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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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( 438 comments )
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mezzogiorno
Aug. 11th, 2012 09:48 pm (UTC)
I agree so wholeheartedly.
stdharma
Aug. 11th, 2012 09:57 pm (UTC)
But I only have a pipe, man...
Isn't it funny that the one thing they LOVE to trot out as justification is Goldwater's "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice" quote but they, like many who cherry-pick their beliefs and ideologies, don't acknowledge that even Goldwater could not stomach the social conservatives who have hijacked the party today. When even Reagan would be considered too moderate for the likes of them that is really telling.

flockofgulls
Aug. 11th, 2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
Well said!
storm_dancer
Aug. 11th, 2012 10:14 pm (UTC)
Well said. I'm stunned at the lack of opposition among Republicans to what's going on.
Michael Paul Goldenberg
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
Lack of oppo
Sadly, the days of moderate Republicans in the tradition of George Romney, Nelson Rockefeller, Bill Scranton, Sr., and others are long gone. Goldwater? Nixon? These guys seem utterly sane (if not completely ethical) by current GOP 'standards.'

As the Republican Party recognizes that except in gerrymandered districts, local elections, and states like Oklahoma, Utah, Arizona, Texas, and other backwaters of civilization, they can't win without suppressing the vote, particularly of the young, poor, and non-white, they have no compunction about raising up a holy stink about non-existent voter fraud, making a mountain of a molehill in the ATF gun situation (also in Arizona, of course, where DAs won't prosecute straw buyers no matter how glaringly obvious it is that they're buying to sell to Mexican drug cartels) in order to tie up a voting-rights protection oriented US Attorney General (who, utterly coincidentally, is black) so that he can't actively pursue those who are interfering with voting rights, all in a gigantic effort to distract the media (not a particularly difficult thing) from their real agenda, which of course is to steal senatorial and presidential elections.

They know there's no chance of Mitt Romney defeating a sitting president with such positive numbers among blacks, Latinos, women, and young people unless they can turn this into another Florida 2000 situation, coupled with amplifying the influence of their favorite constituency - scared working class, middle class, and upper class white males. As that demographic is not enough to win outright, it's simple math that leads them to suppressing the votes of those not likely to vote for the clueless Mitt Romney and his Eddie Munster VP candidate. Sickening? Yes. Surprising? 'Fraid not.
janey
Aug. 11th, 2012 10:16 pm (UTC)
i agree with everything you posted. i live in florida and republicans have been working to suppress votes here since 2000.

it scares me how extreme the republican party is becoming. they're willing to do anything to win.

Edited at 2012-08-12 05:09 am (UTC)
deadndried
Aug. 14th, 2012 03:11 am (UTC)
Floridian here too!
(no subject) - aaronfreed - Aug. 14th, 2012 05:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Anna Ismagulova
Aug. 11th, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, deep in my heart I do beleive
We shall overcome someday.
kmanning
Aug. 11th, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
Proving your a citizen
Hi George,
I am afraid I don't understand your gripe. Is there something wrong with asking people that they prove in some way that they are actually citizens of this country before they are allowed to cast a vote to determine who will represent the citizens of this country? Seems legit to me. And if you do want to rant about something truly reprehensible, please take a look at the actions of the clearly democratic biased group Acorn in the 2008 election. Sorry to disagree with you here, George. I truly love your books and respect your opinions. Thanks for all of the enjoyment that you have created for me.

Warm regards,

Kyle Manning
coaldustcanary
Aug. 12th, 2012 05:31 am (UTC)
Re: Proving your a citizen
Is there something wrong with asking people that they prove in some way that they are actually citizens of this country before they are allowed to cast a vote to determine who will represent the citizens of this country?

Until and unless the United States makes national or state ID available for free to every citizen, yes, there is. Did you know that over a quarter of the county Department of Motor Vehicle offices in Wisconsin are open less than 1 day a month? There are a few counties that only are open 1 or two days every year. It is extremely difficult and expensive for some people to get recognized IDs, when the choice is possibly having to skip work, get rides for an hour or more from someone, or navigate public transport for long distances. Many people change addresses frequently, making it difficult for them to provide utility bills or other proof of residence that are required to get IDs. Something like 1/8 of all Americans do not have access to their birth certificates for various reasons - many states or municipalities require such certificates to be copied or obtained *only* in person - what if you live across the country from where you were born?

