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Voting poster 200
If you can be drafted at 18, be sent overseas to kill and die for your country, you should be able to cast a ballot. That rationale got the voting age in the United States lowered from 21 to 18 in 1971 when the 26th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified. And ever since, despite a federal district court ruling in 1972 and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 1979, many county registrars, city councilmembers and state legislators have been doing their best to block students from registering and voting in the towns and cities where they attend college.

The GOP, the party that long, long ago was in the business of extending rather than curtailing the franchise, has been behind most of these attempts to keep students away from the polls in their college towns. And with that party even more brimful of ultra-rightists than ever, the disfranchisement effort has been stepped up.

But, remarkably, on Wednesday, as occasionally happens, some Republicans saw the light. The New Hampshire House Elections Committee shot down an attempt to screw students out of the right to vote in their campus towns. Students, who have been organizing against this travesty since it was introduced in January, deserve full credit for their protests and letter-writing campaigns.

As Laura Clawson, Yemtex, Project Vote and Jamess have pointed out, the attack on the constitutional right of students to vote where they live was accompanied with a sneer by none other than New Hampshire Speaker of the House William O'Brien. In the Washington Post earlier this week, Peter Wallsten pointed to O'Brien's recent YouTubed speech:

New Hampshire's new Republican state House speaker is pretty clear about what he thinks of college kids and how they vote. They're "foolish," Speaker William O'Brien said in a recent speech to a tea party group.

"Voting as a liberal. That's what kids do," he added, his comments taped by a state Democratic Party staffer and posted on YouTube. Students lack "life experience," and "they just vote their feelings.

From such views came House Bill 176. Introduced by Rep. Gregory Sorg, the bill would have redefined "domicile" as the town or state where students lived before moving to the campus town regardless of whether they intended to return to that town or state after graduation:

Sorg referred to students as "transient inmates . . . with a dearth of experience and a plethora of the easy self-confidence that only ignorance and inexperience can produce." He argued that his bill, HB 176 ... would end unfair domination of local elections by students. He said the state should revert to laws that were in place in the 1950s, before state and federal court decisions said students living in a town have a right to vote there.

Why not go all the way and ignore the 26th Amendment altogether?

In fact, students attend college or university for four or five years, and many stay on in the communities where they graduate. In our mobile society where non-student residents also move from place to place, students are like everyone else in that they pay local sales taxes every time they buy something and local property taxes via their rent. They pay park and recreation and other fees. They are subject to all the laws of the community in which they live. Thus, they have every right to vote in that community, morally and legally.

As the heads of the College Democrats and College Republicans at Dartmouth blogged...a few days ago, "the most distressing implication of HB 176 is its innate assertion that students are not truly members of their state and local communities, that the stake we hold in our politics is mitigated by the location where our parents happen to reside. The bill tells us, 'Vote somewhere else.'"

Exactly so. Moreover, the legal, moral right doesn't cease to exist just because students tend to vote in a more liberal fashion. That, of course, is what really irked O'Brien and like-minded Republican legislators. If 2008 had shown students voting in their campus towns for John McCain in the numbers they voted for Barack Obama, would we have seen this sleazy effort to disfranchise them?

The reality, as Heather Smith of RocktheVote recently wrote?

"It's true that without the participation of many, power will consolidate into the hands of the few. The inverse is also true: When many participate, it threatens those in power."

It would be almost hilarious if all this spew about alleged student immaturity weren't accompanied by legislators talking about going back to the good ol' days by ignoring federal law and federal court rulings. But they are quite serious. And, if the past is any guide, they'll probably be at it again down the road.

After all, seven years ago, the district attorney of Waller County, Texas, wrote an Op-Ed column in a local newspaper in which he threatened to prosecute students at the traditionally black Prairie View A&M for illegal voting. He backed off when a lawsuit was threatened. It was voter suppression three decades ago at Prairie View that spurred the Supreme Court to uphold students’ rights to vote at their college address in the Symm v. United States (1979) case.

Redefining residency is not the only thing Republicans had on their minds in New Hampshire. They also wanted to terminate same-day voter registration. The House Elections Committee voted Wednesday against that change, too. But a plan for a voter identity card is still a possibility. And New Hampshire isn't the only state trying for that option. Forcing students to purchase state-issued identity cards before they can vote has been proposed in several states, including Wisconsin and Montana.

