Voter Suppression Depression? Time To Fight Back

I said in my introduction that Republican voter suppression efforts are the major issue facing this country right now, and if this study is anywhere close to accurate the time to start pushing voter registration and education efforts is now.

Restrictive voting laws in states across the country could affect up to five million voters from traditionally Democratic demographics in 2012, according to a new report by the Brennan Center. That’s a number larger than the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections.

The new restrictions, the study found, “fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities. This wave of changes may sharply tilt the political terrain for the 2012 election.”

The GOP takeover at the state level over the last several years has led directly to voter ID laws designed to disenfranchise millions of traditionally Democratic voters.  2010 proved that when turnout is low, Republicans run rampant.  In a presidential election year next year, that could very well prove to be fatal to the country.  If your cynical, jaded self recognizes only one difference between the GOP and the Democrats, it’s that the GOP wants to make voting as difficult and as exclusive as possible.  Where they have gained power, they turn to voter ID efforts to limit turnout in order to maintain power.  Even if you dispute the numbers in the study, the GOP intent is clear.

Here’s the real kicker:

Of the 12 likely battleground states, as assessed by an August Los Angeles Times analysis of Gallup polling, five have already cut back on voting rights (and may pass additional restrictive legislation), and two more are currently considering new restrictions.

One of those states is Ohio, and as Kay across the river from me can attest to, Ohio’s battle to stop John Kasich and the GOP from disenfranchising tens of thousands of Ohio voters is just beginning.  So far opponents of Ohio’s measure have collected more than enough signatures to put the law to a referendum in 2012, meaning that as soon as the petitions are validated, Ohio will operate under the same voting laws as the 2010 election both this year and next.

But that’s only one state.  The efforts to reduce turnout are national, well-funded, and well-coordinated.  Ohio proved that efforts to fight these restriction can work, but the bottom line is turnout and GOTV efforts in 2011 and especially 2012 are vital to preventing a complete Republican takeover.  It’s past time to examine what you can do where you live to help locally with these efforts.  No matter what the GOP does, we have to get people out there to vote, period.

It’s astonishing to think that in 2011, a major US political party is running on a platform to limit voting as much as possible.  So far they haven’t paid a political price for doing so.

That needs to change.

66 replies
  1. 1
    kay says:

    Hi Zandar, and welcome.

    Ohio voters may still sign a petition to put a repeal of the voter suppression law on the ballot, for about another week.

    We turned in signatures, but we’re still collecting, and every signature counts, because while we did collect “more than enough”, the goal was half a million, not 317k.

    317k is too close for comfort.

    Sherrod Brown is doing robo-calls to tell you-all this :)

  2. 2
    JJ says:

    only about 55% (average) or so of the population votes during a presidential election year anyway. and in off-years the number of people who vote drops steeply. which means that “rock the vote” or other programs that try to increase voting participation don’t really work. because of these numbers, it’s obvious to me that people who want to vote make the effort to vote and therefore showing ID (and bothering to get their ID) shouldn’t be a problem. 45% of the population doesn’t give a shit about voting. how are they being disenfranchised when they don’t give a shit?

  3. 3
    beltane says:

    This is just another tactic in their long term strategy to discredit government. The more segments of society that are barred from voting, the less legitimate the resulting government becomes. A government that is run by the wingnuts and for the wingnuts is a government that has become an illegitimate regime, worthy of scorn and ripe for destruction.

  4. 4
    FlipYrWhig says:

    As usual, what rank-and-file Republicans fear is a legion of shadowy people, somewhere out there, living it up on welfare, and voting to give themselves even more free stuff.

  5. 5
    Alex S. says:

    It’s terrible and it should be a crime, but it’s just the beginning. And at some point people will have to care, but they don’t.

  6. 6
    Mike says:

    The Republicans aren’t paying a political price for ANYTHING at the moment, and it’s incredibly frustrating. It must be incredibly liberating for them to not have to actually be popular to win. They can do whatever the hell they want and get rewarded for it. It’s really disappointing!

  7. 7
    Short Bus Bully says:

    This is what I can do. I don’t have much money and not a lot of free time, but I can help register people to vote. Honestly, at this stage of our democracy being active and helping to get everyone registered to vote would feel subversive.

    Sad and awesome at the same time.

