The GOP War On Voting Is In Full Swing

Rolling Stone just published an enlightening, albeit disturbing, article detailing the coordinated effort on the part of the Republican Party to roll back voting rights for millions of Americans. With the help of the American Legislative Exchange Council [ALEC], the billionaire Koch brothers, and other rightist allies, the GOP has already succeeded in passing legislation that inhibits and/or prohibits voting by students, seniors, minorities, and the poor.

GOP War On Voting

The article goes into great depth describing the GOP assault on democracy and the potential for disenfranchisement and electoral chaos. Some groups, including the ACLU, are challenging the new laws in court. But if these laws can’t be overturned in time for 2012, citizens will need to more aggressively pursue registration and get-out-the-vote campaigns than ever before.

The movement to Block the Vote has become such a critical part of the Republican agenda that they are casting aside the pretense of voter fraud as a justification for their efforts. They were never able to provide evidence of that anyway. Now, Matthew Vadum, a conservative columnist associated with WorldNetDaily, American Spectator, and BigGovernment, wrote an article for the ultra-conservative American Thinker provocatively titled, “Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American.” Here’s an excerpt:

“Registering [the poor] to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote. [...] Encouraging those who burden society to participate in elections isn’t about helping the poor. It’s about helping the poor to help themselves to others’ money.”

When the right is this comfortable openly expressing their hostility toward both democracy and working-class Americans, either the wheels are about to come off that wagon, or we have an epic battle on our hands. It’s all out in the open now. The conservative view is one that would permit only landowners (and preferably just the male, white ones) to vote. Any American that does not represent the elite class is somehow invested in the nation’s ruin and is only concerned with narrow, self-interests. And of course, the rich are never so selfish. They never vote for their own interests. All they want is what’s best for everyone, even the little people who shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Whatever would we do without these benevolent guardians of virtue watching over us and voting on our behalf? And if you think it’s just wackos like Vadum saying these things…..

John Stossel (Fox News): “Let’s stop saying everyone should vote.”
Rush Limbaugh: “If people cannot even feed and clothe themselves, should they be allowed to vote?”
Judson Phillips (Tea Party Nation): “If you’re not a property owner, I’m sorry, but property owners have a little bit more of a vested stake in the community than not property owners do.”
Steve Doocy (Fox News): “With 47% of Americans not paying taxes – 47% – should those who don’t pay be allowed to vote?”

It’s hard to imagine a more repulsive philosophy. These are the same people that align themselves with the Founding Fathers and a return to Constitutional rule. These are the same people that have deceived a small, gullible segment of the electorate, that calls itself the Tea Party, and has manipulated them into advocating policies that are harmful to themselves. And these are the same people who now want to take away the most fundamental right of every American – the right to vote.

Whatever we do, we cannot permit this cynical agenda to succeed. This is a fight that will determine the outcome of every other fight we undertake. It is imperative that real patriots commit themselves to ensuring that everyone who wants to vote has an opportunity to do so. The more people who participate in the electoral process, the more representative our political institutions will be. And it’s about time that they represent the people and not corporations and wealthy special interests.

[This Just In] Sen. Dick Durbin will hold a hearing September 8, on the “New State Voting Laws – Barriers to the Ballot?”

Some additional resources:
ThinkProgress
People for the American Way

And then there’s this:

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25 thoughts on “The GOP War On Voting Is In Full Swing

  1. This makes my skin boil. It reminds me of floor bosses looking over their workers shoulders while they voted at work in the early 1900′s. It reminds me of totalitarianism and a connected aristocracy. Aren’t the righties the ones that always use the slippery slope argument? Pretty sure that could be applied here pretty well. Makes you think this thing should be posted up on the way into republican town halls, I mean hell, how many poor people are convinced to vote republican? LOTS. This is despicable and evil, and fundamentally subversive to our way of life. It would make the founding fathers turn in their graves. In fact, someone should check on them after someone says something like this.

  2. I agree this is despicable and very typical of republicans. Twenty or thirty years ago this kind of talk would have been considered outrageous but in this new political atmosphere of teabaggerism it is totally cool. Poor people, why the hell should they be allowed to vote? Anyone on welfare or taking govt. grants they want to drug test. Hey I got a great idea. Let’s start drug testing everyone and if you fail you can’t vote. It would be good for the drug testing industry and all paid for by tax dollars, unless of course you fail then you would be required to reimburse the government. This is the direction they are moving.

