Return of the Zombie Goo-Goos, or: Why the “centrists” gang up with GOP to ensure that nobody can have nice things. Richard L. Hasen, “professor of law and political science at the UC–Irvine School of Law”, says “if the Democratic front-runner cares so much about voting rights, then she shouldn’t be politicizing them“:
Hillary Clinton spoke at Texas Southern University last week, where she put forward some good and provocative ideas for improving our elections. She wants Congress to fix the part of the Voting Rights Act that the Supreme Court gutted in 2013. She wants to expand early voting periods nationally to at least 20 days. And most provocatively, she advocates automatic universal voter registration across the country, including a program to automatically register high school students to vote before their 18th birthdays.
But the partisan way she’s framed the issue—by blaming Republicans for all the voting problems—makes it less likely these changes will actually be implemented should she be elected president. Instead, she’s offering red meat to her supporters while alienating the allies she would need to get any reforms enacted….
Sure, partisan Democrats lapped it up, but Clinton is politicizing election reform in the process. While Republicans are responsible for most of the recent efforts to suppress voting, Clinton is accusing all Republicans of acting in bad faith. That message will likely alienate moderate Republicans who could be her natural partners for reforms in the future.
Slate readers may welcome Clinton calling out Republicans who are acting in bad faith. I understand that impulse, because I agree that Walker and Perry support restrictive voter ID laws not because they believe voter fraud is a real problem but to help get Republicans elected through suppressing the Democratic vote.
However, there are moderate Republicans who are willing to work with Democrats on election reform when the issue is less politicized…
And Professor Hasen will help ferret them out, just as soon as he’s proven via DNA sampling that unicorns are real. Discussions about voter registration shouldn’t involve voters! Such profound topics are best confined to an elite of sensible, well-read men in quiet rooms!
Hmm. Hansen “is the author of the forthcoming book, Plutocrats United: Campaign Money, the Supreme Court, and the Distortion of American Elections.” Maybe he just objects to the competition from actual working politicians?