Three Brief Posts In One! (Ignoring what the experts would say about fostering pageviews, oh well.) In descending order: Big night for Bernie (but not big enough), a bad night for GOP establishment, and A Tale of Two States on the voting process.
1. Bernie continues to confound the experts, and people like me. His Michigan victory plants his flag in another area of the country and reinforces the idea that The Left Cannot Be Ignored by the Democratic Party. However, he comes out of the night in even worse shape delegate-wise, thanks to Hillary’s thumping victory in Mississippi.
The clock and the delegate math are not in Bernie’s favor, but the Michigan win gives him every reason to keep on fighting. Which, in my view, is a good thing for the Democratic Party: the longer he keeps going, the stronger the case for making the progressive agenda front-and-center in the next administration.
2. Boy, does it ever look like the GOP establishment blundered big-time. They’re being outfoxed by a guy who uses an election-night speech as an infomercial platform. Their big move to back Marco Rubio is looking awfully sour, isn’t it?
I wonder how this is going down in VTGOP circles. They came out in force for Marco, and now the little guy is cratering. Ya think if they could have a do-over, they would have stuck with the belatedly resurgent John Kasich?
3. Big props to the Vermont House for passing automatic voter registration — on a unanimous vote, no less. How about them Republicans, actually fostering voter turnout for once?
By contrast: I’m currently in Michigan visiting my mom. I took her to vote in the primary, and was unpleasantly surprised by the complicated process. Michigan, having an ALEC-inspired governor and legislature, now requires picture ID. But it wasn’t just that; Mom had to fill out a tiny-print form and sign it. She’s older, and prone to confusion in noisy or bureaucratic environments — and she has trouble reading small print.
Good thing I was along to give a helping hand. Otherwise, I imagine she might have just gotten annoyed enough to turn around and walk out. These Republican barriers to voting are not inconsequential. And, as a reminder, they are an attempt to solve a problem that does not exist.
I have to wonder, if the VTGOP somehow won the governorship and legislative majorities, would they maintain their commitment to making voting as accessible as possible? Or would they reverse course and head down the well-worn path of obstructionism adopted by their colleagues in other states?