That’s The Whole Point of the Voter ID Laws

For the GOP’s deep thinker, this Paul guy is kind of slow:

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky on Friday broke with fellow Republicans who have pushed for stricter voting laws as a way to crack down on fraud, saying the party was alienating and insulting African-Americans.

“Everybody’s gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing,” Mr. Paul said in an interview on Friday, adding that much of the bitterness in the debate over voting rights was wrapped up in race. “I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people.”

Mr. Paul traveled to Memphis — a mostly black city and a Democratic stronghold with its own painful racial history — to speak at the spring meeting of the Republican National Committee. But before he talked to his fellow Republicans, he sat down with a group of black pastors to discuss his views on voting, public education and antipoverty policy.

That’s the whole fucking point of these laws. To alienate minorities and the poor, depress them, keep the boot on their necks to satisfy your Galtian voter base, and to keep them out of the poll booth, because Republicans know they are trying to sell them a shit sandwich. For fuck’s sake, Ryan.

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62 replies
  1. 1
    Bitter and Deluded Lurker says:

    Ryan?

  2. 2

    I meant Paul. Thanks.

  3. 3

    I seriously think I saw Paul and connected it with Ryan. I just stuck out my tongue, so I’m not having a stroke.

  4. 4
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Bitter and Deluded Lurker:

    Ryan, Rand, Iraq, Iran.

    There’s a difference?

  5. 5
    Trollhattan says:

    Have they ever been seen in one place at the same….?

  6. 6
    Wag says:

    Good for Rand. Stuck clock, but still

  7. 7
    Ian says:

    The only difference between the Pauls is that one gets that they need African American support to get elected. Policy wise, they both advocate gutting any kind of public assistance to ‘those people’.

  8. 8
    Sly says:

    “It’s hurting the Republican brand” is not the same as “it is a wholly unnecessary infringement on a deeply cherished personal liberty,” but I suppose its progress of a kind….

    After his meeting with the pastors, Mr. Paul traveled a few blocks down the street to address the gathering of Republicans. But he made no mention of voting rights there.

    … or not.

  9. 9
    MattF says:

    @Wag: Well, “I’m sympathetic but I’m not actually going to say anything to my Republican brethren about it” isn’t even quite up to the stopped clock standard.

  10. 10
    dedc79 says:

    I actually think it’s reasonably savvy of him. What’s the downside? He’s not going to lose Republican votes for having said what he said, he’ll still benefit from his party’s minority/student/elderly disenfranchisement efforts, and maybe he picks off a couple of votes for being all “mavericky”

    Don’t get me wrong. I despise the guy and would never vote for him, I just think it’s a smarter move on his part than you give him credit for.

  11. 11
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Paul’s hoping that talking about (as opposed to actually doing something about) Voter ID will provide him some cover for when he votes to impeach Obama next year over Benghazi!

    If you think Rand Paul gives a flying fuck about African-Americans I have a binder full of bridges to sell you.

  12. 12
    MattF says:

    @Hunter Gathers: Since Paul is a Senator, any vote he’d take would be to convict, not to impeach.

  13. 13
    Violet says:

    “I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people.”

    Note that he says it’s wrong because people’s feelings are getting hurt. It’s not wrong because it’s wrong. It’s not wrong because it hurts people financially and denies them their right to vote. It’s wrong because it makes them feel bad.

    If Rand Paul can find a way to keep the darkies from voting while making them feel good about it he’ll be all for that.

  14. 14
    Hal says:

    Mr. Paul’s remarks seemed certain to stir concern among Republicans over whether the senator, a libertarian-minded ophthalmologist who entered public office only three years ago, is the kind of presidential candidate who can appeal to the conservative voters who have so much influence in selecting the nominee.

    BTW, wouldn’t he have to run for President or Senator, but not both under Kentucky law? Maybe he’s getting cold feet. This is the guy who was so irritated by criticism he once said he could always go back to being a Doctor.

    After his meeting with the pastors, Mr. Paul traveled a few blocks down the street to address the gathering of Republicans. But he made no mention of voting rights there. Instead, he hit on the message that the party needs to soften its edges and start being more sympathetic to groups that have felt overlooked and maligned by Republicans.

    Wake me up when he takes on his own folks.

  15. 15
    mai naem mobile says:

    I think Rand has had more recent experience with real people through his medical practice. Ryan has pretty much has had a political job all his life and he married a pretty wealthy wife so he really didn’t have to deal with real people. I do think Rand is not the sharpest knife in the drawer though. I wonder if he got into his med school because of his dad being a doc or ifs he’s just book smart and that’s it.

  16. 16
    mai naem mobile says:

    I think Rand has had more recent experience with real people through his medical practice. Ryan has pretty much has had a political job all his life and he married a pretty wealthy wife so he really didn’t have to deal with real people. I do think Rand is not the sharpest knife in the drawer though. I wonder if he got into his med school because of his dad being a doc or ifs he’s just book smart and that’s it.

