Stacking The Deck Again (Still): The GOP's War On Voting Rights

In a piece posted to ThinkProgress by Kevin Donohoe titled REPORT: In 22 Statehouses Across the Country, Conservatives Move to Disenfranchise Voters, a disturbingly familiar bit of news:

In statehouses across the country, Republican lawmakers are raising the specter of “voter fraud” to push through legislation that would dramatically restrict the voting rights of college students, rural voters, senior citizens, the disabled and the homeless. As part of their larger effort to silence Main Street, conservatives are pushing through new photo identification laws that would exclude millions from voting, depress Hispanic voter turnout by as much as 10 percent, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

Excerpt from Kevin Donohoe's ThinkProgress pieceToday's GOP, coupled with the extreme insanity of their Tea Party brethren, has steadfastly pursued an accelerated agenda since they were able to reclaim some of their lost power through the last the election cycle. The previous decade of corruption and abuse, diminished civil rights and undermined social safety nets set the stage. Now, apparently panicking at the thought that they nearly saw all of their dismantling of the New Deal un-done with the transfer of power in the 2008 election cycle, they're scrambling to disable what elements they can and rig anThe ything else that could enhance their chances of keeping their claws on the levers of American power.

The latest blast of outrages in their war against women, minorities, children, healthcare and unions has spawned demonstrations in state capitals all over the nation – and they push ever forward, still sanctimoniously and hypocritically proposing and passing legislation by hook or crook in order to further advance their agenda.

An agenda that serves them, not the nation.

An agenda that helps them safeguard their chances of retaining power, or of at least protecting their ability to prevent progress

An agenda that inflicts their political, social, religious and 'scientific' views upon the nation and disregards the majority of the citizens' own rights and freedoms.

This is, and has been, their standard modus operandi for the past decade and longer.

One of their favorite bugaboos, trotted out whenever they want to try to further restrict or outright prevent minority voters (anyone not likely to vote Republican), is to raise the spectre of voter fraud - an essentially non-existent problem that, according to their narrative, runs rampant in our nation. (Ignore for a moment that the only clearly defined case of such fraud, as illustrated by dhonig and Patience John, was one of their own – Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White.)

The GOP seems to favor trying to find ways to disenfranchise voters, whether its from purging voter lists or passing draconian laws, or manipulating US attorneys to initiate false investigations of voter fraud against Democratic rivals just prior to an election. They've practically defined an entire cottage industry around creating and maintaining this mythical issue…and it's well documented: on April 15, 2007, ePluribus Media published a Journal story called The Voting Rights Act, Voter Disfranchisement and the Tail Wagging the Dog, a collaborative effort by ePluribus Staff Writers Cho, StandingUp, Aaron Barlow & Roxy. Several related stories followed, including:

The GOP's mythical bogeyman of Voter disenfranchisement has been around for a very long time, and as long as it still appears to be worth playing as part of stacking the deck against American voters, the GOP will keep their cards close to their vest…and securely fastened inside their playbook. To close with a final excerpt from Kevin Donohoe's piece, the closing kicker which makes all this eerily familiar:

In 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt told union members that “there are some political candidates who think that they may have a chance of election, if only the total vote is small enough.” Seven decades later it seems that this strategy is once again in vogue for American conservatives.

FDR. The New Deal. Reducing the number of voters in order to give their side – the side that steadfastly works against the American people, against unions, against women and children – an unjust advantage. Sounds a lot like the conservatives of today, and their teabagging brothers and sisters.

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