The good news, as we saw from the effort in New Hampshire, is that students everywhere are fighting back. However, as has been the case since the founding of the Republic, defending the franchise is everybody's fight. Two good places to volunteer to help win it are Election Protection and RocktheVote.

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Comment Preferences

  •  and in fact without students (28+ / 0-)

    many of these towns (my hometown included) wouldn't have any teachers, nurses, or other professionals, because the college itself is what brings people from elsewhere and gives them the education to fill those jobs.

    The cancellation of the nursing program in my hometown due to budget cuts is scaring many who are now wondering how they will recruit nurses to live there.

  •  Students aren't Real Merkuns. (16+ / 0-)

    Brown people aren't Real Merkuns.
    Muslims aren't Real Merkuns.
    Jews aren't Real Merkuns unless they live in Israel to help bring on The Rapture.
    White Christians aren't Real Merkuns, either, if they vote for Democrats.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 02:40:49 PM PST

    •  How 'bout wimmin? n/t (3+ / 0-)

      "There is nothing to be learned from history anymore. We're in science fiction now." -Allen Ginsberg

      by NCJan on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:41:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The answer to this is easy.....but not pretty (0+ / 0-)

      Use their own tactics against them.

       That POS chickenhawkyellowelephant O'Keefe set sleazy traps for ACORN as part of the GOP quest for voter suppresion. Would it be so hard to turn the tables?

       The plotters of this stuff are not that bright, clever, perhaps, but not that bright. Yet what they do requires planning ( heck, it's an ongoing criminal conspiracy ). Surely they have  enough hubris to say something they really shouldn't have.

       So why don't we have more maccaca moments on file? They are out there --- just waiting for the right 'doner' to catch on film.

       It is beyond time to use their own tactics against them.

       And a shoutout here for 'Buffalo Koch'.......

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 05:06:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah but. . . (0+ / 0-)

        That means we would have to associate with them and try to gain their trust, I don't know if that would be worth it.

      •  Faux would ignore it, CNN mention it once (0+ / 0-)

        in passing then never again, and far too few persuadables seem to watch MSNBC.  And the networks wouldn't even know it existed.

        So it wouldn't exist.

        Helll, they hauled the Ohio ? SOS (a Thug) to jail for voter fraud.  The guy literally charged with ensuring the integrity of the vote.  Down the memory hole.

        But LOOK! over there! Faux sez teachers are overpaid! Well, that's news!

        It would be pitiable, if it didn't portend the death of the US.

  •  a Democrat (6+ / 0-)

    should, just to make a statement, submit a bill requiring that no US soldier can be deployed to a country unless their parents have established prior residency in said country.

    •  Go beyond that (0+ / 0-)

      No taxation without representation.

      Students and (ex)non voting felons should not have to pay any taxes. Because they don't have representation.

      Sorry about the inmates in Maine, they just have to pay taxes as they are allowed to vote.

  •  It's true that our fair state of New Hampshire (19+ / 0-)

    foolishly elected Republican super majorities in both houses of its legislature this past November, but as the outcome of this effort makes clear, the nuttiest GOP ideas are not going to take root.

    New Hampshire, by nature, is fiscally conservative, or as I frequently point out, cheap, but it is not a socially conservative bastion.  Yes, there are a fair share of tea party activists, but their ideas are being rejected by moderate Republicans and Independents, not to mention by Democrats.

    I daresay that efforts to repeal gay marriage will meet the same fate.  Granite Staters do believe in looking forward, not backward.

    "A free society that will not help the many who are poor, cannot save the few who are rich." JFK, January, 1961

    by rontun on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 02:42:48 PM PST

  •  I'm sure in New Hampshire (11+ / 0-)

    the colleges/universities are the major employers in their regions. And if you want to encourage people to stay, the first thing you can do is encourage them to get involved in civic affairs and that includes voting. Nice to see the College Dems and Repubs coming together to fight this bill.

    Seems like the NH Repubs are subscribers to the notion that "a little learning is a dangerous thing."

    Now to try to end the wars we ask our gay and straight soldiers to fight. -- Chris Hayes

    by Cali Scribe on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 02:43:52 PM PST

    •  Major employers which undergird (5+ / 0-)

      all sorts of smaller area businesses. Fewer kids at a college, fewer pizzerias, burger joints, bookstores, clothing stores, and so forth in the area.

