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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

gopherstwinsfan
Aug. 13th, 2012 12:41 am (UTC)
Tea bagging
Please refrain from using this phrase. There are plenty of good, honest and loving people who are in the Tea Party. Not only that but the Tea Party is not just one collective group. There are nutcases in all movements and all political organizations. George, I am a huge fan of your books and respect your views on the issues. But please, do not use insulting terms like tea bagging or tea bagger. It's disrespectful and only serves to undermine your argument.

Name calling and false accusations in general do nothing but serve to stir up and further divide us. If we want true hope and change in this country, we need to work together and have honest discussions and debates about the issues. And we need to elect politicians who are not self serving. I agree with your point that some politicians want to win at all costs, but it's not just the Republican party. The Democrats are just as guilty. So let's stop squabbling about the Rs and the Ds and try to find some real solutions.
grrm
Aug. 13th, 2012 04:09 am (UTC)
Re: Tea bagging
It is worth noting that it was Tea Party members -- along with Fox News -- who coined the word "teabagger" for themselves when their movement first started. Admittedly, they did so in ignorance of the sexual connotations of the word.

To be sure, they only used the word for a couple of days, until Keith Obermann and other talking heads on MSNBC began to make relentless fun of them for the coinage. Then they hurriedly retreated, and adopted a "no, no, don't call us that" stance.

Which I was willing to respect, as far as that goes... until they decided to gild the lily with a little denial, and started rewriting history, saying, "No, we NEVER called ourselves that, that was all made up by the media." That part was just a flat out lie. I saw and heard tea party guys proudly calling themselves "teabaggers" with my very own ears and eyes, so I don't like being told it never happened. One guy I remember especially vividly, since he was wearing a hat with a dozen tea bags dangling down from it.

I hate Newspeak.

Edited at 2012-08-13 04:09 am (UTC)
fanoffun
Aug. 13th, 2012 07:52 pm (UTC)
I personally liked the name teabagger. I wanted to join for the title. Too bad they distanced themselves from it.
rometag
Aug. 14th, 2012 05:02 am (UTC)
Re: After further review
I did some more checking. The Tea Party never called themselves "teabaggers" in any official form. They did use the tea bag as a symbol prompting some at functions to say that term. I did find a pic of a lady holding a sign that said "I am a Teabagger!" Awkward.
So as a matter of semantics perhaps you are correct except that Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow first used the term as a derogatory term. The official Tea Party never "rewrote" history as they never officially used the term but did have to distance themselves with its use.
As for your Fox News comment - why the hatred for Fox and not MSNBC, NBC, CBS, ABC, NPR, & the New York Times? Do you only despise certain biased news?
grrm
Aug. 14th, 2012 05:14 am (UTC)
Re: After further review
I stand by my comments on the origin of "teabagger." I know what I saw.

As for news... I have a master's degree in journalism. Fox News does not report the news objectively.

MSNBC has a liberal slant, I will agree.

The other networks, and the New York Times, adhere to the standards of objective, unbiased journalism that I was taught. Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Huntley and Brinkley, John Chancellor, Eric Sevareid... these are the sorts of television journalists that I admire and respect, men for whom the truth was paramount, who would follow a story no matter where it led.
fanoffun
Aug. 14th, 2012 09:20 pm (UTC)
No commentator reports the news objectively. That would be boring and they would lose ad dollars. There are recent examples of ABC showing extreme bias. I ignored it because it was done by commentators and I expected nothing less.
News media decides who wins elections.

If (Insert commentator name here), says that (Insert politicians name here), is Hitler reborn, it must be true because I like (Insert commentators name here).</p>

No commentator irritates me personally because I'm already aware of their bias. It does however irritate me when people believe it as fact and repeat it as if it was an original thought.

A dog runs into the street and a man hits it with his car. <-Boring.

A man stops at a corner, rips a puppy from the hands of a toddler. Next he ties it up and runs over it, rounds the block to run it over again. As he drives off, he laughs at the toddler while calling him a derogatory name.
<-Now that's a story.

grrm
Aug. 14th, 2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
No commentator would say that X was Hitler reborn, however.

Such extreme hypotheticals don't serve the discussion.

"Bias" is a loaded load. A journalist has an obligation to report the truth. To be objective, not "balanced." When one side is telling the truth and the other side is speaking falsehood, the news should say that... but that is not "bias."

That's where many of these discussions break down, I fear.
fanoffun
Aug. 14th, 2012 10:56 pm (UTC)
I see a journalist as someone who reports the news. For example:
"The president stopped in Detroit today on a campaign stop."

I see a commentator as someone who gives an opinion on the news. Example:
"The president stopped by Detroit today. He was greeted by the cheers of thousands. Five people fainted due to his brilliant speech"
"Now we're going to bring on our guest. He's a campaign advisor for the presidents opponent. So X, why does your guy hate women?"
See the difference? Of course it's a dramatization to demonstrate a point.</p>

All commentators are guilty of this to varying degrees.
I personally do not need anyone to think for me or give a one sided opinion or spin, regardless or not if I agree. I hope people can get dry news and develop their own opinions.

A lot of times the act of ignoring a story, in effect, demonstrates a bias. I just want the facts whether I like them or not.
Don't tell me that Cons want to put chains on black people unless you have proof.
Don't tell me that Obama burns copies of the constitution unless you can prove it.

This has become ridiculous and too many people can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

SNOzero
Aug. 14th, 2012 10:49 pm (UTC)
Re: After further review
The New York Times "adhere to the standards of objective, unbiased journalism that I was taught..." ??? Wow. Of all the things you said, this completely discredits your arguments for me. I'm a conservative for sure, but I read information from all sides. I know when something is biased and I understand how people can manipulate numbers to tell any story they want.

The NY Times is all over the map, and most assuredly not "objective". They have an agenda, just like Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, ABC and CBS...... and we departed from the era of "just the facts" a long time ago.
grrm
Aug. 14th, 2012 11:03 pm (UTC)
Re: After further review
The NEW YORK TIMES is one of the most respected newspapers in the world, the "newspaper of record," admired by anyone who know anything about journalism. Certainly the vast majority of professional journalists admire it. It is only right-wing ideologues who like to slag on the TIMES.

Yes, the NYT has an "agenda." Truth.

The same agenda that all ethical journalists share.

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