On the Republicans' new plan to steal elections, disenfranchise black people
It's also worth noting, again, that this constitutes a massive disenfranchisement of African American and other nonwhite voters, who tend to cluster near urban areas. When you couple this with the move on Monday to redraw the state's electoral maps -- eliminating one state senate district and packing black voters into another, diluting their strength -- it's as if Virginia Republicans are responding to Obama's repeat victory in the state by building an electoral facsimile of Jim Crow.
I'd like to double down on that point. Efforts to disenfranchise black people, have always been most successful when they worked indirectly. After the initial post-war Black Codes were repealed, white supremacists turned to less obvious modes of discrimination -- poll taxes, grandfather clauses, and literacy tests.
These were cloaked under a colorblind argument -- "We don't discriminate against black people, we discriminate against people who can't read the Constitution." By "read the Constitution," they meant "recite the Bill of Rights by heart." And they'd ask you to do this after reducing your school funding to a pittance. I say this to point that this is not a "new" racism. This is how it scheme went before the civil-rights movement, and this is how the scheme works today.
To see the only other major political party in the country effectively giving up on convincing voters, and instead embarking on a strategy of disenfranchisement is bad sign for American democracy. There is nothing gleeful in this.