You can’t base a restrictive law on an imaginary fear

Good piece about the work behind the latest win on voting rights:

The debate over state voter-ID laws in the lead-up to November’s elections may have gained a national audience, but the legal action has played out largely in Midwest and Southern courtrooms to this point. That’s not to say Seattle hasn’t been well-represented. University of Washington political science professor Matt Barreto has been in the middle of most of it. Or at least his research has.
The 37-year-old professor has lately been a man in demand. The research he and his colleague, New Mexico professor Gabriel Sanchez, are becoming known for has become part of the standard playbook for lawyers challenging voter-ID laws. Using statistically sound large-swath surveys on a state-by-state basis, Barreto’s findings have demonstrated that not only are blacks, Latinos, and minorities less likely to possess valid photo ID, they’re also less likely to have the documents necessary to obtain such ID.
These laws have proliferated in the wake of the 2013 Supreme Court case Shelby County v. Holder, in which the court, by a controversial 5-4 vote, struck down a section of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 requiring states to obtain federal preclearance before changing voting regulations or practices. With the federal preclearance hurdle removed, states that pass voter-ID laws can move quickly to implement them—and have, to the dismay of many, including the national legal arm of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Last month the effort logged its biggest victory to date when a Federal court struck down a Wisconsin law, signed by Republican Governor Scott Walker in 2011, requiring voters to show photo identification before casting a ballot.
“[Judge Adelman] just systematically dismantled the voter-fraud myth in a way that went beyond any other court decision that I have seen,” Young continues. “He said, correctly, that when it comes to election integrity, the perpetrator of the voter-fraud myth are the ones that are undermining voter confidence in the electoral process, not actual voter fraud . . . He said you can’t pass a restrictive law based on an imaginary fear.”

Who knows what will happen when it gets to the US Supreme Court, but the truth is the laws have gotten more and more restrictive. We’ve gone from “voter ID” when I first started following this to “photo ID” and now we’re accepting only certain forms of photo ID.

Ohio’s original ID law contained some protections for voters who could not jump through the hoops; utility bills, “government documents” – there was a genuine effort to recognize and address the problems that real people run into. But that wasn’t enough, the compromise wasn’t acceptable to the GOP base and looking back I don’t think it was ever going to be enough. Because, what’s “enough”? Voter impersonation fraud is imaginary. We’ll never be able to prove we fixed voter impersonation fraud with Ohio’s less restrictive ID law because that problem never existed to begin with.

This is the Texas law. We’ll never know if this one fixed the imaginary problem either:

Here is a list of the acceptable forms of photo ID:
• Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
• Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
• Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
• Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
• United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
• United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
• United States passport

The voter fraud fraudsters have all but given up on arguing voter fraud. Now they argue that the ID laws are intended to promote public trust in the election process. That’s a dilemma for voting rights enthusiasts, too, because as the judge in the Wisconsin decision pointed out voter fraud fraudsters created the lack of confidence they’re now “fixing”:

“He said, correctly, that when it comes to election integrity, the perpetrator of the voter-fraud myth are the ones that are undermining voter confidence in the electoral process, not actual voter fraud . . .

I guess they’ll have to tell us when voter impersonation fraud is solved and thus their confidence is restored since this entire issue now rests completely on their “feelings.”

106 replies
  1. 1
    the Conster says:

    He said you can’t pass a restrictive law based on an imaginary fear.

    The fear of “those people” voting for Democrats isn’t imaginary.

  2. 2
    Morzer says:

    What’s enough for the GOP base?

    Simple: a franchise based on skin color, gender and income: i.e. the only people who should be eligible to vote are white men with a certain amount of property.

  3. 3
    Roger Moore says:

    The voter fraud fraudsters have all but given up on arguing voter fraud. Now they argue that the ID laws are intended to promote public trust in the election process.

    So instead of fighting fraud they’re fighting fear of fraud. What a load of crap.

  4. 4
    Tokyokie says:

    Nowadays, whenever I go to vote, I take along my voter registration card and my passport, thereby proving my identity and my citizenship. Yes, it’s far more than enough (and I still have my driver’s license in my wallet), but I prefer to eliminate any concerns upfront. And I wish the political atmosphere wasn’t such that I feel the need to do so.