    • I always thought that any legislature that wants to implement drug testing should be required to undergo it themselves. That would be interesting.

  3. I have been following your work for a while Mark. Your site is exemplary. Keep it up. :)

  4. Vital information. There should be an organized campaign to educate these What’s the Matter with Kansas victims. It could be called suppressing the suppression effort.

  5. Not sure why requiring a photo ID falls into a category of voter supression being that you need a photo ID for so many transactions in life.

    • Then you obviously didn’t read the Rolling Stone article and have no knowledge of voting rights history or laws.

      Governments should not be building obstacles to voting. Especially when they can’t produce any evidence of fraud or proof that their solution/obstacle would make any improvement.

      And it particularly repugnant when their solutions are always aimed at people who are already disenfranchised by the system.

      • Well, I’m not here to argue on this, but i’ll just disagree. I’m sure there really are examples of attempts to supress certain voters, I just can’t see this being one specifically. There is already an obstacle created given you need to register to vote – at least in my state. If you wanted to make it easy, just let anyone vote where and when they want regardless of age, or whatever. How much regulation is right – I don’t know.

        One thing that is most interesting is what rights people get up in arms about. Are you as interested when – say – our 2nd amendment rights are curtailed – or some other constitutionally guaranteed right is tinkered with? I guess we’re all human and have a certain amount of hypocrisy built in to our being. I know this is off subject, but more general to yours and my views.

        • According to the Colbert clip 178,00 eligible SC voters don’t have photo id’s. Eventhough this is a comedy show it makes a great point. SC is one state. Take that figure and extrapolate it to the other states putting up these new requirements according to their population and it is a huge number. Ask youself one question, why is all this going on in red states run by republicans? I think the answer is clear. The Colbert clip nailed it in his comedic and sarcastic delivery.

  6. Rolling Stone exhibited a long time ago that their journalistic credibility is non-existent. It is nothing more than a magazine that reviews crappy music and still thinks it’s cool to do drugs.

    • And yet, you can’t make a single substantive rebuttal to their reporting. That shows who is really lacking credibility.

      • Yes, I can. Their piece about the 2004 election was laughed out of polite company even over at CNN; that piece was nothing more than re-hashed conspriacy noodling that depended almost entirely on crackpot “professors” Bob Fitzrakis and Harvey Wasserman.

        Their hit piece on Fox News?? It included an embarassing attempt to slime Greta Van Susteren by saying her husband was a paid political advisor for Sarah Palin. Greta immediately exposed that as a lie and then pointed out that nobody from Rolling Stone ever contacted her to give her a chance to respond to the accusation.

        RS publishes ridiculous hate-filled screeds from Matt Taibbi and embarassing kissy-face articles about the biggest left-wing hatemonger in America today – Bill Maher. I’m surprised that environmentalists aren’t crying over the waste of trees used to publish this rag.

        • Do you even know what “substantive rebuttal” means. You sure didn’t make one. What you did was bash Rolling Stone and then change the subject. There is nothing in your response that negates the facts in the article. Try again.

          And by the way, you are 100% wrong about Van Susteran’s husband and Palin. John Coale has been a regular advisor to Palin and he set up SarahPAC for her.

            • Oh big deal. Van Susteren denies it. What do you expect? There are plenty of other reports by people without any self-interest who are more likely to tell the truth.

              “Others familiar with Palin’s political team insist that Coale has far more power than he is letting on — essentially helping to run Sarah PAC.”

              Now try to stay on topic. You still haven’t rebutted anything in my article. Or maybe you just agree with Stossel, Limbaugh, etc., above.

  7. Isn’t the War on Voting a tacit admission by the GOP that they can’t win in the marketplace of ideas?

  8. “Others familiar with Palin’s political team…”

    Some oblique reference in the Washington Post carries more weight than Greta addressing the accusation directly? Nope. And it still doesn’t negate the fact that nobody from Rolling Stone contacted Greta about the accusation. That’s not journalism.

  9. Is this article meant to explain poor showings by dems – like the NY election held yesterday. Is that what happened – the evil republicans screwed the dems out of that house seat by throwing up new laws?

    • If you can’t discern the meaning of this article, that’s your problem. It might help if you would focus on the subject and not raise extraneous issues.

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