Political Blood Sports

It has been a remarkable 24 hours. First, there was the Supremes deeply cynical and otherworldly ruling on the Voting Rights Act. They urged Congress to update and fix the “defective” bit. The teabagger controlled House cannot pass even minor pieces of legislation let alone “update” landmark legislation that might hurt them politically. LBJ, HHH, and MLK weep this morning. The only good thing about the decision is that a hand grenade has landed in the laps of the Congressional GOP leadership. Kaboom.

I stayed up way too late last night watching the Wendy Davis filibuster in the Texas Senate on live stream whilst hanging out on the Tweeter Tube. It reminded me of game-6 of this year’s NBA Finals, only without the finality. The Texas Gopers tried to pull a fast one but the Dems ran out the clock. I expect that Governor Haircut will waste more taxpayer money and call a special session to ram through this radical anti-abortion measure. Texans are demanding it, right?

Finally, we come to the home of political blood sports, Australia. I’ve been following this on my Guardian iPhone app; I told you that there an app for everything. I’m sure there are better sources but the semi-outside view of Guardian Australiais good for someone like me who enjoys political intrigue worthy of I, Claudiusor Game Of Thrones.

This morning, the center-left Australian Labor Party (ALP)deposed a sitting Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, for the third, count ’em third, time in their history. She was replaced by her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, who, in turn, she had ousted in a coup in 2010. My head is spinning, y’all. The main justification for the coup is that Rudd does better in the polls for the upcoming September election. The voters like Rudd better than his colleagues but they don’t want to get wiped out so they voted him back in as ALP leader. It remains to be seen if the voters will still like Rudd after this or whether he will even be confirmed as PM. My head just spun around on its axis 4 times.

The outgoing Prime Minister, Ms. Gillard, has faced some horrendous attacks in her time in office.Sexism is just as alive and well down under as it is here. She faced it with considerable dignity and exited with class and grace. When she called the leadership “spill” it was on the condition that the loser leave politics instead of continuing the ALP’s leadership death dance. She kept her word, and is leaving politics along with a flotilla of ministers including former Midnight Oil front man, Peter Garrett.

My head is still spinning, and the Supremes seem poised to announce a ruling on the gay marriage cases. So much for the summer news doldrums.

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