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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. 13th, 2012 12:45 am (UTC)
I live in Pennsylvania, and I can tell you that the state made a very poor attempt at defending this Voter ID nonsense. Their testimony revealed that the law itself would stop absolutely no voter fraud, and they admitted that they had *not a single case* of voter impersonation. Not one example. When the Republican-controlled legislature rammed this law through, they claimed that very few people would be disenfranchised by it. However, once the law was enacted, it came out that nearly 10% of the Pennsylvania electorate did not meet the requirements set forth - over a million voters.

So, in order to stop a problem they admit doesn't exist, Republicans passed a law that would stop 1 in 10 voters from exercising their Constitutional rights, and, funny story!, that 1 in 10 happen to vote almost consistently Democratic.

Aug. 13th, 2012 02:32 am (UTC)
Only 1 in 10 vote for democrats? That's crazy. If this is a fact, only one out of the 10 disenfranchised voters are voting democrat. That would mean that the state is losing a lot of conservative votes. Not to mention that the majority of the "disenfranchised" wouldn't have voted anyway. The government never prosecutes voter fraud so there are no reliable stats on the matter. If there are no prosecutions, it's easy to announce that it's insignificant.
Imagine for instance that someone, I don't know, decided to turn a blind eye to illegal immigration. They could claim that the problem is fixed. But wait. If the other side takes control in November, the game will change.
All of sudden it will be the cons that are guilty of voter fraud and easy on the border. The never ending cycle.
They will keep distracting the sheep from the real objectives. Oh, look at the pretty shiny object but ignore the guy stealing your wallet. That guy over there punches kittens. I'm just trying to feed the starving grandma living in the alley. Point is, their is always a hidden motive behind every political action. The cons are not alone garbage. The libs are not alone garbage. Both are equally garbage. Mind you, their is a considerable amount of perfume sprayed to mask the smell but if your eyes work, you are foolish not to see both crawling out of the trash can. One day, a strange man or woman arrives out of nowhere with actual solutions. Neither party likes that person. "They will ruin everything. Get our cronies in the media to bash and make fun of them. The people will eat dog food if it's served with fries."
Advice, if you are willing. Find someone that both parties hate and throw all your support behind that person.
Turn off your TV and ignore commentators. They are all biased and none care a bit about your plight.
If I could be so bold. I will quote a legend.

"Open your mind, Open your mind, Open your mind, Open your mind, Open your mind."
- Kuato, Total recall.
Aug. 13th, 2012 12:41 pm (UTC)
I don't think you read my comment correctly. I said "that 1 in 10 happen to vote almost consistently Democratic." I did not say "1 in 10 of the disenfranchised voters vote Democratic."

This statistic is not based on prosecutions, it's based on reports - of which there were none to prosecute. None.

I will agree that both parties are equally bad, because the leadership of both parties serve the same masters, and that's not the average voter. But we're not talking about that here, we're talking about voter identification and the fact that there is one party consistently attempting to limit voting rights.
Aug. 13th, 2012 07:41 pm (UTC)
The assumption that all the disenfranchised are liberals or vote dem is silly.
What you wrote and what you meant are two different things. You claimed that 10 percent vote dem. You claimed that 10 percent are disenfranchised. Going off of what you wrote, the 10 percent of disenfranchised voters would fall into the overall mixed category. So 9 percent of the 10 disenfranchised would vote conservative. The whole theory is flawed based on the fact that more than 10 percent vote dem. The poll of the disenfranchised is flawed because it's an assumption that's not based on actual numbers. There is no way of knowing who they would vote for or if they would vote at all. True, that shouldn't matter but the game of stats is left up to the interpretation of the presenter. When Obama is down in the polls. It's obviously because the pollers are biased. When he's up, it's because he's awesome and the pollers are just. Come on.
Aug. 13th, 2012 08:30 pm (UTC)
Sigh. I can't tell if you're completely missing my point and failed to comprehend what I wrote or are being deliberately obtuse.

I'm not assuming that all the disenfranchised voters are liberal or vote Democratic - I *know* that the vast majority of them do, because we have mountains of data to support that. The million plus of voters disenfranchised by this law are mostly urban, elderly, and minority voters, who overwhelming vote Democrat. This is not an assumption or opinion; this is a fact. I don't understand how you can say that there's no way of knowing who they would vote for. That's like saying that since 4% of black voters didn't vote for Obama, there's no way to tell how the average black voter will vote for this time around. Are you honestly arguing that a given demographic is likely to shift its voting habits so far as to make their choices completely unpredictable after decades of data?

Going off of what I wrote, I did not say that 10% of the disenfranchised voters voted Democrat. I said that the 1 in 10 voters that were disenfranchised tend to vote Democrat. Do you not understand the difference?

Majority of the 10% of voters disenfranchised vote Democrat =/= 10% of the disenfranchised voters vote Democrat.

Also, I'd like to point out that there's more than one race on the ballot. It's not about Obama or Not Obama, it's about state and local representation as well. It's about ballot initiatives.


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

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