If there’s an upside to restrictive voting laws, it’s the organizing that’s going on around voter protection:

Here’s a challenge for all who insist that voter ID will pose no special hardship for certain voters in Texas. How about you help make sure that is as true as you think it is? VoteRiders is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group that will focus on helping those voters in Harris County without photo IDs to get them.
Helping folks get these IDs will mean helping a whole lot of them get the documents needed to get those “free” state IDs, called Election Identification Certificates in Texas. I’ve put quote marks around “free” because the documents to get them are decidedly not.
Those are a lot of ifs and a lot of effort involved, which is the point — folks sitting out elections. No one should. This is why VoteRiders exist.
California attorney Kathleen Unger formed the organization because she saw state after state rolling out voter ID and recognized what a whole lot of folks did. People who were voting, suddenly wouldn’t. And folks without the proper ID might never.
VoterRiders has hired a Texas coordinator, Marianela Acuña Arreaza, lately involved in the Texas Civic Engagement Table’s “Got ID, Texas” campaign.

Here’s VoteRiders:

VoteRiders is focused on making sure that no eligible citizen is denied his or her right to vote for lack of ID.

Here’s an interview with VoteRiders founder Kathleen Unger.

And here’s a Cleveland effort focused on Latino voters:

The “Es Nuestro Turno, It’s Our Turn” outreach project is a continuation of efforts to register Spanish-speaking Latino voters and encourage them to head to the polls. The initiative includes a follow-up effort to see if those voters actually cast ballots in order to measure its success.
The outreach project is a collaborative effort between the board of elections bilingual coordinator, other elections agency staff, volunteers from Latino community groups, and faith-based leaders who work within the Hispanic community.
The Spanish Language Advisory Board of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections is spearheading the effort. The Latino community has had a long-standing problem of very low turn-out in all elections. As a result, Latinos have minimized their influence in choosing their elected officials, especially among the Spanish-speaking community.

102 replies
  1. 1
    debbie says:

    I cannot wait to hear Bill Sikes thunder his objections in the Ohio Legislature. His giant glasses will shatter.

  2. 2
    WereBear says:

    I’ve long hoped that such voter suppression would rile up the opposition.

    I know every time we get mad at a Republican we put a quarter in the pig… goes to OFA.

    We had to make it a quarter or we’d go broke.

  3. 3
    Baud says:

    I don’t know, Kay. I can’t imagine all this stuff is more useful than whining about things on a blog.

  4. 4
    shelley says:

    How soon before the Right calls them ‘thugs.’

  5. 5
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, the VoteRiders are going to get in conflict with the “Truth the Vote” people who have determined that the only way Obama got elected was by sending busloads of immigrants, green card or no, to polling places to stuff ballot boxes. No, really, that’s what these cretins think.

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @shelley: -5 days ago, probably.

  7. 7
    Kay says:


    The Cleveland effort is interesting because it’s just a straight-forward, unapologetic effort for registration and turnout, which up until about 2000 was accepted as a Good Thing. Then all of sudden the state encouraging voting became wildly controversial. Promoting voting used to be like encouraging people to go the library. It wasn’t something anyone could possibly disagree with, even if they tried to find fault: “going to the library is …good, I guess”.

    It’d be nice if it went back in that direction. It used to be the norm that more participation was Our Shared Goal. I mean, Congress once passed a law called the Help America Vote Act and it wasn’t that long ago.

  8. 8
    Baud says:


    That was directed at myself more than anyone else, lest anyone think I was slamming Kay.

  9. 9
    gratuitous says:

    Next phase of voter identification war: Laws passed by Republican legislatures that make it illegal for anyone except the voter to pay for the papers necessary to get a card.

    For those of us who remember the voter registration drives, the Republicans first got involved by signing people up, then trashing any registration that wasn’t the right party. After a law was passed that said every card turned in to a group had to be forwarded to the county registrar. So Republicans started filling out cards for “Mickey Mouse” or “Haywood Jablome,” then running breathless exposes of groups like ACORN, who were clearly trying to inflate the voter rolls. When groups began flagging suspicious cards for the benefit of the county registrars, Republicans pivoted immediately to say that the groups were “weeding out” voters. Then came the voter ID scam.

