by Max Brantley
It was M.L. King Day. It was the inauguration day for the second term of the country's first black president, Barack Obama.
A lion of civil rights in Virginia, Sen. Henry Marsh, 79, noted that the Senate calendar held no important business and joined others in Washington, D.C. for the inauguration.
The Senate is split 20-20 on partisan lines, 20-19 in favor of Republicans without Marsh.
Oh, no ,they wouldn't!
Oh, yes, they would!
With a measure conceived in stealth and cloaked in secrecy, the Republicans used their one-day majority for an unannounced radical redistricting bill that, among other things favorable to Republicans, crammed as many black voters as possible in a single district.
Yes. Virginia Republicans used the occasion of M.L. King Day and President Obama's inauguration to make it harder to elect black people to the Virginia legislature. Remember this in the coming landmark voting rights case when the U.S. Supreme Court's white Republican majority tells you that we live in a post-racial America. No consideration need be given any longer to racial impact of school laws or employment actions. Remember it, too, when Arkansas Republicans jam through their Voter ID bill. It if makes it harder for older black people like Henry Marsh to vote, well, that's just coincidental.