Friday, July 14, 2006


In the course of this fine summer day, you might want to take a look at a very special list, a list of the most despicable members of the House of Representatives. If you weren't sure who the worst members were, this list should clarify things for you.

These 33 Republicans voted against renewing the Voting Rights Act yesterday. At least they were honest. But even the anti-immigrant J.D. Hayworth and anti-gay Marilyn Musgrave voted aye. But for the Republican 33, renewing the VRA was just too much for their tender sensibilities.

Some of the 33 have gone so far as to post explanations for their noes on their House websites. Let's let Georgia Rep Charlie Norwood, a no vote, explain:

That is the contention of HR 9, as it ravages the rights of the innocent, whose only offense is in their place of dwelling.

I can partially understand Rep Norwood's interest in removing the stigma of federal oversight of voting in his state, the desire to put his state on the same plain with the majority of U.S. states that can institute minor changes in voting procedures and district outlines without an OK from the Federal Justice Department.

But "ravages the rights of the innocent"? Me thinks the Congressman doth protest too much.

In the meantime, if states like Georgia decide to stop trying to pass bogus photo ID requirements for voting, and to discontinue the tired rhetoric from conservatives about how much a threat voting fraud by (black and poor) individuals is, maybe the next 25 years will be sufficient to demonstrate Charlie's state has changed.

And maybe when the VRA comes up for reauthorization again, Charlie Norwood's no vote, along with those of his 32 companions, will be remembered for the bigotry it is, and regretted accordingly.

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