    It has to be exhausting thinking up all these new ways to screw people over.

  10. 10
    Baud says:


    I don’t things will change until the rest of the country unites against the GOP.

  11. 11
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It’s True the Vote. I wish it was Truth the Vote, although I don’t know what “true the vote” is supposed to mean, either. Our vote was a lie? Our voters are liars?

    Hopefully they’ve learned some Ohio election law since their last trip to the state. Read the rules, True the Vote.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay: Yeah, “True the Vote”…that is, make it so Rethugs win. The only TRUE elected official is a Rethuglican. Democrats are, by their very nature, illegitimate. Clinton and Obama are usurpers.

  13. 13
    Mnemosyne says:


    Well, they do have a “donate” page. Just sayin’. :-)

    ETA: Also, too, it won’t help to unite against the Republicans if the people who want to vote against the Republicans are barred from voting.

  14. 14
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    Thanks for this, Kay. They seem like a good outfit. I sent them some funds. Here’s hoping they get enough support to make a difference.


  15. 15
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    As Jamila Gatlin waited in line at a northside Milwaukee elementary school gym to cast her ballot June 5 in the proposed recall of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, she noticed three people in the back of the room. They were watching, taking notes.
    Officially called “election observers,” they were white. Gatlin, and almost everyone in line, was black.
    “That’s pretty harassing right there, if you ask me,” Gatlin said in the hall outside the gym. “Why do we have to be watched while we vote?”
    Two of the observers were from a group based more than 1,000 miles away called True the Vote, an initiative that grew out of the Houston Tea Party known as the King Street Patriots. Their goal is to prevent voter fraud, which the group and founder Catherine Engelbrecht claim is preventing “free and fair” elections.
    Two months earlier, at True the Vote’s second national summit in Houston, more than 300 people from 32 states were transfixed by Engelbrecht and an array of conservative speakers.
    “You have all been chosen because you are all warriors,” the 42-year-old mother of two said to cheers at Houston’s Sheraton Brookhollow hotel.

    Milwaukee plays a central role in voter fraud folklore. Listen to any of them long enough and you’ll end up at Milwaukee.

    They said they had a million election observers in 2012, which is just absolute bullshit. A million poll watchers is a huge lift, and they spent most of their time not organizing but holding conventions with the usual roster of conservative grifters. Their big convention drew 300 people. They went from 300 people to A MILLION observers, supposedly. The claims were just ridiculous.

  16. 16
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Great post. I definitely will be donating to VoteRiders. Very important to get out the votes this year and 2016.

  17. 17
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: Every allegation of voter fraud in Milwaukee has been chased down and discredited. The other fun Wisconsin voter fraud complaint was the rumor that buses full of “black” people were being rolled into Racine to vote illegally during the recall – not a bit of truth in that one either. Nevertheless, the GAB plastered Milwaukee and Racine with senior people as did the Feds and both parties. Guess what they found? A few of the minor screw-ups that occur in every election and not fraud at all. The GAB folks and the Feds were not there because of any suspicions of fraud, but rather because they expected allegations were going to be made by the usual subjects and wanted to have people on the spot immediately following any complaint.

  18. 18
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Kay: I heard they were going to have between 10 and 30 million observers in Milwaukee next election.

  19. 19
    Punchy says:

    3….2….1….and here’s the Texas statute outlawing these groups that assist voters in getting their proper IDs.

    Just wait. They’re coming.

  20. 20
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Every allegation of voter fraud in Milwaukee has been chased down and discredited. The other fun Wisconsin voter fraud complaint was the rumor that buses full of “black” people were being rolled into Racine to vote illegally during the recall – not a bit of truth in that one either.

