Guardian: On Wednesday, the Republicans’ transition to the party of the Confederacy will be complete. A day after Georgia’s runoff elections, at least a dozen lawmakers in the Senate and more than half of the party’s House membership will seek to overturn the results of the 2020 election and disenfranchise the majority of US voters. A coup attempt in all but name, this is how democracy dies.
Sadly, a statement issued on Saturday
by seven sitting senators and four senators-elect dispelled any doubts about the nexus between the end of the US civil war, more than 150 years ago, and Donald Trump’s desperate attempt to cling to power. Predictably, America’s racial divide again stands front and center.
After regurgitating for the umpteenth time unproven and unsubstantiated charges of electoral fraud, the senators invoked the election of 1876. Back then, the Democrats contested the outcome, conceding after the Republicans agreed to halt Reconstruction.
As framed by Ted Cruz and his posse, “the most direct precedent” for their actions “arose in 1877, following serious allegations of fraud and illegal conduct in the Hayes-Tilden presidential race”. In their telling, “elections in three states” were “alleged to have been conducted illegally”. Left unsaid is that after the end of Reconstruction, Jim Crow and the toxic legacy of “separate but equal” followed.
To quote Mississippi’s William Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” Senators from states that were part of the Confederacy, or territory where slaveholding was legal, provide the ballast for Cruz’s demands. At least one senator each from Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas is on board. read more…
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