Republicans are going to learn how to talk to women and minorities, and then spend ten million dollars on outreach to groups of people they alienated during the last election. There are just a few problems with that.
They can throw all the money at outreach that they want, the fact that they think money will solve anything demonstrates that they don’t understand their problem. People don’t like the stench of racial animosity, sexism, homophobia and social Darwinism, so inherent in Republican policies and rhetoric. We recognize that whatever a Republican says, they mean the opposite.
When Republicans talk about job creation, they’re really out to kill as many jobs as they can in a single budget. Paul Ryan’s latest budget applies the same principles Americans rejected in November. It intends to kill the benefits provided under Obamacare, (but not the savings) destroy Medicare and replace it with coupons for what will be an even more unaffordable private healthcare system, destroy Social Security and Medicaid. From a tax perspective, it’s Romneyhood all over again. Once again, he calls for an increase in the already bloated defense budget. Ryan’s previous budgets were brutally transparent statements of the Republican Party’s priority of protecting the rich from paying their share of taxes. The only difference between the previous Ryan budgets and this year’s version is this one is more devastating to the economy with more savage cuts (in addition to the ones we already have thanks to the Republican Sequester.)
Republicans talk about how much they love America and freedom then smile as they declare war on your vote and further rig the electoral system. Knowing how unappealing their job killing and xenophobic policies are in mainstream America, and believing the problem is the composition of the electorate, Republicans are done with listening to people beyond their own echo chamber.
Two more Republican controlled State legislatures passed voter ID laws in the past week.
Last week, North Carolina’s Republican controlled legislature passed a voter ID law which will disenfranchise American citizens from the electoral process. Previous attempts to suppress the vote in North Carolina was vetoed by Democratic governor, Beverly Perdue, but Republican Governor McCrory already declared war on the vote so there is little doubt that he will sign this bill.
When McCrory first declared his war on the vote it was in the name of combatting non-existent voter fraud. Last weekend, NC House Speaker Thomas Tillis admitted what we already knew: voter ID laws are not passed to stop the fictional phantom of voter fraud.
“There is some evidence of voter fraud, but that’s not the primary reason for doing this… We call this restoring confidence in government…There are a lot of people who are just concerned with the potential risk of fraud.”
Translation: there are some Republicans who are just concerned that they can’t win elections unless they disenfranchise “certain” voters.
The pattern of who is most adversely affected by voter ID laws that we have seen in other states would repeat itself in NC.
According to the Progressive Pulse African Americans represent 22% of North Carolina’s voters, but 31% of active voting African American do not have the ID they would need to vote under this law. The majority of NC’s active voters are women (54%) but 66% of women don’t have the photo ID needed to vote under this law. Seniors comprise 18% of North Carolina’s voters, but 26% don’t have the photo ID required under North Carolina’s voter suppression law. The young vote represents 13% of North Carolina’s voters but 16% of them don’t have the photo ID that will be required by the ALEC inspired voter ID law.
The new excuse is voter suppression laws “would make nearly three-quarters of the population more comfortable and more confident when they go to the polls.”
Republicans in Arkansas are the latest to declare their war on the vote. The state Senate passed their version of a photo ID law on Tuesday.
Under their version, voters who don’t present state accepted identification will be forced to cast a provisional ballot, which will only be counted if they return with a proper ID. The accepted forms of ID include: a driver’s license, a passport, an employee badge, military ID, a student ID issued by an Arkansas school or a welfare card.
Under this law, the state must provide state ID without charge to registered voters who don’t have another form of acceptable ID. This will come at an estimated additional cost to the state of $300,000.
According to Reuters, the law passed along party lines in the Senate and with support from one Democrat in the State House. The same report points out that the State’s Attorney-General is considering whether the law passes muster under Arkansas’ constitution and it remains unclear if Democratic Governor Mike Beebe will sign the bill.
Of course, proponents of the law are making the same claims about statistically non-existent voter fraud with the new talking point chaser that this law will increase the legitimacy of elections. If it means racial minorities, women, seniors, and young voters are disenfranchised, so what. Republican men will feel more secure about their vote. If the propaganda is packaged just the right way, “you people” will stop getting so emotional about having a right to vote.