Proving citizenship, particularly for many populations who face hardship in the US, is not a simple process. If states truly want to move forward with this plan for ID, to make sure that we all have state or national "papers", then they have to take the time and money to make absolutely certain that every citizen has them. It will take probably a decade or more, and will lead to a very different country than the one we have now.

But it's clear that nobody in power wants voting to be as fair as it could be. Nothing about our system is ideal to promote equal access to the voting booth.
Re: Proving your a citizen - an800lbgorilla - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Proving your a citizen - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 11:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - shakauvm - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:53 am (UTC) - Expand
Red Herring - malacandra95 - Aug. 14th, 2012 12:38 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Red Herring - Michael Conrad - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:25 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Red Herring - Kevin Mills - Aug. 14th, 2012 07:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Red Herring - Topher McCarter - Aug. 14th, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - infinite_hiatus - Aug. 12th, 2012 07:21 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - eeepeeep - Aug. 12th, 2012 07:59 am (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Proving your a citizen - Jose Sarmento - Aug. 13th, 2012 10:13 am (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Proving your a citizen - EMHeld - Aug. 12th, 2012 07:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Craig L. Ching - Aug. 14th, 2012 03:28 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - brightstrangely - Aug. 14th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Proving your a citizen - Kevin Mills - Aug. 14th, 2012 07:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - embers_log - Aug. 12th, 2012 03:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fanoffun - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - Kevin Mills - Aug. 14th, 2012 07:35 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - jayblanc - Aug. 12th, 2012 11:05 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - dcmykl - Aug. 13th, 2012 11:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - James Kessler - Aug. 13th, 2012 11:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Quintin Steeves - Aug. 14th, 2012 06:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Kate Whitaker - Aug. 13th, 2012 11:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Quintin Steeves - Aug. 14th, 2012 07:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Michael Conrad - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - dreamingkat - Aug. 14th, 2012 05:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Rusty Patti - Aug. 14th, 2012 05:10 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Quintin Steeves - Aug. 14th, 2012 07:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Jonathan Stephan - Aug. 14th, 2012 04:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Neville Ross - Aug. 14th, 2012 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: Proving your a citizen - Joshua Subin - Aug. 14th, 2012 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Quintin Steeves - Aug. 14th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - DonalJMurphy - Aug. 14th, 2012 08:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - Meghan Hubbell - Aug. 14th, 2012 10:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Proving your a citizen - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 11:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Rick Worley
Aug. 11th, 2012 10:33 pm (UTC)
Right on, George, you're absolutely correct.
tasha_lei
Aug. 11th, 2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
Here's the thing: in 2008, we had thousands of dead people voting, our military members' votes ended up "missing" and a group called ACORN signed people up to vote multiple times for their candidate in exchange for cash, and some of the phony names they voted under were outrageous - Mickey Mouse? Seriously?? Showing an ID is required for using checks, bank transactions, oftentimes, doctor/dentist visits as well (even if they know you, your picture ID is still on file), for various purchases...The Democratic party has said this is unfair to poor people on welfare to have to provide ID to vote; however, they have to provide their ID to get and use their aid, so they already HAVE ID, and already have to show it. This measure is to prevent increased voter fraud this year, although it has been spun to be unfair to minorities and everyone else. If those who are eligible to vote already have ID, how is it a hardship, and furthermore, since you have to show it so many other places, why not at the voting booth where you want to make sure there is no fraud? Frankly, since Obama is blocking our military members from their right to vote (and out of everyone, they have more of a stake than most here do), saying, show your ID is only trying to keep things legal here.
grrm
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:32 am (UTC)
You really to turn off Fox News and listen to some fact-based reporting.

Your post is full of so many misstatements, distortions, and outright lies that I hardly know where to begin refuting it.

Let me just state, for starts, that the "blocking the military from voting" is completely false, as one of the other posters documents below. Whoever told you that was case was a spin doctor, to be generous... but it's not true.
(no subject) - john_johnson911 - Aug. 12th, 2012 06:17 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - asthran - Aug. 13th, 2012 03:53 am (UTC) - Expand
All Ballots are Counted - archpundit - Aug. 14th, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: All Ballots are Counted - asthran - Aug. 14th, 2012 08:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Quintin Steeves - Aug. 14th, 2012 08:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 09:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Seamus Sullivan - Aug. 13th, 2012 07:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Fair Election? - mkwells - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Jeremy McCaleb - Aug. 14th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Quintin Steeves - Aug. 14th, 2012 06:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Mary Speer - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:46 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smofbabe - Aug. 12th, 2012 06:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Voting is a RIGHT - LEPHAMMER - Aug. 13th, 2012 09:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Voting is a RIGHT - tagrome - Aug. 14th, 2012 12:32 am (UTC) - Expand
The 2000 election came down to 380 vote - parrismcb - Aug. 14th, 2012 01:23 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Voting is a RIGHT - Quintin Steeves - Aug. 14th, 2012 08:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
To Tasha Lei - James Kessler - Aug. 13th, 2012 11:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Craig L. Ching - Aug. 14th, 2012 03:35 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Quintin Steeves - Aug. 14th, 2012 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - Quintin Steeves - Aug. 14th, 2012 08:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
chris_warrior
Aug. 11th, 2012 11:23 pm (UTC)
Republicans of conscience

