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In a piece posted to ThinkProgress by Kevin Donohoe titled REPORT: In 22 Statehouses Across the Country, Conservatives Move to Disenfranchise Voters, a disturbingly familiar bit of news:

In statehouses across the country, Republican lawmakers are raising the specter of “voter fraud” to push through legislation that would dramatically restrict the voting rights of college students, rural voters, senior citizens, the disabled and the homeless. As part of their larger effort to silence Main Street, conservatives are pushing through new photo identification laws that would exclude millions from voting, depress Hispanic voter turnout by as much as 10 percent, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
From the Kevin Donohoe piece
Today's GOP, coupled with the extreme insanity of their Tea Party brethren, has steadfastly pursued an accelerated agenda since they were able to reclaim some of their lost power through the last the election cycle. The previous decade of corruption and abuse, diminished civil rights and undermined social safety nets set the stage. Now, apparently panicking at the thought that they nearly saw all of their dismantling of the New Deal un-done with the transfer of power in the 2008 election cycle, they're scrambling to disable what elements they can and rig anything else that could enhance their chances of keeping their claws on the levers of American power.

The latest blast of outrages in their war against women, minorities, children, healthcare and unions has spawned demonstrations in state capitals all over the nation – and they push ever forward, still sanctimoniously and hypocritically proposing and passing legislation by hook or crook in order to further advance their agenda.

An agenda that serves them, not the nation.

An agenda that helps them safeguard their chances of retaining power, or of at least protecting their ability to prevent progress

An agenda that inflicts their political, social, religious and 'scientific' views upon the nation and disregards the majority of the citizens' own rights and freedoms.

This is, and has been, their standard modus operandi for the past decade and longer.

One of their favorite bugaboos, trotted out whenever they want to try to further restrict or outright prevent minority voters (anyone not likely to vote Republican), is to raise the spectre of voter fraud - an essentially non-existent problem that, according to their narrative, runs rampant in our nation. (Ignore for a moment that the only clearly defined case of such fraud, as illustrated by dhonig and Patience John, was one of their own – Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White.)

The GOP seems to favor trying to find ways to disenfranchise voters, whether its from purging voter lists or passing draconian laws, or manipulating US attorneys to initiate false investigations of voter fraud against Democratic rivals just prior to an election. They've practically defined an entire cottage industry around creating and maintaining this mythical issue…and it's well documented: on April 15, 2007, ePluribus Media published a Journal story called The Voting Rights Act, Voter Disfranchisement and the Tail Wagging the Dog, a collaborative effort by ePluribus Staff Writers Cho, StandingUp, Aaron Barlow & Roxy. Several related stories followed, including:

The GOP's mythical bogeyman of Voter disenfranchisement has been around for a very long time, and as long as it still appears to be worth playing as part of stacking the deck against American voters, the GOP will keep their cards close to their vest…and securely fastened inside their playbook. To close with a final excerpt from Kevin Donohoe's piece, the closing kicker which makes all this eerily familiar:

In 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt told union members that “there are some political candidates who think that they may have a chance of election, if only the total vote is small enough.” Seven decades later it seems that this strategy is once again in vogue for American conservatives.

FDR. The New Deal. Reducing the number of voters in order to give their side – the side that steadfastly works against the American people, against unions, against women and children – an unjust advantage. Sounds a lot like the conservatives of today, and their teabagging brothers and sisters.

Originally posted to GreyHawk on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 05:22 AM PST.

Also republished by Citizen Journalism and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I See a Perfect Storm Leading to 2012 Turnout (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    m16eib, GreyHawk, kestrel9000, blueoasis

    in the 40% range, and going no higher ever again. Some from voter suppression, some from dampened enthusiasm among the constituencies who need the strongly progressive policies both parties oppose.

    There is a clear path to a permanent ruling Republican minority.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 05:36:05 AM PST

    •  I'm not sure. (6+ / 0-)

      The GOP's pushing for it, but they are encountering a lot more resistance than anyone thought with regard to some of their efforts.

      Of course, much of what they do is hidden from view as much as possible, so unless folks start pulling back - and burning - the damn curtains, exposing and thwarting their game will be difficult.

