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"Show Us Your Papers"

angry
I am way too busy these days for long political rants.

But I would be remiss if I do not at least make passing mention of how depressed, disgusted, and, yes, angry I've become as I watch the ongoing attempts at voter suppression in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa, and other states where Republicans and their Teabagger allies control key seats of power.

It is one thing to attempt to win elections. But trying to do so by denying the most basic and important right of any American citizen to hundreds and thousands of people, on entirely spurious grounds... that goes beyond reprehensible. That is despicable.

It would really be nice if there were still some Republicans of conscience out there who would stand up and loudly denounce these efforts, a few men of honor and integrity for whom "win the election" does not "win the election at any cost." There were once many Republicans I admired, even I disagreed with them: men like Everett Dirksen, Clifford Case, Henry Cabot Lodge, William Scranton... yes, even Barry Goldwater, conservative as he is. I do not believe for a moment that Goldwater would have approved of this, any more than Robert A. Heinlein would have. They were conservatives, but they were not bigots, nor racists, nor corrupt. The Vote Suppressors have far more in common with Lester Maddox, George Wallace, John Stennis, and their ilk than they do with their distinguished GOP forebears.

The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants.

And don't tell me they are libertarians either. No true libertarians would ever support a culture where citizens must "show their papers" to vote or travel. That's a hallmark of a police state, not a free country.


TUESDAY ADDENDUM: Okay, this has been running several days now, has been featured on HUFFINGTON POST and ABC news, referenced on Stephanie Miller, and no doubt countless other people. We have had four hundred messages, and I think everyone has had their say, and everything that needs to be said has been said. Generally eight or ten times. There are plenty of links and references in the comment threads for those who would like to know more about these voter suppression efforts. If you don't want to dig through the links, start with the Brennan Center for Justice and get the facts.

There's no sense in letting this spin on in circles forever. I am locking comments. Back to Westeros and worldcon and similar subjects, boys and girls.

Thanks for listening.

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Comments

( 438 comments )
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archangelonline
Aug. 12th, 2012 02:04 am (UTC)
I'm British, so I've missed this - what papers are they asking for? Passports or something, because I didn't think many Americans had them?
allbery
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:06 am (UTC)
Generally either state driver's license or a state identity card (which are intended primarily for people who need official identification but who don't drive). It's nearly universal in the US to use the driver's license as official identification when that's needed. (But before now, there was no need to show identification to vote, only to identify yourself and have your name crossed off the list.)

And, of course, in some states, people who don't have an ID card have gotten caught in some fascinating catch-22s that have effectively disenfranchised them. For example, one generally has to show your birth certificate to get a voter ID card, and at least one state requires that you show official ID to get a copy of your birth certificate. (A lot of people have either misplaced theirs or never had a copy in the first place.)
nycfalcon
Aug. 12th, 2012 02:19 am (UTC)
It is illegal to have a vote tax. If states are going to require papers then those states must pay for all of their citizen residents to have them.
encarmencita
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:55 am (UTC)
That's an excellent point. One I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned in this discussion in the media.
(no subject) - moonshineray - Aug. 12th, 2012 07:05 am (UTC) - Expand
vote tax? - Neil Fox - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:25 am (UTC) - Expand
thefirstalicat
Aug. 12th, 2012 02:21 am (UTC)
As an American born in MA but early on living in UK and Ireland (as in up to age 7, the Jesuits' ideal as in "give me your kid for 7 years and I have him/her for life"), and now for 16 years living in (and a dual citizen of) Canada, I find myself cringing more and more each time when a Canadian originally from another country asks me, as the American in the room, how "democracy" works in the US.

You're right, this is beyond disgusting. Frankly, I consider these voter suppression movements to be essentially treasonous, to all of the concepts and ideals on which the country of my birth was originally based. Heading towards not just a police state, but a combined theocratic/corporate police state at that. Scary.
orgdotnews
Aug. 12th, 2012 02:37 am (UTC)
Thanks for your comments - as a highly respected author, people listen to you. I'm glad to see you on the correct side of this issue. I'll celebrate with a roast quail basted in honey, some hard cheese, and a thick stew of boar and vegetables.

Anyway - seriously, thanks for this.
orehime
Aug. 12th, 2012 02:40 am (UTC)
Good going George. It's 'Emperor's New Clothes' time.
Connor Hall
Aug. 12th, 2012 02:49 am (UTC)
Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin, the powers that be will do what they want regardless, and it only helps them that we have the people against each other (the so called right wing and left wing). Hoever, there is one republican of conscience, Ron Paul
Robert Fiorentino
Aug. 12th, 2012 03:28 am (UTC)
UGH
ugh I'm from Pennsylvania and I'm trying to spread the word, our state representative Mike Turzai (R) recently said that getting this Voter ID law passed with hand the election to Romney. They're not even pretending like they're doing for legitimate reasons! There are something like 350 cases of voter fraud in the past 10 years. 350. Compare that to the hundreds of thousands of city dwellers who don't have a license because they don't have a car and now they won't be able to vote.

