Daily Clips: June 29th, 2015

SCOTUS upholds the constitutionality of Arizona’s independent commission for redistricting: The 5-4 outcome will allow 13 states to continue to mitigate the amount of influence parties have in redistricting. This a huge win for American democracy. As the Associated Press reports,

Independent commissions such as Arizona’s “may be the only meaningful check” left to states that want to foster more competitive elections, the Obama administration said.

Scott Walker’s false freedom narrative: Whereas Democrats usually center their policy ideas around equality, freedom operates as the supreme organizing principle for the Republican party. In every speech, those on the right use freedom as their spring board for policy positions.

However, James Rowen takes issue with Scott Walker’s overuse of “freedom” and provides a list of his positions which have (in fact) severely undercut this principle. Here’s a little sneak preview:

* Marriage equality and all its inherent property rights, defined by the US Supreme Court.

* Access to health insurance without regard to income, defined by the US Supreme Court.

* Unfettered ballot access, including early voting and voting place hours.

* Access to medical services, including abortion rights defined by the US Supreme Court., at clinics serving women

Nate Silver says “change doesn’t usually come this fast”: Over at FiveThirtyEight, Silver wrote a brilliant article which illustrates the quick and unique shift in opinion relating to gay marriage. He argues that this shift has had many causes:

Some of it has taken place household by household and neighborhood by neighborhood; voters are considerably more likely to support same-sex marriage if they know a gay or lesbian person personally. Meanwhile, gay characters are now much more common, and are portrayed far more positively, on television and in the movies.

He then takes a “big picture” look at our era and reminds us that we still almost inevitably hold outdated ideas of what is right and wrong. He does this to remind readers that we have not yet reached the progressive “promised land”. Even now, we (most likely) harbor ideas that will, at some point, go by the wayside of history. Here, he quotes from Paul Graham who said in 2004:

It seems to be a constant throughout history: In every period, people believed things that were just ridiculous, and believed them so strongly that you would have gotten in terrible trouble for saying otherwise.

Is our time any different? To anyone who has read any amount of history, the answer is almost certainly no. It would be a remarkable coincidence if ours were the first era to get everything just right.

The GOP is in trouble if they keep fighting change: So says Glenn Thrush and Kyle Cheney over at Politico. They conclude that, “Republicans [are] worrying about how to keep from being trampled by the accelerating gallop of 21st-century social change.”

And what’s worse? The Republican base is forcing their candidates into this stampede by expecting their crop of candidates to actively rail against gay marriage (and other positions like climate change, racism etc…). As David Boaz of Cato Institue perfectly states, “[t]he problem for the Republican Party is that you have a recalcitrant minority trying to hold off a tolerant majority.”

I’m no Karl Rove, but that sure doesn’t sound like a winning formula.

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Nick Cassella
Nick Cassella graduated from the University of St Andrews in Scotland in 2014. After graduating, he worked on the Initiative 594 campaign before joining Civic Ventures, where he now manages Civic Skunk Works' social media presence.