      But I think it's going to be hard to see their current efforts as anything "good" for the nation...even some of their well-developed zombies are starting to get angry with them.

      The increasing lack of adequate jobs and the sputtering recovery aren't helping, and are likely to factor against them a bit if they keep trying to make mountains of molehills.

      I just wish the other parties -- particularly the Democrats -- would start pushing back and slapping back harder, calling them out and making sure to hit the news cycles.

  •  Nebraska has Three Congressional (8+ / 0-)

    Districts and the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each district gets one Electoral College vote.  Obama won the Second District, and therefore got one vote.   This has made the Republicans in the State very nervous and a bill will appear before the Unicameral that proposes we eliminate out old process and go with the Winner Take All approach like every other state, save one.  

    It isn't voter fraud, but certainly falls under the Stacking The Deck Again category.

  •  The Voter ID law in NC will cost $20 million (8+ / 0-)

    due to the 1 million NC voters who don't have a driver's license. This state already faces a $2.5 Billion budget deficit.

    On top of that, it is probably unconstitutional:

    Article VI, Section 1 of the North Carolina Constitution: "Every person born in the United States and every person who has been naturalized, 18 years of age, and possessing the qualifications set out in this Article, SHALL BE ENTITLED TO VOTE at any election by the people of the State, except as herein otherwise provided.”

    Article VI goes on to establish the "herein otherwise provided," outlining that those who are citizens, those who’ve lived in their precinct for at least 30 days, and those who are not felons may register to vote and are eligible to vote. There is no word there about having to show an i.d. and, in fact, there is instead an explicit declaration that registered voters “SHALL BE ENTITLED TO VOTE EXCEPT AS HEREIN OTHERWISE PROVIDED.”

    There should never be a tax benefit for companies that screw over American workers.

    by bear83 on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 05:55:01 AM PST

  •  We should bypass their suppression attempt by (7+ / 0-)

    Making every state allow vote-by-mail like in Oregon and Washington state (the states with some of the highest voter turnout). We are one of the very few countries that has our elections take place on the weekday (as opposed to the weekend) and not be a holiday. We should also:

    1. Repeal felony disenfranchisement laws
    2. Abolish the electoral college
    3. Allow prisoners to vote

    •  There's a lot we need to do. (8+ / 0-)

      Much of it will be heavily resisted and undermined if it allows more of the actually-eligible voting populace to cast votes.

      There's a very appropriate and often forgotten quote by Paul Weyrich that applies here:

      For a glimpse at what may well be the Rosetta Stone of Republican disenfranchisement efforts, one need look no further than at what Paul Weyrich, one of the founding fathers of modern American conservatism, told a gathering of some 15,000 preachers at a training conference in Dallas, Texas in 1980 (at which both Ronald Reagan and the right-wing Rev. Jerry Falwell also shared the podium).

      "Many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome - good government. They want everybody to vote," Weyrich instructed the flock in comments captured on video.

      "I don't want everybody to vote," he continued unapologetically.
      "Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country and they are not now."

      And here comes the key to what will be the most crucial driving force for the entire Republican party effort this November: "As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down."

      Emphasis mine.

      From here.

  •  A frontal assault of anti-Americanism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    m16eib, GreyHawk

    What is more American than exercising the right to vote? The Democrats MUST frame voting rights issues in this context? If the Republicans throw unnecessary and undemocratic restrictions on voting, they are against the very freedoms they claim "the Democrat Party (sic) is taking away from them."

    We should be making it easier to vote, not harder. Laws should be passed for early voting and vote by mail. It must be expensive to maintain and warehouse voting machines — whether they be old dinosaurs or newer (and crooked) electronic voting machines — so vote by mail would seem to cut the costs of actually having an election.

    •  Good thoughts. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      But can the Dems, or together with other parties, make anything like that happen? Particularly since the GOP's "base" and rampant $$-fueled message machine seem to be getting so many of their blinded followers to pull levers and put them into power in spite of the blatant (to nearly everyone else) evidence of their criminality and anti-Democracy bent?

  •  Typical GOP Dickheads.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    m16eib, GreyHawk

    Nothing is too sleazy or low for these corporate / federal welfare Kings known as the GOP.  