  8. 8
    Jim Pharo says:

    “If your cynical, jaded self recognizes only one difference between the GOP and the Democrats, it’s that the GOP wants to make voting as difficult and as exclusive as possible.”

    And the Democrats are fighting this tooth and nail? The WH is all over this?

    Color me cynical and jaded. The difference between us is that you believe that some kind of a turn-around is possible through adequately militant, persistent and organized activism. I know no such thing will ever happen. The giant vampire squid will be vanquished only after we sustain catastrophic cataclysms of one sort or another. When has it ever been otherwise?

    I’m edging to the POV that, like the Rapturists, calls fora hastening of our troubles to bring about the denoument all the more quickly. Perry for President!

  9. 9
    Baud says:

    @Jim Pharo: People like you are the source of Republican power.

  10. 10
    Upper West says:

    Where is the national Democratic organization to fight this on a state-by-state basis? Where is the reincarnation of an ACORN to fight this?

    I will give money. I will make calls.

    Where do I go?

  11. 11
    Tyro says:

    Baud, there’s no point going to bat for people who don’t want to defend themselves. I mean, I don’t like voter suppression, either, but there side cares a lot about suppressing voters, and our side doesn’t care about fighting it and isn’t going to support pushback against it. It’s like venture capital and entrepreneurship: I’m not going to waste my time starting a company that doesn’t have customers and investors interested in supporting it.

    Elect some politicians who care about stopping GOP voter suppression and consider it a moral offense, and find some think tanks and big money donors willing to put up some cash and organizational might behind it, and I’ll start caring. But the Democrats seem to be chasing after the white independent voters and they’re already registered.

  12. 12
    greenergood says:

    Please can you post some links about how this affects people with disabilities, cause I’ve a few links with good PWA sites but don’t know very much about this – esp in regard to voting rights. (I’m Us Citz but not resident in US.)

  13. 13
    hhex65 says:

    Hey, this is another great innovation taken from the old Confederate States of America, like the line item veto and term limits, they just want only “properly enfranchised residents” to vote– what’s so wrong with that?

  14. 14
    Jim Pharo says:

    @Baud: Yes, me and the other 120 people down here at Occupy Wall St. WE”RE the problem.

  15. 15
    MikeJ says:

    @Jim Pharo: lol the new get out of jail free card. Don’t blame me man, I’ve got a sign.

  16. 16
    Samara Morgan says:

    Excellent post.

  17. 17
    El Cid says:

    How about a contribution fund to re-launch ACORN, maybe ACORN II: SEED OF VENGEANCE.

  18. 18
    Jim Pharo says:

    Blame me if you like. I’d like to know where everybody else is?

    I’d also like to know which national Dems are leading the charge to resist this massive disenfranchisement. Chuck Schumer? Ben Nelson? Diane Feinstein? Jim Webb? Jon Tester?

    More and better dems would help, but I don’t think that’s going to be happening any time soon.

  19. 19
    ruemara says:

    @Baud:

    People like you are the source of Republican power the damned problem.

    FTFY

  20. 20
    singfoom says:

    This sucks. It needs to be fought on the local state and national level. I go back to my old standby about voting. We need to make federal elections a full federal and state holiday, every time people go to the polls for an federal election.

    This is a no brainer that would increase voter turnout, which is why it hasn’t been done as of yet…

  21. 21
    Citizen_X says:

    @Tyro:

    Elect some politicians who care about stopping GOP voter suppression and consider it a moral offense, and find some think tanks and big money donors willing to put up some cash and organizational might behind it, and I’ll start caring.

    Oh holy fuck. And this is going to happen without a popular movement backing it exactly how?

    This was linked to earlier today (h/t AA+ bonds). We need people in the streets and organizing these sort of (party-) independent campaigns. We need, yes, more and better Democrats elected. Neither course will effect change without the other.

  22. 22
    singfoom says:

    People please, don’t do the whole circular firing squad thing. That’s how we lose everything.

    Activists are needed IN the system and OUT in the streets. Don’t hate the other because you’re doing the other thing.

    People out in the street, we need activists working through the system to get legislation passed. People in the system, we need people out in the street to apply pressure. Stop hating…

  23. 23
    beltane says:

    @Citizen_X: We need a popular movement that is not going to curl up in fear in the face of attacks by the likes of Andrew Breitbart and the immoral scum that is our mainstream media.

