4.11.2007

politics { can someone help me understand this?

I'm not sure if my minds not working today or what, but I can't seem to wrap my head around this article in the NYTimes.

So...if I read this right, a federal panel played down results from experts that there was little voter fraud, which upsets the Administration, because they all want us to have ID cards, which are meant to intimidate people from voting, disenfranchise the lefties, exclude minorities and amount to what would be a new poll tax of sorts because a lot of Republican law makers want the ID card tied to Driver's Licenses. Basically, the problem is that a federal panel is omitting or downplaying findings that don't match the agenda of their Republican overlords right?

I do think voter fraud of any kind should be researched and investigated (though I wish they would open the books back up farther than 2006, say to oh, 2000). But in the possible solutions, I think a voter ID system is bad, and not merely because of the Orwellian implications of Big Brother tracking you, but for many of the reasons the Democrats cite as opposition to such a law. I remember the first time I voted, it was a scary and nervous affair. I was a part of something bigger than myself. I didn't know how to register, but I looked up what I needed to vote and took those things with me to the polling place. The people running the place were very friendly and encouraging and helped me get registered and I cast my ballot. What an awesome feeling it was to feel I tried to make a difference. That was 1998. In 2000, that feeling turned to ashes in my mouth. I voted in my first Presidential election...and no one won. Florida was a clusterfuck. Rumors and accusations of tampering were flying everywhere. The Supreme Court crowned a new Empero...I mean President. I was horrified. Then 2002 happened. For MN it was another clusterfuck. Wellstone, the beloved, was killed tragically very shortly before the elections. Conspiracy theorists cried foul. The DFL had to scramble to get another candidate. A poorly chosen speech at the funeral of Wellstone painted a perception that soured voters and the ass-hat Coleman was elected. 2004 came around, I caucused for the first time. Once again renewed and energized in the political process and the in-your-face, hardcore, full-frontal politics that is MN DFL caucuses. But again, rumors of shenanigans at the polls. 4 hour+ lines to vote due to 'shortages' and 'breakdowns' of voting equipment, in some of the most populous precincts (as well as ones that had high minority and/or liberal populations). Ohio became the clusterfuck, due again to a morally corrupt Secretary of State. Electronic voting machines replaced paper ballots, many of which left no paper trail, were easily hackable and rumors persisted of malfunctions causing incorrect votes to be cast for wrong candidates. UN Inspectors were invited to oversee elections in some places (something that used to happen in other places and you only read about them in newspapers or heard about it on the TV or radio). 2006 happened, things were better. Things went smoother. Rumors of clusterfuckage and shenanigans still happened, as they always do, but they were lesser, less general. 2008 will be a circus, if the previews we're seeing now are any indication.

Republicans have been calling for a National ID Card for sometime. I can't help but feel this is another case, like immigration issues or gay marriage, where if there is no clear or existent enemy, make one and start the spinning and manufacture one. I would like to find out specifically where they incidents of 'intimidation' happened and know if they were in more liberal or progressive portions of Red States (or even Red portions of Blue States). I heard about incidents of intimidation, especially against minorities in Florida, which is a Red State, whose Governor at the time is the brother to the President.

I remember the first time I voted, and had their been someone requiring I get an ID card /ahead/ of time or who had subjected me to any kind of intimidation, I doubt I would have voted then, or ever again.

2 comments:

AllThingsSpring said...

Okay, here's my take:

1) This administration has repeatedly shown than whenever facts are politically inconvenient to them, they simply attempt to rewrite the facts to their own liking. They are living in fantasyland and making it up as they go along, with little relation to empirical reality.

2) Even the Republicans know deep down that 'voter fraud' is pretty much a statistical non-starter. This is pure partisan politics in an attempt to dissuade the masses from voting, because at this point they know if the masses vote the chances they will do well in the next election are slim and none.

3) This administration is going so far as to use the U.S. Attorneys in this role, a systematic institutional attempt at mass disenfranchisement. They'll spew a campaign of FUD and try to incite a moral panic or something along those lines to bolster their chances.

4) A national ID, properly implemented, could be a good idea. Its just that I can't imagine anyone with their head outside their rectum would think the U.S. Government could be trusted to do such a thing fairly and with an eye toward civil rights protection. Whatever it is they say they won't ever use a piece of information for, yeah, uh, that's pretty much the FIRST thing they will use it for. We're an empire that is kidnapping, torturing, surveiling, and generally fucking over anyone that gets in the way of the neocon hawk agenda. We don't have enough moral authority to fill a thimble, nor do we seem to possess the necessary responsibility as a government to be trusted with anything like this. The claim will be made that such a thing will make us safer, which it won't, but scare the American people enough and they'll demand it to cast spells on the bogeyman.

4) If the ID is tied to voting rights and costs a penny it is a poll tax. We don't do those.

5) Paper ballots have worked for centuries. Electronic machines are a very bad idea without a verifiable paper trail. Optical-scan ballots are the best, most useful, accurate, and cheap modern voting type. Some hackable black-box from Diebold is a disaster waiting to happen, and if I might add, the only potential major electoral fraud I'm actually concerned about right now.

6) Bottom line, every time the Republicans come up with a political position it turns out to be wrong, and they repeat the lies in the MSM as talking points until the memeplex of interacting lies is sufficiently copied in the minds of the ignorant masses to sway them against what all the evidence says isn't so. In this way they control the language, the talking-points, the margins of debate, and the framing of issues. This is delusion as policy, and it is why this nation is going 'off-the-rails' in a lot of ways.

GeistX said...

That's kinda what I thought the article said. For some reason my brain just wouldn't convince me that is what it actually said. NY Times front page as another related story on A1 regarding this again. This time centering on court records. I wonder how much this effort is costing taxpayers?

Which brings up a new topic. The Democrats once again are being acknowledge by MSM as having the fiscal higher ground. But of course the Republicans are screaming 'SEE THEY WANT TO TAX YOU!'. Someone needs to tax us and do 'spend as you go' or something that makes sure we're not bankrupt and more importantly the next generations are not bankrupt as well. And pretty much all taxation plans I've seen so far have been closing tax loopholes for the very rich, rolling back tax cuts for the upper 1%, and making it harder for corporations to get out of paying taxes. That says something if you can shore up a Federal budget by just closing tax loopholes for the upper 1% (who control 99% of the wealth) and corporations. It also means the lower 'classes' (I hate to use that word) have been footing, as usual, a disproportionate part of the tax bill. Or others have not been paying their share.