    Hopefully Wisconsin is Ground Zero for getting rid of all Republicans.  They're now a cancer on us all.  Corporate Dems next.  

    When Republicans Win You Lose

    by workinguy on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 02:21:19 PM PST

  •  Indiana has one of the strictist voter ID rules, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Samer, m16eib, GreyHawk

    even though there never had been a case of voter fraud tried in court ---- until now.  Last week the INDIANA SECRETARY OF STATE was indicted on 3 charges of voter fraud along with some other fraud issues.  Charlie White's own personal misconduct brougt about these charges againest the very man who is charged with the responsibility to monitor that Indiana has legitimate elections.  This is an absolutely horribe example.  Even Secretary White's fellow Republiicans are demanding he resign. What an embarressment.  This misconduct was well publicized before White was installed to office in January, so Govenor Mitch Daniels is terrified this may hurt his chances to claim the Republican nomination for POTUS as Mr. Squeakie Clean Candidate.
    Put in in your mind Indiana voter fraud = Republicans!

  •  Well, of course they do that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    m16eib, GreyHawk

    Demographic trends are unmistakable, and yet the GOP continues to alienate tomorrows majorities.  We think that this should spell political doom.  They have a plan B, make the majority into non-voters.  They have spent decades perfecting the art and science of disenfranchisement, vote fraud, and discouraging voting among those not in their base.  They now have almost unlimited funds to carry out their plan.  So far, that strategy has been remarkably successful.  Democrats need to find a way to prevent what is left of our democratic traditions from being crushed under all that cynicism and money.

    •  They've been disappointingly successful. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      salmo, m16eib

      The Democratic politicians don't seem to be able to negotiate, nor understand when harsher methods are needed to keep the GOP from their decidedly unfriendly-to-the-nation agenda.

      •  Many supposedly on our side (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        What are we to think that the DLC and similar "third way" strategies are selling?  $1,000,000,000 for an election is cheap when the payoffs are in the hundreds of billions, and entrenchment of plutocratic power to boot.   That's our rights and our future they're auctioning off.  The time to negotiate is not after the auction has been held.

  •  Revolution: peaceful or violent? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    m16eib, GreyHawk

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable." - President John F. Kennedy

    Or, as Malcolm X said, "The bullet or the ballot".

    When there are more guns than people in America, Republicans are playing with fire.

    •  The bullet or the ballot is a phrase that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the teabaggers have been overly fond of, leading - imo - to the AZ shooting.

      Remember this fine patriotic American, Joyce Kaufman?

      "I don't care how this gets painted by the mainstream media. I don't care if this shows up on YouTube, because I am convinced that the most important thing that the founding fathers did to ensure me my first amendment rights was they gave me a second amendment. And if ballots don't work, bullets will."

      And this:

      "When I say I'll put my microphone down on November 2nd if we haven't achieved substantial victory, I mean it. Because at that point, I'm gonna go up into the hills of Kentucky, I'm gonna go out into the midwest, I'm gonna go up in the, ah, Vermont and New Hampshire, ah, outreaches, and I'm gonna gather together men and women who understand that some things are worth fighting for, and some things are worth dying for."

      The GOP wound 'em all up, and that kind of insanity makes everyone else stress, since they don't know what to expect next or from whom.

  •  For a while I had been pointing to Arizona. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Even if only at my Blog and ePluribus Media.

    Arizona Apartheid Success!

    It is one of those rare issues that I did not see getting the coverage on dkos that it probably should have, so I crossposted here.

    Eventually the Census numbers came out and showed this to be true.

    Sad but, even sadder, completely fucking true. And some Kossacks said "No! This makes no sense? They can't do that." Others were watching it happen and got it.

    Arizona managed to get the high census count they wanted and then chased those "undesirable" lefty voting Hispanics from their state.

    Just another way of stacking the deck, IMHO.

    Get the Census count so you have more politicians (dis)proportionately representing your state, chase the voters you don't want so you are more likely to get the tilted results you want... And ensure over representation of right wing politicians in and from your state.

    Just a different game that can and does the same sort of thing that extreme gerrymandering can do.

    ePluribus Media
    Collaboration is contagious!

    by m16eib on Sun Mar 06, 2011 at 11:59:18 PM PST

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