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @Tyro:

    But the Democrats seem to be chasing after the white independent voters and they’re already registered. because they actually care about themselves.

    FTFY

    @Jim Pharo: Name me one voter suppression tactic in a Dem controlled state. Otherwise, where “everyone else is” is completely irrelevant.

  25. 25

    @Jim Pharo:

    How about this, then?

    http://planetpov.com/2011/09/2.....ppression/

    And while we’re at it, how about bringing this to the media’s attention? Because if all we’re going to do is sneer about how the Dems aren’t doing anything, then we’re still letting the Repubs get away with it.

    I understand your frustration, but damnit, it needs to be focused on letting the national Dems know about it, not cursing them out.

  26. 26
    Baud says:

    @singfoom:

    Activists are needed IN the system and OUT in the streets. Don’t hate the other because you’re doing the other thing.

    Since I may have started this thread war, let me just state that I agree. My problem isn’t with people who protest, it’s with people who protest against the things the Republicans support AND THEN DON’T SUPPORT DEMOCRATS IN ELECTIONS.

  27. 27
    Judas Escargot says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    I know no such thing will ever happen.

    No, you don’t.

    You assume.

  28. 28
    lacp says:

    @beltane: A popular movement that won’t curl up in fear from Breitbart? You mean like, say, ACORN? I don’t think they were afraid of Breitbart. Some other people were, though, people that were joining in votes of 83-7 and 85-11 in the Senate and 345-75 in the House to defund ACORN. Maybe those people are the problem.

  29. 29
    singfoom says:

    @Baud: Fair enough Baud. At the same time, we need better Democrats in general and that’s not a horrible thing to say.

  30. 30
    Marc says:

    Ignore the troll. He’s admitted that he wants Perry for president to speed up the glorious people’s revolution, thus marking him as an idiot not worth talking to.

    There is actually quite a bit to do, especially if you’re in one of the affected states.

    For example, if you’re in Ohio we need more people collecting signatures to get a sufficient buffer to put this on the ballot. The Ohio effort is also important because it’s one of the first cases where there has been organized push-back against the attack on voting rights.

    The Dept. of Justice is considering blocking the voter suppression bills in Texas and SC because of the racially discriminatory aspect (and the restrictions related to the Voting Rights Act.) If you’re from these states, lobby for such a ruling.

    Lobby the League of Women Voters, etc. to take a stand for voting rights. There are plenty of ways to contribute.

    This actually has broad appeal – after all, no one likes long election day lines, and the idea of making it more difficult to vote in the specific ways that they’re doing it is actually very hard to defend. (Try, with a straight face, to explain why banning early voting on the Sunday before elections is a good thing.)

  31. 31
    Tyro says:

    And this is going to happen without a popular movement backing it exactly how?

    That’s not the way it works, though I guess for all you guys chanting, “don’t get angry, organize!” it sounds attractive. If the Dems want to send themselves down the drain by standing by in the face of voter suppression, there’s really not that much I can do about it. Sure, I could stand outside somewhere with a sign, but unless the party and some patrons are going to make a full court press with money and daily talking points faxed to talking heads for them to repeat, I’m really wasting my time. There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of moral offense at the voter suppression movements in various states, so I’m really in no position to get involved, any more than I should be saving NPR to help a bunch of guys who think it’s their job to apologize to republicans.

    Find me a politician who’s going to oppose voter suppression, and I’ll support that guy! But the Democratic politicians are more in the category of benign neglect on this one. Sure it’s a reason to vote against republicans, but we are pissing in the wind, here: democrats don’t much care.

  32. 32
    beltane says:

    @lacp: Yes, they are part of the problem. What we need is a movement that is strong enough to serve as a backbone for the invertebrates among us.

  33. 33
    The Other Chuck says:

    If voter IDs are not 100% subsidized, it’s a poll tax. Period. Regardless of whether it’s ten dollars or one cent. I do not understand why there is any hesitation whatsoever to litigate on this fact alone.

  34. 34
    Catsy says:

    @Tyro:

    Elect some politicians who care about stopping GOP voter suppression and consider it a moral offense, and find some think tanks and big money donors willing to put up some cash and organizational might behind it, and I’ll start caring.

    You seem to have the order of cause and effect reversed here.