    Of course it has. I could do a full week of posts on huge voter fraud scandals that turned out to be perfectly ordinary minor screw ups, just like one would expect with a state recording process that is conducted once or twice a year and staffed with what are essentially volunteers. Forget “voting”. It’s not even unique to voting. Anyone who has ever worked in a low level customer service job knows that half your day is spent explaining things over and over to people.

    For the longest time though it didn’t matter. It seemed like it would never matter, but then in 2011 and 2012 it really shifted and media started looking at the claims and following up. It’s satisfying to watch and it also gives one hope on other zombie lies. It took a decade but they were slowly discredited. I remember when the Georgia and Indiana laws went in, and then when the Indiana law went to the Supreme Court. The whole narrative is different now. They finally, finally have to defend these laws with something other than vague accusations and dog-whistles.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    just like one would expect with a state recording process that is conducted once or twice a year and staffed with what are essentially volunteers.

    And overwhelmingly elderly and committed to doing things exactly the way they did when they first volunteered in 1966.

    ETA: Not a criticism of them, just an observation.

  22. 22
    rikyrah says:

    thanks for another voting rights update, Kay.

  23. 23
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’m a sub now. They’ve apparently forgiven me for my outbursts in the 2008 primary so they begged and I agreed.

    After 2008 primary I resigned by sending a fax in a fit of self-pity. I got incredibly cranky in the 2008 primary (where, incidentally, Republicans were violating the law by taking a Dem ballot) and it was downright hostile. My husband was joking he was going to have to get me out of jail before that day was over.

    I hate the “belt and suspenders” people. “WHY are you asking him for more? He GAVE you the document”. I’m sympathetic to what I see as peoples humiliation at being pulled out of line for an interrogation. I think that’s such a horrible way to look at the world, where you get a little power and you immediately go crazy with it and think you can start excluding people or bugging them. I was livid for like 18 hours straight. Maybe they’ll never call me as a sub. I don’t think I can handle it.

  24. 24
    BruinKid says:

    So it seems a Mississippi Tea Party activist was arrested for sneaking into a nursing home to take a photograph of Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R) bedridden wife, in order to use the image in a Tea Party ad attacking the Senator.

    What makes this even more lurid and disgusting is that Chris McDaniel’s campaign manager seems to have known about the arrest hours BEFORE it was made public by the police as to who the victim was. Hmm….

    BTW, for those that aren’t keeping up, McDaniel is an outright secessionist.

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:


    I’m scratching my head to figure out what the rationale could possibly be. Obviously, she’s not faking being ill or something since she’s in a nursing home. What kind of “attack” could you make on someone for having a wife with severe dementia?

  26. 26
    Josie says:

    @Mnemosyne: There was a sleazy article on a right wing blog intimating that he was having an affair with one of his staffers. Actually, having experienced the long term decline of a person with dementia (my mother), I wouldn’t blame him a bit if he was.

  27. 27

    The way Indian Election Commission conducts the general elections is a thing of beauty. Same rules for the whole country, so shenanigans by political parties are at a minimum.

    An article from the Pakistani newspaper, Dawn.

  28. 28
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @Kay: The 2008 general just about did me in. I was not at all certain I’d stay out of a need for bail – the belt and suspenders fools like to sent me right round the twist. The campaign recruited attorneys, and the GOP didn’t, but in heavily democratic locations like the one where I was assigned, they sent big thuggish men who thought they could intimidate us. I felt like I spent have the day backing them out of my personal space while preventing them from hassling a bunch of senior citizens. Actually the GOP had one attorney at that polling place, but he was dumber than a bag of hammers and insecure about it.

    And when they’d call in reinforcements, they’d arrive wearing dark sunglasses, in black SUVs with smoked windows. *I* wouldn’t have believed it had someone told me, but I was there.

  29. 29
    Josie says:

    Help – my reply to Mnemosyne is in moderation and I don’t know why. I’ll try again in different words. I saw an article on a right wing blog that hinted he was having an affair with a staffer. Actually, having experienced the long, painful decline of a person with dementia (my mother), I wouldn’t blame him if he was.