  5. 5
    The Other Chuck says:

    “He said you can’t pass a restrictive law based on an imaginary fear.”

    Then they said, “Watch us do just that.”

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Morzer: “Originalism”

  7. 7
    Mnemosyne says:

    Rikyrah brought up a good point in one of the other threads that I had never even thought about: prior to 1964 at a minimum (and probably for at least a few years after that), many African-Americans in the South were born at home because there weren’t any hospitals nearby that would take them as patients, and the filing of the birth certificate was up to the midwife, who didn’t always bother to do it. It honestly never occurred to me that people only 5 years older than me could have birth certificate problems.

  8. 8
    catclub says:

    @The Other Chuck: Sure you can. You only cannot if you cannot convince the judge, as in this case. Many redstates are passing laws forbidding their cities from passing minimum wage laws.

  9. 9

    Texas law allows a person to use the follow to vote: “United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph”

    A U.S. Citizenship Certtificate does not contain someone’s photo. My son has this certificate.

  10. 10
    Kay says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I love, love, love the “restore” part. It’s typical. We’ve never had voter ID laws. Why were they confident in the system in the past? Does it have anything to do with the way the electorate changed? Nothing else changed, and they can’t produce any evidence of voter impersonation fraud.

    Ah, the good old days in America. Remember when white voters were a huge majority and you could trust everyone based on a signature and an oath?

  11. 11
    MattF says:

    @The Other Chuck: This is exactly right. Basing a law on an imaginary narrative gives you freedom to make whatever claims you can get away with. There’s the Constitution, of course, but it’s not as reliable as it used to be.

  12. 12
    Zam says:

    I guess they’ll have to tell us when voter impersonation fraud is solved and thus their confidence is restored since this entire issue now rests completely on their “feelings.”

    Never gonna happen, even if all their restrictions pass and are upheld by the Supreme Court, it will always be held as a truth that most democratic votes are cast from dead or duplicate voters. They’ve been told that they constitute the great moral majority for so long they can’t even comprehend that people might disagree.

  13. 13
    Suffern ACE says:

    Sure. When those busloads of roving Somali “voters” come to Toledo and set up Sharia law, you’ll be sorry, Kay.

  14. 14
    Kay says:

    @Zam:

    It could be one of those questions that were asked: “how many bubbles in a bar of soap?”

    “How many fraudulent voters are inside my head?”

    I’m stumped, as was the judge. It’s unknowable.

  15. 15
    MattF says:

    @Suffern ACE: The other day, an otherwise rational person I know started going on about Sharia. He made a novel argument– the early Christians did it to the Roman Empire, so why can’t the Islamists do it to the West? I don’t think he was joking.

  16. 16
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    I guess they’ll have to tell us when voter impersonation fraud is solved and thus their confidence is restored since this entire issue now rests completely on their “feelings.”

    When no black or Hispanic can cast a ballot, the problem with be solved.

  17. 17
    FlyingToaster says:

    @Suffern ACE: Well, they haven’t instituted Sharia Law in Lewiston, Maine. And oddly enough, they don’t seem to want to.

  18. 18
    elm says:

    Who knows what will happen when it gets to the US Supreme Court

    I know! A 5-4 decision to fuck over non-white, non-male voters.

  19. 19
    Hungry Joe says:

    I’ve used this quote here before, but it wears well. From “Catch-22,” Chapter One:

    “Then there was the educated Texan from Texas who looked like someone in Technicolor and felt, patriotically, that people of means – decent folk – should be given more votes than drifters, whores, criminals, degenerates, atheists and indecent folk – people without means.”

  20. 20
    Roger Moore says:

    @MattF:

    There’s the Constitution, of course, but it’s not as reliable as it used to be.

    The Constitution is only as reliable as the Supreme Court, which is a very scary thought given who’s on the Supreme Court these days.

  21. 21
    FlyingToaster says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Or woman.

    Seventy-seven years ago next month, my mom was born at home, on a farm, in the South. There was no midwife, just her mom, grandmother, and one of her aunts.

    Fortunately, she was white, and come harvest-time, the three women went together to the county seat, and registered her birth with the county clerk.

    Not everyone in her county bothered. Elderly women, whether or not they’re of color, are disproportionately likely to be disenfranchised by these laws.

