Why the VRA decision is bad news for the GOP
Taken at face value, today’s VRA decision is a big win for the GOP’s voter suppression agenda, but how will it affect them in the long run? Recent trends suggest it might be bad news.
I hinted at this in my post from earlier today: the VRA decision is the perfect complement to the GOP’s increasingly clear strategy of ignoring the 2012 election and doubling down on maximizing the white vote. But Josh Green really captures it when he calls the decision a ‘poison chalice’ for the GOP, encouraging and giving more tools to the GOP in its quest to max out white voting and make the Democratic party the home of the overwhelming number of non-white voters and the white voters who feel at home in a truly multiracial party.
On its face, this looks like a big victory for Republicans. Is it really? I suspect it will turn out to be a poisoned chalice. Many of the GOP’s current problems stem from the fact that it is overly beholden to its white, Southern base at a time when the country is rapidly becoming more racially diverse. In order to expand its base of power beyond the House of Representatives, the GOP needs to expand its appeal to minority voters. As the ongoing battle over immigration reform demonstrates, that process is going poorly and looks like it will be very difficult.
The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a central provision of the Voting Rights Act will make it easier for Republicans to hold and expand their power in those mainly Southern states. That will, in turn, make it easier for them to hold the House. It will also intensify the Southern captivity of the GOP, thereby making it harder for Republicans to broaden their appeal and win back the White House.
Today’s VRA decision will only encourage the GOP to go all in and secure the white vote in the last bastions where they can be sure to win it, while the percentage of white voters becomes smaller as the US becomes more interracial. While the GOP will remain a power due to their stranglehold amongst a few backwater holdouts, they will effectively cease to be a national party.