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This isn’t a story of sin begetting sin but of foolishness begetting foolishness.
 
Years ago, somewhere, some Democratic political guru sat in a room with reams of demographics of people who never had voted and when he finished studying those pages of statistics one fact was clear as a bell: If those folks started voting more Democrats would be elected.
 
Next, over in the state legislature, the Democratic  politicians went to work and passed motor-voter laws to register people when they applied for a driver’s license.
 
Of course, the Democrats didn’t say they passed those laws to elect more Democrats – they dressed them up in fine sounding rhetoric about the importance to Democracy of more people voting.
 
Voter registration soared – but the new voters didn’t vote.
 
So the Democratic legislators went back to work passing laws to increase voter turnout – like allowing early voting, same day registration, and Sunday voting.
 
But that didn’t make much difference either.
 
Then, in 2008, Barack Obama ran for President.
 
Now, some Democrats will argue that election was when all their years of labor finally paid off – and that Barack Obama running for President was a coincidence. Turnout soared. But, for instance, did African-American turnout rise in 2008 because voters suddenly discovered early voting – or because the first African-American in history was on the ballot.
 
Two years later, in the 2010 election, when President Obama was not on the ballot African-American turnout dropped again. Then, in 2012, when he was on the ballot it went back up. All that seems to indicate Barack Obama, himself, was the prime impetus behind turnout rising and falling – not early voting.
 
Then Republicans came to power.
 
Now, let’s concede, for arguments sake, that when Republicans took office they looked at all those Democratic election laws and reached the exact same conclusion Democrats had years ago – that they’d helped elect Democrats. And they figured turnabout – and repealing those laws – was fair play.
 
Of course, like Democrats years before, Republicans couldn’t very well say they were changing the laws so fewer Democrats would be elected – so, dressed their new laws up in a lot of fine-sounding rhetoric about stopping voter fraud.
 
The new Republican laws elicited a howl from Democrats, led by the formidable Reverend William Barber, so fierce that by the time the Republican plan passed it was all but neutered – there would be seven less early voting days but the number of early voting hours per day would increase so in the end the total number of hours would remain exactly the same.
 
There was a new voter ID requirement but, in the age when a campaign (a Democratic friend actually told me this story about the Obama campaign) can text message three female Obama supporters in North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Alabama, and ask them each to call an undecided female voter in Colorado, how long can getting a voter ID slow a campaign down?
 
Governor McCrory signed the new legislation into law and put out a YouTube video saying how, now, elections would to be clean and safe – but before the ink was dry on the page Reverend Barber sued him, held a press conference, and landed on TV with a 53 minute video of his own.
 
The Governor, the Reverend explained, had landed NC right back in days of Jim Crow. He had trampled on the blood of Civil Rights martyrs, and the combination of the new laws and the Supreme Court’s recent decision on the Voting Rights Act made for the worst day in North Carolina history since the union troops left the state after Reconstruction.

There is the kind of irony here that can only happen in politics: The Democrats pass laws to elect Democrats – that don’t work. Then Republicans undo the Democratic foolishness that didn’t work – to elect Republicans. None of which – on either side – will make a tootles worth of difference when it comes to electing anyone but has led to a political howl so earthshaking you’d think the greatest threat to North Carolina today is whether a precinct has 100 hours of early voting over 17 days or 100 hours of early voting over 10 days.

 

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clarence swinney
# clarence swinney
Monday, August 19, 2013 5:09 PM
WEALTH CONTROLS
MEAN HOUSEHOLD FINANCIAL (NON HOME) WEALTH
Top 1%=$15,171,600
Top 20%=$1,1719,800
60th-80th Percentile=$100,700
40th-60th Percentile=$12,200
Bottom 40%=$14,800
What scares me is control of voting via computer programs.
In last election I voted a straight D but, on review, all came up R
dap916
# dap916
Monday, August 19, 2013 6:21 PM
Excellent presentation. Loved it, Carter.