      •  Yes, and even NH (0+ / 0-)

        likes some taxes they collect.  The local communities are happy to have the business of the students, but not their vote?

        They buy everything from pens to cars, and gas for the cars.  The area around Dartmouth is full of hotels & motels to accommodate the visiting parents, conferences, profs.  Because Dartmouth & their med school is there, there is a fairly good regional hospital (Mary Hitchcock), that draws people from all over VT & NH - with motels right across the road for patients & families getting cancer treatments.

        The economic impact of students, be it Dartmouth or Keene State, is enormous.  What fools some of these people are!

  •  Boy, you can just feel them itching (9+ / 0-)

    to institute a poll tax, or a "foolish kid" test, or a requirement of property ownership.

  •  HB176 died in the Executive Committee as (8+ / 0-)

    "inexpedient to legislate".  Rumors are the vote was 15-3.  Still looking for an official tally.

    ----- GOP found drowned in Grover Norquist's bathtub.

    by JimWilson on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 02:45:35 PM PST

  •  Students are foolish and irresponsible? (10+ / 0-)

    Has the guy ever met any of his legislative peers?  Has he ever visited D.C.?


  •  Scenario: (5+ / 0-)

    Say my parents lived in, say, Springfield, NH and I graduated school there. Then they send me off to UNH in Durham.

    Then the 'rents -- who finally got all the kids out of the house -- move to Shelbyville, Florida.

    I'm not going back to Springfield. But these clowns want me to vote in Springfield's local elections? WTF?

    In reality, I had legal residence in my hometown during my freshman and sophomore years of college. In 1993, I was voting for local and county offices 100 miles away via absentee. And I think we all know how 1994 turned out.

    Anyway, these cynical power grabs using rules changes are sickening when either side does it. I guess I can take some solace in the fact that it is usually the Republicans doing it.

    If you live somewhere, you ought to be allowed to vote there, no other questions asked. I pity the fool who moves to a new precinct the weekend before Election Day.

    Would you walk away from the Omelas?

    by Casual Wednesday on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 02:58:45 PM PST

  •  A least display of mind (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WI Deadhead, PinHole, Dean Barker

    Our illustrious NH poet just came to mind as I considered how pleased I am to have seen evidence of small amount of intelligence in Concord.

    A Considerable Speck


     A speck that would have been beneath my sight
     On any but a paper sheet so white
     Set off across what I had written there.
     And I had idly poised my pen in air
     To stop it with a period of ink
     When something strange about it made me think,
     This was no dust speck by my breathing blown,
     But unmistakably a living mite
     With inclinations it could call its own.
     It paused as with suspicion of my pen,
     And then came racing wildly on again
     To where my manuscript was not yet dry;
     Then paused again and either drank or smelt--
     With loathing, for again it turned to fly.
     Plainly with an intelligence I dealt.
     It seemed too tiny to have room for feet,
     Yet must have had a set of them complete
     To express how much it didn't want to die.
     It ran with terror and with cunning crept.
     It faltered: I could see it hesitate;
     Then in the middle of the open sheet
     Cower down in desperation to accept
     Whatever I accorded it of fate.
     I have none of the tenderer-than-thou
     Collectivistic regimenting love
     With which the modern world is being swept.
     But this poor microscopic item now!
     Since it was nothing I knew evil of
     I let it lie there till I hope it slept.

     I have a mind myself and recognize
     Mind when I meet with it in any guise
     No one can know how glad I am to find
     On any sheet the least display of mind.

    -- Robert Frost

    "The easy confidence with which I know another man's religion is folly teaches me to suspect that my own is also." -- Mark Twain

    by rambler american on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:01:56 PM PST

  •  damn (6+ / 0-)

    The College Dems and Reps together on this one.  Impressive fail to whomever dreamt this up.

  •  Good for students to push back (4+ / 0-)

    hard on this one.

    Jim Manley: "Republicans are making love to Wall Street, while the people on Main Street are getting screwed."

    by Drdemocrat on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:04:14 PM PST

  •  I swear if I read / saw William O'Brien's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rambler american

    comments in another context, I'd assume it was comedy performance art.

    the third eye does not weep. it knows. Political compass: -9.75 / -8.72

    by mijita on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:06:33 PM PST

  •  I was one of the first 18 yr olds to vote (3+ / 0-)

    and I remember crying- it felt so great!

