MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT
This is the skinny: lacking a majority of supporters for its extremist social and plutocratic economic policies, the Republicans can only win with three combined strategies: lie and make it appear that they support prosperity for all Americans; make appeals to racism and dividing the white working class (union vs. non-union); and suppressing the vote.
The New York Times posted an August 22nd article, entitled "Racial Comment by Republican Official in Ohio Rekindles Battle Over Early Voting." Being status quo doormats as usual, the Times wouldn't put "Racist" in its headline. But racist comments about the GOP effort to suppress the vote have been popping up like disfigured crocuses in the spring, including battle ground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.
Liberals deplore the voter suppression efforts, but there has been neither a loud outcry from Democratic and independent voters nor the White House – and I mean in the streets, civil disobedience outrage at taking away the right of United States citizens to vote. This disenfranchisement of a fundamental Constitutional principle is being done only to help Republicans win elections, primarily at the presidential level.
An August 11th Washington Post story the headline "Election Day impersonation, an impetus for voter ID laws, a rarity, data show," and it revealed the stark fact of the GOP con game to steal the election – its claim of massive voter fraud – to be a lie (although the Post is much too politically prim to state it that bluntly):
A new nationwide analysis of more than 2,000 cases of alleged election fraud over the past dozen years shows that in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which has prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tougher voter ID laws, was virtually nonexistent.
The analysis of 2,068 reported fraud cases by News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation since 2000. With 146 million registered voters in the United States, those represent about one for every 15 million prospective voters.
It is important to remember that the statement of one case of "alleged in-person voter impersonation" per every 15 million voters is over the course of more than 10 years, not one case each year. In short in-person voter fraud is mathematically infinitesimal, something a microscope couldn't even find.
In the relatively few other cases of voter uncertainty, the Washington Post concludes "Requiring voters to show identification at the polls — the crux of most of the new legislation — would not have prevented those cases."
One or two polls I have read show that most Americans believe there is large scale voter fraud. They believe in Disneyland tales that have no bearing in reality. Chalk that off to another success of the disciplined Republican message machine that creates the perception of fact out of complete fiction in order to achieve electoral goals of being in power.
When I occasionally recall (in a commentary) the theft of the 2000 election through the use of voter suppression in Florida (what Greg Palast documented as "caging" that disenfranchised well over 50,000 US citizens entitled to vote) – and the US Supreme Court's intervention in states' rights by overriding the Florida Supreme Court decision to recount votes in several counties in the Panhandle state, now and then a reader comments "get over it."
But it's pretty hard to get over 8 years of a ruinous administration that came into office on the basis of voter suppression and a politically partisan Supreme Court. Democracy is being stolen in broad daylight, and the corporate mass media and most voters – including progressives – are doing little more than "tsk, tsking" the thieves carrying out the robbery.