    If people who are aware of the GOP’s war against democracy don’t bother caring, the GOP will freely and happily continue fighting to make it impossible to elect politicians who are opposed to voter suppression.

    @Mike: It is astonishing just how little price the Republicans pay for their war against democracy. Their agenda is–openly and transparently–to make it harder for people to vote.

    Set aside all of their bleating about nonexistent voting fraud. Set aside the competing arguments about electronic voting. When you boil down the Republican position on voting rights to its most basic element, the common theme in all of their efforts is that they don’t want people to vote unless they’re going to vote Republican, and consider the disenfranchisement of legal votes and voters to be acceptable collateral damage if it lets them stop people from voting Democratic.

    It goes hand in hand with their relentless dependence on lying about nearly everything. They know when given all of the unbiased facts about a particular policy or issue, most Americans reject the Republican agenda. If every single American voter was neutrally and comprehensively educated about the issues, and if every politician was forced to wear a lie detector badge, you wouldn’t be able to elect a Republican dogcatcher in the deep South.

    It is incomprehensible to me why this is not a national scandal that taints and discredits the entire Republican party. The Republican war against voting rights is fundamentally anti-American by definition.

  35. 35
    gogol's wife says:

    @Baud:

    Thanks for saying it so I didn’t have to. My blood pressure can’t take it.

  36. 36
    gogol's wife says:

    And, Zandar, I’m enjoying your posts so far. They generate interesting discussions. (usual disclaimer that this is serious, not snark)

  37. 37
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Catsy: Fundamentally anti-American by your (and my) definition.

    There is a definite constituency for a very different kind of America, and a very different kind of franchise, and it’s a coin-toss whether that constituency gains control of all three branches of the government in a little over a year. Since its members tend to crawl over broken glass to get to polls that at least at present are reasonably open to all, they’ll probably get that coin to fall their way.

    As for the rest of us, hey, Send A Message….

  38. 38
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @singfoom: Good luck. Thereisnospoon said as much at Digby’s today, and was positively eviscerated in the comments for his troubles.

  39. 39
    Tyro says:

    This actually has broad appeal

    You dont really talk to voters, do you? They generally think that othe voters are idiots and don’t think that idiots should vote. Voter suppression has very broad, appeal, actually, since by its nature, the broad swath of people who vote regularly aren’t affected by it. I’ve pretty much realized that Democrats are comfortable with minority status and are wary of creating and maintaining institutions that give them a strong base because they ultimately don’t want to be answerable to them. Sure, they’d LIKE more voters, but if those marginal voters can’t get to the polls, it’s not like they’re bothered by it, since the goal is “white middle class independents” who are unaffected by voter suppression tactics in the first place.

    One part cares a LOT about voter suppression. One party doesn’t care much at all. The natural advantage is to the party that gives a damn about the issue. I’m going to concentrate my time on supporting causes and institutions that people care about defending. I don’t have time for lost causes and honorable losses. Sorry!

    I think it’s a better use of one’s time to figure out what the democratic party can accomplish in a vote-suppressed environment. Any opposition to voter suppression has to be carried out on the very local and state level. There’s not much to be done about this on a nation-wide scale.

  40. 40
    Samara Morgan says:

    @Tyro: well..the interesting question is if the teabaggerGOPlibertarian party can get greater than or equal to 65% of the white (NHC) vote with their voter suppression tactics.
    Because otherwise they looooooooooze.

  41. 41
    ABL says:

    @El Cid: hahahahaha. brilliant.

    A bunch of us are organizing a voter registration drive to coincide with the various Occupy protests popping up all over the country.

    i spent hours yesterday compiling a page (which will eventually be turned into a OWS_wiki) so that we can get voter registration teams onna ground to register occupiers.

    A bunch of folks who have more experience than I have chimed in and said they would help.

    My view is that as many people as possible should register to vote. A GOTV drive now is a good place to start while the OWS folks sort themselves out in the various General Assemblies.

    Link here.

  42. 42
    Marc says:

    @Tyro:

    I’ve circulated petitions for the repeal effort here in Ohio, and had conversations with people about it. So, yes, I speak from actual personal experience here. And this is something that honestly bothers even Republicans.

    The rank-and-file prefer to think they’re a majority, not that they want to win by preventing the other team from voting. The Ohio law involves things like restricting early voting, not IDs or precautions against fraud. It’s utterly transparent voter suppression. We can use that effectively.

