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No issue is easier to demagogue than a totally legitimate one, and that's what we've been handed by the Roberts KKKourt's ruling obliterating core enforcement mechanisms of the Voting Rights Act.  So I would like to offer a simple proposal: That Democratic candidates demagogue the evervolving shit out of this lawless atrocity until even white people in places where the ruling is totally irrelevant think there are Republican Commissars waiting around every corner to take away their vote - which, frankly, isn't that far from the truth.  I call this approach the Northern Strategy, in...erm..."honor" of Lee Atwater's infamous Southern Strategy.  It isn't really geographically targeted, but rather targeted toward cosmopolitan sensibilities that have now spread to most of the country by population.

Picture this ad: A black man who looks a lot like Will Smith is carrying his young daughter on his shoulders, and is explaining to her about democracy and freedom.  It's your usual sappy, patriotic hokum, but it's sweet because the daughter's asking all sorts of cute, naive questions and smiling and laughing a lot.  We learn as they talk that they're going to a polling place so that he can vote, and the daughter's all excited about it because of the way he's explaining it to her.  The background imagery is cheery and idyllic as they walk, and the colors are bold and bright, very evocative of red, white, and blue.

But as they approach a polling station, we see a sneering old white guy in a business suit with a GOP lapel pin who looks a lot like Dick Cheney, and his face hardens and his lip curls in contempt as he sees the dad and daughter approaching.  Next to him is an equally sinister-looking cop with a hard face.  The colors drain away and the light becomes sinister, shadowy.  We see the cheery smile on the daughter's face fall away, and the expression on the dad's face becomes stoic.  We see the dad hold his daughter more protectively as they see the Hate Man, and they approach the station warily.  Hate Man speaks with the ugliest and most sinister possible Southern drawl:

Hate Man: What do y'all think you're doing?
Dad: I'm here to vote.
Hate Man: That right?  Well, well.  How about you show me your ID?

While this exchange is going on, other old white people in business suits with GOP lapel pins are walking right past without being challenged, and putting not just one, but multiple votes into the ballot box per person with sneers on their faces like those of Hate Man's.  He nods to them as they pass.  Dad looks dismayed by this hypocrisy, but decides to comply and hands Hate Man his ID, who makes a theatrical show of examining it, taking his sweet time.

Hate Man: I need two forms of ID.  Got anything else?

The daughter is looking up at this exchange in puzzlement.  It bears no resemblance to the glowing, patriotic version of voting Dad had been telling her about just moments ago.  Dad is clearly humiliated, but doesn't lose his cool.  He takes out his wallet again and sifts through it, looking for an old pay stub or something else he can use.  He finds something and hands it to Hate Man, who then goes through the same slow, leisurely process of examining the document and comparing it to the ID.  Hate Man seems disappointed, but then smirks as he says...

Hate Man: These are fine, but I forgot to tell you - I actually need three forms of ID.

Now Dad really does start to show anger.

Dad: Excuse me, but that's not true.  I know the law.  And frankly, I'm the only person you're asking for ID.  
Hate Man: Are we...gonna have a problem here?  (smirk)
Dad: There's no problem if you let me vote.
Hate Man: Unless you can show me another form of ID, I'm afraid you're just gonna have to go on home.
Dad: No, I don't have to show another form of ID.  I didn't even have to show you the first two.  Now let me vote.

At this point the hard-faced cop advances menacingly, and the little girl clings to her father in fear.

Cop: You're gonna have to leave now, or I'll arrest you for disturbing the peace.

The little girl looks up at her father in fear, and says "Daddy?"  
He looks down at her in sorrow, then back up at the cop.  Takes a deep breath, picks her up, and carries her away from the polling station.  She looks over his shoulder at Hate Man and the evil cop, both with sneers on their faces, and tears come to her eyes.  

Narrator: "On June 25, 2013, the Republican majority of the Supreme Court struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act so that Republicans could win elections by taking away the rights of minority voters.  Don't let them turn America into the scene you just saw."  

Without presuming there's any merit to the idea, I release it into the public domain, so if anyone thinks it's worthwhile there's no need to contact me for permission, pay me, or even give me credit.  Just make it and/or others like it and beat the Republican Party over the head with it.  You can also iterate the ad for every racial demographic in America, with different interpretations to reflect the particular challenges of each.  It can even done for white people, although it would have to be more creative.

