Rachel Maddow points out the hypocrisy in the GOP’s position on voter ID and their complete dismissal of potential election fraud in Iowa.
Here is the video from MSNBC:
Maddow discussed the two different reported vote totals in Clinton County and Edward True’s claim that the state GOP awarded Romney an extra 20 votes that he didn’t win in Appanoose County , and then asked, “Ultimately, does it matter now who exactly won in Iowa? Is the effect on the ongoing race from here on out materially different if the Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney virtual tie, if the result flipped today, would it make a difference for what happened in New Hampshire or anywhere else after this? If the margin were different by not just eight votes but 8,000 votes, would that make that much of a difference? Being a Republican who wins, or almost wins the Iowa presidential caucuses does not win you very much in American politics.
After detailing the quick flame outs of previous Iowa winners Pat Robertson and Mike Huckabee, the MSNBC host explained why the GOP’s blasé attitude about its own election fraud matters, “The only reason it matters that we kind of don’t know who won Iowa this year and don’t know if we’ll ever know for certain is that Republicans have spent their legislative time and energy since the 2010 election screaming from the rafters about their grave concern for the integrity of the vote. The supposed grave and imminent threat to the sanctity of every single vote has according to Republicans compelled them, required them to push new restrictive voter ID laws in states across the country. These voter ID laws make it hard to register. The Republican lie is it’s about restricting the vote to ensure integrity of elections. Integrity. In the first contest of the year, a Republican only event run by the Republican Party, Republicans cannot be bothered to figure out how to count their own votes and figure out who actually won. That’s how devoted they are to the integrity every vote. Busted.”
As Maddow pointed out the actual result is in Iowa is not as important as the fact that the GOP’s behavior in the state exposed the fact that they don’t care about the integrity of elections. The real motivation behind the Republican push for voter ID laws is all about demographics. Voter ID laws could disenfranchise millions of young, African-American, and Latino voters in 2012. Making sure that this vital and growing part of the Democratic coalition is not able to participate in the electoral process has become one of the top goals of the Republican Party.
These laws are a Republican effort to keep the electorate as old and white as possible. This is what Sarah Palin meant when she called Iowa the type of electorate that she thought was going to turn out to vote in the general election. The federal government was able to block South Carolina’s voter ID bill, because when challenged the state couldn’t prove that there was a problem with the integrity of their elections.
It is a tough political issue for Democrats to challenge because Republicans have been able to present the issue as one of fraud, which makes Democratic opposition to these laws appear to Americans who don’t follow politics like Democrats are defending fraud. The truth is that the debate needs to be reframed as being about Republicans trying to take away the right to vote.
Eleven percent of Americans have no photo ID. These people are young and old, white and minority, urban and rural, but most importantly they are inclined to support Democrats. In places like Indiana and Wisconsin, Republicans have been the ones engaging in voter and election fraud.
If the integrity of our elections is being corrupted, the same Republicans who are championing voter ID laws are responsible for the corruption. With their behavior in Iowa this week, Republicans outed themselves and the real motivation for their voter ID push.
The integrity of elections doesn’t matter. The Republican Party’s top priority is that millions of Americans who may vote for a Democrat are disenfranchised. With their cover story blown, Republicans are going to have to find a new pretext to justify the disenfranchisement of America.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association