Posts Tagged ‘2012 Election’

I love it when the President is forceful and direct.  Here’s part of his statement today about the threatened government shutdown:

But one faction of one party in one house of Congress in one branch of government doesn’t get to shut down the entire government just to refight the results of an election. Keeping the people’s government open is not a concession to meet. Keeping vital services running and hundreds of thousands of Americans on the job is not something you give to the other side. It’s our basic responsibility.

[snip]

You don’t get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you’re supposed to be doing anyway, or just because there’s a law there that you don’t like.

Here’s the full transcript

Once again Arizona, land of few taxes and no services, has spent a ton of money and time defending yet another unconstitutional law. The notoriously right leaning Supreme Court struck down Arizona’s Prop 200 Voter ID law by a vote of 7-2.  Their reasoning was, to put it simply, that the Arizona law interfered with Federal Law.

Essentially, a 1993 Federal Law established a uniform procedure for voter registration for all 50 states that said anyone who swore an oath that they were a U.S. citizen under penalty of perjury and signed that oath could be registered to vote.  The Arizona law entitled, “Arizona Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act,” required anyone without a driver’s license to provide proof of citizenship via a birth certificate or passport.  I’ve discussed this many times before.  Just because you have a driver’s license doesn’t mean you’re a citizen and many citizens don’t drive and therefore don’t even have a driver’s license. Furthermore, getting a copy of a birth certificate is not as easy as it sounds for many people, it costs money, and it takes quite a bit of time. All of this is true for passports.  Study after study after study have shown that this kind of voter ID law ends up causing less voter turn out among the following kinds of citizens:  the elderly, urban non-driving residents, and the lower socioeconomic classes (in which minorities tend to be disproportionately  represented and they tend to vote Democratic).

For many years after 1993, that signed oath was deemed sufficient until the 2000 Presidential election.  You remember the “hanging chad” debacle and how the Supreme Court handed the Presidency to George W. Bush on a platter after a suspicious vote recount in the State of Florida.  The irony is that conservatives won that round but came out of the process thinking that if they can rig the process, then the liberals will try to do it too.  Except the liberals didn’t.  The 1993 law remained in place and not a whole lot changed EXCEPT for many states willingly adopting early, mail-in ballots which everyone agreed helped increase voter turn out and saved people time and money.

Still, there were calls for investigations by conservatives who insisted it was happening.  The story that Mickey Mouse registered to vote will live in infamy regardless of how false it is.  So investigations were completed during the Bush tenure and they found so few incidents of voter fraud that it was something like less than one one hundredths of a percentage.   And of the fraud found, all of the perpetrators had been caught and prosecuted trying to vote in more than one polling location AND their vote didn’t count.  In a country of 350 million people that low of a violation right is a testament to how sacred we hold the right to vote.  It’s damn important and we treat it so.

Still conservatives pushed the idea that fraud was happening because it scares their base and that motivates them to get out and vote.   That kind of fear mongering always seems to work on a certain percentage of any population and it worked here.  Combined with a lot of dog whistles during the 2008 Presidential campaign, fear of voting fraud reached a fever pitch.  So when President Obama won that election, it was all the proof they needed.  Why they couldn’t fathom that millions of white people like me would vote for a brown person like him, is beyond my understanding.

In any case, the result was a rash of new state laws to control the voting process and voter ID laws like Arizona’s Prop 200.  There have been other laws attempting to limit the hours of voting locations, to limit or entirely eliminate early voting opportunities (Think it was Ohio that tried to say that only military families had the right to vote via early ballot), and to purge voter lists based on how foreign someone’s name sounds (FL, I’m looking at you).  When they couldn’t get a law passed or couldn’t get it passed fast enough to affect an election, particularly the 2012 Presidential election, they tried a more hands-on method of imposing themselves at polling stations and attempting to be the guardians of the ballot box.  Thankfully this kind of behavior simply motivated liberals all the more and alienated quite a few moderates.