  30. 30
    Kay says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):

    We didn’t have any problems with the 2008 general. I did election protection and we were given another lawyer from out of state. I had some trouble working with him because he was completely non-communicative, one of those people where you have to say “did you get that?” when you’re explaining something because he wouldn’t even nod or indicate agreement, confusion, whatever. I always wonder about lawyers like that. Three quarters of the job is listening and talking. I don’t know how they manage. Anyway, it was nice of him to come but I want a ….talky person next time. I can’t really operate one-way. I don’t know how to do that :)

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:


    Right, but why do you need a picture of his wife in that case? That’s just adding the asshole cherry on top of the sundae of assholishness.

    (And, yes, I do think that it’s understandable that someone would start another relationship if their spouse became unable to recognize them anymore. In an odd way, the ill person has already left the relationship. But it’s a tricky area, I know.)

  32. 32
    Josie says:

    @Mnemosyne: Well, see, your mistake there is thinking in a logical way and in a sort of humane way, which is not the way their minds work. I think it is really difficult sometimes for us to figure out their reasoning.

  33. 33
    Kay says:


    It’s a huge violation of her privacy. That’s where she lives. To me it’s like sneaking into her house and taking her picture. You would think the prosecutor could do something with “residence” or “domicile” in a criminal law.

  34. 34
    James E. Powell says:


    That’s just adding the asshole cherry on top of the sundae of assholishness.

    Haven’t you noticed the recent trend that in Republican primaries, the bigger asshole usually wins?

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: The have a couple of reasons. One is almost logical: if you oppose us on anything, we will destroy you and your family. The other is is that if you aren’t one of them, you don’t count, so fuck it.

  36. 36
    Morzer says:


    Much as 30 million Operation American Spring attendees went to … oh, that’s right, there were maybe 300 of them too.


  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: Burglary may be a possibility.

  38. 38
    Kay says:


    We had a Tea Party v Republican statehouse primary. The Tea Party candidate ran radio ads where he accused the Republican of voting for Democrats. The Republican is the son of a Democratic judge. He has voted for his mother.

    The Tea Partier lost.

  39. 39
    Morzer says:


    Now can we run ads against the mother accusing her of giving birth to Republicans?


  40. 40
    Baud says:


    It’s done. I can now resume my whining.

  41. 41
    PsiFighter37 says:

    OT, but what do people think of Castro going to HUD?

  42. 42
    Morzer says:


    I like it as a long-term strategic gambit to promote him and give him some policy chops for the future. It’s the sort of thing I wish Obama had done more of with Democratic politicians below the level of governor.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I think it’s a big deal. It would be here. They’d get really creative with that, our prosecutors. It’s like the definition of “vulnerable”, not as to HIM, but as to HER. I just completed a long case involving a younger incompetent adult and there was real care taken as far as privacy and dignity, etc.

  45. 45
    Baud says:


    We shall call that strategy “The Omen.”

  46. 46
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: Yeah, the victim in this is Mrs. Cochran. Thad may be fair game, but she is not. Unacceptable and probably felony level illegal.

  47. 47
    Morzer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I hate to say it, but that’s objectively despicable behavior.

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Morzer: See, there is a proper use of the phrase.

  49. 49
    Kay says:


    I love how there’s no limit, there’s no point where he says “wait a minute, I’m a blogger and I am now sneaking into a nursing home. Perhaps I should examine how insane I have become”.

  50. 50
    Morzer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Well, I am no Freddie de Boer, but I can just about manage to get a grip on English.

  51. 51
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Morzer:

    Did Freddie use “despicable” incorrectly recently?

  52. 52
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Baud: You are kidding, right?

  53. 53
    Baud says:


    The wingnuts aren’t really known for their capacity for self-reflection.

  54. 54
    J R in WV says:

    I’m pretty sure “outside” observers are illegal here in WV. I’ve never seen one inside a polling place. I believe the law now calls for poll workers to be at least 300 feet from the polling place, so that voters cannot be intimidated by them. This wasn’t the case always in WV!

