President Obama has said, on too many occasions, that Republicans are really patriotic and truly love America; they just have a different philosophy about how the country should be governed. The only truth in that remark is that Republicans have a different idea of governing in a democracy, because Republicans and their conservative cohort are not patriots and they certainly do not love America; especially its dying representative democracy. Maybe the President is expressing comity, that is courtesy and considerate behavior toward the opposition party, but he needs to stop trying to fool the American people and start identifying Republicans for what they truly are; anti-American enemies of this nation’s once-storied democracy.
Despite the President being elected by the people twice, Republicans have spent nearly six years overtly subverting the people’s will, and electoral voices, by obstructing governance because voters did not elect a Republican president. In fact, to make sure voters elect the “right” candidates for political office, Republicans and their very substantial anti-American army have done every and anything in their power to restrict voting rights to white Christian gun-fanatics. It is no coincidence that in Republican-controlled states across the country, various voter restriction and suppression laws specifically target students, African Americans and other minorities, and working-class Americans who are inclined to vote for Democrats.
It is true the Republican war on voting rights has not been very covert, but on Tuesday a corrupt Republican governor addressed a major business organization and all but admitted that the reason Republican governors are so crucial is because “they’re the ones controlling voting mechanisms, particularly going into the next presidential election.” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was speaking at an event for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and stressed the importance of keeping Republicans in power to oversee their robust state-level voter suppression and obstruction regulations by controlling the voting mechanisms.
Christie cited Florida’s Rick Scott, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, and Ohio’s John Kasich’s as strong advocates for and supporters of harsh voting restrictions in their respective states. He asked the Chamber’s audience, “Would you rather have Rick Scott in Florida overseeing the voting mechanism, or Charlie Crist? Would you rather have Scott Walker in Wisconsin overseeing the voting mechanism, or would you rather have Mary Burke? Who would you rather have in Ohio, John Kasich or Ed FitzGerald?”
Christie may not have the anti-voter credentials of some of his Republican brethren, but he does not support the right to vote for all Americans. Last year Christie vetoed an early-voting bill, has been openly critical of same-day registration and voting, and played a “shameless political game” when he scheduled New Jersey’s U.S. Senate special election last year.
Christie’s call for Republican governors to “control the voting mechanism,” an overt call for increasing Republican voter disenfranchisement, comports with his outrage a couple of months ago over another Republican state, Illinois, because they simplified the voting process that Christie said was “shocking, underhanded, a dirty trick,” and “a major obstacle for the GOP’s’ gubernatorial candidates.” For the record, the Illinois law was enacted by a “bipartisan” election commission, and likely it contributed to Christie’s demand that Republican governors are given a freer hand to “control the voting mechanisms” in their states; particularly in preparation for the 2016 general election.
Christie’s blatant support for Republican governors overseeing voting restrictions is not unique among Republicans who have no qualms advertising their anti-democracy agenda. In Georgia, the Republican, ALEC, and Koch brother war on democracy through restricting working-class Americans’ opportunity to participate in democracy is also blatant. Last month a Georgia Republican boasted that he was working with another Republican to prevent African Americans from voting and unabashedly said he really “hopes it can be stopped” because “it means too many people are voting.” Just for good measure he blew a dog whistle for Georgia’s racist voters and announced publicly that he “would prefer more educated voters than a greater increase in the number of voters.”
In North Carolina recently, the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity deliberately sent out tens-of-thousands of voter information letters with false information to keep voters likely to support Democrats away from the polls for the upcoming midterm elections. It is also noteworthy that the Koch brothers’ legislative arm, the American Legislative Exchange Council, openly advertises that their voter restriction legislation as a way to guarantee that democracy works in elections; even though ALEC has publicly refused to sign a pledge supporting democracy.
The Republicans openly campaigning against voting rights and, indeed, America’s storied democracy informs that their campaign to thwart democracy is now a major policy position. It means that Americans’ right to participate in the democratic process is under a concerted assault from ALEC, the Koch’s Americans for Prosperity, conservatives on the Supreme Court, and the Republican Party. The conservative cretins are not only anti-democracy, they are plainly anti-American. It also means that when President Obama says Republicans are patriotic and love America, he is not being forthright or honest with the American people. Of all Americans, President Obama knows, or at least should know that anyone openly fighting to restrict the right to vote is not a patriot and does not love America.
Over the past nearly-six years Republicans have demonstrated that not only do they hate President Obama, they truly hate America, its democracy, and its people. They openly campaign against the federal government, work to decimate the economy, keep Americans in poverty, and now are shamelessly campaigning against the democratic process by restricting voting rights to their white Christian base. Apparently, the entire conservative movement agrees with Chris Christie that “allowing” all Americans to participate in the constitutionally-protected electoral process is shocking and a dirty trick that ALEC, the Supreme Court, and the Kochs will make sure Republican governors put a screeching halt to by controlling state voting mechanisms.