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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 08:33 pm (UTC)
Re: What is the solution?
Again, please show these studies.
Aug. 13th, 2012 06:59 pm (UTC)
here, go do some research for yourself
since you won't trust us 'liberals' who believe that all citizens should be given easy access to voting, whether it's for a school bond or the President of the United States.

The 'voter fraud' the right wing screams about is virtually nonexistent. Not even .01% of the totals of any recent (1992-on) state/federal election have been found to be caused by Mickey Mouse and Rocky Balboa voting. Mathematically, it just can't work to have even a hundred people going from precinct to precinct voting fraudulently multiple times in most major elections. No way to keep a secret that big on the local/public level.

Of greater concern is "VOTER SUPPRESSION", which is now done largely by Republican officials, passing stringent requirements to register and vote, cutting hours to prevent workers and students from voting, denying our elders the rights they have used for decades to vote. The use of 'black box' computerized voting machines, the 'back room' counting and verifying electronic votes are much more problematical, and are known and have been documented by reputable news and public interest organizations since 2000.

Here's two non-partisan organizations with much discussion and analysis of what's going on with these voter suppression laws and regulations. Won't even mention the multiple times the Republicans have been caught jamming Democratic and union phone lines (New Hampshire - people went to jail over that one). Nor the times that the local sheriff suddenly decides to throw up 'safety checks' and DWI checkpoints near precincts where many minority voters vote. Or the bogus flyers put out in poor neighborhoods claiming that Democrats get to vote on Wednesday, or that if you have as much as a parking ticket you can be arrested at the polls, passed out by bussed in homeless people (Baltimore). Or that you can use your gun permit in Texas to vote, but not your student ID. Or the 2004 election, where a Republican company (Sproul & Assoc., IIRC) was hired to register voters in several states, and their workers were instructed to destroy any registrations marked "Democrat" which resulted in people not being able to vote at all. Or... well, I hope you go do some research on more than Glenn Beck's and Rush Limbaugh's links.

the non-partisan Brennen Center for Justice:


The League of Women Voters - almost 100 years old. Don't come back and tell me that the LoWV is partisan; my suffragette, Republican, grandmother was a LoWV member her entire adult life, and volunteered to work at the polls for decades. She even participated in voter registration drives registering people who were most likely going to vote Democratic, because she believed, after winning the vote for women, that anyone eligible to vote should be able to do so, not matter where they lived or the color of their skin, or how much money they earned or what religion they practiced.

Voting suppression is clearly part of the republican dirty tricks books and has been for decades. Look at SC Justice Rehnquist's early career as a Republican operative for just one example of how this permeates the dirty tricks of the right for the last half-century.

Can you honestly say you live up to my grandmother's standards after reading information and analysis form the links I have provided you?

If you do love our country, you should be as appalled as we on the Democratic side are about these dirty tricks and outright denial of the opportunity to vote in this fall's election that could affect as many as 45 million citizens.


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

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