The truth is, the whole reason the democrats "howl" and lawsuits ensued is because the democrats have to make sure that their base sees them as fighting for them. They know as well as you and I that Voter ID is good election law. The only people it could hurt is those that try to vote illegally. People that are indigent or are shut-ins or have no means to get an ID will be given one through the state. Of course, they'll have to prove they are who they say they are and must be eligible to vote...so, that might be a problem for some. If the truth were known, the number of people that actually want to vote and don't have an ID is extremely small. This is more about rhetoric and spin and innuendo than it is about anything substantive.
Mark Turner
# Mark Turner
Monday, August 19, 2013 9:34 PM
Come on, Carter. Are you gonna pretend that voter turnout isn't ALWAYS greater for a presidential election?
jack-of-all-thumbs
# jack-of-all-thumbs
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 8:03 AM
I take no issue with Mr. Wrenn's observation that both sets of actions were undertaken by the two major parties in order to increase their chances. That is the nature of politics. But I strongly disagree that this makes their actions equal. Because voting is a right, not a privilege; and the long list of steps taken by the GOP this year are all designed to take away that right, not to expand it (as was the case by their opponents). That is a fundamental difference.

Also note that Mr. Wrenn fails to include two other steps taken by the GOP along these lines. First, the requirement that college students return to their hometown to vote, instead of allowing them to vote at their school, thus requiring them to miss class in order to exercise their right to vote. Second, making it illegal for polling places to extend their hours, regardless of whether people are in line waiting to cast their ballots. Both steps are unquestionably taken to reduce the ability of students and urban voters to exercise their right to vote, thus favoring Republican candidates. Considered collectively, the multiple changes in our voting laws go far beyond 'politics as usual'. They are voter suppression pure and simple. And that's not how America is supposed to work.
jack-of-all-thumbs
# jack-of-all-thumbs
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 8:23 AM
I take no issue with Mr. Wrenn's observation that both sets of actions were undertaken by the two major parties in order to increase their chances. That is the nature of politics. But I strongly disagree that this makes their actions equal. Because voting is a right, not a privilege; and the long list of steps taken by the GOP this year are all designed to take away that right, not to expand it (as was the case by their opponents). That is a fundamental difference.

Also note that Mr. Wrenn fails to include two other steps taken by the GOP along these lines. First, the requirement that college students return to their hometown to vote, instead of allowing them to vote at their school, thus requiring them to miss class in order to exercise their right to vote. Second, making it illegal for polling places to extend their hours, regardless of whether people are in line waiting to cast their ballots. Both steps are unquestionably taken to reduce the ability of students and urban voters to exercise their right to vote, thus favoring Republican candidates. Considered collectively, the multiple changes in our voting laws go far beyond 'politics as usual'. They are voter suppression pure and simple. And that's not how America is supposed to work.
clarence swinney
# clarence swinney
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 10:08 AM
60th-80th Percentile=$100,700
40th-60th Percentile=$12,200
Bottom 40%=$14,800
What scares me is control of voting via computer programs.
In last election I voted a straight D but, on review, all came up R

Robert Reich of University of California put it simple and truthful in a brief outline:
“Suppose a small group of extremely wealth people sought to systematically destroy the U.S. Government by finding and bankrolling new candidates pledged to shrinking and dismembering it---
intimidating or bribing many current senators and representatives---to block all proposed legislation, prevent the appointment of presidential nominees, eliminate funds to implement and enforce laws
and---threaten to default on the nation's debt---taking over state governments in order to redistrict, gerrymander, require voter IDs, purge voter rolls and otherwise suppress the votes of the majority in federal elections---running a vast PR campaign designed to convince the American public of certain big lies, such as climate change is a hoax And---buying up the media so the public cannot know the truth---would you call this Treason or what?”
Who controls our voting machines and vote counters? Vote counter Diebold was sold to a Republican.

What a wonderful simple analysis on American politics today.
Anonymous User
# Anonymous User
Friday, August 23, 2013 9:38 AM
http://www.politicsnc.com/losing-the-argument/

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