Stories about the November 2014 midterm elections seem to be riffing on a somewhat depressing theme – namely, that of corruption rewarded and the apparent triumph of scoundrels.
In Texas, it now appears that the Attorney General (and more-or-less self-anointed future Governor) used the denial of an open record request as the mechanism to engineer a cover-up of evidence of graft involving the distribution of millions of dollars in taxpayer money from the Texas Enterprise Fund to campaign contributors. That’s the same Attorney General who presided over the rather brutal 2010 take-down of a Houston non-profit that was trying to register people to vote.
He’s a busy A.G., to be sure, given that he’s also defending the State’s efforts to tear down what’s left of the Voting Rights Act. What does Greg Abbott stand for, anyway?
In Wisconsin, Justice Easterbrook of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a “horrendous” decision holding that a substantial fraction of the eligible voters in that state need to be denied the right to vote. But don’t worry, the ruling only affects poor people, people with physical disabilities, and the elderly. Friends and relatives of the appellate judge should be unaffected.
Not all the news is gloomy – that business with Houston Votes may come back to bite Abbott after all. And if we really do turn the clock back to 1964, it means that the civil protests, mass rallies, and boycotts of that era will be “back on” again, which should make for some exciting television as the Tories fade from history yet again.
And of course, most importantly, the election hasn’t happened yet. There’s still time to change the theme of the 2014 elections. I personally would like to see a narrative involving such standbys as “retribution,” “comeuppance,” and “the wages of hubris and overweening confidence.”