When we're done showing what these bastards have done with the VRA ruling, if America doesn't see the GOP as a Party of virulently racist, undemocratic thugs trying to steal their rights - which they are - then we've been asleep at the switch.  This ruling should be the death knell of Republican relevance outside of Dixie and the Empty States, and even inside those places in their large cities.  They've given us all we need.  All we have to do is run with it, and have the balls to tell the truth unfairly.

1:15 PM PT: I figure the version of the ad targeted at Latinos should have Hate Man look like Joe Arpaio, and tailor his insulting queries to immigration status.

1:57 PM PT: In every version of the ad, Hate Man should be played by the same actor so that his snarling, lip-curled face becomes the face of the GOP in the public imagination.

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Comment Preferences

  •  i like the idea and think folks should run with it (11+ / 0-)

    however, I really am hoping massive "Get Your ID" campaigns get launched, like the one we had here in Pennsylvania last year that basically confounded their suppression efforts. our Voter ID law ultimately was suspended for the election, but it's back in court in two weeks. As we aren't/weren't a preclearance state Sec 4 and 5 never would have applied to us.

  •  You need several ads: (12+ / 0-)

    One with a poor White voter and one with an elderly voter, as well with one with a Hispanic voter, among others. These are also the groups most affected.  We need several ads like this to fit the communities they will be run in.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 01:00:01 PM PDT

  •  Troubadour - you should start a 501 c 4 or a PAC (8+ / 0-)

    and raise the money to produce and run the ads.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 01:03:07 PM PDT

    •  It's an exciting thought (5+ / 0-)

      but the fact is I don't know the first thing about starting, running, and managing a tax-exempt organization let alone making and running ads.  Learning how to do it would take months, and that still wouldn't necessarily make it practical to achieve.

      Moreover, you may have noticed my mind tends to flit from idea to idea - I'm not really the kind of guy who can manage multi-month projects that require consistent work input.

      Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

      by Troubadour on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 01:07:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Speaking of "Northern" (4+ / 0-)

    one thing that the pre-clearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act failed to address were racially discriminatory practices in places not deemed to have a history of discrimination as of 1965...there has been a growing anti-voting rights movement nationwide, with ID laws being in just about every region.

    One thing that troubles me about the proposed ad is that it portrays voting as an individual action...while each ballot is cast individually, voting must be a community action.

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 01:22:17 PM PDT

  •  a fine idea, and they should run endlessly (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, ericlewis0, a2nite

    on every station, and they should target every "minority" and women and Jews and Italians Hispanics and naturalized citizens and everyone with an American dream that is now in danger. For the one with Jews, a whiff of nazi in the encounter would be most appropriate. "You have your papers?"

    Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 01:32:48 PM PDT

    •  We would need to be more subtle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stude Dude

      with Jewish voters or it would be offensive.  I'd say it's better to play up the Christer fundamentalism of the GOP.

      Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

      by Troubadour on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 01:35:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I see your point, but never fear the obvious in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        media. This was a very heavy-handed attack on civil rights hard-won with blood and sacrifice. Nothing is safe, nothing can be taken for granted when a reversal this huge can happen in the blink of an eye. That is the point that needs to be driven home.

        Perhaps some would like a more light-handed or subtle approach, but the experience of African Americans or native Americans is nothing short of what happened to Jews and other minorities under the nazis. Rounded up, enslaved, lynched, exterminated, disenfranchised, humiliated in front of your children, burned out of house and home, no legal recourse, run en masse into ghettos.  If people don't get that, and don't see this reversal as the pointed tip of the resurgence of this ugliest strand of our spotty history, then perhaps something not-so-subtle would be helpful.

        In any event, there's a great deal here to do beyond debating my suggestion. Plenty of excellent material to begin with. Good stuff.

        Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

        by p gorden lippy on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 01:46:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I just meant that people take offense (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          p gorden lippy

          to Nazi analogies, even when they're legitimate.  So where religious minorities are concerned, it's better to have Hate Man be a Christer fundie than a heel-clicker.  The benefit of that is that you can also use the same Hate Man in appealing to Jews, Muslims, gays, atheists, agnostics, secularists, educated / high IQ people, science and tech people, and really even business people to some extent.  A lot of them are really not comfortable with the religious element of the GOP.

          Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

          by Troubadour on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 01:55:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  i got in a fight over voter id w/ DEMOCRATS (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, mdmslle, wu ming, BeerNotWar

    i'm on my 3rd last name. men have the same last name cradle to grave. voter id is a pain in the neck for women who marry or divorce.

    some dems think voter id will make it easier for poll workers on election day. they truly think they're helping.

    "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

    by thankgodforairamerica on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 02:57:40 PM PDT

  •  I saw an adopt a voter initiative launching (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, ranton

    On Facebook.

    I think minority voters are well aware of what has happened. I think it's more a grapevine thing than anything. Look what happened in 2012. We get it. No need to dramatize it, IMO.

    I'd like to see two things:

    Grassroots adopt a voter efforts where those of us who are squared away see to it that one or two who need ID or whatever get them, even if its at our own expense.


    A laser focused campaign to target and recruit strong democrats for county supervisor of elections positions as well as Secretary of State positions. These should be priority for every state and county party in 2014.

  •  One thing about voting that has occurred to me (2+ / 0-)

    is the European style.  

    First, the voting is on Sundays - which is pretty much a non-working day so everyone can get to the polls.  

    Next, people do have to present ID, but these are national ID cards that every citizen past the age of 14 has.  Now after yesterday's SC crap fest - I asked my husband, what happens if someone cannot afford an ID.  He said, the state gives you one.  

    Now on the other hand, I can see that this model of a national ID could hurt undocumented people.  I have not yet figured out the repercussions of that because I am only thinking of the IDs in terms of voting, which would not impact undocumented people.  

    However, on the upside, it just impossible to stop anyone with their national issued ID card from voting.  

    Maybe this could be a useful model to work from to create an easier way to vote.

    This Northern Strategy is a good proposal.  We have to do something.  I also thought that of volunteers to help minorities and people from marginalized communities at the polling places.

    Maybe this national ID thing is a stupid idea, but my head is so spinning from yesterday's ruling.  I am not even able to truly celebrate the striking down of DOMA and Proposition 8.  I am just obsessed with this voter suppression.

    It gets on my nerves, and you know how I am about my nerves...

    by ciganka on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 05:44:39 PM PDT

    •  Definitely justified to focus on this. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The VRA ruling was a stab at the heart of modern American democracy, and is exactly the sort of shit that they've been doing for over a decade to maintain Republican power against the will of the people.

      Working to prepare people for the repercussions is one approach.  Another would be demanding that the government condemn and reject the ruling, and go right the hell on enforcing the law regardless of what five lawless dictators ruled in order to rig the next election.  Actually we have to do both.

      Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

      by Troubadour on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 05:57:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I live and work in Southeastern Europe (2+ / 0-)

        but come from Oklahoma.  Here in the Balkans, politics are so conspiratorial that it has made me very suspicious in nature.  I almost think these two rulings coming back to back are attempts to peel off one group of the population from the other.  In other words, to give some rights on the DOMA side while disenfranchising another group - to split the progressives.

        I hope I am wrong.  

        It gets on my nerves, and you know how I am about my nerves...

        by ciganka on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 06:13:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course that's what happened. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          They don't immediately follow a direct assault on civil rights in America with a ruling upholding gay rights by accident.  In fact, the media seems to have been on it, because VRA stories disappeared the minute the DOMA ruling came down.  I had to search for them on major news sites.

          Sign the petition to demand a law-abiding Supreme Court.

          by Troubadour on Thu Jun 27, 2013 at 05:55:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Here's one: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Troubadour, 88kathy

    This actually happened in the election in Indiana after voter ID: Elderly nuns couldn't vote because they had no driver's licenses.

    The elderly are, of course, some of the most vulnerable to these tactics. So are the poor. You could easily include white people.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

    by Dragon5616 on Wed Jun 26, 2013 at 09:28:31 PM PDT

  •  We could use quick cuts of voting lines. (0+ / 0-)

    Of voter registration requirements.
    Of polling place changes.
    Of bogus voting machines.

    No actors needed.

  •  How about a 50 state voting strategy? How about (0+ / 0-)

    getting Howard Dean interested?

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