  22. 22
    Roger Moore says:

    @MattF:

    He made a novel argument– the early Christians did it to the Roman Empire, so why can’t the Islamists do it to the West?

    The modern day Evangelicals are trying to do it to the United States, so why should we expect any better from Muslims? Seems like a good reason to vigorously enforce the establishment clause of the 1st Amendment.

  23. 23
    rikyrah says:

    thank you for keeping us informed, Kay.

    You are a treasure.

  24. 24
    burnspbesq says:

    @Roger Moore:

    So instead of fighting fraud they’re fighting fear of fraud. What a load of crap.

    Careful, there. “Fear of fraud” sounds more than a bit like “appearance of impropriety.” Didn’t the left go postal (and justifiably so) the other day over “apperance of impropriety” at the Federal Circuit?

  25. 25
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Tokyokie: I did that for both my DL and for the last election: the surprise level at both desks was palpable. DMV was properly impressed – but the poll workers were absolutely astounded that I’d bring a passport as ID (it was almost as if they had never seen one before). Then again, I’m male and melanin-challenged, so they probably wouldn’t have been challenged anyway.

  26. 26
    burnspbesq says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    “Originalism”

    They can go there all they want. The original intent of the drafters of the Fifteenth Amendment is pretty God-damn clear.

  27. 27
    Kay says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    This was my favorite from 2012.

    They said there were more voters than people in Wood County in 2012. Wood County is a swing county in Ohio and both Democrats and Republicans watch it on election day. Democrats for turn out because it has a university and Republicans for swing voters. But the national wingnuts on blogs didn’t know all that attention is not extraordinary, and they determined it was the center of the fraud.

    The idea that there would be undetected voter fraud of that nature in Wood County is ludicrous. It could not be more closely watched by two opposing, interested parties.

  28. 28
    Calouste says:

    Has anyone ever done a comparison between the requirements to vote in each state and the requirements to own a gun?

    I’m pretty sure that in most states the latter is a lot easier than the former.

  29. 29
    Morzer says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Yes, but you have to remember that Scalia and Roberts only take the white areas of the constitution as valid and deserving exegesis. The bits in black don’t count.

  30. 30
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Morzer: That’s Tentherism in a nutshell.

  31. 31
    Oberon says:

    @Tokyokie: The push in recent years for restricting the vote is, from a non-American perspective, absolutely out of control and ridiculous. Here in Germany, every citizen gets a national ID and you vote where you live. Why don’t we see more efforts like this in the US? A national ID, given to every citizen, would take all the wind out of the sails of the “voter ID” crowd. It’s the state’s job to make sure you have a national ID, so there are many ways to get one and keep it up-to-date. I had to explain to my wife when we were last in the US what the billboards on the freeway concerning “vote integrity” were all about. She was just flabbergasted.

  32. 32
    Belafon says:

    @MattF: The early Christians did it only after it was sanctioned by the government. It’s one of the reasons we don’t want Christianity or any religion to become the official one.

  33. 33
    boatboy_srq says:

    @FlyingToaster: They haven’t had to. Where d’you suppose LePage came from?

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Well, the entire “no gay marriage” thing was based on the overwhelming fear that if gay marriage were made legal, all these straight Rethug Christian white guys would IMMEDIATELY leave their wives and families for hawt, steamy gay sex in Key West or Hoboken or a men’s room at the Minneapolis airport or SOMETHING.

  35. 35
    Morzer says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    I always assumed he was a proud son of Innsmouth.

  36. 36
    Fred Fnord says:

    We’ll never be able to prove we fixed voter impersonation fraud with Ohio’s less restrictive ID law because that problem never existed to begin with.

    Oh, come on. It’s easy to tell when you’ve fixed voter fraud.

    If Democrats stop winning elections, you know you’ve gone far enough.

    Right?

  37. 37
    Morzer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Would officially leave their wives, rather than doing it on the QT with “baggage-handlers”.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay: The “True the Vote” fucktards are convinced that any vote cast for a Democrat is fraudulent on its face.

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    @Calouste:

    The gun permit thing is the same thing they did with motor voter, which is a federal law that was passed only because each side got some concessions. The plan was we’d register people at motor vehicle agencies, which benefitted Republicans in rural areas BUT voting rights advocates would get a benefit too, because we’d also register people at social service agencies.