In any case, the Supreme Court finally made a good decision based on sound principle.   Federal law is the supreme law of the land and the states cannot pass a law that is stricter than the Federal law.  So what’s next?  How will they try to destroy the voting process?  Because make no mistake about it, they’re trying to steal elections.  They’ve succeeded in gerrymandering congressional districts and we won’t be able to reverse that for another decade or more.    The last thing I heard was an attempt to split up electoral votes based on those same biased congressional districts in states like Pennsylvania and Virginia.   Gird your loins folks, we got work to do.

Other Sources:

https://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/this-is-how-democracy-dies/

Remember when the Romney campaign said they weren’t using “dog whistles”?  Remember how they said they cared about all of America?  Well, it turns not to be true–surprise!  Apparently, it was the white middle and upper class voters that mattered more according to Romney’s chief strategist, Stuart Stevens.

On Nov. 6, Romney carried the majority of every economic group except those with less than $50,000 a year in household income. That means he carried the majority of middle-class voters.
…..
There was a time not so long ago when the problems of the Democratic Party revolved around being too liberal and too dependent on minorities. Obama turned those problems into advantages and rode that strategy to victory.
…..
Republican ideals — Mitt Romney — carried the day. On Nov. 6, that wasn’t enough to win. But it was enough to make us proud and to build on for the future.

Shorter Stevens, the white people who matter voted for our ideas so we won a moral victory and will keep building on that for future elections. What a rational, pragmatic person should say in this situation would be, “Wow, we lost women, all of the minorities 1, too many in the middle class 2, and the fastest growing part of the population which accounted for 53% of the population. Maybe we’re doing something wrong!” No, instead the GOP is signaling that the 47% that voted for them, particularly those white folks, was good enough for them. So they’ll hunker down using the same failed strategies to motivate white voters that were so concisely detailed by Lee Atwater 3 and reinforced by jerks like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh 4. Kind of makes you wonder, who was really engaged in class warfare?

From a practical campaign point of view I say keep on keeping on. Once whites begin to lose their majority status (which is happening as we speak) the GOP won’t win another major election until they change their ways. From a moral viewpoint, Stevens’ opinion and anyone that supports it in the GOP is insulting and wrong. From a long-term view maybe we will be better off as a country if the GOP dies this slow death. Maybe a new party that truly champions conservative ideas without using hate, and religious intolerance, and one that lacks a frothing at the mouth desperation can finally come into being. Then we could actually discuss the issues instead of the wedges.  I’m allowed to dream once in a while, right?

Notes:
1. For example, Asian Americans who used to heavily favor Republican candidates made a dramatic shift to support President Obama.  Why?  The evidence seems to suggest that they, like me and many other whites who voted for Obama, didn’t vote solely on their own best interests.  That they voted based on a principle belief in the American Dream and to them the President best represented that American Dream….a point I have made on this blog, many, many times.  To me, President Obama is the quintessential example of  the American Dream and I heavily identify with it, as do many hard working, successful Asian Americans.

2. BTW, I’m white, middle class and Romney didn’t win my vote and there were tons more like me…why? Because we don’t believe that we are the only face of this country. We don’t think our interests are more important than other citizens’ interests….we love our country, every diverse part of it. We are capable of empathy, selflessness, and long-term thinking. By voting for Obama we could not only look out for our own interests but the interests of many others. With Romney there was a choice between “us” and “them”. I reject that kind of narrow thinking and I’m glad the majority of America did too.  

3.  Known as the “Southern Strategy” it now appeals to white folks in places like Wyoming, Kansas and Indiana.  It’s no coincidence that as white’s lose their majority status in this country that more and more white ears can now hear this kind of appeal.  Nothing opens the eyes and ears than the loss of privilege and it’s part of why extremists in the GOP appear to be increasingly desperate (and clinging to desperate hopes like secession).  

4. Bill O’Reilly and all the other GOP operatives masquerading as journalists, pundits and blowhards who said the President won because he was “giving away” stuff…you’re wrong. For example, in 2014 when insurance companies can no longer reject me for pre-existing conditions I will have to pay about $18,000 a year out of pocket for that health insurance, which does not include co-pays, prescription costs, extra lab fees, etc. Does that sound free to you? And this will apply to everyone else in the same boat. Even if we had a Single Payer health care system it wouldn’t be free because we ALL pay taxes in one form or another. So eff off with your lies about “free gifts” and Obama as Santa bullshit.