    I took a neighbor to vote many years ago, late in the day, nearly dark November. Probably late 1970s or early 1980s. I had already voter early in the day. I saw an acquaintance sitting in a PU truck, fellow who ran a garage and towing service, now long passed. Billy was a nice guy, dod good work at reasonable prices, so I walked over to his truck.

    We chatted a little, how you doing, etc. Late in the evening, it was, so he reached under the seat of his truck, pulled out a bottle of cheap whisky, said “It’s too late now to do business, here, enjoy this.” I was pretty dumbstruck, to say the least. I felt like I had to take it lest I give offense.

    I told him I had already voted, that’s when he said business was over…

    Anyway, the True the Vote bullies don’t have any legal way to interfere with voting here, thank FSM>!!

    And the in power politicians seem to be learning that the Feds AND the state are keeping a close eye on voting patterns and potential violations around here. Mostly absentee ballots lately, which are closely tracked and easily prosecuted cases today. Dumb-asses, all!

  55. 55
    Morzer says:


    I wonder about your evaluation of the professional dignity of bloggers. I’ve known bloggers who would go on by the hour about their habit of mopping naked, their inability to find the mustard, their hatred of their audience….

  56. 56
    Baud says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    No. I really don’t follow the blogospheric soap opera, except when it’s mentioned here. I recall a dust up involving Freddie a week or two ago, but none of the details.

  57. 57
    Morzer says:


    Objectively, yes.

  58. 58
    Baud says:


    Oh, it was “objectively”? I’m so out of the loop. I really should quit my job and spend more time on the Internet.

  59. 59
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J R in WV

    : I’m pretty sure “outside” observers are illegal here in WV. I’ve never seen one inside a polling place. I believe the law now calls for poll workers to be at least 300 feet from the polling place, so that voters cannot be intimidated by them. This wasn’t the case always in WV!

    In WI, observers are pretty tightly regulated. They are allowed to be there; elections are public, after all. But they must stay out of the way and not interfere in the process. BTW I think you are conflating poll workers and people doing electioneering. Poll workers must be inside. They are the people running the polling place.

  60. 60
    James E. Powell says:


    OT, but what do people think of Castro going to HUD?

    I thought he had a stroke and retired. Guess he must have recovered. Not surprised that this president would appoint a commie.

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @James E. Powell: No, this is his brother.

  62. 62
    Jay C says:


    there’s no point where he says “wait a minute, I’m a blogger and I am now sneaking into a nursing home. Perhaps I should examine how insane I have become”.

    For a Teabagger blogger? He was probably planning to send the video in as his Master’s Thesis to the Breitbart School Of Media Truthiness, for his (online) degree …

  63. 63
    Kay says:

    My fifth grader is at an end of school year party at the Y. He’s very social and he wanted to go and was telling us about it and I said “it’s a boy/girl party!” and he was completely horrified. That’s what we called them, events where boys and girls were together at that age – “boy/girl parties”. It just came out of nowhere, like a memory flash. Maybe he’ll bring it back into middle school usage. Or, he’ll say “it’s a boy/girl party!” and be shunned for using weird olde timey phrases. Kids are cruel.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: So what is the current phrase for that kind of party?

  65. 65
    EriktheRed says:

    What excuse will the wingnuts cook up to further restrict votes when more of the undesirables are compliant with their current laws?

  66. 66
    Morzer says:


    My money would be on voting being limited to persons who have paid a certain (carefully calculated) amount of tax.

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Morzer: I worked with a guy who thought only property owners should be able to vote. Yes, he was big in the Federalist Society even after law school. Yes, he was also a douchebag.

    ETA: His sister, with whom I also worked, was quite beautiful, but pronounced the word “important” and as “impor’ant.”

  68. 68
    Kay says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I don’t know that they have one. I miss having girls around because my daughter is in Pennsylvania so I’m always trying to get them over here. She always had girls here.

