Under the fat, bold headline IS VOTER FRAUD BEING COMMITTED IN OHIO? and a subsequent article, Human Events—the ultra-rightist Washington, D.C.-based publication that gave Paul Ryan its "Conservative of the Year" award in 2011—claimed that carloads of Somalis were taken to polls in Columbus and told how to vote by "Democrat" operatives even though there was no way to tell if they were citizens. GOP poll watchers interviewed by the publication also claim the Democrats did some of their work inside the 100-foot radius that defines the no-politicking line.
Froomkin quoted the head of a Somali-American association who was upset over the implication that these early voters were cheating. Omar Hassan said: "That's the American dream; exercising the freedom of voting. [...] This is scare tactics, to be honest with you."
Ben Piscitelli, a spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections, mocked the concerns expressed in the Human Events story. "'Gee, all these Somalis, who knows if they're U.S. citizens? Who knows what Somali pollworkers are saying to them? Gee, we saw Democrats outside that were giving them slate cards.'A foaming screed on the subject appeared at the conservative website American Thinker, which describes itself as devoted to "thoughtful exploration of issues." Under the byline Jeannie DeAngelis was written:
"The answer to all of that is: So what?" Piscitelli said.
[I]f Democrats choose to forego raising the eligibility issue with, let's say, busloads of Somali voters, then any illegal Somali votes will still be counted on Election Day.Yowser. Danged thoughtful that exploration.
Nonetheless, being a global citizen and all, regardless of the ensuing crisis Barack Obama has consistently attempted to maintain a spirit of camaraderie with the Muslim world, and that world includes Somalia. [...]
Who would have thought that almost 20 years later some of the Somalis who may have jeered as the American soldiers' burnt and desecrated bodies were being dragged naked through the streets of Mogadishu could be among those voting in the swing state of Ohio?
And so it seems that with nary a whisper of apprehension concerning potential election fraud from the Obama White House, Ohio Democrats have decided to emulate Somali pirates and attempt to hijack the election.
The fundamental fear of the suppressors of voting has been the same throughout our history. It's all bundled in their view that some people—the other, the different, the black and brown and yellow and red, the poor—don't deserve the right to vote and every effort should be made to keep them from doing so. The Ohio Somalis? How could they possibly be legitimate voters when their erstwhile countrymen killed American soldiers two decades ago? What the hell, goes the subtext, are they even doing in this country in the first place? Up to no good, obviously, with their alien religion and bad English. And helped along by a president who himself is alien, other and up to no good.
America was never like the Norman Rockwell version that seems to animate these rancid, hyperventilating promoters of xenophobia and myth. Were it up them, the Statue of Liberty would have been designed as a pair, holding between them a huge chain across New York Harbor and a big bronze sign: "Hey, you huddled masses yearning to breathe free: Keep Out"!