Tag Archives: hastert

Let the Voting Rights Act Expire

Bigotry Beneath the Fog,” by Eugune Robinson, Washington Post, 23 June 2006, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/22/AR2006062201466.html (from MyDD).

My old nemesis, the Voting Rights Act, took a powerful blow because of wily House Speaker Dennis Hastert

Speaker Dennis Hastert was ready to move forward with a feel-good, election-year extension of the landmark 1965 act that guaranteed voting rights for African Americans disenfranchised by Jim Crow law and custom in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina and Virginia. In 1975 the act was expanded to cover Alaska, Texas and Arizona, where citizens with limited command of English — Latinos, mostly — were being treated as if they were black folks in the South.

Hastert understood that reauthorizing the act would be useful in efforts to convince voters that the Republican Party as presently constituted is just ultraconservative, not actually racist. But Hastert was sandbagged by fellow Republicans who rebelled in a private caucus meeting Wednesday. The renewal probably could have won easy approval on the House floor, since Democrats would have voted for it, but Hastert’s policy is to not bring out any bill that lacks majority support from Republicans, so he had no choice but to yank it.

This is great news.


I’ve written before on the unAmerican nature of the Voting Rights Act, so I won’t belabor those point now. Suffice it to say that the VRA attacks both democracy and the complex adaptive system we call the United States.

What’s interesting to me is the line that it is Hastert’s policy is to not bring out any bill that lacks majority support from Republicans.. If this is true, it means that the same philosopher which makes the Speaker stall on immigration reform also makes him stall on renewing the VRA (hopefully leading, of course, to the VRA’s expiration in 2007).

Given the choice between pushing immigration reform package against the Republicans in the House, or stopping the VRA with the Republicans in the House, I choose stopping the VRA. America’s greatness lies, partly, in her rule-set, her protection of the fifty united States as they try this and that, evolving their way to fitness. We need workers, but ultimately the ratio of capital and labor is a quantitative benefit to the United States, while the nationalist straitjacket of the VRA is a qualitative loss.

So quality over quantity, and sinking the VRA over reforming immigration this year, if it comes to that.

Thank you Dennis Hastert. You made the right call.

Speaker Hastert Attacks Oil Company Record Profits (Blog Network Attacks)

Welcome to my Blog,” by Dennis Hastert, Speaker’s Journal, 27 October 2005, http://www.speaker.gov/journal/051027_firstblog.shtml.

Speaker of the House Denny Hastert has a new blog. But that’s not the news: an attack in three paragraphs from his first post is.

The attack:

Speaking of the Hurricane season, renewed attention has been brought to the way we refine gasoline in this country. Today, energy companies started reporting their 3rd quarter earnings, and while Americans paying were record prices at the pump, energy companies were making record profits.

That’s odd… a Republican leader attacking oil companies for making too much money? What’s going on?

Visually:

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The Republican Party (blue) attacks Oil Companies (red) — but why?

But this isn’t a legislative attack — which Hastert could launch, if he wanted to. He is using a blog, so it is an attempt to convert at least some members of the public. This just deepens the mystery — why launch a pseudo-attack to get people mad at oil companies?

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The Republican Party (blue) rallies the People (Dark Grey) Against Oil Companies (Red) — the mystery deepens

Hmm… let’s take a look at the remaining two paragraphs that mention oil companies:

This is America. And Republicans don’t believe in punishing success. But what are these oil companies doing to bring down the cost of oil and natural gas? They haven’t built a refinery here in America since the 1970’s. They’ve built refineries overseas, but nothing here at home.

We want some answers and you folks out there in the blogosphere do too. When are new refineries going to be built here in America? When is the Alaska pipeline deal going to be signed so we can get natural gas to consumers quicker? Conoco Phillips has reached an agreement with the state of Alaska on the pipeline. Exxon Mobil and BP need to do the same. These companies need to invest in America’s energy infrastructure and resources. Until they do, we’re going to be asking some tough questions.

Ah ha! It becomes clear: Hastert is upset that new refinaries haven’t been built, and the force stopping this is the environmentalists. Clever of the Speaker not to mention them by name — learning is better remembered when the learner has to do some thinking himself. So like a teacher that makes his pupils think so they will remember the lesson better, Speaker Hastert is counting on the reader to figure out the enemy is the environmentalists:

hastert_2 The Republicans (Blue) launch a pseudo-attack on the Oil Companies (Red), while encouraging the People (Dark Grey) to be hostile to the Environmentalists (light grey)

Of course, the Republican-led attack on environmentalists is not unprovoked. The reason it is needed in the first place is that the Environmentalists have been hostile to the oil companies for years, preventing them from fully serving the people

Visually

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The Republican-led attack on the oil companies forces the Environmentalists to fight a two-front war

This is very clever. The heart of war is reinforcing your strong points, not your weak points The oil companies already have little popularity, so instead of foolishly trying to bolster them directly, he transforms public hostility to oil companies into public hostility toward the enemy of the oil companies. Master strategists like Sun Tzu and John Boyd would be proud.

So what is the goal? What is the Republican/Oil Company “future worth creating” — their “happy ending”? Simple: the neutralization of the environmentalists so both the oil companies and the Republican Party can fully interact with the People without that interference. Visually:

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A Harmonious Internet

I have written about net attacks and counterattacks before. And also real-world internets, also called seas of friction.