Every once in a while in the years following the incident, some odd news story would appear about her. After the divorce, she had a couple of unfortunate relationships involving domestic violence. Her stories were suspect, and it's hard not to think she was the violent one. One boyfriend ended up protected by court order.
A series of vehicular accidents was interspersed with several strange reports to police. She was attacked by a group of men organized by her ex-husband. She narrowly escaped kidnapping by a bushy-haired man. She was attacked in her home by masked men. She saw five intruders with guns attempting to steal her truck. She saw them hide rifles on her property. Eventually she told a neighbor she was seeing small animals the neighbor couldn't see. The neighbor, fearing for her safety, called police.
I was thinking of that unfortunate woman as I read about the latest political news from Virginia.
The election last November left the state Senate equally divided between Democrats and Republicans. Each has 20 seats. When one of the Democrats took the day off to travel a few miles up I-95 to Washington DC for the inaugural, Republicans suddenly used the absence in an unusual way. They brought in a bill to redo the 2010 redistricting, which had already been gerrymandered in favor of the GOP in Congressional districts. Republicans extended gerrymandering to state offices to get more seats in the legislature.
In Virginia, it already took almost three times as many Democratic votes to get a Congressional representative elected as it took Republican votes. Republicans and Democrats running for Congress in 2012 almost split the popular vote. Republicans got a hair more than Democrats. But Republicans did not get half the seats in Congress from Virginia. Out of 11 seats, Democrats ended up with just three.
The latest sneaky, unannounced move to redo the 2010 redistricting while one Democrat, a veteran civil rights leader, was watching The President get sworn in, will replicate that pattern on a state level. That's if Republicans in the house chamber of Virginia and the Republican governor agree.
Republicans have known for a while that their party is shrinking. There has been some noise about appealing to more voters. But the hard core conservative base is having none of it.
So Republicans have been trying a new strategy, one that didn't work so well for them in 2012, but may in the short term future. They are employing a variety of tactics to make it harder for voters in urban areas, minority areas, on college campuses, to vote.
Requiring non-drivers to produce photo IDs was only the start. Making it progressively harder to get those photos came next. State workers were ordered not to offer information to those looking to get IDs. One, in Ohio, was fired for protesting the order for silence.
Offices responsible for examining the additional documentation and issuing photo IDs to non-drivers were closed down, consolidated into areas far distant from those who would need to follow the new rules. Hours were curtailed, forcing loss of work days for those wanting to re-register, but who ride buses.
In Ohio, the Attorney General filed suit, lost, then filed appeals. His argument was that, when polling officials gave wrong directions to legitimate voters on everything from which boxes to check on questionnaires to which booth to use for voting, the voters should have their votes rejected.
Then hours and days for voting were reduced. In Pennsylvania, there was actually a move to reduce hours only in Democratic areas. The extreme amount of time voters in urban areas were required to wait in line has become a 2012 legend. This legend is actual factual.
Now there is something really new.
National Republican officials have endorsed the idea of taking the electoral college a few more steps away from majority rule. The national system now allows a candidate with fewer votes to be elected President. That happened in 2000. Al Gore got the votes. George Bush became President.
Republicans are ever creative. Now a move is underway to divide electoral votes in some states, rather than the current winner-take-all system: But Republicans are pushing this only in those states that tend to go Democratic. Republican states will stay winner-take-all.
Some say the tactic of blocking voters from the ballot box, making it harder to vote, making some voters essentially register more than once, is merely a partisan tool: to be favored or not depending only on whether you are a Republican or Democrat. But that view regards voting rights only as the right of politicians to their totals. Anyone who sees voting as a right for voters themselves will oppose abridgement of that right as a matter of principle.
Republicans are in a box. The Republican Congress is now ranked in one credible poll as lower than cockroaches and head lice. No kidding. They actually asked whether respondents approve of cockroaches, whether they like head lice, in the same poll in which they asked about the Republican Congress.
Republicans find it unpalatable to expand their appeal to those who now regard them with skepticism. They have lost all confidence in themselves and their arguments. So they seek to rig what they perceive to be a game.
It is a loser's strategy. And it reminds me of that sad woman in decline.
For her, it all began on ice.
The stories accelerated with time into a sad spiral downward. The descent was public. The humiliation had to be multiplied with each sad layer.
But nothing equaled the public notoriety Tonya Harding experienced as a result of the physical attack on her main figure skating competitor. Harding's then husband had joined with her bodyguard to hire a thug to track down and break the leg of Nancy Kerrigan. He stalked her from Massachusetts to Michigan and finally caught up with her in Detroit. His attack with a tire iron was caught on video. He only bruised her, but the wound was severe enough to force Kerrigan to withdraw from a competition that Harding then won.
Tonya Harding's husband was caught and testified against her. She eventually pleaded guilty to covering up the incident.
We remember Tonya Harding,those of us who do, mainly for that video. A strange man sneaks up on Nancy Kerrigan, clobbers her leg with a tire iron, and runs away.
Like poor Tonya, Republicans see themselves as perpetual losers. And so they follow her example.
Appeal to minorities? Find paths of opportunity for young people? For the middle class? For those on the arduous journey out of poverty? For the working poor?
Republicans, instead, look to the tire iron.
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They have no talent and simply want to live off the riches of another, and are willing to whatever is necessary to do so. :)
As a Democrat, I encourage my conservative brothers and sisters to adopt your views.
As an American, I do not believe Republicans are healthy in their outlook, not for themselves, not for the country, when they campaign against democracy itself.
At least we have big tits.
Democrats are typically bigger boobs.
"I would submit that the Democrats are the Anna Nicole Smith's of politics.
They have no talent and simply want to live off the riches of another, and are willing to whatever is necessary to do so. :) "
The problem with this theory is that Obama is one of the rich you claim he targets. I also advocate a very progressive tax system, where I not only don't live off the rich, but pay more taxes. Additionally, I am completely against a flat tax or a federal sales tax, both of which would target the poor and probably end in a tax reduction for me.
Your notion that if someone advocates liberal policy, then they probably want the rich man's money, is flawed. As long as republicans have this ridiculous interpretation, no rational dialog can happen.
Most poor liberals (really poor, not just poor by Obama's definition) do receive money from the government that is primarily (80%) contributed by wealthier Americans. So the argument may be only slightly flawed - there is a minority of wealthy people among democrats.
Many (not all) of these vote for democrat candidates under the belief that democrats will give them more (of other peoples') money than republican candidates will.
Democrats need to admit this, but republicans are willing to have the dialog even if they don't. Something needs to be done. The country is suffering financially and taxing the wealthy more won't fix it.
Very true. Democratic candidates support more social programs to assist citizens to achieve the American dream. Republican candidates support more programs that assist people who have already achieved the American dream.
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