These tea partiers are not Libertarian, they're just plain old Neo Cons. Republicans supposedly were about freedom and fiscal responsibility, but freedom to them means free to be white and rich, and fiscal responsibility goes out the window and instead let's start another few wars. Blow up Iran? Sure why not! Americans were dumb enough to fall for it in Iraq, and Iran is only one letter different!

It's pretty disgusting and disheartening to feel powerless as a voter when you only have two candidates to choose from and they're both a part of the establishment anyway. Wish we had more people like Ron Paul who have principles rather than corporate backing guiding them.
Peter Steele
Aug. 12th, 2012 03:49 am (UTC)
Voter Suppression
You mention Republicans and voter suppression in Ohio in the same sentence. Interesting, since it's Obama that's currently suing to suppress military voting in Ohio.

But hey, those are mostly Republican votes, so it's okay, right?

Loveyour books, not so much your politics.
grrm
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:19 am (UTC)
Re: Voter Suppression
Are you even aware of what the county election boards have done throughout your state, to extend voting hours in Republican counties and shrink them in Democratic counties?

Let's hear a little outrage. Same rules and same hours for all -- it doesn't get any more basic than that, does it?
Re: Voter Suppression - Kevin Smith - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Voter Suppression - eiblyn - Aug. 12th, 2012 09:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Voter Suppression - zaraki921 - Aug. 13th, 2012 03:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Voter Suppression - didderbops - Aug. 13th, 2012 08:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Scarletyoshi
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:13 am (UTC)
It's sad that this is what we've come to, all under the guise of voter protection. That's the frustrating part. Many of these people honestly believe Democrats have stolen every election since Kennedy. They honestly believe that, unless they pass voter ID laws right now, hordes of ACORN buses filled with Wakandan Black Panthers and homeless people on welfare will travel from polling place to polling place like an angry Dothraki horde with better hair.

I'm pretty young but I can't believe this is politics as usual. This has to be something new.
papamishka
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:14 am (UTC)
I am not an American, but, historically, only the Reds (you call them "liberals" for some reason) and ultra-religious parties (such as Israeli Shas) use these excuses in order to have non-citizens's and\or disabled\dead people's votes.
MZDLO75
Aug. 14th, 2012 12:25 am (UTC)
Voter Suppresion

papamishka
I am not an American, but, historically, only the Reds (you call them "liberals" for some reason) and ultra-religious parties (such as Israeli Shas) use these excuses in order to have non-citizens's and\or disabled\dead people's votes.


We American liberals know that there is not a problem with widespread voter fraud. Also here in America, all American citizens, disabled or not, have the right to vote as it is declared in our Constitution. The Teabaggers who wrap themselves in the Constitution, when it suits them, conveniently find ways to disobey it when is protects the rights of minorities and non-affluent whites.
Re: Voter Suppresion - Neil Fox - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Voter Suppresion - MZDLO75 - Aug. 14th, 2012 06:29 am (UTC) - Expand
saxster
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:15 am (UTC)
Both parties are controlled by the same vile conspirators at the roots. Both Presidential candidates seem more intent on appeasing the United Nations, Israel and foreign bankers than they do in upholding what made the USA a great nation.

The Republicans are not the "Tea Party" and the Tea Party is no longer a true reflection of its Libertarian/Constitutional roots either. Ron Paul was cheated starting in Iowa and it never got better. He will show up in Tampa purely as a last hurrah but he will never get the nomination and all Americans will be cheated once again out of the opportunity for real choice and a real honest President. It's what happened to Goldwater all over again.

This may be the first U.S. Presidential election that I do not vote in. I have contempt for both candidates and their respective Vice Presidents.

You should prepare yourself for much worse in the coming years, because with drones in the skies and TSA at not just airports, but bus and train stations and even high school dances, the foxes are truly in the hen house.

The War on Terror was never meant for the Middle East -- it was meant for us and now we're getting it with both barrels.
Neil Fox
Aug. 14th, 2012 02:34 am (UTC)
wha?
dude. goldwater?
Dan Spicer
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:16 am (UTC)
I don't agree. Voting is precious. Any citizen can vote. No one is being turned away. Anyone who forgets their ID can cast a provisional ballot. What other interaction with a local, state, or federal government entity can be successfully competed without showing an ID? I am sorry you are angry.
grrm
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
In the America I was born in -- still a free country -- no one had to show their "papers."