  43. 43
    some guy says:

    Restrictions on early voting in Florida have pissed off a lot of seniors, and as noted above, publicizing this fact, and the Republicans behind the move, may be a way to strip some seniors away from the Florida GOP.

    Besides voter registration folks like the League of Women Voters and other googoo groups should be enlisted to fight back against voter suppression, with a followup from more openly partisan groups making clear that this is Republican suppression.

  44. 44
    lacp says:

    @ABL: That sounds like a really good idea. It will be interesting to see how it plays out – wonder how many OWS participants are already registered?

  45. 45
    Yevgraf says:

    The answer isn’t in the nebulous fight – its in registering voters, and staying on them to keep addresses up and to know their polling places in states that matter.

    My state is a lost cause, but I’m more than happy to transport voters in Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Gary or Indianapolis come November 2012.

  46. 46
    boss bitch says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    And the Democrats are fighting this tooth and nail? The WH is all over this?

    President Obama: I Have Made Sure DOJ Examines State Anti-Voter Laws

    http://thinkprogress.org/justi.....on-voting/

    Obama Justice Department Will Weigh In On South Carolina, Texas Laws

    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpoi.....d_laws.php

    I’ve also seen a few op-eds written by Democrats on this issue.

  47. 47
    boss bitch says:

    @Jim Pharo:

    And the Democrats are fighting this tooth and nail? The WH is all over this?
    President Obama: I Have Made Sure DOJ Examines State Anti-Voter Laws
    http://thinkprogress.org/justi…..on-voting/

    Obama Justice Department Will Weigh In On South Carolina, Texas Laws
    http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpoi…..d_laws.php

    I’ve also seen a few op-eds written by Democrats on this issue.

  48. 48
    matryoshka says:

    @ FlipYrWhig: “a legion of shadowy people, somewhere out there, living it up on welfare, and voting to give themselves even more free stuff.”
    You mean congress, right?

    I’m trained to register anyone in IL to vote, and I am a precinct committeeman for my township. I register people, deliver campaign materials, make sure all the Dems in my ‘hood know where & when to vote (and help them get there if I can), and just basically serve as a liaison between my neighbors and the Democratic Party. It’s not a particularly difficult job, and it’s very rewarding.

  49. 49
    Lojasmo says:

    @Tyro:

    What a moronic statement. I vote in every. Single. Election, and although I think lots of people are stupid, EVERY citizen that wants to do so, should be able to vote…bar none.

  50. 50
    Chris says:

    @Lojasmo:

    This.

    Frankly, I don’t think most people know what the hell they’re voting for. But it’s still their country, so they get to vote. It’s that simple.

  51. 51
    TooManyJens says:

    I smell ratfucking. You people are going to come here and tell us not to bother giving a shit about Republicans taking away people’s right to vote? Really? And you think we’ll buy it? Fuck off.

  52. 52
    Emerald says:

    @ABL: This. We can fight this.

    I’ve been arguing for some time that this is the Republican’s endgame: restrict voting rights to the point where they achieve their Permanent Republican Majority simply because Democrats aren’t allowed to vote. In fact, they have to do it. The demographics will wipe them out in the next two decades other than in ruby red states and districts. They have to stop all those new black and brown voters.

    I wrote that on TVP, and got a response that said, “We’re not going back. We’ll fight.” Bravo.

    Make no mistake though. If the Obama loses in 2012 (I don’t see that happening), the Rs will get at least two Supreme Court justices. Their brand new SCOTUS will find the Voting Rights Act unconstitutional, probably based on states’ rights. I mean, they appointed a whole president, and did Citizen’s United, and got clean away with all of it. They will make sure that Republicans are the only ones who can vote.

    And then we can start all over again.

    Barbara Tuchman said Every successful revolution puts on in time the robes of the tyrant it has deposed.

    If the Rs win next time, we’re back to ground zero. They’ll do it by eliminating voting rights.

  53. 53
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @TooManyJens:

    I’ve been smelling stinky rat around here for some time now, with much of the stench rising from people who are portraying themselves as progressives. I like the ‘I’m on the ground in NY, what are you doing?’ angle…lol! That’s a nice twist to try and shut people up.