  17. 17
    Baud says:

    Good for Paul. I can’t wait until he’s a U.S. Senator and can do something about this.

  18. 18
    Tokyokie says:

    @dedc79: He didn’t say that to impress the black pastors, who are not going to ask their congregations to vote for him. He did that so that dimwitted totebaggers won’t have a sadz voting for him because he’s distinguished himself from the howling monkeys in his party.

  19. 19
    Roger Moore says:

    That’s the whole fucking point of these laws.

    Not quite. The goal is to suppress their vote, and alienating them is just a side effect. It’s the basic dilemma of the Republican party these days. Their best chance in the short term is to suppress the minority vote, but unless they can go back to full Jim Crow that will spoil their chances in the long term by turning minorities permanently against them. The Republicans who say they need to court minorities aren’t necessarily wrong, but getting from where they are today to being an inclusive party that can get a meaningful minority vote is going to be a very painful process. I don’t think they’re going to go down that road until they’re forced to.

  20. 20
    Keith G says:

    On the surface, Senator Paul is trying to become the “more mainstream” oof the GOP contenders.

    It is an interesting turn brought on by fascinating events. While usually a GOPer would would be swerving hard right at this time, Paul has very good reasons for not doing this at this time. He needs to stay moderate-seeming enough to minimize a build up of significant support for Bush and/or Christy.

    With Christy wounded, the Paul team are probably shitting themselves over their wonderful fortune. They have a (seemingly) path to the nomination. But they need to run close enough to the mainstream to lower passion for Jeb.

    Watching Paul maneuver through the mine fields ahead of him will be fun times. If he succeeds, he will earn some cred as a decent politician, but that won’t be enough for his larger goal.

  21. 21
    Keith G says:

    A deleted doble postre

  22. 22
    MazeDancer says:

    Memphis is not a “Democratic stronghold”. Or a “mostly black city”. This is true, if you only technically count the city borders. From which white people fled, abandoning the schools. It is a geographically huge city/county area – basically Shelby County – full or racist, white Republicans. Like the entire state. (Why, yes, I do have family there. And a childhood from which I fled.) Memphis is HQ to large parts of Mississippi and Arkansas as well.

    Memphis is a “Democratic Stronghold” in the sense that brave, strong, amazing Democrats have always fought hatred and advanced the Civil Rights movement there. But those quotes in the article make Memphis sound like Austin in the middle of Texas. That is laughable.

    There are promising signs of life in downtown Memphis along the Mississippi River. And young people are hope for a better future, as they are everywhere. But right now, racism still reigns. Tennessee is a red, red, red, red state for several reasons: White people with lots of money – and, no kidding, family Civil War memories – full of hate. And much right wing Christianist hate.

    Memphis and Tennessee, however, are good places for anyone to discuss how can areas throughout the South with African-American majorities in population still keep electing racist, right wing Caucasians state wide? Voter disenfranchisement could be part of that discussion, for sure.

  23. 23
    Chris says:

    I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people.

    Ah, so typical. Why should we get rid of the voter ID laws? Because they’re making it harder to vote for tons of people while remedying a nonexistent problem? Why, no. It’s because “it offends people.”

    They really are the equivalent of a child who’s old enough to know not to do X, Y and Z because then Mommy gets very angry and that’s no good at all, but can’t understand yet why the thing is actually wrong.

    Ah, well. Still better than if he’d stayed the course.

  24. 24
    LanceThruster says:

    Kitty Farmer: Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion.

  25. 25
    Keith G says:

    @Baud:

    Good for Paul. I can’t wait until he’s a U.S. Senator and can do something about this.

    Since it is a state issue, not much a junior US Senator from the minority party can do. Speaking out (whatever his real intentions) is the strongest arrow in his quiver.

  26. 26
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ian: ding ding ding!

  27. 27
    MattF says:

    In case yooze-all was wondering where Paul stood on BENGHAAAAZZZIII (via TPM):

    http://talkingpointsmemo.com/l.....nc-meeting

  28. 28
    jl says:

    It’s the devolution of Jack Kemp.

    Paul may be kind of slow, but not the way Cole implies. I guess some campaign strategist will explain to Paul soon how one gets elected to Republican anything these days.

  29. 29
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    AynRandPaulRyan

  30. 30
    PsiFighter37 says:

    I’m mildly amused by how hard Rand Paul is pandering to African-Americans, as if they would actually give the asshole who hires Stormfronters to ghostwrite all his shit a meaningful percentage of the vote.

    Or maybe it’s more amusing that this backwater clown thinks he has an actual shot at being president. If the world thought we were dunces for electing Dubya, imagine what they would think if Rand Paul was in the White House.

