Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Commentariat Weighs In

A reader writes, in reference to my Vox Populi post ...

Was catching up (sort of) on TYOMP, and noticed the entry on voting, and vote suppression.  This prompted me to write this email, as this rankles me every time I hear people say things like "under the guise of voter suppression" or worse from that asshole, Chris Matthews.  Clearly, there are people who do try to suppress the vote.  And, such people need to be called out, as we need to make voting as accessible as possible.  However, I am astounded that people who want to make voting accessible also don't want to ensure that only citizens vote, and in accordance with the rules (mainly, one person, one vote).  At least, you never hear them say that.  You and I were both alive when a President of the U.S. was elected because of voter fraud.  He would be Jack Kennedy.  One of the closest electoral elections in history, Kennedy only won when Illinois put him over the top, and Illinois only "came in" for Kennedy in the wee hours of the morning, after the Dailey machine got done with their shenanigans (if that's the way you spell it).  For most of the evening, Nixon was ahead in Illinois, but then "late returns" from Chicago came in and, as they say, the rest is history.  So, I hope you see why I get worked up when folks say that "voter fraud" is a figment of people's imaginations, or that "it doesn't happen," even though we had a President elected because of it (even though that is not the official line). 

Where is the Greek Chorus when you (or I) need them?

What's wrong with you people?  Why can't you submit comments as insightful as this one more often?  

My response would be that the things I called voter suppression in Vox Populi are laws intended to keep individual voters from doing so.  Voting, that is.  The shenanigans (if that's even how you spell it) in Illinois spoke to a from-the-top-down systemic level of corruption.  I like to think that extreme level of big-city political corruption is a thing of the past, but even if it isn't, you can argue that you can be vigilant against that type of voter fraud while at the same time erring -- which is the wrong word -- on the side of open access to the polls to every citizen, even if it means a few suspect votes in the process.

It's like that legal argument that goes something like "better to let one hundred guilty men go free than to jail one innocent one."  Or something.

Also, in the interest of full disclosure, I also think Chris Matthews is a bit of an asshole.

You could also add that since the voter ID laws are overwhelmingly imposed in Republican-dominated states and are, by many admissions, designed to cut down on voting by Democrats, that they represent a level of systemic corruption as well.
Nicely said.  Spoken like a true Greek.
We came with this whole idea, you know.
Yes I do.  You've told me like a dozen times.


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