The Bain of our existence:
Mitt Romney says that anyone who attacks Bain Capital is "attacking capitalism."
By this logic, if you criticize the new Avengers flick, you're saying you don't like movies. If you don't like the newest sandwich at Subway, you're attacking the very concept of food.
Slate has published an incredibly good piece on Republican vote suppression efforts
. As you know (or should
know), fraud perpetrated by voters intentionally misidentifying themselves is next to nonexistent. We're dealing with a mythical animal here; there's better evidence for the existence of the Maryland Goat-Man than for organized voter fraud. By contrast, vote-rigging
via computerized counting machines is a very real threat. What irks me is that ill-informed citizens may not understand that the former has no relation to the latter.
This blog used to be devoted to the controversies surrounding electronic vote-counting devices. I stopped writing about that issue because Brad Friedman does the job much better, and because I couldn't figure out a way to talk about electronic vote manipulation without adding credibility to the myth of widespread voter misrepresentation. Hell, just figuring out the right way to word the previous sentence was tough!
As one might have predicted, GOP operatives are casting aside the pretense that their efforts have anything to do with ending voter misrepresentation. They are now claiming that voting is a privilege, not a right -- and you pretty much give up your privileges if you show signs of voting for the wrong party or candidates.
Whether it’s onerous (and expensive) voter ID rules that will render as many as 10 percent of Americans ineligible to vote, proof of citizenship measures, restricting registration drives, cancellation of Sunday voting, or claims that voting should be a privilege as opposed to a right, efforts to discount and discredit the vote have grown bolder in recent years, despite vanishingly rare claims of actual vote fraud. The sole objective appears to be ensuring that fewer Americans vote in 2012 than voted in 2008. But as strange as the reasons to purge certain votes have been around the nation, things have grown even stranger in recent weeks in Ohio, where GOP lawmakers have gone after not only voters but the federal courts, in an effort to wiggle out of statewide voting rules.
The GOP’s argument goes even further than pitching ballots tainted by worker error, though. In legislation proposed last year (and withdrawn after it was poised to be rejected by a voter referendum), another provision would bar poll workers from helping voters find the correct precinct if they showed up at the wrong place. That’s right. A proposed GOP reform would ensure that poll workers have no obligation to tell you anything at all if you ask them a question pertaining to precisely the thing they are meant to do—facilitate voting. The language Ohio Republicans tried to insert into the omnibus voting law would provide that “it is the duty of the individual casting the ballot to ensure that the individual is casting that ballot in the correct precinct.”
Hillary for Veep?
This presents a deeply troubling new strain in the effort to shrink the vote; a new argument that has nothing to do with stamping out fraud at all.
Skydancing published a piece yesterday on the recurrent meme that Hillary Clinton will replace Joe Biden on the ticket
. Also see Riverdaughter here
and Michael Tomasky here
. Yes, this scenario could
happen. One day, I may tell you the circumstances under which Obama might replace Biden outright, although I feel strongly that a Hillary/Joe job switch is not
in the cards. But I strongly doubt that Joe Biden is going anywhere.
First and foremost, Biden just hasn't been that bad. Veeps don't get un-veeped if their greatest sin is dorkiness. They've got to do something seriously wrong
Second, Hillary's positive ratings would vanish overnight if she were on the ticket. Right now, the Fox Newsers are careful not to slam Hillary because they want to encourage the Hillary-loving Obama-haters to stay home on election day. (And who could blame them if they did?) But the moment she got on the ticket, the right-wing news cycle would turn into a 24/7 barrage of Clinton-hate. We would relive it all: Monica, Whitewater, Waco, Mena...all of your favorite hate-memes from the 1990s. And the hate would come in hyper-concentrated form. It would feel like getting a blast of pure sulfur or capsaicin in the face, every minute of every day for months.
Don't pretend that the attacks would not have an impact. The lesson of our time is that propaganda works.
Also, if Clinton climbed aboard the ticket, the Obama-loving Hillary-hating progs of 2008 would be discouraged from going to the polls. Many of those voters no longer have much love for Obama, but they sure as hell hate anyone named Clinton.
Obama is better off sticking with boring old Joe. The worst thing the Foxers and the Bratbiters can say about Joe Biden is that he shoots from the lip.