    “Invite the whole class! Why not!” It’s a ruse to get some girls over here.

    She used to have theme parties, they wore costumes, it was great. They had an Academy award party where they read lines and gave out a gold spray painted Ken doll as an award for the best actor. I had to figure out a base without nailing his feet. I didn’t want to crucify him! Someone always ended up crying anyway. They were on a hair trigger, always.

  69. 69
    Morzer says:


    Out of curiosity and ignorance, why were they always on a hair trigger?

    In my younger days, I gave considerable thought to ruses to get girls to come over, so I approve this message.

  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Morzer: “Would you like to come over and see my etchings?”

    ETA: An example, not an invitation. My etchings are currently on loan to the Tate.

  71. 71
    Morzer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    “I’m too old for etchings, but come up anyway.”

  72. 72
    Roger Moore says:


    Right, but why do you need a picture of his wife in that case?

    You want video of her acting lucid, ideally claiming that she shouldn’t be there. Then you spin the story as Cochran getting her declared incompetent and sticking her in a home so he can bonk his staffer.

  73. 73
    Morzer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Bonus points if staffer is African-American, because then the delightful topic of miscegenation can be coyly approached by fine, upstanding Southern gentlemen.

  74. 74
    Kay says:


    I think it’s that age. By the time they were in high school they were much less vocal about whatever social crises were occurring.

    He’s outwardly focused. If I had to say what he’s “most interested in” the answer would be “other people”. His math teacher was pregnant this year and then she had a miscarriage. Okay, so she may have over-shared a tad, she’s really young, but he was completely fascinated by the whole thing so no harm done on his end. God knows what he asked her with that subject open for discussion.

  75. 75
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Kay: My niece and nephew are 11 and 12 respectively and (without getting Tommy-like) I am noticing big changes in them. Tweens instead of kids – although Barbie and Legoes still have their place.

  76. 76
    Roger Moore says:


    Bonus points if staffer is African-American

    If that were the case, I think you’d concentrate on the affair and leave the wife alone; she would be a distraction from the dog whistles fog horns.

  77. 77
    Morzer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    No, no. The wife is absolutely necessary to make clear the moral depravity of a white Southern conservative who brutally mistreats a white woman, betrays his sacred marriage vows clean contrary to Christian morality and then.. oh horror!.. takes up with “one of those people”.

    Remember how Karl Rove played the game against John McCain in the GOP primaries?

  78. 78

    The 90 weather with 100% humidity has me yearning for winter.

  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Any updates on the m-i-l campaign?

  80. 80
    Mary G says:

    @Kay: I am totally out of touch, but wouldn’t that be the age when a “boy/girl” party consists of all the boys on one side of the room and all the girls on the other and never the twain shall meet in person?

  81. 81

    @Omnes Omnibus: I haven’t seen her since the last weekend. She refuses to take no for an answer and she is manipulating her son on the phone. I just had a row with my husband over the phone on an international call. All that has made me even more determined not to give in to her blackmail.

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Have you considered agreeing to it and then getting so shit-faced, falling down drunk on the day of the event that you cannot possibly participate?

  83. 83

    @Omnes Omnibus: Ha, that’s a thought. Hubcat is a bit blind to Mommy Dearest’s faults. He thinks may be I could give in a little bit. I don’t trust her at all and compromise is not a two way street with her, she is like a member of the GOP in that regard.

  84. 84
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Have you considered the “church-shopping” approach? If asked to approve of a specific ceremony, you can counter by saying that you want to find the “right” holy man to conduct it. Obviously, it might take quite a while to find him…..

    And, of course, once you find the “special one”, you would then need to consult your beloved husband, which would take more time…

  85. 85
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    My thoughts are with you. I think you win the outrageous in law contest, though I’m a close second. And it doesn’t involve religion that requires my participation, but it’s driving me right round the twist as a lawyer.

  86. 86

    @Morzer: She has an extra speshul bestest Hindu priest already picked out. My folks in India are not her kind ( they speak a different language and are a different Brahmin subcaste) and they are not particularly religious either. So she will not approve of anyone I suggest.

