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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 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.


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

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