A federal appeals court on Monday struck down Virginia’s voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage, saying that withholding the fundamental right to marry from gay couples is a new form of “segregation” that the Constitution cannot abide.
I grew up in the South, where sexism can be so aggressive it smacks you upside the head (or in other places), so naturalized it’s like the sun coming up in the morning. In the late ’80s and early ’90s, when I was coming into adulthood, open expressions of feminist ideas could earn you hostility that was often downright scary.
But reading feminist authors like Marilyn French and Betty Friedan when I was an undergraduate at the University of Georgia gave me a sense that the resistance I felt to the discrimination I saw around me was something to be nurtured rather than overcome. I learned that being a feminist in the South was tough — it meant you had to be quick, Protean, subversive, and you damn well better have a sense of humor, or you would not survive. It also gave me strength and pride to identify with a movement that could correct wrongs and rewrite a social script that didn’t fit me.
|—||Lynn Stuart Parramore in What I Learned Growing Up in the South as a Feminist, and the Problems With Today’s Feminist Movement|
Political families — from the Roosevelts to the Kennedys, Bushes and Clintons — have long been a part of American politics. And they are not new in Georgia, where Michelle Nunn, the Democratic nominee for Senate, is running for a seat her father, Sam, once held against a Republican, David Perdue, whose cousin was governor. Mr. Carter’s bid to unseat Gov. Nathan Deal, the Republican incumbent, is testing the strength and durability of the Carter name in Georgia, a red state that Democrats hope to turn blue.
But it is also a test of something more: a deep bond between a 38-year-old grandson and an 89-year-old grandfather who, in the words of Roy E. Barnes, Georgia’s last Democratic governor, “would walk on fire to help get Jason elected.”
RALEIGH, N.C. — The objective of the Republican Party here last year was clear: Unleash the pent-up conservative revolution in a state where the party had not controlled the state legislature and governor’s office for more than a century.
The newly empowered lawmakers cut taxes, pared unemployment benefits and eliminated business regulations. They allowed concealed guns in bars and restaurants, curtailed access to the voting booth and enacted new rules for abortion clinics. It was the most activist session in memory.
But this summer is a different story. One of the leaders of the revolution, Speaker Thom Tillis of the House, is trying to win a United States Senate seat. Another, Gov. Pat McCrory, is eyeing a tough challenge in 2016, and the legislature is unpopular.
That dynamic helps explain why the Republicans this week found themselves stuck in the sweltering capital, locked in an intraparty budget battle over teacher salaries, at loggerheads over how best to manage the state Medicaid system and riven by emerging personal, political and ideological agendas.
The most pressing of those may be that of Mr. Tillis, who is caught between the hard-right face of the last session and his likely need to appeal to more moderate voters as he tries to unseat Senator Kay Hagan in one of the races that could decide control of the Senate.
In 2005 and 2006, two moderate Democratic candidates, Jim Webb and Tim Kaine, won in Virginia with large margins in the Washington suburbs. Their victories demonstrated that there was a new path to victory for Democrats, one that did not depend on winning Southern conservative Democrats, the way Mark Warner did in 2001.
Georgia might well be moving down the same road as Virginia. No other plausibly competitive state — not Nevada or Virginia, not Colorado or North Carolina — has had a change in the racial composition of the electorate that’s as favorable for Democrats. That’s giving Georgia Democrats hope that they might win a race that they almost certainly would have viewed as a lost cause only a few years ago.
After more than two months of intraparty fighting, David Perdue, a former chief executive of Dollar General, won Tuesday’s Republican runoff in Georgia to become his party’s Senate nominee, setting up one of the few contests where Democrats have hopes of taking a Republican-controlled seat in the midterm elections.
Mr. Perdue’s victory over Jack Kingston, an 11-term Georgia congressman, with just under 51 percent of the vote on Tuesday evening upset both public polling predictions and conventional wisdom, which had Mr. Kingston slightly ahead, despite having finished second to Mr. Perdue in the May primary. In the general election, Mr. Perdue will face Michelle Nunn, a Democrat, former chief executive of the Points of Light volunteer group and the daughter of Sam Nunn, the former Georgia senator.
The Sun-Sentinel reports:
TALLAHASSEE — Florida’s re-drawn congressional map intentionally favors Republicans in violation of the anti-gerrymandering standards voters approved in 2010 and will have to be re-drawn, according to a ruling late Thursday from a Tallahassee judge.
The judge found particular problems with two seats that knife through Central Florida, held by Reps. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, and Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden.
The 41-page order from Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis will almost certainly be appealed to the Florida Supreme Court. But if the decision is upheld, lawmakers or the courts could have to go back to the drawing board to design congressional seats throughout Central Florida to comply with the Fair Districts mandate that seats not be drawn to intentionally favor incumbents or parties.
In his ruling, Lewis quoted President George Washington’s farewell address warning of associations of “cunning, ambitious and unprincipled men” who could subvert the will of voters.
The New York Times reports:
Along with the only-in-Texas melodrama, the power struggle mirrored conflicts that have brought down several state university presidents around the country, after years of declining state subsidies, unpopular program cuts and tuition increases, and fear of rising competition from online programs.
University trustees, often politically connected business executives, have increasingly embraced the view that fundamental change is needed to turn universities into engines of economic development for their states and reduce their roles as centers of scholarship.
[Gov. Rick] Perry has pushed for changes promoted by a conservative think tank, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and developed by one of its board members, that take a skeptical view of academic research and place a greater emphasis on instruction, cost-efficiency and preparing students for the job market. Widely popular among faculty and students, [university president William] Powers has pushed back in defense of more traditional academics and the university’s independence.
State universities make college affordable for many of us and are worth every penny states invest in them, but don’t you hate it when politicians started meddling?
JACKSON, Miss. — After President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act in July 1964, civil rights was the last thing he wanted to talk about. He feared that being associated too closely with the issue would make him appear too liberal for voters coming into that fall’s presidential election. But with the disappearance of three civil rights workers in Mississippi and the threat of violence hanging over what became known as Freedom Summer, he knew he had to act. Afraid of the political consequences of sending in the military, he instead turned to the F.B.I. and its longtime director, J. Edgar Hoover, who until then had shown little sympathy for the civil rights movement and thought that many of its members were Communists.
In response to the president’s demands, Hoover hastily opened a field office in Jackson, a step that would take on hugely symbolic importance for both Mississippi and the F.B.I. On Thursday, the 50th anniversary of the office’s opening was recalled with a small ceremony in which officials and dignitaries, including the deputy F.B.I. director, Mark F. Giuliano, discussed how the bureau’s relationship with both white and black Mississippians had evolved in the years since 1964.