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"Show Us Your Papers"

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.



Aug. 12th, 2012 11:05 am (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
What exactly were the actions of ACORN during the 2008 election?

The "false registrations" were identified and reported by ACORN themselves, in compliance with federal laws that they had to file any registrations sent to them even if they thought they were fraudulent.

James O'Keefe turned out to be a hoax artist, who edited and re-cut his videos to make it seem like ACORN were supporting criminal acts. The raw unedited footage made it quite clearer what O'Keefe was doing, and how manipulative he was being. (Where is O'Keefe now? Facing potential criminal charges in New Hampshire after trying to prove voter fraud is easy, and getting caught acquiring ballots under false pretences.)

Lobbying and GOP grandstanding about these pushed congress to deny them access to all federal funds.

Four separate federal and state investigations entirely cleared and exonerated ACORN, but the damage was already done and their loss of corporate donations and federal funding meant they closed in 2010.

Bringing up ACORN isn't a defence of the GOP's actions, it's an indictment of the GOP's actions. The GOP aided and abetted a campaign against a group who's aims were getting low and moderate income families access to housing, healthcare and voting rights. The only "Democratic bias" there is that group is more likely to democratically vote for Democrats.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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