    Yup, they are on the ground at the NY protests demanding change yet they don’t want to fight voter suppression because the White House and Democrats aren’t interested in fighting it.

    I guess consistency isn’t necessary when fucking a rat.

  54. 54
    slightly-peeved says:

    The people who aren’t interested in voting are from groups that are far more likely to vote for the left. A lot of Democrats are fighting for this, and those that aren’t are idiots. Increasing the voting public moves the Overton window, without fail.

  55. 55
    ABL says:

    @matryoshka: can i enlist your help with the occupy chicago protests, once we get to that point?

    i need basic help like “who the hell do i call to get a voter registration team on the ground?”

    if so, you can shoot me an email at stopthemadness@angryblacklady.com

    thanks!

  56. 56
    Chris says:

    @Emerald:

    I’ve been arguing for some time that this is the Republican’s endgame: restrict voting rights to the point where they achieve their Permanent Republican Majority simply because Democrats aren’t allowed to vote. In fact, they have to do it. The demographics will wipe them out in the next two decades other than in ruby red states and districts. They have to stop all those new black and brown voters.

    This.

    The first person I heard talk about this was (of course) Paul Krugman in “Conscience of a Liberal,” who mentioned that as the country became less conservative, voter suppression could very well rise as the only way left for movement conservatives to fight back.

    Sitting here a few years later, I would say he called it.

  57. 57
    Tyro says:

    I smell ratfucking. You people are going to come here and tell us not to bother giving a shit about Republicans taking away people’s right to vote?

    I care about vote suppression the same way I care about the fact that we don’t have high speed rail: a tragedy, but one that i accept that the forces arrayed against it are much stronger than the forces arrayed in favor. The best I can do is work on the local level for better bicycle lanes and maybe streetcars. Or maybe it’s in the same category as defunding NPR– NPR isn’t interested in defending itself, so maybe I should go off in search of a cause that needs my help.

    Look, Obama had to have known that the nation was under direct threat from republicans taking power and needed organized activists fighting agains them on multiple fronts, but he and the party didn’t really care enough about that. The republican party really, really, really cares. It’s basically a matter of choosing your battles.

    If someone wants to start a well funded national organization to lobby for and push voter access legislation, then I’m all aboard, though. Just keep in mind that the democratic leadership doesn’t care, here: we are on our own. I care about voting rights as a moral issue, but it’s not a partisan thing: the democratic party doesn’t really care, so I know this is more about lending “moral support” while rights get trampled. If the Democratic party wants to great an infrastructure dedicated to opposing this, great, but it is obviously a secondary concern. I’m tired of seeing activists and partisans blamed for insufficient purity for something that is the fault of the democratic party political establishment to actually be concerned about and back with money and resources.

  58. 58
    ABL says:

    @Emerald: exactly. and this is precisely why i’m so frustrated with the “BURN IT DOWN” wing of the OWS protests. if we don’t keep the white house and senate, there will be no reforming wall street.

    NONE.

    and there are a lot of new folks on twitter popping up trying to sow seeds of discontent among dems, libs, progs, or whatever brand of lefty you fancy yourself.

    anyone who is saying “i’m going to vote for perry” is a ratfucker.

    full stop.

    it makes absolutely no sense for a person to be fervently “occupying wherever” while at the same time being hostile to GOTV.

    i’ve had people tell me “get your agenda out of OWS.” these people are ratfuckers. i make no apologies for being a staunch obamalover, but i’m simply trying to register people to vote. not register them as “obamacrats” or whatever.

    breitbart, in fact, is astroturfing his ASS off. yesterday one of his idiots sent a message around to a bunch of the #p2 folks that said “Monday is Bretibart is a Douche Day. Make sure to RT using #Breitbartisadouchebag.” When I called the dude out on it, saying “so breitbart has to get a bunch of lefties to call him an asshole so that he can then cry about how mean lefties are?”

    Breitbart himself then popped up in my stream, made some asinine comment that he thought was clever (which was a miserable fail), and then oh so earnestly asked me “do you really think i’m associated with that guy?”

    in either event, that guy stopped tweeting as soon as i called him out. coincidence? maybe.

    And then Dana Perino tweeted some crack about “how many protesters at occupy wall streeet are sipping on 5 dollar lattes.”

    they are nervous, i think, because this is a grassroots movement that they don’t control (unlike the scooter Don’t Tread on Me crowd.)