Tyrions? ;)
Jeremy Rowland
Aug. 11th, 2012 11:28 pm (UTC)
i agree politics have taken a turn for the very worst.the lengths both sides go to to fudge numbers,intimidate voters and confuse the process sickens me.
fishsanwitt
Aug. 13th, 2012 03:47 am (UTC)
I would appreciate links to Democrats who are doing this because all I'm hearing is Republicans doing this. If you have proof, please show it.
theldara
Aug. 11th, 2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
::applause:: Very well said. Agreed, as well.
cwmflame
Aug. 11th, 2012 11:44 pm (UTC)
Well said!
I'm a Brit, but I couldn't agree more... Well said
con_grazia
Aug. 11th, 2012 11:52 pm (UTC)
I lived in Montreal during the martial law crisis/event of the '70s, and the only thing missing this time around are the tanks on every corner.

I've been living in the States for many years and am disgusted with what I am seeing the Republicans trying to do (or should I say destroy, like pouty little children) today. I'm very thankful I have retained my Canadian citizenship.
Craig Chilton
Aug. 14th, 2012 08:15 pm (UTC)
Canada is VASTLY Superior to the USA in Granting Civil & Human Rights
My real name is Craig Chilton. I live in Evansdale, Iowa. My e-mail address is xanadupublishing@yahoo.com. So -- I am NOT posting anonymously!!

UNLIKE the USA (with the exception of a handful of states), Canada believes in and supports civil and human rights, so is a FAR better country to live in. Northern Europe is 'way ahead of the USA as well.

Here in the USA, one of our two major parties is INFESTED with RRR cultists (the [IR]-Religious Radical Right bigots) who are DEDICATED, 24/7, to hatefully and irrationally destroying personal liberties and rights of tens of millions of people. The USSR under Gorby (but not under Stalin) was literally better, in terms of respecting human rights, than today's USA is. By all means, DO retain your citizenship in CIVILIZED Canada!
smofbabe
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:04 am (UTC)
I obviously agree - the efforts themselves are shocking but as you say, the fact that there is no universal condemning of the efforts is probably even more shocking. Looks like it's going to be a race between court decisions and election dates.
tapati
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:05 am (UTC)

Thank you. I, too, have been waiting to hear someone very publicly denouncing these actions from the Republican side, some leader who is brave and actually cares about the country and all of its people. The end justifies these means, in their mind, with no thought to the cost. Politics has become a huge sporting game rather than a means to serve the needs of the citizens and the country as a whole.
neumeindil
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:23 am (UTC)
Moments like these are why I'm such a proud fan of your career. I'll be quoting this to a "libertarian" friend of mine who informed me today that "An educated voter will now vote Romney/Ryan."
igrok2
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:26 am (UTC)
// citizens must "show their papers" to vote //

How citizens can vote without some ID?
Or i am misunderstanding something?
grrm
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:26 am (UTC)
In the US, for hundreds of years, citizens have voted without showing their papers.

