(8 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
I meant to go to sleep 2+ hours ago, I really did. But failing that, I thought I’d check the latest news on the tubes, and boy was that ever a mistake. I read about 6th the Circuit court decision to challenge 600k+ new registrations, and now I am WIDE FREAKIN’ AWAKE pissed off. Feel free to follow along on a near 2 am ramble and rant….
F%&* the GOP
Oh, every two years, predictably, they go on and on about the sanctity of the right to vote, and how evil Democratic allied groups are perpetrating voter fraud on an unsuspecting populace by registering all sorts of (OMIGOSH) people to vote, conveniently glossing over the fact that most of the people thus registered are poor, or minority, in their rush to judgment over the relatively few suspect registrations. Every two years, predictably, there’s an outcry over a group called ACORN, which inevitably pays some less than scrupulous persons to gather new voter registrations, and said persons get lazy, or bored, or just stupid, and sign up Mickey Mouse to cast a ballot.
And it happens, seriously, every two years, though watching the hyperventilating on CNN, and (goes without saying) Fox, you’d think that ACORN is a newly discovered organization. But when John Ashcroft came into the Attorney General’s office in 2001, he said he’d make prosecuting voter fraud a high priority. Over the past 6 years, the likes of Karl Rove, Hans Spakovsky (see www.talkingpointsmemo.com for a run down of this evil cretin) and other in the Bush Administration have made it a personal vendetta to see that as many roadblocks get thrown into the path of minority and poor voters as they possibly can set up, so as to keep those largely Democratic voting blocs on the sidelines as Republicans racked up a series of electoral wins.
Over the course of that time, maybe a hundred people were actually convicted of some form of voter fraud, predictably, mostly Democrats, even though both Karl Rove and Anne Coulter ran afoul of voting guidelines/requirements within the past 6 years. A hundred people. In six years. When over 120 million people voted in the 2004 election alone! We’re talking about less than 0.0001 of a percentage of the people who voted in that single election alone, except over 7 years.
Bottom line, voter fraud in the manner that Republicans like to hyperventilate about DOES NOT EXIST. The Bush Administration MANIA in pursuing the non-existing issue has cost taxpayers untold millions of dollars in investigation costs. Last year, a series of US Attorneys, proxies for the attorney general throughout the United States, were fired ILLEGALLY, most likely because they investigated charges of voter fraud, and found them to be without merit, and refused to MALICIOUSLY prosecute non-existent crimes. We don’t know how pernicious the illegality is, because, as per usual, the Bush White House fails to live up to its Constitutional obligations in terms of legitimate oversight by Congress, and has stonewalled any effort to investigate their criminal acts (in this, as in so many other cases).
And now? A republican leaning circuit court, the 6th Circuit has declared that the registration of well over 600000 new voters in Ohio must be investigated to a degree far exceeding scrutiny under previously existing statutes. All within three weeks prior to perhaps the most important election any of us will ever live through. The Republican Party has been complicit in all the efforts to block well over 600000 new voters, overwhelmingly expected to favor Barack Obama, helping so-called “concerned citizens” (more accurately termed “racist assholes”) file challenges against the Democratic secretary of state. It’s hillarious how these people had no problem when former secy of state Ken Blackwell systematically purged Ohio’s voters rolls of tens of thousands of minority and poor voters in 2004, and even in 2006 as he ran for governor (he got his ass thrashed by Ted Strickland).
You want voter fraud? You want efforts to damage and even destroy the faith of the American people in the electoral process? YOU GOT IT. And it isn’t Democrats, or ACORN, and any of the usual boogeymen at fault in this, it’s the Republican party, the sad, pathetic, racist, offensive caricature that is responsible for this massive attempt at fraudulently swaying an election.
And you know what else? Beyond the actual consequences of this order, that over 600000 registrations be checked for “accuracy” against DMV information (does anyone really trust the DMV to be a) accurate or b) efficient?), beyond the incredibly chilling pall it casts over any future effort to get people registered to vote (The GOP will be watching you!), this is all a giant smokescreen to obfuscate the fact that the GOP is a failure. That in three weeks, their candidate will go down to a monumental defeat. That the Democratic majorities in the House and Senate will be increased, threatening a point where no longer would Senate Republicans be able to filibuster Congress into gridlock.
The GOP, and its incoherent governing philosophy (No more Big Government! But with less taxes, and more spending! Budget deficits for everyone, including your unborn great grandchildren! YAY! AND BAILOUTS! Can’t forget bailouts! For the people who got us into this mess! yay! And privacy for…ummm, never mind! Spying on everyone! YAY!) is being taken to the woodshed next month, and all this voter fraud malarkey, it will be used as an excuse, as a reason to avoid looking at what brought the party to the brink of this colossal disaster, and as a cudgel against the coming Democratic Congress. “They didn’t win, they cheated! We didn’t really lose! We just need to yell louder and repeat our “facts” over and over again until people believe them! And then we’ll win!”
In massive defeat, there is opportunity for re-invention, and the GOP would do well to take the opportunity to find itself leaders that actually live up to their ideals. Instead, in this non-existent voter fraud screamfest, and the inevitable post-election blaming of losses on something that doesn’t exist, the GOP will perpetuate in power the same kinds of people that have created the mess we face today, where a mere 10 percent of Americans believe the country is on the “Right Track” (who are these people anyway?). This kind of fake issue is tailor made for the Rush Limbaughs and Mark Steyns of the world to get on their high horses and make hay out of. And the fact that it’s all a bunch of bullshit? Anybody calls them on it, they get bullied, called names like “evil liberal media.” It’s an alternate reality those people inhabit, it truly is. (They probably say the same about us.) But in this case, as in so many others, the facts, the cold, hard, immutable facts are on our side.
Voter fraud, as screamed about every two years by the right wing, and treated every time by the news media as if it’s a new “phenomenon”, as though it isn’t disproven every two years, is, in and of itself, a massive fraud perpetrated upon the American public. This decision by the 6th Circuit Court, to force a review of every new registration in Ohio, well over 600000, and ordering them compared against notoriously unreliable databases, is, in itself, the true fraud, costing Ohio taxpayers untold monies, and Ohio election officials time better spent assuring that repeats of 2004, where white suburbs had many excess voting machines, and black urban areas saw massive lines due to shortages of voting machine, did not occur in 2008.
So, to end, let me say that maybe I’ve changed my mind….there is voter fraud occurring….and it’s being done by the Republican Party.