    Except Republicans at the state level didn’t hold up their end of the bargain at social service agencies. ACORN enforced the parts of the federal law that Republicans were ignoring. They won, too. A lot. I’m convinced that’s why conservatives went after them.

    You see the same thing with absentee balloting. That was older voters, so Republicans, so they didn’t need any ID because they’re honorable and trustworthy because they are. That has changed, so now Republicans are moving toward restricting absentee balloting.

  40. 40
    KG says:

    @burnspbesq: ah, but you forget, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments are illegitimate because the southern states had to approve them (impliedly against their will, because, well, obviously) in order to get back into good standing with that evil federal government that had just spent years destroying their freedom and liberty and culture…

    It’s neo-confederate boilerplate, but it’s been argued on more than one occasion, with a straight face.

  41. 41
    Roger Moore says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Careful, there. “Fear of fraud” sounds more than a bit like “appearance of impropriety.”

    We know from a lot of investigation that there is no legitimate real world problem that would be solved by voter ID; fear of fraud is factually unfounded. Because we have those facts, we can reject fear of fraud as a good reason for voter ID and suggest that the correct response to that fear is to publicize those factual findings. We don’t have any similar evidence that the judge in that case was free from bias, so we have to respond to the worry. Not to mention that the right to vote is protected by numerous constitutional amendments, while federal judges are legally required to recuse themselves whenever their judgment might reasonably be questioned.

  42. 42
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @MattF: It was the other way around, actually. The Romans saw something they could use to shore up the Empire, and compromised Christianity. It’s been drifting away from the basic message ever since.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    They were on FOX claiming the IRS was targeting them. I love Kevin Drum but he thought the IRS discrimination claim was perhaps valid, and it was just such complete bullshit I still can’t believe he bought it.

    ProPublica has reams on the whole issue.They did the initial work because they are monitoring campaign finance and they happened to stumble into the fake controversy. Anyone who wants to understand it can spend 2 hours and read that site and see the actual filings, whatever. It is a lie.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Morzer: You left out religion, Article VI and that islamofascist Madison be damned.

  45. 45
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay:

    It is a lie.

    It’s what these people do, with less effort than taking a breath.

  46. 46
    Roger Moore says:

    @KG:
    This. A lot of the crazies are more or less serious in claiming that the reconstruction amendments are illegitimate, and some will even go so far as to claim this makes all amendments since then invalid. IOW, they want to repeal the Civil War.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @rikyrah: Seconded, with great feeling.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    In GA in order to renew your license, or obtain a new license, you have to provide a paper trail of your name changes.
    A friend told me about a female who moved into her neighborhood and tried to get a license and register to vote. She had been married four times and didn’t have copies of all her marriages and divorces. She was upset and asked the worker what she could do and the response was don’t plan on driving or voting in GA.
    If you are a female planning a marriage, think twice before you change your name.

  49. 49
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @burnspbesq: Fat Tony will interpret any aspect of the Constitution on his own, thank you, and he’ll be right no matter how he interprets it, no matter how much it’s obvious to you (a lawyer) and me (a layman) how ridiculous it is.

    Neither of us count. Fat Tony does.

  50. 50
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    You have to love how they’re combining the fake voter impersonation fraud with the fake IRS scandal.

    All we’re missing is Benghazi.

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JPL:

    I’m in the clear — I did not change my name after I got married, in part because I was already well into my 30s, but also because I’m lazy and it sounded like a shit-ton of work I did not want to have to deal with.

  52. 52
    Morzer says:

    @Kay:

    All we’re missing is Benghazi

    Where do you think the Libyan voters who are imposing sharia law on Mississippi RIGHT NOW were shipped in from?

  53. 53
    LesGS says:

    @Morzer: Well, you have to admit that their wives probably can’t lift their luggage as effectively as those baggage handlers can.

  54. 54
    Morzer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Well, I didn’t want to get in the way of their attempts to scrabble up onto those crosses they’ve been carrying around in their own minds for so long.

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Kay: Now that you’ve mentioned it, I’m sure they’ll find a way to throw that into the mix, along with the VA ‘scandal’. I see that John “Auger in!” McCain has called on Shinseki to resign. For two reasons: 1. Attacked neocon fantasies in front of a congressional committee, 2. He reached flag rank and loser McCain did not.