Voting is precious. So why does the GOP want to deny the right to so many honest citizens, to the poor, the elderly, the young? That's who these laws will disenfranchise, no one even bothers denying it.
(no subject) - Dan Spicer - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Why? - SNOzero - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Why? - grrm - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Why? - nycfalcon - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
memyselfandrye
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:20 am (UTC)
our own Arab Spring is long over due.
Many would say we are not in such a bad spot that discussion and persuasion and leadership couldn't get us out of the mess we are in, that we would not have to resort to violence or revolution, bit when you look at the mass of lies and the violation of supposedly inalienable rights that goes on unchecked, I don't think people realize the danger we are in.

Anyway, America is good at this. That is why Canada's conservative government relied on American corporations to run a disinformation campaign in the guise of electoral officials to confuse the electorate in what amounts to voter suppression. And our legal system has done nothing of consequence.
papamishka
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:52 pm (UTC)
Re: our own Arab Spring is long over due.
our own Arab Spring is long over due.

I really doubt that you truly want a bunch of religious fanatics to get to power.
Re: our own Arab Spring is long over due. - dewline - Aug. 13th, 2012 11:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
luna_plath
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:29 am (UTC)
I agree with you here and the whole thing definitely makes me angry and disgusted. As a blind person living on a very modest income, I'm exactly the type of citizen that laws like this try to disenfranchise, and it will definitely factor into my decisions as a voter.

I think some of the previous negative commenters are merely uninformed about the issue.
ducktape74
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:36 am (UTC)
ID = Poll Tax
This might have already been covered, but requiring an ID for voting can be likened to a poll tax, as official IDs are seldom free. And for anyone who slept through their Civics or US History classes:

"The Twenty-fourth Amendment (Amendment XXIV) prohibits both Congress and the states from conditioning the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax. The amendment was proposed by Congress to the states on August 27, 1962, and was ratified by the states on January 23, 1964."

This is why it is wrong...

Edit: ...from a legal perspective

Edited at 2012-08-12 04:57 am (UTC)
encarmencita
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:03 am (UTC)
Re: ID = Poll Tax
Getting ID and the documents to obtain government ID can be prohibitively expensive. Getting a birth certificate alone can be prohibitively expensive between travel and cost. Passports are crazy expensive.
Re: ID = Poll Tax - Neil Fox - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: ID = Poll Tax - MZDLO75 - Aug. 14th, 2012 06:40 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: ID = Poll Tax - ducktape74 - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:17 am (UTC) - Expand
ducktape74
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:40 am (UTC)
Also, would you mind if I quoted this over on FB (with credit, of course)? I'm curious to see the resulting dialogue.
grrm
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:41 am (UTC)
I do not know what "FB" is.
(no subject) - ducktape74 - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:42 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kaydutch - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:56 am (UTC) - Expand
"FB" stands for "Facebook" - pulvatory - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:01 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: "FB" stands for "Facebook" - grrm - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: "FB" stands for "Facebook" - ducktape74 - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:18 am (UTC) - Expand
Thanks - scriptbabe - Aug. 12th, 2012 03:02 pm (UTC) - Expand
Facebook - Neil Fox - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:35 am (UTC) - Expand
FB = Facebook - MrsH_ghar - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:57 am (UTC) - Expand
turk_turkleton
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:08 am (UTC)
Let me preface this by saying that I consider myself a moderate who considers myself on the liberal side as far as most social issues are concerned. I'm a scientist, which is probably more important in explaining how I feel about this post.

While I greatly admire Mr. Martin's writing, I don't know that it qualifies him to be admired as a political pundit. I don't know that he isn't qualified either, but I certainly have no reason to believe so. I don't know very much about vote suppression that is purported to be going on in the states mentioned. I will have to look into it. But nowhere on this page do I see anyone providing ANY sources. I refuse to take the word of anyone who I do not know as an expert, or at least experienced, in a given field.
Robert Fiorentino
Aug. 12th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC)
I don't think GRRM ever claimed to be a political pundit. He has an opinion, and this is his blog. We're reading his blog because we want to read what he has to say about various topics. If we don't want to hear his opinion, we can all collectively go fuck ourselves. That's our right, too.
fail - Neil Fox - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:47 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fishsanwitt - Aug. 13th, 2012 03:58 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Aug. 13th, 2012 04:15 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - turk_turkleton - Aug. 13th, 2012 06:38 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - apostle_of_eris - Aug. 13th, 2012 11:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
voodooqueen126
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:58 am (UTC)
what is most irritating about this, is that Conservative parties actually benefit the most out of mandatory voting.
Atleast they do in Autralia.
I say this as a political conservative.
kromelizard
Aug. 12th, 2012 06:17 am (UTC)
Less than half of all voting-age Americans vote when there's no presidential election. When there is one, it's a good year if more than half do vote. And yet, somehow, this mythical voter fraud problem is the danger to our democracy and not the declining level of civic engagement on the part of the people? The Republican party has managed to transform itself into something truly contemptible and vile. It's a real sad state of affairs that the party founded to end slavery is now actively pursuing a corporate oligarchy that would leave the average American as little more than vassals in a state of perpetual underemployment and debt servitude.
raeyn
Aug. 12th, 2012 09:15 am (UTC)

