ID in order to vote, if they have no drivers license.

The Republican Party -- committed to fair elections, as long as the results are Right.