by Teri O’Brien
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
The re-election of Barack Obama inspired a lot of discussion of the phenomenon of the “low information voter.” That’s understandable. Throughout 2012, pollsters told us that the most important issue to the American people was the economy and jobs. Then in November they elected a guy who has as much interest in economic growth as Ellen Degeneres has in a romantic dinner with George Clooney (and vice versa).
So some people were left scratching their heads. I was not. I said it in November 2008; that is, the genius of the Obama campaign was getting people whose only previous experience with voting consisted of texting in the number of their favorite American Idol contestants. Perhaps that’s why some of them thought it was acceptable to vote more than once. The fact that many of them can’t name their congressmen at gun point should distress you. If it doesn’t, just look at the the result. The Lo-Fo’s voted for a celebutard, Barack Obama. He’s cool! He sings like Al Green! He cares! To quote Hillary Clinton, what difference does it make that he has contempt for the Constitution? What’s a “Constitution?”
One consequence of dragging the vapid, the distracted, the intellectually lazy, and even the completely clueless away from TMZ and Keeping up with the Kardashians and involving them in the political process is that there are many more people available for political operatives to manipulate. These are not serious people. On a scale of 1 to 10, if 10 were Victor Davis Hansen and 1 were Snooki, many of them would be a -17.
Unfortunately, we live in a time of many serious issues. Often these serious issues end up being debated and decided in the U.S. Supreme Court. Such was the case with last week’s oral argument in Shelby County, Alabama v, Holder. At issue: the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Wait, wake up! OK, now don’t stop reading. I’m not going to launch into some arcane legal argument. I’m not even going to use words like “arcane.”
I want to talk about something much more interesting, and hilarious; specifically, what happens when those -17 serious scale types end up trying to understand a legal argument presented by someone who is probably about a +50 on the seriousness scale, and who also clearly has an I.Q. at least two standard deviations from the mean on plus side, Justice Antonin Scalia. Expecting the the bunch at MS-NBC to understand Scalia is like expecting a chimpanzee to know how to use an electron microscope. Is it any wonder that when they try, hilarity ensues? I think not!
During last week’s oral argument, Justice Scalia used a phrase which to those who understand the arcane (damn – I’m sorry) legal issues being discussed is not only perfectly acceptable, but spot on accurate. It describes the issue at hand precisely. To appreciate that, though, a person has to have the ability to understand the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (the “VRA”), Section 2, 4, and 5 thereof, the amendments added during the reauthorizations in 1970, 1972, 1986 and 2006, the relationship of those enactments to the Fifteenth Amendment and Article IV of the U.S. Constitution, plus the relevant case law. Maybe I’m being a tad presumptuous, but based on what I saw while watching the 24/7 televised insane asylum last week, these items might be just a teensy weensy bit beyond the knowledge and intellectual capacity of the average MS-NBC host or daily bloviator, including several alleged law professors.
That didn’t stop them from enthusiastically expressing their opinions. I can report that these commentators not only didn’t agree that this was the perfect phrase. Hours of broadcast time that would have been better spent showing an infomercial for the Shake Weight were consumed by outraged rants condemning Scalia, and expressing shock that anyone could use this phrase in 2013. One especially unhinged loudmouth wailed that Justice Scalia may as well have used the ‘n’ word, and declared that he was ashamed to have him on the Court.
What was this horribly offensive, insensitive, borderline obscene phrase that exposed Justice Scalia as a racist? Did he advocate the repeal of the VRA, the Fifteenth Amendment, which guarantees the right to vote, and the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery? Not exactly. What he did was accurately describe the requirements imposed by Section 5 of the VRA. These requirements are not imposed nation-wide, but only on 16 states, and some counties, including that notorious hot bed of racism, Brooklyn, New York. If a state, or part of a state, is lucky enough to be covered by Section 5, it cannot make any changes to its local election procedures without permission from the U. S. Justice Department. That means any changes. If you want to move a polling place one block, you need permission.
Section 5 is like “double secret probation.” It’s like when you got grounded after that thing we won’t talk about, and could drive only to school, the library and grandma’s until your parents decided you had reformed. This unprecedented intrusion on federalism was justified because the covered states had done bad things to keep black people from voting, like literacy tests and poll taxes. That’s a huge oversimplification, but it’s generally accurate. You might think that the law was designed to make elections color-blind, but that wasn’t the goal. It was designed to make up for the racist policies that these states and counties had, which is a very laudable goal. Unfortunately, the law provides that the only way officials in these states prove that they are no longer behaving in an illegal racist way is to make sure that the winners of elections are members of a certain race. They are required to create legislative districts that ensure that result.
When this law was passed in 1965, it was supposed to be a temporary. The thought was that after 5 years, it would no longer be necessary. Isn’t that adorable? I’m sure that the earnest, well-intentioned, albeit naive lawmakers who passed a law called The Voting Rights Act meant well, and really believed that something with that name would be allowed to expire. Of course, they were wrong. It has been reauthorized four times, the last time in 2006, for 25 years.
You need all of the foregoing background information to appreciate and enjoy the hysteria Justice Scalia set off on the Left with the phrase “racial entitlement.” That’s the horrendous collection of words that sent them into full, mouth-frothing race-obsessed insanity. I know what you’re thinking. How dare this man use such an evil, loaded expression to describe a law requiring the creation of legislative districts that contain specific percentages of people divided by race, with the specific objective of making sure that the winners of elections are members of designated racial minorities?
Or perhaps you are thinking, like the officials in Shelby County Alabama no doubt were, that since we now have a president who is often described as “African American,” ironically, since it’s only by virtue of the old Jim Crow “one drop” rule that makes him so, and since he carried two states of the Old Confederacy in the last election, it might be time to let them run their own elections without the boot of the federal government on their necks. Isn’t it time to dispense with a remedy that was originally supposed to last for 5 years to redress racial discrimination? Isn’t this fixed?
No, it will never be fixed. That was Justice Scalia’s point. He nailed it when he said “Who could vote against something called The Voting Rights Act?” Once these special accommodations are put in place, they are impossible to take away. An obvious and simple point, unless you are a race-obsessed, intellectually stunted pinhead, which qualifies you immediately for your own show on MS-NBC.
Image: Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia; source: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia; author Stephen Masker; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
Teri O’Brien is America’s Original Conservative Warrior Princess, and host of The Teri O’Brien Show, which debuted on Chicago’s radio home for Rush Limbaugh, and now airs in the cutting edge world of online media, She is a yoga-practicing, 2nd Amendment-loving, bench pressing Mac girl geek, attorney, provocateur, author, and dangerous thinker. Learn more at http://www.teriobrien.com.