  31. 31
    Baud says:

    @Keith G:

    Join dems on a new voting rights act?

  32. 32
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Somewhat O/T: By any chance, does someone have a good link to the WSJ so I can read Peggy Noonan’s column for free?

    I know, I know. Charlie Pierce referenced it in his “Here’s Some Stupid for Lunch” today, but I can’t get in without registering, and I don’t want to do that. Call me masochistic, but I would like to read this column.

    Then I will gargle with Clorox, rinse my eyes with Lysol, and pretend it never happened.

    Thanks in advance.

  33. 33

    I live in Kentucky and watched Paul’s campaign. His acceptance speech when he won the primary promised never to abandon the tea party and tack to the middle. His first speech of the general election the next morning proclaimed he was a moderate who had never held extreme views. He’s just a bog standard liar like Romney. Saying different things to different audiences is what he does, and even a moron can see the GOP has a minority problem. Like Romney, his attempts to court all audiences will offend all audiences.

  34. 34
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    Like Romney, his attempts to court all audiences will offend all audiences.

    Back when I was a symphony orchestra manager, we used to say “A multi-purpose venue is a no-purpose venue.” A hundred years earlier, Gilbert & Sullivan had a line in The Gondoliers: “When everyone is somebody, then no one’s anybody!”

  35. 35
    Morzer says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    If you want to know the content of any Noonan column, throw up on your shoes, look down and scan the results.

  36. 36
    jl says:

    @Morzer: Any kind of drinky in particular needed for the throw-up, or just anything?

  37. 37
    Morzer says:

    @jl:

    Something involving luminescent red scariness would probably be a good starting-point.

    Also too: lots of vodka for that Cold War paranoia that never went away.

  38. 38
    JPL says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Did you see this It’s from a poll conducted by the AJC

    An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll that rolls out Saturday finds Democrats in an especially close race for the state’s top offices in November………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    The poll has Gov. Nathan Deal three percentage points ahead of Democrat Jason Carter, and finds that the governor’s approval ratings have fallen firmly below the 50 percent threshold.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
    Michelle Nunn, the Democratic front-runner in the Senate race, has built leads against each of the five top GOP Senate contenders in a potential November matchup, though her lead against businessman David Perdue is particularly narrow.

  39. 39
    muddy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I was saying the other day that it was my hope that in the future, schoolchildren will not be able to tell the difference between these, and always get it wrong on the test. Damnatio memoriae.

  40. 40
    WaynersT says:

    Rand lies…Rand lies when he cries
    also too: serial plagiarizer – anything to get elected

    and his name is Randal!

  41. 41
    Morzer says:

    @JPL:

    Time to turn sweet Georgia brown….

  42. 42
    muddy says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: If you don’t read it aloud then you only need the eye lysol.

  43. 43
    Morzer says:

    @WaynersT:

    Rand Paul lies when he breathes – it’s just second nature to him.

  44. 44
    TS says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    Google the article & click on the link – usually works – and took me to the article – and talk about rewriting history – Reagan had all the right motives – but not this administration.

  45. 45
    JPL says:

    @Morzer: The Koch brothers haven’t painted her as a baby killer yet, but they will.

  46. 46
    Groucho48 says:

    Gin is best

  47. 47
  48. 48
    chopper says:

    @Wag:

    lol, you think he actually believes all that bullshit he just said? the guy’s going to run for president FFS. the dude is going to be all lip service, all the time, until he gets his ass kicked in 2016.

  49. 49
    Morzer says:

    @JPL:

    You know, many babies are greatly improved by a little garlic and some fresh rosemary.

  50. 50
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @JPL:

    Thanks, JPL! I did see, and I’m very chuffed!

    I’ve been doing a fair amount of phone-banking recently, and am now officially signed up as a designated poll watcher on Primary Day. Am not all that happy about having to get up super-early on May 20th in order to drive 15+ miles to get to the polling place by 6:30 a.m. (and maybe stay until well past 8:00 p.m. depending on problems or lack thereof), but at the same time, am kind of excited about having a role beyond casting my own vote. And it will be far more exciting come November!

  51. 51
    Keith G says:

    @Baud: Disclaimer: I think Paul is as slippery and disingenuous as they come. Nonetheless Paul is working on a bill to restore suffrage to some (not all) felons. – so that is a start. Hopefully he will support the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014. S 1945 This bill was introduce by Leahy in Jan 2014 and was immediately referred to the Committee on the Judiciary where it has been sitting ever since with no action that I can find. Besides Leahy, the only other cosponsor is Durban.

    As odious as Paul is, he is far from the only one AWOL on this. There are 52 other Democrats who have yet to join this bill.

