To the GOP: Thanks for making this march a success

Updated
Students of Howard University march from campus to the Lincoln Memorial to participate in the Realize the Dream Rally for the 50th anniversary of the March...
Students of Howard University march from campus to the Lincoln Memorial to participate in the Realize the Dream Rally for the 50th anniversary of the March...
James Lawler Duggan/Reuters

I was blown away this weekend by the number of people and the amazing energy at the March on Washington. And I give enormous credit to Reverend Sharpton and his organization the National Action Network for a phenomenal job of organizing and inspiring. People don’t just spontaneously show up at an event like that. It takes a lot of work. But there’s another group that’s been working overtime to galvanize people, to get them engaged, to make sure they don’t rest on their laurels and become complacent. This group, well, I wouldn’t say they go unnoticed, but they aren’t often given the credit they’re really due. No, I think it’s high time we express our deep gratitude to the Republican Party. So, I’d like to thank the GOP directly for making the March on Washington such a success.

After all, were it not for your Stand Your Ground laws pushed into passage in 26 states across the country by gun manufacturers, we may have taken a nap instead of marching.

Were it not for your backsliding on immigration with Steve King calling immigrants drug mules and the House finding any excuse possible to keep reform from passing, we may have gone to the beach instead of marching.

And were it not for your blatant attempts to keep young people and minorities from voting–efforts so thinly disguised as voter fraud prevention that even your own people keep admitting that it’s really just about disenfranchisement–if it wasn’t for that, we may have had a picnic instead of marching.

Really it’s impressive, getting people to vote has always been like pulling teeth. You have to beg them, remind them of the date, get them to fill out little postcards to themselves pledging that they’ll do it. Yet, somehow you have almost effortlessly made voting cool, important, and worthy of sacrifice. It’s a nice bit of reverse psychology. Nothing makes people want to vote more than telling them they can’t.

And we’re not just voting and marching and working to roll back the GOP’s onerous laws. You’ve also inspired us to fix and standardize our long broken and disorganized election system. Thanks GOP! You’ve accomplished something that no well-intentioned advocacy effort could ever have accomplished.

And I fully believe that you’re not going to stop there! Why, if you keep it up, you could even upend historic midterm election trends and overcome gerrymandered House districts to ensure a Democratic majority in the House in 2014. No really, you’re that good! I had my doubts but who could have predicted that you’d toy with shutting down the government and ruining our nation’s credit rating? Really, you guys are going above and beyond.

Fifty years ago the March on Washington focused on ending Jim Crow, a disgusting villain that hid behind the law to deprive people of their votes and sometimes their lives. Fifty years later we have no Jim Crow and without a villain to focus on, it’s hard to get people fired up. Congratulations Republicans, you have taken the place of Jim Crow. You are now the people conspiring to keep folks from voting. I’m just amazed that you’re willing to destroy your party’s brand, the party of Lincoln, the party of Teddy Roosevelt, a party that fought to end Jim Crow, all just to help us get our folks out to the ballot box.  And then Ted Cruz in 2016? Am I dreaming? It’s all too much. Guys, you shouldn’t have.

Explore:

To the GOP: Thanks for making this march a success

Updated