Some “Free Marketeers” are very upset that President Obama won re-election. So upset that they are taking out their anger on their own employees, most of whom don’t even receive liveable wages. For some reason, these very wealthy people are unwilling to take any money out of their millions in profits [or out of wastage (see free pizza’s from Papa John’s below), or out of unnecessary advertising, or out of unnecessary trips, or from new operating efficiencies, etc] and invest it in their own workers.

See what these idiots refuse to see is that having healthier workers means that you have more productive workers and that always improves the bottom line. But you have to be patient because it’s a long term benefit and therein lies the rub. Long term planning and long term profits aren’t what most modern day entrepreneurs are all about. It’s the quick turnover profit that fills their dreams. Because of that thinking, some businessmen have decided to poop on the little guys to help heal their hurt feefees. Here’s a list….All of these guys win the 2012 Biggest Self-Centered Short-Term Thinking Douche Award TM:

**Owner of Papa John’s, can give away a million free pizzas but won’t cover the cost of health insurance for his employees. He’s blaming Obamacare and saying he will reduce employees to less than 30 hours. If he didn’t want to take the cost of health care out of the free pizzas, he could simply charge more for his pizzas–5 cents added to each pizza would cover it. 5 cents, yup, that’s it. His pizza sucks anyway and I rarely order from them.  And after this, I’ll never order from his company again, never.  How do you like that Free Market?

**Owner of Murray Energy, the guy who forced his miners to lose a day of work and pay to expand the crowd at a rally for Romney and serve as publicity tools. He’s actually laying people off. He blames the President for the decline of the coal industry and refuses to recognize that 1) coal is a finite source of energy, 2) there is no such thing as clean coal but the President actually supported it’s use anyway so he’s tried to help the industry and 3) the natural gas industry is primarily responsible for the decline of coal, not this President or any other  President. He likes the Free Market so long as it isn’t free to make his dumb ass obsolescent.

**Time-share magnate (many properties here in AZ, look at that picture of the idjit and his skanky wife) threatened to shut down his businesses but no word on whether he actually followed through. I’m sure it scared the shite out of his employees though.  So nice to frighten the little people who have no control over how the country votes.  Again, a boycott of this jerk’s businesses is probably in order.

**A FL franchise owner (has several, Dairy Queens, Denny’s, Hurricane Bar & Grill) who announced he’s putting a 5% surcharge on every bill and then told the public, either pay the surcharge and tip normally OR reduce the tip you give to your server by 5%. Yes, pay your servers less–you know the ones that are often given the federal minimum wage–$2.13 an hour. Sure take 5% more out of that. Brilliant idea. I would suggest to this guy that he never, ever eat at one of his own restaurants again because servers are known to get back at people by messing with their food.  And if anyone ever deserved a loogie in their food, it’s this guy.

Yep, you read that right.  In Cochise County, the contest between Congressman Ron Barber (D) and Martha McSally (R) rages on.  It was very close the other day, separated only be a few hundred votes when the election officials started counting provisional ballots from a Latino precinct and a continuing count of the early ballots.  Cochise wasn’t alone in being late on counting the early ballots.  Maricopa county, as of today, has 390,000 ballots uncounted.  I’d be willing to bet that mine is among them.  Isn’t it great to know that your vote doesn’t mean a damn thing!

Anyway, in Cochise as soon as they came upon ballots from a Latino Precinct the Republican candidate thought “enough is enough”, let’s stop the counting.  Today they agreed to allow the provisional ballots to be set aside and be available for any future challenge.  And so the counting continues.  Before the court hearing Barber was leading by about 500 votes and now that has increased to over 800 votes.   The GOP better figure out how to reach out to Latinos or their days of winning elections are over.

 

http://www.tucsonweekly.com/TheRange/archives/2012/11/13/cd2-update-barber-leads-mcsally-by-829-votes

http://www.willcoxrangenews.com/opinion/editorials/article_a59e3052-2e77-11e2-8464-0019bb2963f4.html

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/11/barber_mcsally_latino_precinct_ballots.php?ref=fpblg