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In general election 2000, Republicans did everything in their power to stop the recount of Florida ballots. From the Brooks Brothers faux-riot to the overruling of states rights by the states rights-loving conservatives on the Rehnquist Court.....election 2000 was a case study on what Republicans will do to rig the outcome of elections.
Secretary of State, Katherine Harris,....like GOP officials in Florida today.....obeyed her master, Jebby.....and culled the rolls of Florida registered voters prior to the general election in 2000 and then later, still following Jebby's lead, certified a state vote count that wasn't completely counted.
Even the Supremes stated that their ruling for W was a one-off...not to be used as precedent. Such conviction. The fix was in. Not a fix like in a conspiracy. Oh, no. No one knew ahead of time that Florida 2000 would be so close. But if an election turned out to be close....Republicans had measures prepared to claim a win. Those measures included Rent-a-Rioters, importing astro-turfers, suppressing the recounting of votes...and when all else failed, appealing to their buddies on the Supreme Court.
I mention this because Republicans are at it again in 2012. "Pattern of Suppression", A.B. Journal, today....
In a report on recent laws placing tough new restrictions on voting, the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University of School of Law found a most disturbing pattern. In state after state, many dominated by Republicans, overblown fears of voter fraud have led to a coordinated effort to suppress turnout in this year’s presidential election.
The center found that 18 states (among them Ohio) have cut back on voting rights since the beginning of last year. It is no accident those states will provide a majority of electoral votes needed to win the presidency. The dangerous trend is far from over. The center’s research uncovered 180 bills restricting voting rights introduced since 2011 in 41 states.
18 states....led by Republicans....have cut back on voting rights since the beginning of the year. In the last 6 months, Republicans have busied themselves in states they control by cutting back on the right to vote. Voter ID laws in search of a voter fraud problem, shorter early voting periods, and impossible new voter registration laws are just a few of the "problems" Republicans in 18 states have been trying to solve.
The question one must ask is....why? Why do Republicans work to suppress voting in America? Aren't Republicans the political party of, you know, freedom...and the Constitution? Doesn't the Constitution spell out the right of American citizens to vote? Not a privilege....but a guaranteed right. Isn't voting the epitome of a free people? Didn't conservatives point to people like the purple-thumbed Iraqis and claim that freedom and democracy had come to Iraq....and people freely voting there was the proof?
Then why try to suppress voting in exceptional America?
The quickest answer is....in order to win elections. Republicans cheat, suppressing voting where they can to assist them in winning. But why do Republicans have to cheat to win?
Because the Republican Party is a party like god....it changes not. The GOP is still the party of white male America...and America is changing every year into a not-so-white-male-America. The GOP, for whatever reason, has worked hard to alienate women, Hispanics, blacks, gays and young people....so hard have they worked that the majorities of those demographic groups now favor Democrats.
And so, as far as a pattern of GOP efforts to suppress votes goes.... as Gene Robinson of the WAPO puts it....
In the name of safeguarding the sanctity of the ballot, Republicans are trying to exclude citizens they consider likely to vote for Democrats — the young, the poor, the black and brown.
Not that complicated, really. Shaving even a fraction of a point in a close election can turn a loss into a win. Suppressing non-white votes, through a variety of means, can give Republicans that fraction.
Every voter suppression law passed was passed with that intention in mind. In a country where the Republican Party is fast becoming out-of-date as a political party of white males.....suppressing the votes of non-whites is seen by the GOP as a way to stay competitive a little while longer in a country which is year by year rendering the once proud Party of Lincoln....obsolete and irrelevant.