  56. 56
    Morzer says:

    @LesGS:

    Excessive junk in the trunk can be a problem for dead white elephants. I feel their pain – and I love it!

  57. 57
    Kay says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I’m not reading on the VA scandal. I can’t do it to myself again. I know it will 1. be complicated and 2. have nothing to do with what they’re saying, and that will upset me.

    Obviously they want to privatize, everything. They’re just not reliable or credible on public entities of any kind.

  58. 58
    JPL says:

    @Mnemosyne: In the olden days, you just had to change your name with the Federal Government.
    The GA law discriminates against the elderly, the poor who can’t afford to acquire all the necessary paperwork, and females.

  59. 59
    Morzer says:

    @JPL:

    I misread your comment as implying that poor people had to acquire a certain number of females before they could change their names. It briefly gave me a very interesting vision of what life must be like in the great state of Georgia.

  60. 60
    Calouste says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    That shoring up the Empire didn’t really work did it? The Romans enforced Christianity as the state religion, and before the last newly baptized infant had died of old age, the Visigoths sacked Rome.

  61. 61
    Rex Everything says:

    Antonin Scalia is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.

  62. 62
    Belafon says:

    @JPL: That would be a hilarious side effect of all this: Ending the Christian practice of women adopting the husband’s last name.

  63. 63
    coin operated says:

    My dad was born on a rural farm in Wisconsin 82 years ago, and used a certificate of baptism to get his passport. This was post-9/11, and the federal government was just fine with that as proof of citizenship.

    One of my good friends skates on the edge of birther theory, and had the balls to tell me my dad shouldn’t have the right to vote because he didn’t have a “real” birth certificate. My rant to him on FB, long since taken down, was epic and an apology was eventually received.

  64. 64
    JPL says:

    @Morzer: haha.. Changed for clarity.

    Before the 2012 election, a GA man had his mother move here from Minnesota. She was 90 and the deadline to register to vote, was a few days away. She had never missed voting in an election, and wasn’t allowed to register because she did not have her marriage license or birth certificate. She was so upset, her son called the state of Minnesota and explained the situation. The state of Minnesota had her documents sent overnight.

    Of course, Scalia, Roberts and the rest of the conservatives won’t think a few extra documents is a burden.

  65. 65
    burnspbesq says:

    @KG:

    ah, but you forget, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments are illegitimate because the southern states had to approve them (impliedly against their will, because, well, obviously) in order to get back into good standing with that evil federal government that had just spent years destroying their freedom and liberty and culture…

    Naw, I didn’t forget. I take those arguments every bit as seriously as I take arguments that the portions of the Internal Revenue Code relating to income tax are Unconstitutional because of defects in the way the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified.

  66. 66
    Morzer says:

    @Calouste:

    The Goths were also Christians, of an “heretical” variety. Perhaps the Romans needed another cunning plan? Or maybe another religion?

  67. 67
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @MattF:

    the early Christians did it to the Roman Empire

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    It was the other way around, actually.

    The idea that powerless Christians forced Constantine to convert or Theodosius to adopt Christianity as the state religion is absurd. But the Roman Catholic church continued Rome’s tradition of coopting local religious traditions.

    And, yeah, if people would just respect the Establishment Clause it wouldn’t be an issue.

  68. 68

    @burnspbesq: As one cricket fan to another, I went to CCI, the day before yesterday, and even took a photograph with the replica of the original Ranji Trophy!

  69. 69
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Morzer:

    You’re not all that far off.

  70. 70
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Who knows what will happen when it gets to the US Supreme Court, but the truth is the laws have gotten more and more restrictive. We’ve gone from “voter ID” when I first started following this to “photo ID” and now we’re accepting only certain forms of photo ID.

    It’s already gone further. Arkansas voter ID law allows the poll workers to quiz voters on the information on their photo ID.

  71. 71
    burnspbesq says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Cool!

  72. 72
    Morzer says:

    @SiubhanDuinne:

    It sounded like one of the more bizarre moments in Jack Vance’s saga of Cugel the Crafty.

  73. 73
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Which wicketkeeper did you meet? Dhoni? Karthik? Kiran More?