As my mother recently pointed out for the nth time, it is considered impolite to discuss politics, religion, and sex in polite conversation. Which means, of course, the average American is woefully deficient in what should be things they should be sharp enough to defend and discuss intelligently. And while I was born and raised primarily in Texas, I reside in the UK compliments of having a British spouse. And here, one can discuss these things and concur that stuff needs fixing; jingoism does not make a broken system sacrosanct. But it is sacrosanct in the States, and how dare anyone denigrate it! My own sister, as supposedly intelligent and left-leaning individual, made it clear that if I 'insulted' America the way I insulted the UK, she would beat me up and throw me in the street. And, of course, all the times my veteran self has been called a traitor by fellow Americans for having opinions on how America could improve herself... it kind of proves the point. *shake head*

What that in mind, I obviously join in expressing my appreciation at seeing a well-made point. :)
Kyle Wag
Aug. 12th, 2012 09:27 am (UTC)
Agreed
Glad to see we agree on a political stand-point George!
swiftangel
Aug. 12th, 2012 09:36 am (UTC)
Well said. Thank you!

And you didn't even go into the efforts in Ohio to mess with polling station hours which would result in extend hours for voting in heavily Republican areas of the state, while limiting the hours in heavily Democratic areas, citing "budget constraints" for having to limit hours. This follows on from the last failed redistricting attemp (although I understand they will attempt it again).
Omer Belsky
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:02 pm (UTC)
Its not really a partisan thing...
Democrats have stolen elections in the past. Lyndon Johnson won in 1948 when he had hundreds of votes, in the same handwriting and in alphabetic order, "appear" long after the ballot was over, and great Liberal legal heroes helped him get away with it.

grrm
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:53 pm (UTC)
Re: Its not really a partisan thing...
Democrats AND Republicans have stolen elections in the past.

Yes, Lyndon Johnson, Major Daley, yadda yadda yadda, sure. But there were Republican Machines as well, and they were just as corrupt as their Democractic counterparts.

And most recent stolen election in American was the 2000 presidential election, won by Al Gore, stolen by George W. Bush. The GOP went all the way to the Supreme Court TO SPEND THE COUNTING OF THE VOTES.

I mean, how basic, how obvious, how blatant can one get? They brought suit to STOP THEM COUNTING VOTES.
Re: Its not really a partisan thing... - Neil Fox - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:45 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Its not really a partisan thing... - archpundit - Aug. 14th, 2012 04:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Todd Hutson
Aug. 12th, 2012 01:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Show Us Your Papers
Honestly, George? I'm disappointed. Painting this issue in Nazi "Papiere, bitte" colors isn't helping you. It's a simple matter, really. To vote in a country's elections, one must be a citizen of that country. The same can be said also when broken down into smaller regional districts. For instance as a gay, married man living in New York state, I certainly wouldn't want those conservative Texans sneaking up here to vote on the gay marriage issue.
As a friend of mine posted on Facebook the other day: "Wow! Your constant political posts on Facebook have finally brought me around to your way of thinking...Said no one...ever!"
presdlee
Aug. 12th, 2012 02:42 pm (UTC)
So....
You will allow democrats to register the dead and their dogs to vote, and that's cool? Chicago politics has been doing this for years, but apparently you are either ill-informed or don't care. Grow up George. You're old enough to not be a fire-breathing liberal.
grrm
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
Re: So....
Oh, that's such crap.

Are you going to dig up Major Daley again? Dude has been dead for decades, and whatever might have happened in 1960... HAPPENED IN 1960.

There is no evidence that anyone is registering dogs and dead people, so please, spare us all the Rush Limbaugh dittohead rhetoric. Just repeating a lie over and over does not make it true.
Re: So.... - Neil Fox - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:50 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: So.... - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 05:21 am (UTC) - Expand
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