Day: June 23, 2009

The Supreme Court Decision On The Voting Rights Act

Thank goodness the Supreme Court upheld the continuation of the Voting Rights Act in a case just decided, but it did allow a specific jurisdiction in Austin, Texas, to come out from under the regulation of the law.

This, it seems to me, sets a bad standard for the future, so is regrettable.  But even more disturbing, is that one Justice, Clarence Thomas, the only African American member of the court, kept up his prima donna image of resisting his own heritage and experience, by declaring that Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, which requires that states get advance approval of changes in how their elections are conducted, should be declared unconstitutional.

Thomas’s reasoning is that the conditions in the South that led to the Voting Rights Act no longer exists, and therefore the oversight is no longer needed.  Thomas seems not to have studied US History and the abuses visited on African Americans in the years after the Civil War, despite the existence of the 15th Amendment, which guaranteed anyone of race or color the right to vote, and yet was totally diobeyed for nearly 75 years. 

While certainly those kinds of abuses no longer exist, history tells us that Congress, and even President Bush, in calling for the renewal of the Voting Rights Act in 2006, knew that it was still necessary.  The idea that the only minority Justice would be the lone one to call for the repeal condemns him to ricidule and ostracism, something which probably has no effect on this man, indeed an odd duck if there ever was one on the Supreme Court!

Senator Richard Lugar, The Rare Republican Senator

Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana, the ranking Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, may be a conservative in his voting record, but one must say that he is a responsible conservative when it comes to rhetoric and diplomacy.

This weekend, Lugar spoke up in support of how Obama is handling the Iran crisis, and suggested that it was essential that this nation sit down with the Iranian government in order to negotiate on important differences between  the two nations.

Instead of demagoguing as many Republicans have been doing, Lugar showed measured judgment,  and willingness to be fair in his assessment of events in the Middle East. 

For this, I say I applaud Senator Lugar and recognize him for what he has always been:  a statesman and man of principle!

Mark Sanford: Looney Governor Of South Carolina

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford already has a bad image after declaring that his state, one of the highest in unemployment during this recession, and certainly one of the poorest states in the Union in general, would not accept stimulus money.  In so doing, he provoked his own legislature and members of his own party, including his Lieutenant Governor.  You would think that his image could not get worse, but now it has.

Governor Sanford suddenly disappeared for nearly a week, leaving no information as to his whereabouts , to the Lieutenant Governor, his own staff, and even his wife and four sons!  How crazy and outrageous can conduct be by a governor, who has responsibilities to his state as well as his family!

Realize that Fathers Day passed and Sanford was nowhere to be found for his own sons along with his wife.  And IF a natural disaster had occurred, there would have been no way to contact the governor, since he left no information behind to ANYONE!

Certainly, any person, including those in elective office, have a right to rest and relaxation, but not without informing and notifying others of where he would be and how to contact him.

This is extremely odd behavior, unbecoming of any politician, and really of any father and husband!  And this man supposedly is planning to run for President of the United States, not that he would be seen as a likely choice based on his loner status and stupid and antagonizing behavior as Governor.

It is clear that Mark Sanford has shot himself in the foot as far as his Presidential candidacy is concerned.  When  he was in the House of Representatives, he also had great trouble relating to his colleagues and staff.  This man in so many ways is unfit for any public position, and I would suggest that he be investigated for his weird behavior, and that he possibly be impeached and removed from office if he does not resign under fire.  Mark Sanford is an embarassment to his state, his party, and to his family, and should be ashamed of himself and, at the least, be required to explain his behavior openly and completely at a news conference, but don’t bet on that based on his personality and behavioral characteristics.

This incident, by the way, only adds to the horrible image that the Republican party has displayed since the election of Barack Obama.  The broad question is, who has credibility to be a serious presidential alternative to President Obama?  Right now, the answer is NO ONE!