  74. 74

    @Morzer: Kiran More. He is a great guy, friendly and down to earth. He was teasing me about my American Marathi accent. A language that I seldom use in the US.

  75. 75
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    How have things gone with the religiously inclined MIL? I seem to remember that More was Chairman of Selectors for India at one point.

  76. 76
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Control mechanism at work. They’re already stepping out on their spouses: take a good look at Grindr next time you’re in NoVA and check all the faceless body parts (no no photos at all) on display by volk who need “discrete” playmates for “nsa encounters”. Says a thing or two when they can’t even spell. The fear on the part of the Reichwing is that all those people couldn’t be kept in line and adhering to Teahad principles if they weren’t afraid of being outed.

  77. 77
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Conservatives really love this whole “create a fake sentiment, then use that sentiment as grounds for further action” spiel. We see it here with them creating fears of (nonexistent) voter fraud, then using said fears as justification for their bullshit laws. We see it with them creating the notion of (nonexistent) “controversy” about creationism vs. evolution as justification to mandate the teaching of creationism. And, by the way, they’re doing the exact same thing vis a vis climate change. I suppose it’s just what they have to do since they cannot muster any facts to support their arguments.

  78. 78

    @Morzer: Detente. I spent the entire Sunday with her last week.

  79. 79
    Kay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    My eldest son is getting married in August. They’re having a little tiny wedding in their apartment because they spent all their money buying the apartment. I’m fascinated by the whole thing. They send out documents occasionally (one was a spreadsheet) and the guest # was 31 people, no names, just the number. So it stayed like that for months, 31, and yesterday it went to 32. I’m dying of curiosity. Did they make a new friend, and if so, how did the friend move up so fast? Did someone have a baby? Get married? If one of the invites dies, does it go back to 31 or can I shove someone in that slot?
    Going to this wedding is like winning the lottery. I can’t believe how brutal and decisive they are :)

  80. 80

    @Morzer: Yes he was, he said that was a more difficult job than actually being a player himself.

  81. 81
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Sounds like peace has broken out – and will hopefully last. I shall cross my fingers and hope that Ganesha Vighneshvara smooths your path.

  82. 82

    @Morzer: May the Vighnaharta hear your prayers!

  83. 83
    PsiFighter37 says:

    The more Republicans try to restrict voting to white male property owners, the more they are turning voters who vote Democratic into hardcore people who will wait in line all day long if they have to.

    It’s going to backfire spectacularly, and all they will have accomplished is putting themselves in an even bigger hole.

  84. 84
    scav says:

    So, what would be the proposed GOP-sanction Traffic Code for Seasonal Flying Sleighs? Every year I repeatedly hear of unoffensitve Grandmas lying dead in the street from their vehicular, entirely unprotected by the 2nd, mayhem. (I’ve also heard rumors the driver’s a serial house-breaker and philanderer, not to mention a commie bad-behavior enabler by “giving” small moochers freebies instead of teaching them valuable lessons about earning an honest dollar, but that may be beside the point of the shattered bodies of Grannies lying in the blood-sodden-SNOW!).

  85. 85
    Barry says:

    @burnspbesq: “Careful, there. “Fear of fraud” sounds more than a bit like “appearance of impropriety.” ”

    Tell you what – you show me something in the law which equates those, and I’ll believe you.

    Until then, STFU you Republican lawyer.

  86. 86
    catclub says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    …Democratic into hardcore people who will wait in line all day long if they have to.

    Too bad they/we cannot get organized enough to get more voting booths where they are needed.

    OTOH, having a grievance is much more effective for getting people to vote than satisfying said grievance. Compare 2006 and 2010 elections. Hence the best solution is to quietly help the GOP reduce voting facilities for Democrats!

  87. 87
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Calouste: The Eastern Empire went on for another millennium.

    Worked out fine for them!

  88. 88
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @PsiFighter37: They do not know how to stop digging. They think they’re going to get to China or something.

  89. 89
    Morzer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Ah, but they were Orthodox!

  90. 90
    piratedan says:

    anyone have an idea on why a turd like Larison (eunomia) is still on the blogroll?