    And, if I remember correctly, Nixon met with a crowd of 18-21 year olds  during the campaign to take credit for bringing in this dynamic demographic.

    Since they know they can't get elected on their smarts and good looks, I guess every trick in the book will be explored.

    Growing old is inevitable...Growing up is purely optional

    by grannycarol on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:06:38 PM PST

  •  I do not like fighting over this turf. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WI Deadhead

    The vote of college students is under attack?

    I think 16 or maybe 15-year olds should vote. There's no reason why 18-year olds are so magically mature and wonderful and other high schoolers aren't.

    By this time, students are absorbing great amounts of information, processing it, developing world views and, important, much more reflexive to new information than elders in terms of cognition. I do not fear young people, and a few million more being capable of voting--not the same thing as voting--are nothing to fear.

  •  voter ID in WI (5+ / 0-)

    we are just abut certain to see drastic changes in WI.  Motor voter (register at the DMV when you get your driver's license), sane day registration gone, voter ID cards mandatory... they have along wish list and I am just surprised they haven't done it already.

    Kind of busy with something or other I suppose. is America's Blog of Record

    by WI Deadhead on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:10:38 PM PST

  •  Wisconsin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    Republicans are also trying to end same day registration.

    Another bill being circulated now for support — one that apparently is on a fast track — calls for the state to end its long practice of allowing people to register at the polls on Election Day.

    Wisconsin, which usually is among the leaders in the percentage of people voting, is also among the progressive states that allow people to register at the polls and cast a ballot. We think the two are related and give more people in Wisconsin a firm say in who their elected representatives will be.

    Same-day registration requires the potential voter to prove his or her identity — presumably with a photo ID — and also prove that they are a legal resident of the state and the ward in which they are voting.

    How come the dove gets to be the peace symbol? How about the pillow? It has more feathers than the dove and doesn't have that dangerous beak. Jack Handey

    by skohayes on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:14:34 PM PST

  •  Nothing new. (0+ / 0-)

    Mitch Daniels is a lying oligarch.

    by Dragon5616 on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:17:14 PM PST

  •  House Elections Committee voted 18 to 0 to reject (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Abra Crabcakeya

    an effort to end Election Day registration. (That is also mentioned in the
    link that's up in Meteor Blades' diary)

  •  Voting is good. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rambler american, vzfk3s

    We should encourage it.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:22:48 PM PST

    •  Who is this asshole calling "ignorant"? (0+ / 0-)

      The best evidence I've seen for ignorance was on display during tea party appearances during the 2010 election season, both candidates and voters, and continues with Republican voters' swallowing whole the swill the Republicans proclaim as truth.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:46:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Only In New Hampshire (0+ / 0-)

    This would never happen in Oklahoma.

    "In a world of the blind, the one-eyed man is a pariah. Ask Galileo. Ask Darwin"

    by OKParrothead on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:35:26 PM PST

  •  Various thoughts/observations on this success. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, GrumpyOldGeek

    1) It's important to note that disenfranchising the youth vote was a stated priority of the new GOP supermajority in NH.  They called it cracking down on voter fraud, but whatever.  The point is that it was a big deal for their side.

    2) House speaker Bill O'Brien and the bill sponsor Sorg were incapable off hiding their true feeling about the intent behind the bill.  They basically showed their prejudice toward young voters, when the bill was supposed to be about (non-existent) voter fraud.  The public exposure of their comments helped mobilize people in-state in a big way.

    3) Both the young Dems AND the Young GOPers organized against this, and they did it early.  That made a big difference.

    4) The general crazy coming out of the O'Brien statehouse these days is so foul that the accumulated stink of it has begun to wake people up fast from post-election stupor.  Lots of people are paying attention that weren't before; state newspapers, even sometimes the RW ones like Fosters and the Union Leader, have been bashing the crazy bills coming out.

    5) IMO, this bill died the minute the story went nat'l with the WaPo piece.  Speaker O'Brien may be a radical in his agenda, but he's a power-hungry opportunist first.  This is not the first time public scrutiny and embarrassment has caused them to kill bills in committee or "retain" them until next year.  The kindergarten repeal and the birther bill are two examples of the former, marriage repeal of the latter.