  87. 87
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    But that’s perfect. You can suggest away to your heart’s content. Play the holier than thou card – you care about getting things right with a passion, so you just can’t bring yourself to accept this priest who has imposed his fraudulent , malodorous presence on your beloved mother in law. You must find someone worthy to conduct this most important of all rituals. And of course, you can combine this with a touch of maddening reasonableness – you quite agree that it has to happen, but it must be done perfectly and we really can’t rush into these things….

  88. 88
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: So is it an intra-Brahmin Hindu reformation-like difference then? Oy.

  89. 89
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Morzer: @schrodinger’s cat: Deliciously evil. Then, if the day ever does come, get commode hugging drunk by 9:00 a.m. Blame it on nerves from m-i-l have put so much of the responsibility for the ceremony on you. It doesn’t have to make sense – it just needs to ring true.

  90. 90

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I have only been a spectator to these speshul priest officiated rituals, we were married by a notary public. I stick in her craw because I reject her worldview.

  91. 91
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Incidentally, is there a timeframe for all of this? Will you, for example, be leaving Mother India in 6 weeks time? If so, the polite, perfectionist delaying tactic might be enough to solve the problem.

  92. 92

    @Morzer: I am leaving on June 2.

    ETA: In traditional Hindu ethos, the status of women of any caste is comparable to the lowest of the low, may be only slightly better than an untouchable. That is the reason that people prefer sons.

  93. 93
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Well then, 2 weeks of polite agreement and masterly inactivity, punctuated by the need to consult your father/brother/family priest who may not even be available, ought to be enough for you to establish a preliminary working consensus on a provisional framework for discussions of the potential ritual requirements.

  94. 94
    jonas says:

    @BruinKid: Someone’s running to the right of Thad Cochran? Sheeeeeeeyiiiiit.

  95. 95
    Morzer says:


    Must be a pretty darn thin someone, when you consider the severely limited space they’ve got to work with.

  96. 96
    rikyrah says:

    I have an Aunt in a nursing home. The thought that this wretched man went there to film someone with dementia is just evil. They truly are sociopaths.

  97. 97
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Heck, she doesn’t even have to claim to be drunk — it’s completely plausible that someone visiting India for the first time in a decade would catch a nasty intestinal bug that requires being close to a toilet at all times.

  98. 98

    @Mnemosyne: Actually my stomach has been upset since the last three days, so it is not even a lie.

    ETA: My husband is even less of a believer than I am but since he lost his father 2 years ago, he has softened his stance regarding his mother’s religious zealotry.

  99. 99
    Roger Moore says:

    Stalling by pretending to go along is a bad idea, because it’s a bad faith argument of the kind that will almost certainly get her in worse trouble, either to cover up her duplicity or when her bad faith is revealed. For example, what would happen if MIL gave in and decided a ceremony done under somebody else’s rules was better than no ceremony at all? And by tacitly accepting the validity of the religion in the first place, schrodinger’s cat would open herself up to future religious pressure.

    As painful as it is, I think the best path is to stick to one’s guns and express the real reason for not wanting to go along. It will provoke a bigger fight now, but if she wins that one she won’t have to worry too much about future demands.

  100. 100
    Morzer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    No, no. The idea is that one agrees up to a point, while finding endless reasons not to be happy with a specific set of arrangements. All SC has to do is hold out until June 2nd, at which point she can flee the country and the issue becomes moot.

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: No, to avoid the ceremony, being drunk isn’t necessary. To offer the ambiguous fuck you/”you’re killing me” vibe, being drunk is needed. Barbiturates would also work, but they offer another set of problems.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    If your MIL was sticking with a single plan, with a single priest, and it seemed like the whole goddamned thing would be over and done with if you did this one action (albeit a full-day action), it might be worth it, but it worries me that you say she keeps changing plans. At this point, you may have to stick to your guns and say “no” even though she’s going to make you miserable for it.

Comments are closed.