  91. 91
    jonas says:

    How’d a black guy, a black Kenyan socialist Muslim guy, get elected president twice when there was a perfectly good white guy on the ballot, without massive voter fraud? QED

  92. 92
    Roger Moore says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    It’s going to backfire spectacularly, and all they will have accomplished is putting themselves in an even bigger hole.

    It’s going to work OK for them as long as they succeed in suppressing the vote enough. In purple states, they only have to tip the vote a bit in order to get a lot of mileage. The point where it will backfire spectacularly is when they lose their grip on the government enough that the Democrats can pass real voting rights laws, either at the state or (hopefully) national level. Then they’ll be facing an energized electorate that isn’t being actively suppressed.

  93. 93

    @Barry:
    He’s just naturally contrary. Which of us can throw that first stone?

    @Bubblegum Tate:
    Something about the real world terrifies them, so they’ve started making up their own facts. That rabbit hole has no end. ‘Nuh uh, you must be cheating!’ ‘If you want it, it must suck!’ That kind of thing.

  94. 94
    balconesfault says:

    I wish I wish I wish that everytime a Republican brought up ID laws … a Democrat would add a rider requiring every electronic voting machine produce a hard copy receipt for the voter to review and drop into a ballot box on his way out of the precinct. I’d almost be fine with ID laws if they could be a mechanism for us finally having a real audit trail for votes that wouldn’t be subject to electronic shenanaghans.

  95. 95
    Morzer says:

    @piratedan:

    What did Larison do to upset you? Generally he’s against war-mongering and has very little time for the neo-cons.

  96. 96
    jonas says:

    @piratedan:

    anyone have an idea on why a turd like Larison (eunomia) is still on the blogroll?

    Like a lot of libertarians/paleoconservatives, he’s right twice a day. He’s good at skewering neocons, fwiw.

  97. 97
    Shakezula says:

    It’s worth noting that even “loose” ID laws that require some sort of official paper could easily exclude the homeless from voting.

  98. 98
    Barry says:

    @Roger Moore: “The point where it will backfire spectacularly is when they lose their grip on the government enough that the Democrats can pass real voting rights laws, either at the state or (hopefully) national level. Then they’ll be facing an energized electorate that isn’t being actively suppressed.”

    Hopefully we’ll see that failure cascade, when they lose control of governments which they only controlled through some truly evil measures, and those measures are reversed.

  99. 99
    Barry says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:
    “@Barry:
    He’s just naturally contrary. Which of us can throw that first stone?”

    I can. ‘Contrarians’ deserve sh*t.

    He’s lying, pure and simple. He’s got a track record of this, as well.

  100. 100
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Barry: Which part was a lie? It seemed to me like it was a statement of opinion. It is hard for an opinion to be a lie. It may not be correct , but that does not make it a lie.

  101. 101
    Peter says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Only to you, Burnsy. Only to you.

  102. 102
    The Lodger says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: After all, he was part of the 5-4 margin in the 2000 election.

  103. 103
    mclaren says:

    If you can’t base a restrictive law on an imaginary fear, why hasn’t the USA Patriot Act been struck down?

  104. 104
    Procopius says:

    @Roger Moore: I seem to recall that the reason they gave in Ohio for restricting advance voting hours and location of polling places was to “discourage uninformed voters.” They were saying that if it’s easy to vote then people who don’t care enough to get information about what their best choice would be will vote in overwhelming numbers and the result might not be what’s best for “the people.” I guess that never got legs.

  105. 105
    Procopius says:

    @The Other Bob: Hey, neither does my birth certificate. I’ve often wondered how these people reason, but then…

  106. 106
    Procopius says:

    @Procopius: Darn! Thought popped into my mind just after hitting “submit.” I also have a U.S. military retired ID card. This card does have my picture on it but you know something? You don’t have to be a U.S. citizen to serve in the U.S. military. Granted, almost all the aliens who sign up do so partly because it’s easier to get citizenship, but there is no legal reason why a foreign national could not serve in our military until eligible for retirement benefits and never apply for citizenship. Back when I lived in the U.S. I got drivers licenses several times. Usually, I showed my old license to get the new one. Since the first time was sixty years ago I really don’t remember if I had to show a birth certificate or not. But how do they know the birth certificate you present is yours, anyway? I remember seeing my original, and it had a print of my foot on it. Could that be used? But the certified copy I have now doesn’t even have that.

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