    Long story short: the takeover by the GOP at the state level has caused there to be a major adjustment of attention and focus of political activists in NH on the left toward state issues.  Meanwhile, the upcoming NH-Primary is keeping the rightward ones focused on the sorry list of VPOTUS wannabes.  I think these different foci are a great place for us to be in right now.  While they go through the POTUS parade, we are showing up in Concord for public hearings en masse.

  •  Getting us off our.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    I don't doubt that all of this Republican craziness is melting the enthusiasm gap, as Nate Silver says.

    And we surely must fight to retain the rights we fought for and won over the last 100 years.

    But I want to make sure that coming up to the next election we ask for more than getting rid of the nasty crazy
    GOP.  I hope that the next time we take power we really truly get promises and push for specific issues and a specific agenda that move us forward as well as helping us to hold the line on hard won gains.

    "There is nothing to be learned from history anymore. We're in science fiction now." -Allen Ginsberg

    by NCJan on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:40:54 PM PST

  •  Grassroots and a Democratic governor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pete Rock

    If NH had elected a nutjob right-wing governore, ala Scott Walker, this would have sailed through the statehouse. Republicans don't care about any Constitution, state or federal, it seems. Except that Number Two Amendment.

    NH didn't require school districts to offer Kindergarten until just a couple of years ago. The right wing state legislature has introduced a bill to defund Kindergarten.

    How long has your state offered public Kindergarten in every school district? Did you assume that all states offered Kindergarten? You would be wrong.  I know that Wisconsin had public Kindergarten back in 1954. I can personally confirm this fact.

    Kindergarten is where I learned the Pledge of Allegience. The version without "Under God". Then I attended my first session of first grade out of state. I returned to Wisconsin on Christmas day and signed up for my second session of first grade there. It led to a disagreeable discussion with my 2nd session first grade teacher. I knew the Pledge. She added "Under God" to it and she was WRONG.

    I was a six year old protester and I haven't slowed down since.

    "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 03:45:01 PM PST

    •  There was a private airport a couple (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      miles away from Michigan State that a developer need to jump through some hoops to be able to turn into apartments and townhouses.

      The republican majority township board members worked overtime to make it happen.

      Place fills up with students, poof, all the R's are replaced by D's. Guess who is trying to make the students vote in their parents district.

    •  The Knights of Columbus, off topic but related (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the Catholic shock troops demanded, as a partner with the mcCarthyism gaining in America in 1952 the Pledge be "revised' and added to to separate the non theists or socialists, communists, atheists and  many "others", others particularily non religious out of participating in the Union.  A federal bill was proposed to do just that.

               The bill to revise the pledge was signed by Eisenhauer and thus the pledge that been inclusive became yet another tool of the tyranny of the sectarians and the supposed white, Christianist,  elite majority.

       I used to think in grammar school days(because of the  accents) it was 'one nation, under guard, with liberty...." until I saw it written.

      I could understand the " under guard "part,  but where was "God" exactly in the whole scheme of things to chant a Pledge to support America?  This nation is neither under God or over God except some sect of the   2000 some odd religions or cults having 100,000 or more members places their version of their beliefs somewhere on a shoulder like a chip and dares others to brush it off...while making us salute them in the pledge.  

             Are we are pledging loyalty to the Christian God, or the Catholic God, or, are we are pledging loyalty to the American Union, the democratic self governing Republic?  The pledge used as tool of division exactly opposite to its intended purpose.  Even its author, a minister deliberately avoided God as a challenge to those recognizing Jehovah, Buddha, Great teacher or pantheism that would be dismayed by a single sect's view triumphing over the rest in sowing a wedge inside what is intended as a patriotic exercize.

      I am a Pledge originalist if anything.  The modifications have been harmful and contrary to the spirit of uttering the pledge and meaning it.  For millions of people.

      Depriving students of the franchise is part of this divide   and conquer idea .   Preventing their voting diminishes the threat of the younger generation to bring a clarity and a vitality to the electoral process in the community. Leave the entrenched interest to fester and keep control.  Regardless of their merits, regardless of if they deserve to be booted out or kept on.  

      cast away illusions, prepare for struggle

      by Pete Rock on Fri Mar 11, 2011 at 08:43:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  My prediction (0+ / 0-)

    The GOP will launch a two-prong attack on democracy: They'll try to restrict who can vote, while pushing for a constitutional amendment that apportions Congressional seats by registered voters, not residents.