  59. 59
    debbie says:

    @ Kay:

    Sherrod Brown is doing robo-calls to tell you-all this :)

    I got one of those on Saturday. When are they going to figure out not to start the taped message until the voice mail beeps? I only got the last part of the message, enough to just catch the location and recognize that gravely voice.

    Happily, though, when I went to sign the petition (on a windy street corner beside a library), they said that there was a really big turnout.

  60. 60
    kay says:

    Debbie:
    Thanks for going. If it comes down to one valid signature, I’ll have a heart attack.

    Brown has been great. He’s done two conference calls on just this issue. He’s heard my spiel before, but he patiently listened to it again.
    Democrats are as alarmed and engaged on this as I’ve ever seen. They’re finally taking it seriously.

  61. 61
    BruinKid says:

    And you guys heard what’s happening in Colorado, right? The Republican Secretary of State is forbidding the Pueblo County clerk from mailing ballots to our soldiers serving overseas… IF they didn’t vote in 2010. Pueblo County just happens to be one of the more Democratic counties in Colorado, which Obama won by 15 points in 2008.

  62. 62
    debbie says:

    I wouldn’t worry. Every petition to repeal something else instituted by the Insane Clown Posse has had an overwhelming response. I don’t believe the Republican petition drives can say the same thing.

    Anti-SB 5 just started a new ad here with a nurse addressing how SB% will adversely affect staffing levels. I’m still not seeing any of these ads addressing the fact that public employees don’t get Social Security, even though someone here said that they had.

    Considering Kasich’s latest ad says that he just wants them to pay what the rest of Ohioans pay, it would be a real opportunity to catch him out in a lie.

    Now, how do we get a recall going on Niehaus?!

  63. 63
    kay says:

    Debbie,
    I think the petitions were a great idea, but a huge gamble, too.
    If we lose we’re going to have some seriously sad Democrats.
    I’m glad you’re confident. I can’t tell any more. I was shocked we got 317k.
    I expected we would’nt make 231.

  64. 64
    btom89 says:

    One possible approach to attack any voter suppression law on a legal basis, especially where it concerns disenfranchising voters with disabilities, would be the fact any such law would conflict with the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, ironically signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. I really don’t know why any one would screw with any disabled person for any reason whatsoever…..

  65. 65
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @btom89:

    I really don’t know why any one would screw with any disabled person for any reason whatsoever…..

    Fetish? They’re a Republican? Both?

  66. 66
    West of the Cascades says:

    Just to make more explicit what “12 battleground states” we are talking about, here is the explanatory footnote from the Brennan Center report (omitting the cite to the LA Times article):

    The 12 states identified as “swing states” are Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Nevada, North Carolina, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Virginia. …

    The five of those states that cut back on voting rights are Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Nevada, and Ohio. The four of those states with pending legislation are Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

    [yes, Georgia is listed twice in the footnote – I can’t tell easily what the actual other battleground state with pending legislation really is — the whole report is at http://brennan.3cdn.net/9c0a03.....6bj6d0.pdf — probably it is Arizona]

    I live in Oregon and am trying to figure out how I might take a few months off next year to do something positive for this next election (stump for a worthy House or Senate candidate while saying “oh, by the way, you also HAVE to vote to re-elect President Obama”). I’m starting to look at Nevada (close to Oregon, I have friends I can mooch off of in Las Vegas) or Georgia (Mom lives there) as places that might be worth my time. Nevada is probably more likely to be a swing to the Democratic column that could be hurt by anti-voting laws (Georgia, I’ll assume, is one that the President is not likely to contest that hard).

    I think about doing this based on the likelihood that Oregon is firmly in the President’s column, my own representative here is certain to get elected, and I don’t feel great about the one Democratic representative who might face (Kurt Schrader) who might face a legitimate fight. Redistricting and David Wu’s resignation might change that, but it feels like maybe going to another state might amplify the chance to make a difference.

    I don’t know if I will actually end up doing this – but the more I’ve thought about this mess we are in politically the last six months, the more I agree with ABL and Zandar that (1) keeping the Senate and getting the House is about as important a thing as we can do as Democrats, maybe even more than keeping the White House and (2) these voting restriction laws are one of the biggest threats to making (1) happen.

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