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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.



Michael Way
Aug. 14th, 2012 05:33 am (UTC)
Teabagger? Really?
I remember back during the 2010 election a series of posts on this site that resulted in comments where the insults and name-calling became extremely nasty. George, you posted a note for calm and asked that every poster on this blog treat the other posters with respect, no matter their political affiliation, whether Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian...whatever . It was a well-crafted note, until you used the word Teabagger to refer to Tea Party members.

Right there you killed your message. As a wordsmith, you of all people should know the power of words, and while the "not-a-blog" is a more informal setting, where you perhaps didn't double-check your words, you still should have realized what you were saying. Surely you know the alternate meaning? When I read your message, all that popped in my mind was the image of some racist bigot saying "I'm not prejudiced - some of my best friends are (insert derogatory racial reference)". "Respect everyone, even the Teabaggers" - see how that sounds? I didn't call you out on it then, but I am going to call you out on it now.

You may dislike Tea Party members, you may disagree with them vehemently, but if we are EVER to get any semblance of bipartisanship again, if we are EVER to get this country united again, then such language needs to be eliminated. I'm sick of hearing liberals called "libtards" and "traitors" and I'm sick of hearing conservatives called "bigots" and I'm sick of hearing Tea Party members called "Teabaggers". These words kill any chance of reasonable discourse. The moment I hear them, I tune the message (and ultimately the messenger) out.
Aug. 14th, 2012 05:50 am (UTC)
Re: Teabagger? Really?
I've addressed this point already in a reply to an earlier post.

I do agree that both sides should cool the rhetoric. You make a pretty persuasive case on that, Michael.

But I must admit, I despise of ever seeing true bipartisanship return to our government again... and that is in no small party due to the Tea Party. Early in his first term, Obama made as much effort to reach across the aisle and work with the opposition than any president since Johnson, only to have his hand smacked every time he held it out. And after the 2010 election, when the Tea Party got several members into congress, all hopes of cooperation died. Every Republican who even thought of working with the Democrats, trying to compromise, or mounting a bipartisan effort was attacked and bullied by the extreme right wing of his or her own party.

Attitudes like that make passions run hot. On both sides.
Dan Kurtz
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Teabagger? Really?
The GOP leadership, including their VP candidate Paul Ryan, met the night of the President's inauguration and decided to obstruct him even on previously-held Republican positions on Cap and Trade, the individual mandate, the DREAM Act, and so on. Mitch McConnell publicly said their goal was to make BHO a one term President. IMO, the President was to conciliatory to a party that screamed "You Lie" while addressing Congress and publicly questioning the President's citizenship. IMO, once they failed to support the tax cut-laden stimulus which was only about a third of what was actually needed, BHO should have stopped trying to work with the GOP. I think it took The debt ceiling disaster to make BHO realize how guano crazy the Republicans have become.
Aug. 14th, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Teabagger? Really?
George - Obama has run the most partisan ideological White House in decades. He is not one to compromise - he thinks he is always right-er I mean correct - sorry. "Obama made as much effort to reach across the aisle and work with the opposition than any president since Johnson" - cannot believe you actually think that.
Aug. 14th, 2012 06:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Teabagger? Really?
Of course I said it. It's true.

Well, maybe not so much these days. He's learned his lesson. But in the early days of his first term, Obama made huge efforts at bipartisanship... ESPECIALLY on health care. This law the GOP calls "Obamacare" is not at all what Democrats and liberals wanted. It's a compromise that incorporates all sorts of Republican ideas. Obama backed away from single payer and public option to please the Republicans and conservative Democrats and win some bipartisan support for health care reform... and then not a single Republican voted for the bill anyway.
Aug. 14th, 2012 05:51 am (UTC)
Re: Teabagger? Really?
Calling someone a bigot when they are a bigot is not the same as calling someone a libtard.

And The Tea NOT a Party people started the tea bagging thing, not anyone's problem if they now don't like it. They should have watched some John Waters movies like the rest of us.


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

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