  •  The 18yo-vote and teargas (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Abra Crabcakeya

    are forever linked together in my memory. I'm only one of the few hundred thousand who ultimately prevailed. This time in history shaped my entire life.

    Ironically, my ex turned 21 only a few days before the 26th Amendment was ratified.

    The voting eligibility requirements and procedures are still determined in each state. Our work is not yet done.

    "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 04:03:39 PM PST

  •  If only (0+ / 0-)

    there was a way to keep the ignorant from voting!

    That's only partial snark, considering how much ignorance has affected recent elections.

    A friend recently said about Sarah Palin that she is stupid.  I said she is ignorant, but stupid enough not to know how ignorant she is.

    When shit happens, you get fertilized.

    by ramara on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 04:07:30 PM PST

  •  It stretches credibility that the "party" that (0+ / 0-)

    long ago surrendered intellectual reasoning as the basis for rational policy-making has any basis for asserting that college students are incapable of rational judgement in their political decisionmaking.

    Begs the larger question: just how long ought the rest of us (the intellectually-based majority, if you will) put up with these pontificating, anti-education, anti-middle class, anti-democratic peacocks?

    It's not cynicism when it's common sense: The U.S. political system is a wholly owned subsidiary of Corporate America, Inc.

    by EagleFury on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 04:16:54 PM PST

  •  To all New Hampshire college students..... (0+ / 0-)

    Now, get out and vote these idiots out of office.  

    "Now watch what you say or they'll be calling you a radical, a liberal, a fanatical criminal" -- Logical Song -- Rick Davies & Roger Hodgson

    by Over50Lib on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 04:23:07 PM PST

  •  As important as what was accomplished . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    . . . is the statement:

    Students, who have been organizing against this travesty since it was introduced in January, deserve full credit for their protests and letter-writing campaigns.

    It is critical that everyone in a position to do so give students the credit they deserve for bringing about this result.  For years, to maintain the status quo, those in power, especially conservatives, have spread the lie that the public cannot really influence what politicians do.  It has been an effective way to suppress activism and voting.

    Now the students of New Hampshire have demonstrated that they can make a difference, and the more we can recognize and empower them for doing so, the more likely they will be to spread the message to their peers around the country.  

    It's exciting to envision what student activism can accomplish by hooking up around the nation, and when they prove themselves a force to be recognized, they will be able to claim many more seats at the table at all levels of government, when policies are made and implemented.  When I've been on policy making committees, I have always found the outcomes were improved by input from younger people, especially when the policies affect them.

    The positive impact students are having in New Hampshire, Wisconsin and states throughout our country is exciting and inspiring!

  •  Students "just vote their feelings" (0+ / 0-)

    said the man from the Fear and Anger Party.

    It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... - C Dickens.

    by grover on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 04:37:20 PM PST

  •  "Students . . . just vote their feelings" (0+ / 0-)

    Actually, they vote their future.  We can only hope they realize that and decide to give voice for the kind of country they want to have.

    "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

    by ahumbleopinion on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 05:50:31 PM PST

  •  important issue (0+ / 0-)

    what can be more important,

    than protecting the right to vote.

    I dream of things that never were  -- and ask WHY NOT?
    -- Robert F. Kennedy

    by jamess on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 06:26:44 PM PST

  •  Some background (0+ / 0-)

    That theme of "domination of local elections" popped up for a reason: anyone else remember the 20 year old Dem student at Dartmouth who knocked off an incumbent Republican county treasurer in 2008?

    Unfortunately, not a happy ending: she and the old guard (who called her "teenybopper") clashed over issues such as scheduling, preferred mediums of communication (she preferred emails to meetings) and party. She graduated and didn't run for re-election last year, and her predecessor got the job back.

    John Deeth

    by jdeeth on Thu Mar 10, 2011 at 06:39:42 PM PST

  •  So college students are ignorant and inexperienced (0+ / 0-)

    So he thinks that "... a dearth of experience and a plethora of the easy self-confidence that only ignorance and inexperience can produce." is a disqualification for voting in his state?

    I think the guy just disqualified 90% of Republican voters, and 100% of the Teabaggers.

  •  Shorter Rethug Message to college students (0+ / 0-)

    Just because we're stealing your future doesn't mean you get a vote in the matter...

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