Bubba on Voter ID Laws
From Bob Grenier at The Greensboro Guardian:
If efforts to true the vote are such an obnoxious campaign for something that is not a major concern, why are these people encouraging people to report evidence of wrong-doing?
I guess they’re just concerned about jack-booted Tea Party thugs equipped with AK47s and huge clubs, standing outside a polling place intimidating poor Obama voters from exercising their rights, right?
Actually, the strategy is quite a bit more refined and insidious:
There are tens of millions of low-information voters who hardly know which party controls which branch of government, let alone which party is pursuing a particular legislative tactic. These voters’ confusion over who did what allows them to form the conclusion that “they are all crooks,” and that “government is no good,” further leading them to think, “a plague on both your houses” and “the parties are like two kids in a school yard.” This ill-informed public cynicism, in its turn, further intensifies the long-term decline in public trust in government that has been taking place since the early 1960s – a distrust that has been stoked by Republican rhetoric at every turn (“Government is the problem,” declared Ronald Reagan in 1980).
If a disgusted former Republican congressional staffer doesn’t persuade, try a Columbia journalism professor:
The riskiness of the Republican strategy in enacting restrictive election laws suggests that the party has reached an internal consensus that it must, in fact, tilt the playing field in order to win. Recently passed legislation making it more difficult either to cast ballots or to register voters was limited almost entirely to states with Republican legislatures and governors – for example, Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. It was made possible by Republican victories in 2010 that followed the elections of 2006 and 2008 when the Democratic coalition appeared to be on the verge of gaining majority status.
If we’ve learned one thing about Bubba over the years, it is his penchant for using discredited sources from the right wing echo chamber. In fact, he does a better job than most at The Greensboro Guardian. However, it has been amply documented that the GOP has for decades engaged a successful strategy to deter the average voter from interest in politics. Enactment of voter ID laws is merely the latest step along the path of ensuring that only the faithful show up at the polls.
Here’s more from Mike Lofgren:
[L]egislating has now become war minus the shooting, something one could have observed 80 years ago in the Reichstag of the Weimar Republic. As Hannah Arendt observed, a disciplined minority of totalitarians can use the instruments of democratic government to undermine democracy itself.
Of course, the modern day analog to the Nazis are the Tea Party Christofascists.