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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 01:34 pm (UTC)
Republican Tactics
Thank you George for highighting this issue. Here in the City of Chicago, as in many cities, a significant number of people do not have cars, do not drive, and do not have licenses. This is particularly the case with the elderly urban dwellers. They have little means to "prove" who they are. The Republican tactics have always been dirty, but this one is particularly bad. And now with Paul Ryan on the ticket they will take away Medicare from the eldery as well. People need to stop watching FOX NEWS which is nothing but a brainwashing propaganda machine. Try watching C-SPAN (can be boring but you can see time and again how the Republicans block anything rational the Independents and Democrats want to do) and see what the Republican politicians are really doing in Washington. They are slimy and scary. Thanks for bringing this issue to your fans.
Aug. 13th, 2012 11:45 pm (UTC)
Re: Republican Tactics
hey Winter - did C-span tell you that Ryan was going to take away Medicare - or was it Andrea Mitchell - or Rachel Madcow? Get a grip. I think you have Fox News confused with MSNBC - ow wait it's just NBC now isn't it? Wonder why?
Fox "news" is not as bad as you say it is - they have broken stories you would NEVER have heard abpout in the "mainstream media" I do not recall them ever having to issue an apology or retraction either.
Fox "opinion" shows are a different matter - Hannity being a prime example of partisanship. Kinda like the entire NBC news division.
Aug. 14th, 2012 01:04 am (UTC)
Re: Republican Tactics
Please, Fox does not issue 'retractions' because they are always perfect in their reporting, they don't issue them because their audience doesn't care if Fox has the best news reporting ever in the history of journalism; they just want their fears and hatreds confirmed by the talking heads on Fox. Even people styled as 'opinion' talking heads have a responsibility to stick to at least the basic facts of a subject. As my uncle once said, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own 'facts' ".

Multiple organizations and experts have looked over the various ways Republicans want to cut the social safety net - and especially Paul Ryan's proposals for Medicare and Social Security - and have found that the cuts and changes would leave millions without medical care, without food and shelter, and Fox doesn't mention those reports. Ever.

Nice Christian political party you got there.

Both Social Security and Medicare are programs that most Americans are 'entitled' to when they reach a certain age, or are stricken by disability because they or a parent worked and paid into FICA for a time that is specified in the regulations. Social Security funds have been diverted into tax breaks for corporations and individuals as well as to increase our military spending since Reagan, while hiding the actual impact on our government's balance sheet. G W Bush said that those IOUs were nothing more than 'paper', not the promise of our government to pay back the money they took from the SS funds.

Since you want to know what we read/watch/study, all the while disparaging what those choices you think we've made, maybe you can tell me 3 news sources you read? What was the last serious book you read on our government, or a political figure? Not those diatribes by Anne Coulter, but a book written by a scholar? I just finished "Nixonland". I read news sources from around the world, a luxury my parents didn't have, and know how to find the CBO analysis of proposed budgets and budget cuts. My father was an economist; I have a basic grasp of micro-macro economics that is probably stronger than most people with a business degree.

Did you know that multiple studies have found that people who don't read any newspapers, ignore network news broadcasts score higher on their knowledge of public affairs than people who are heavy Fox watchers?

Please, before you write anymore here, I strongly suggest you go learn some information from a non-biased, honest organization rather than continuing to swallow the swill offered by Fox and the like.

Aug. 14th, 2012 06:55 am (UTC)
Re: Republican Tactics
First off - not a Republican idealogue.
I just happen to agree with the Republicans on the voting issue.
2nd - I'd like to know who did the study you referenced.
3rd - Ann Coulter is an idiot.
4th - Just started reading Truman by David McCullough great admirer of Harry.
5th - Are you going to honestly tell me that the "non-Fox" news orgs don't play to the fear and hatreds of the left? "they're going to abolish Medicare-Social Security - no more funding for Planned Parenthood, yadda" It cuts both ways - always has always will.
6th - With the way Fox is scrutinized by the rest of the media I'm 100% positive if they were to err on a story it would be ALL OVER the place. So c'mon your reasoning on that point was pretty lame.
7th - Time - Newsweek - sorry that's all. Conservative publications are a little too much for me - they are more one-sided than Time and Newsweek.
8th - Agree that SS and Medicare are needed and deserved for those who paid in - and should not be gutted. No argument there.
9th - If you have a link for that CBO analysis - that would be great.
10th- Yes I'm a Christian - but do not belong to any Church - don't need anyone to tell me what's right and wrong - I can do that myself. It's cheaper too. Religious fanatics of ANY religion worry me - they do not think logically at all times, and they all wind up being hypocrites.
11th - tough election coming - hopefully they can talk to the issues instead of personal attacks. We'll see.
Aug. 14th, 2012 01:59 am (UTC)
Re: Republican Tactics
Hmmm....you gotta be from DuPage County. Knew you weren't a city person. Ryan's agenda is reported everywhere - from Real Clear Politics to even your beloved Fox News. I don't watch MSNBC either, all of these news outlets have their own agenda. Ryan has been very clear on his economic plan and it is cut, cut, cut. I will say that he was a bad choice and now the Republicans have no chance of winning in the fall, so that's fine by me. The voter fraud tactics won't work. But of course you are entitled to your opinion.
Aug. 14th, 2012 07:23 am (UTC)
Re: Republican Tactics
Sorry Winter - kinda new to this - must have not sent my earlier message - can't seem to find it in the thread.

anyway - born and Raised on the South side of the city - worked for the 7th and 10th Democratic ward orgs in my teens. Drove some of those 80 year olds to vote - that's what good local politicians did back then.
What good do all of these voter registration drives do - if there are STILL so many people out there that can't vote? I went door to door with precinct captains to get that stuff done. Where are all of the community organizers? Once you register - you get an ID card - it's a no brainer. There should be no problem.

regarding ryan - not overly familiar .....yet. I do know about his budget proposals tho- bi-partisan to some extent were they not?
We do need to cut the budget - but that can't be done until the economy is on its' feet.

Truly- the situation with Illinois debt - is a microcosm of what is happening on the federal level. Has to be fixed. Tax all the 1%'s you want - it won't make a dent. Illegal immigrants drive down wages - and thus take decent paying jobs away. Go after the businesses who hire them. I would come to America too - if I could make 3 times as much as in my own country. Prices would go up, but it's one or the other.
also - not quite my beloved Fox - just a different point of view on things - like you and I have between each other. It's going to be a tough race - down to the wire I believe. Obama does have a problem - the economy - I don't think he'll be able to avoid discussing it much longer.


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

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