Monday, November 26, 2012

Voter suppression, revisited.

Hey, there!  I'm back!

Florida was magnificent, the Cyberdaughter's new apartment rocks, and I'm rather glad to get back in the saddle of normality.

Speaking of Florida, there's a news story on the ThinkProgress site today about how some Florida Republicans have admitted that the voter "suppression" laws were, in fact, just that, and were aimed at Democrats and minorities.

Now, I'm not going to rant and rave over those laws, I've already done that, and Floridians have already shown their elected officials just what they think of them, by standing in lines of up to eight hours to vote.  So, consider that message delivered.

The message that still needs to be delivered is one aimed at Republican rank-and-filers everywhere.

Consider these quotes:

Wayne Bertsch, who handles local and legislative races for Republicans, said he knew targeting Democrats was the goal. “In the races I was involved in in 2008, when we started seeing the increase of turnout and the turnout operations that the Democrats were doing in early voting, it certainly sent a chill down our spines. And in 2008, it didn’t have the impact that we were afraid of. It got close, but it wasn’t the impact that they had this election cycle,” Bertsch said, referring to the fact that Democrats picked up seven legislative seats in Florida in 2012 despite the early voting limitations. 
Another GOP consultant, who did not want to be named, also confirmed that influential consultants to the Republican Party of Florida were intent on beating back Democratic turnout in early voting after 2008. 
[...]A GOP consultant who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of retribution said black voters were a concern. “I know that the cutting out of the Sunday before Election Day was one of their targets only because that’s a big day when the black churches organize themselves,” he said.

Now look at the bolded and underlined passages.  Read them carefully, then come back here and try to tell me that Republicans engaging in such anti-democratic (small -d, not partisan big D) activities aren't committing a direct assault on the American voting public, and thus, virtually committing treason.

It doesn't matter that their targets were of the opposing party, their action had the affect of making millions of Floridians either stand in line for hours to exercise their right to vote, but probably caused a lot of them to not even try.  I'd also bet that there were Republican Floridians who were affected too, so the accusation of it being an attack on democracy in general still stands.

Now, my question is the same one I posed before the election to Republicans who may accidentally read this post:

Is this really the Party you want to be associated with?  A Party which will violate, for partisan political gain, the very foundational principles upon which this country was founded?  Every single one of you claim to be proud of the Constitution, the Founders who wrote it and the values it enshrines.

So why do you continue to support a Party which continues to tarnish, if not outright shred, that document?  This Republican party isn't simply using those tactics to win, they are insulting, contaminating and defaming the very foundational values and principles they claim to love so dearly.

I cannot even begin to describe my feelings about this and how that behavior makes this country appear in the eyes of the world.

If it weren't also anti-democratic, I'd say that the Republican party doesn't deserve to hold office again.  It should be banned from participating in our democracy, but that would be even worse.

What would be appropriate is that the voters would simply stop supporting them altogether.

Now, don't get me wrong.  It isn't that I would like to simply destroy conservatism altogether.  No.

What we need is a Conservative Party which is realistic, which sees and understands the true feelings of the voters and doesn't try to manipulate them through a media filter like Fox News.  There are plenty of Conservative voters, and many of them hold their feelings honestly, and without rancor.  They do need someone to represent them and their interests - but they need someone who will do so honestly and without fooling them into thinking that they are a majority when they clearly are not.

The political tactics which must be used when one is a minority Party are vastly different from those used as a majority, and are as different as night and day from those of a Party which is trying desperately to remain a majority when it has clearly lost that status.

To continue to make the faithful think they are backed by a majority of Americans is a disservice to those faithful and are a vastly punishing disservice to the country as a whole.  The Republican party of today reminds me of an old man, at the top of a once vast and powerful company, trying hard to stay young, fooled by the yes-men at his beck and call into thinking that his teeth are his own, his hair piece is still attached by the roots and the glasses that let him see are just rose tinted sunglasses.  And the company he heads is still at the top of its game.

To continue this charade is to allow the Republican party to continue a slide into political obscurity which may take another ten years, but is as inexorable as the tides - or the Global Warming they so desperately try to deny.

Do that Party a favor - stop voting for them unless they change their tactics and realize that they live in the 21st century - and are no longer a majority Party.

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