Tag Archives: November Election

The Jim Crow of Bipartisan Rule

The Public Professor is pleased to present Professor Omar Ali, the first in a series of occasional guest bloggers.

President Barack Obama says that the U.S. Senate rules which quire sixty votes to end filibustering are not only extra-Constitutional but, more importantly stifle the flow of necessary legislation based, more often that not, on partisan interests. He wants to see these rules changed for the sake of better governance on behalf of the American people. I couldn’t agree more. But the Senate rules are only one aspect of our bipartisan government that consistently places partisan interests over those of “the people.”

Turns out, parties aren’t in the Constitution either. Yet, the two major parties have taken over our government. How?  Those who make the rules, rule.

Through self-serving rules and regulations, the two major parties remain in power. Democratic and Republican legislators systematically exclude tens of millions of unaffiliated and independent voters from the electoral process — that is, the 42 percent of the total electorate who identify themselves as neither Democrat nor Republican and are, because of their independence, rendered second-class citizens in the law. In this way, a kind of Jim Crow (historically, the legal disfranchisement of African Americans) persists — now no longer based on race, but on political affiliation. Continue reading The Jim Crow of Bipartisan Rule

Christine O’Donnell and Jimmy McMillan Walk Into A Bar

Christine O’Donnell is kind of like a knock-knock joke: the set-up doesn’t change, but there’s a seemingly endless variety of punch lines that can spring from it. Today’s gaffe is the latest example. While debating in front of the faculty and students of a law school, no less, she became visibly flustered when her opponent pointed out that the First Amendment stipulates “Congress shall make no law exercising an establishment of religion.”  What’s sadly humorous is that the content of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution seems to be news to a major party senatorial candidate just two weeks before the election. I say sadly humorous, because it’s not quite outright funny, like say the thought of her flying around town on a witch’s broomstick, or imagining her desperately trying to stave off the perils of masturbation. I mean the recently departed Robert Byrd’s saliva stained grandstanding aside, I really do want all of our senators to have a reasonable familiarity with the Constitution. I don’t think that’s raising the bar of expectation too high.

And then there is the new folk hero, born of last night’s NY gubernatorial debate: Jimmy McMillan of The Rent Is Too Damn High Party. The major candidates in that race are the son of former Governor Mario Cuomo (will Americans ever stop voting for famous families, be they Roosevelts, Kennedys, Bushes or Clintons?) and O’Donnell’s fellow Tea Partier, Carl Paladino, who, and I’m not kidding here, left the stage early so he could take a wiz. Continue reading Christine O’Donnell and Jimmy McMillan Walk Into A Bar