Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Voting Rights Act Reauthorization

In many ways, the nearly decade-old urban myth scourge on the web about Black folks losing all rights to vote by 2007 may have significantly contributed to a happy ending on the voting rights front. The uproar was intense and the anxiety stifling. True: not reauthorzing certain components of the Act would have been severely problematic. We're pleased by this latest outcome and the tireless work of the Congressional Black Caucus on it (now, back to their districts ...). But, thankfully, it's an election year, and Republicans have enough scandal-ridden heat to deal with as is. Why attract the ire of Black voters who won't vote for them anyway? Perhaps the RNC feels this deal will muster a percentage point or more in Maryland, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

House Judiciary Committee Chair James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) underscored his commitment to renew the law, stating "the train is out of the station to fulfill that pledge." But, the fact that Sensenbrenner and other like-minded moderate Republicans - in conjunction with Democrats - had to actually push or force GOP approval of the Fannie Lou Hamer, Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2006 is very telling.