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GOP Pins Hope On Keeping Democrats Away From Polls

Cynthia Tucker: GOP Pinning Hopes on Keeping Democrats Away from the Polls

The Tactic, We'll Unabashedly Add, Seems to Come Straight Out of the Venerable KKK Playbook...

By Brad Friedman, The BRAD BLOG

"The GOP’s brand is in tatters...So the party seems to be pinning its hopes on keeping likely Democrats — people of color, the poor, college students — away from the polls."

Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution slams the anti-democracy forces of evil that have become the GOP's (almost) last hope...

The base of the Republican Party — a dwindling but still significant group — clings to a handful of pseudo-facts that don’t hold up to serious scrutiny but that still occupy a central place in GOP ideology. Those include the assertion that Saddam Hussein represented a threat to the United States, that affirmative action in lending led to the mortgage crisis and that voter fraud is a serious problem in modern elections.

In campaign seasons such as this, when victory may turn on a handful of votes, none of those claims is more important to Republican activists than overhyped allegations of voter fraud.

She goes on to note the insidious and shameless GOP New Mexico operative, Patrick Rogers (yes, of the voter-suppresion front group "American Center for Voting Rights" and, yes, at the heart of the U.S. Attorney Purge in the state and, yes, a man willing to lie to fend off charges of vote-buying by his comrade, the disgraced, outgoing Rep. Heather Wilson), who was discovered in "a recently unearthed e-mail" to have spoken quite directly to the cynical and despicable issue of using phony claims of "voter fraud" to help keep bad voters (Dems) away from the polls, and encourage good voters (Repubs) to turn out if only to counter all those dirty, filthy, illegal aliens who are showing up (after giving their names and addresses to the federales, in order to register, presumably) to vote...

A recently unearthed e-mail from a Republican strategist in New Mexico shows the unbridled cynicism that underlies claims about fraudulent voting. Patrick Rogers, former lawyer for the New Mexico Republican Party, was among the party hacks pushing for criminal investigations into alleged voter fraud. He clearly was hoping that the threat of legal sanctions would intimidate Democrats and aid Republicans, including U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson (R-N.M.), who was in a tight race for re-election. According to a new report from the U.S. Justice Department’s inspector general, Rogers wrote in September 2004:

“I believe the [voter] ID issue should be used at all levels — federal, state legislative races and Heather’s race. … You are not going to find a better wedge issue. … This is the single best wedge issue, ever in [New Mexico].”

Tucker's optimistic conclusion --- the "tactic seems unlikely to be enough to prevent Democrats from gaining seats in Congress, if not the White House. Democrats are registering in record numbers, and the GOP can’t intimidate or eliminate enough of them to make a difference" --- is a bit premature for our tastes.

Still, Tucker clearly gets it, and it's good to see somone in the corporate mainstream speaking so directly about the despicable foes of American democracy, who --- we've come to learn after watching the History Channel's "Ku Klux Klan: A Secret History" late-night over the weekend, comes directly out of precisely the same hateful playbook.

Tucker closes...

The GOP’s brand is in tatters, dragged down by an incompetent president, an unpopular war and a sickly economy. So the party seems to be pinning its hopes on keeping likely Democrats — people of color, the poor, college students — away from the polls.
The stench of corruption and cynicism emanating from the effort to disenfranchise voters is finally too heavy to ignore. The GOP is just ensuring that the tarnish on its brand becomes permanent.

We'd expect no less from a party who is still proud to publicly revere, rather than revile, men such as this one.

(Hat-tip Steve Heller of Velvet Revolution's Election Protection Strike Force.)



More Articles by Brad Friedman

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