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Supreme Court Voter Rights Act

Why Voter Suppression Will Backfire

Robert Kuttner | Posted 08.30.2013 | Politics
Robert Kuttner

Absent gross mischief to hold down or dilute minority voting, key southern states are on track to shift from red to purple, (Texas, Georgia) and from purple to blue (Florida, North Carolina, Virginia). Other states that used to be reliably Republican such as Colorado are becoming more heavily Democratic thanks both to shifting demographics and changing views on social issues. So we have quite simply a race between demographic and ideological change and flat-out voter suppression. In the 1960s, thanks to the civil rights movement, the liberal wing of a still moderate Republican Party, and Lyndon Johnson's legendary arm-twisting, the great civil rights acts of 1964, 1965 and 1968 passed Congress with a lot of Republican support. It was the Democrats who were split between northern progressives and diehard segregationist Dixiecrats. Today, however, the obstructionists and vote suppressors are all Republicans. Ultimately, this will not be lost on a changing electorate. The forces of anti-democracy have won this round, but if the progressive movement gets itself organized, this victory for Republicans will be Pyrrhic.