  52. 52
    Keith G says:

    Doubled, FYWP

  53. 53
    Chris says:

    @gocart mozart:

    I stopped going to that church largely because of the absence of Christianity (or as that commenter calls it, “Communism.”)* Sick to death of a church that preached the importance of social justice and taking care of the poor out of one corner of its mouth (where I actually heard it at Sunday school), but found every possible way to weasel out of its responsibilities, bent over backwards to weasel out of supporting things like the ACA that actually accomplished what they claimed to want, while excusing or turning a blind eye to every crime committed by their good buddies in the elite with no god but money. I am very far from being the only one who felt this way, or who left the Church because they were tired of these fucking charlatans in their palaces and mansions never practicing a word of what they preached. And I can say that a hell of a lot of these people are actually giving the Church another look precisely because it now seems to be run by someone who’s actually read the whole “that which you did not do for the least of me” passage.

    I still don’t have an opinion on whether Pope Francis is sincere or whether he’s just a pretty facade for the Vatican to get over its bad publicity, but if he’s pissing off the money-lenders posing as Jesus-followers, all I can say is good for him. The less of them are around to make things worse, the better.

    * Well, you know, that and the child-molesting thing.

  54. 54
    joeyess says:

    After his meeting with the pastors, Mr. Paul held a news conference and acknowledged that he still had a lot of work to do.After his meeting with the pastors, Mr. Paul held a news conference and acknowledged that he still had a lot of work to do. “Sometimes I get, ‘I like what you’re saying; I’m still not voting for you,’” he said with a laugh. “That’s why you’ve got to keep saying it.

    Brings to mind the incident when Crazy Uncle Liberty’s(!) sponge-haired spalpeen – h/t the great Charlie Pierce – While speaking to Mitch McConnell into an hot mic that all they had to do was stick to the talking points in regards to the debt ceiling and told McConnell “we can win this thing”.

  55. 55
    Bob says:

    Rand is a lot like his daddy. Ron Paul made a lot of sense on some issues, empire and useless foreign wars for example. But the big picture, he was a racist bigot gold bug idiot. Likewise with sonny Rand. He can talk sense, as with the voter ID bullshit but the big picture, he is a loon.

  56. 56
    kindness says:

    It’s nice that Paul said the GOP should drop Voter ID but notice he didn’t say he thought it was wrong. I mean, I appreciate that Rand doesn’t have his head stuffed fully up his ass. Just mostly up it.

    I’m curious what other Repubs and Teahaddist types say about what he said.

  57. 57
    danielx says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The goal is to suppress their vote, and alienating them is just a side effect. It’s the basic dilemma of the Republican party these days.

    Exactly. It’s not like they’re exactly worried about alienating black or brown people, now is it? It’s not like they’re going to lose any votes from anybody who might otherwise vote for Republicans by limiting access to the polls for Those People.

    To put the cherry on the sundae, Rand Paul probably just lost some potential votes through that proclamation, since to the best of my knowledge the only interest that Republicans have in talking about the mechanics of voting at all lies in making it more difficult. Did young Master Paul not get the memo, or what?

  58. 58
    danielx says:

    @gocart mozart:

    There are chemical waste dumps in the Region that aren’t as toxic as that comments section.

  59. 59
    Chris says:

    @Bob:

    The Pauls are the Barry Goldwater of our age – extreme right wing fucking nutjob most of the time, except for a couple of fairly visible issues (abortion and gay rights for Goldwater, drugs and the war on terror for the Pauls).

  60. 60
    Jason Stokes says:

    Rand Paul has realised that the Blahs might soon be in a position to be Virginia’s pivotal demographic, like the Jews in Florida, and that has him and the entire right pissing his pants.

  61. 61

    […] Yes, the possibility of impeachment is in the air – even without grounds for impeachment talk of it mobilizes the base. The midterm elections are coming, and John McCarthy at Balloon Juice is quite blunt about Paul’s voter-ID change of heart: […]

  62. 62
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Conservatives have had idle fantasies since forever of winning back black voters for the Republican Party over their imagined social/religious conservatism.

    It’s not going to work, of course. For one thing, African-American support for conservative positions on hot-button issues like gay rights is eroding rapidly. For another, they know exactly what all the demagoguing about the spiritual desolation of welfare mothers really means, and they’re never going to buy it. Black churches are the mirror image of white evangelical ones when it comes to political involvement: when they turn out their parishioners they vote Democratic, and they know perfectly well that that’s why Republicans keep trying to limit early voting on Sundays.

    The Republicans could get them back someday, but it’d involve tearing down the party and rebuilding it again as something entirely different with the same name, kind of like what happened to the Democrats in the middle of the last century.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Yes, the possibility of impeachment is in the air – even without grounds for impeachment talk of it mobilizes the base. The midterm elections are coming, and John McCarthy at Balloon Juice is quite blunt about Paul’s voter-ID change of heart: […]

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