Once the dust settles on the Presidential race, Georgia will become the center of the American political universe for the rest of 2020. With several Republican Senators holding on to their seats, Biden’s ability to get anything done in his first two years will likely hinge on the two Senate runoff races in Georgia. Thanks to the incredible work of Stacey Abrams and a host of grassroots organizers, Georgia went blue in a presidential race for the first time since 1992, and they will now be asked to deliver Georgia again to secure Democratic control of the Senate. With special elections normally tending to favor Republicans, the GOP pitching the idea that control of the Senate is the best way to constrain Biden’s “radical left agenda”, and Democrats no longer able to use anti-Trump energy to drive turnout, winning these races could be a decidedly harder task. …


Every time we go through a Supreme Court nomination process, I find myself thinking of the final court scene of The Hurricane. While the film’s re-telling of framed boxer Rubin Carter’s fight for freedom is dramatized, the scene captures the importance of having judges who understand that interpretation of law can’t be separated from the pursuit of justice. Judge H. Lee Sarokin recognized that the law stipulated he was supposed to throw out evidence proving Carter’s innocence because it had not first been presented to a state court, but then made the decision to free Carter anyways, remarking “To permit convictions to stand, which had as their sole foundation appeals to racial prejudice, is to commit a violation of the constitution as heinous as the crimes for which the defendants were tried and convicted”. …


Trump didn’t hijack the Republican party, he just took the wheel and drove them where they were already going — and they were happy to accept the ride. After four years, most of the country wants off the Trump Train, and his unhinged behavior is making it hard for Republicans to make the case that he should stay in power. But Trump is not the future of the Republican party — He’s an unhealthy 74 year old who is incredibly unpopular, currently infected with a deadly virus, and likely to lose the upcoming election. Mike Pence has tethered and submitted himself to Trump and was never going to do anything but defend him in the VP debate, but he also gave us a look at what the argument for Trump’s policies would look like if delivered calmly by a skilled politician. …


“We must take back the streets” Joe Biden bellowed on the Senate floor in 1993 “And you take back the streets by more cops, more prisons…The Biden-Hatch crime bill, as it becomes law, god willing, I hope that we will have ended, once and for all, this notion that somehow Democrats are weak on crime.” Just six years earlier, George H.W. Bush had won a Presidential election by playing into racial fears with his Willie Horton ads, insinuating Democratic nominee Michael Dukakis couldn’t keep White Americans safe from Black predators. While running for President in 1992, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton flew home to preside over the execution of Ricky Ray Vector, a mentally disabled, partially lobotomized Black man, remarking after “No one can say I’m soft on crime”. …


If the noise coming from Joe Biden’s presidential campaign sounds familiar, it might be because it echoes the message that we heard four years ago from Donald Trump. No, Biden is not using blatantly racist messaging to appeal to a rabid base of white voters who are aggrieved by the existence of a black president. Instead, Biden is selling voters on a mythical and glorious America that existed before Trump, and declaring himself as the only person who can return us to that noble past. While Trump’s MAGA declaration harkens back to the days of Jim Crow, when the KKK kept black people in check and women understood that their place was in the kitchen, Biden’s version glosses over the horrors of mass incarceration, systemic poverty, widespread sexual assault, and endless imperialist wars. Throughout his long political career, Biden has played a huge role in advancing some of America’s worst policies, but instead of making amends and demonstrating how he has changed, Biden is taking a page out of the Trump playbook and refusing to apologize for anything. Much like Trump, Biden is narcissistic enough to think that he has some unique ability to fix the nation’s problems, and entitled enough to ask the American people to vote for him without rehashing his past. …


Updating our voting rights laws to become the shining Democracy we claim ourselves to be has a been a long road. For a long time, only white men who owned land were able to vote. By 1856, every state had changed its laws to allow landless white men to vote, but allowing women or people of color to vote still seemed like outrageous ideas. It’s easy to look back and criticize people from past generations for these discriminatory policies, but it’s much harder to recognize the injustices that we live through. The fight for universal voting rights continues to rage on today, and one of the major battlegrounds will be the enfranchisement of people who are incarcerated or on parole/probation. …


“When men oppress their fellow men, the oppressor ever finds, in the character of the oppressed, a full justification for the oppression.”

-Frederick Douglas

In 2017, answering to calls for the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee in Virginia, a mob of white men marched through Charlottesville. Armed with guns, shields, sticks, and torches, and wearing swastikas, confederate flags, and MAGA hats, they chanted nazi slogans like “blood and soil” and “Jews will not replace us”. The demonstration quickly turned violent, culminating in a white nationalist driving his car into a crowd of counter-protestors. …

Elijah

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