Indeed, the US has no "national identity card," and has always resisted one. More and more, the driver's license is used for that purpose... but really, it just supposed to license you to DRIVE.
(no subject) - Mathieu Thielemans - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:18 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - humbleminion - Aug. 12th, 2012 06:03 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - manderlyrules - Aug. 12th, 2012 04:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Can't Vote in 2 States - Jay W. Walker - Aug. 13th, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - apostle_of_eris - Aug. 13th, 2012 10:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rdmaughan - Aug. 12th, 2012 08:59 am (UTC) - Expand
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(no subject) - jufin - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Aug. 12th, 2012 05:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
i do not understand something. - amit pivonia - Aug. 12th, 2012 06:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - igrok2 - Aug. 12th, 2012 09:33 am (UTC) - Expand
and get on an airplane - Neil Fox - Aug. 14th, 2012 03:02 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - an800lbgorilla - Aug. 14th, 2012 02:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Show Your Papers - Neil Anderson - Aug. 14th, 2012 04:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
ID requirements - tj1962 - Aug. 13th, 2012 08:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Felix Sandgren - Aug. 14th, 2012 12:44 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - grrm - Aug. 14th, 2012 12:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - coaldustcanary - Aug. 14th, 2012 11:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - Mitzi J. Bartlett - Aug. 14th, 2012 05:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cyanne - Aug. 14th, 2012 06:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
vanishdtwilight
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:33 am (UTC)
Well said.
arfisk
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:45 am (UTC)
By chance, last night I was watching one of those 'how cringeworthy can this get?' flicks. This one was about teenage party ravers who run amok after taking 'vampire' pills. Next day I awake to hear who Romney's running mate is..

(The pills had been developed for *enhanced* vampirism, so there's your Overton Window, right there!)

The were-elephants pushing this creed aren't conservatives, in the traditional sense. Unfortunately, they are 'in the room', and berating them just causes true conservatives to bunch up and ignore the snacking noises coming from behind.

I prefer to try separating the were-elephants out by sticking them with a more accurate label: 'self-servative'.

...Meanwhile, in the spirit of self-defeating paranoid prophecies, keep an eye on those Diebold thingies..
moonshineray
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:51 am (UTC)
As a former republican (I say former and mean it, I am now independent and will not side with the disturbing extremes of that side ever again) I can't agree with you more. The point of the party is lost, the attitudes have degraded to childlike meanness and petty cruelty. I am ashamed of where the party has gone and want nothing to do with them.
Mary Louis
Aug. 13th, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC)
The Democrats are as Extreme as the Republicans..
I find Both parties are extreme. I’m also an Independent and can say I agree with some points on both sides..It makes me chuckle when I hear one side say the other is radical. They’re both equally extreme/radical.. Just as there may be Republicans trying to block people from voting, there are as many people trying to vote fraudulently-or initimidate people at the polls..let’s stop kidding ourselves here. If you need ID to get into a movie (if under 17) or to buy alcohol or to get government benefits, then you should ABSOLUTELY have some proof of ID to vote. As far as people recognizing me at the voting place-that’s flat-out wrong. I know many people in this town and have yet to meet one I know working the polls...
celebros
Aug. 12th, 2012 12:54 am (UTC)
It pleases me so much to see people I respect for completely nonpolitical reasons coming out publicly with stances I respect so much. Especially writers, because you know how to say it so WELL. Thanks George!
t40rs731n
Aug. 12th, 2012 01:21 am (UTC)
Once again, you are spot on, good sir
It is frightening. But it is hardly a surprise. We (should have) seen it coming when these people (clad in the skin of dead elephants) started denying hard science and cavorting with creationists as a means of corrupting our educational system. They are constantly attacking our people like a prize fighter.

Misdirection is their game and they won't give up until they steal the entire show.
snorkackcatcher
Aug. 12th, 2012 01:27 am (UTC)
How did this ever get so bad? (Apart from the obvious Jas. Crow aspects.)

In the UK, the procedure (I've seen this from both sides) is basically that you turn up and inform the ballot box clerks "I am So-and-so of Such-and-such address", and if their list of voters (from the register) includes a So-and-so living at Such-and-such they get issued with a ballot paper. It helps if you bring the card which tells you where to vote, but you don't have to.

OK, there are possibilities for gaming the system, and procedures for provisional ballots if required, but generally things just work out. The basic idea is to make it as easy as possible for anyone to vote who's entitled to.
grrm
Aug. 12th, 2012 04:24 am (UTC)
That's pretty much the way it has always worked in the US as well.

Until now.
in israel - amit pivonia - Aug. 13th, 2012 05:03 am (UTC) - Expand
The way it has worked? - Beth Klein - Aug. 14th, 2012 04:03 am (UTC) - Expand
Voting - stanmortensen - Aug. 14th, 2012 08:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - cogs42 - Aug. 12th, 2012 01:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
ladyringo
Aug. 12th, 2012 01:31 am (UTC)
My husband and I spent the morning talking about the election. We both feel very much like you do. Being a moderate is hard, I see good in both sides, but the farther and farther into right-wing-moral-majority-crazy the Republican party goes, the less and less I can see good in them.

SIGH.
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