Thursday, October 16, 2008

From a tiny ACORN many nuts grow

The above is John McCain's speech at a rally co-sponsored by ACORN. Note all the folks with red shirts in the audience. He calls them, as well as the other groups involved in the rally, "what makes America special". He doesn't say "All of you except ACORN are what makes America special". Heh.

The tighty righties are now whining about "vote fraud" in connection with ACORN. But the crime they keep talking about is not "vote fraud". Rather, it is voter registration fraud -- attempts to register non-existent people or otherwise filing fraudulent voter registrations. Note that ACORN has never been convicted of any crime. Some of their contract employees have been convicted of voter registration fraud for turning in fraudulent voter registration applications, but note that this prosecution was done with the help of ACORN itself, which turned over the fraudulent applications as evidence to the voter registrar with a cover letter explaining who did it so that the voter registrar could forward the evidence to the D.A. for prosecution. These applications defraud ACORN as much as anything, because ACORN is paying these workers to go out and canvass neighborhoods for potential voters to sign up, and instead these workers are sitting at home making up names to put on applications.

Note that the fraudulent registrations never result in people voting. As a new voter you need your registration card (sent via U.S. Postal Service to the mailing address on your application, and delivered only if you live at the address in question) or a government-issued photo ID in order to vote. If someone shows up with a registration card saying "Mickey Mouse", his name is Mickey Mouse, otherwise the card would have never been delivered to his house by the U.S. Postal Service. So what is all this tighty righty shouting and furor about?

Well, two things. First of all, they want to use this to convince state governments to pass photo ID laws. 10% of Americans lack photo ID, generally the poor and the elderly, and 25% of African-Americans lack photo ID, so this will immediately remove the right to vote from significant populations that typically vote Democrat. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states that require photo ID must provide free ID's for voting purposes or it's an illegal poll tax, but that brings up another problem -- getting this free ID requires having a certified copy of your birth certificate plus a utility bill or etc. at your home address that proves you live there. For people who live in government-sponsored housing where their utilities are part of their rent, obviously they won't be able to show a utility bill, and getting a certified copy of your birth certificate generally requires... uhm... the photo ID that you need the birth certificate in order to obtain it? See the chicken and egg problem here? Can't get the ID without the birth certificate, can't get the birth certificate without the ID!

So anyhow, kicking Democrats off the voter rolls is one reason they're doing this, but not the main reason why it has suddenly interjected itself into the Presidential race. The deal is this: The Republicans know they're going to lose.

Yes, they've already given up. They know they've lost. They know they can't win, that the Republican brand is too discredited by the Bush Administration for them to win. So they're looking at four years of Obama at the least. So what to do about it? Well, that's simple. This is all just a cynical ploy by John McCain and the right-wingers to repeat their 1960 tactic where they tried to illegitimatise John F. Kennedy's victory by spreading the smear that Kennedy got it via "voter fraud", despite the fact that not a single person was ever convicted or even charged with such. They know they're going to lose. So what they're doing is trying to conduct a scorched earth campaign to try to remove Obama's ability to govern. That despite the fact that the country is in dire straits and we need our next President to be spending his time getting us out of the mess that the Republicans have gotten us into, rather than spending his time dealing with right-wing whack jobs. But that's just the olde right-wing standard... they'd rather throw a screaming whining kicking tantrum than do something helpful. Thus all the right-wing nuts throwing screaming whining kicking tantrums, and my portrait of a typical right-winger:

Alrighty, then!

-- Badtux the Snarky Penguin


  1. thanks for blogging really is important to realize ahead of time WHat this really is...a ploy...I just hope it does not disenfranshise voters...but I am sure it will...

    I am encouraging people to work as polls Observers on Election Day....there is info at Obama's website....

    ( I am doing it....I am sure here in Ohio it will be interesting..)

  2. The loser always cries voter fraud. They are just doing earlier these days.

  3. Dude, I love what you did with the pic, it cracks me up every time :)

    Thanks for following up on the Acorn story. Democracy Now did a section on it yesterday, and you should have seen Cleta Mitchell's smarmy, snitty attitude, yeesh, major panties-in-a-bunch syndrome.

    Amy got a couple of good ones in on the voter list purges, though.

  4. Precisely, Badtux. Thanks for making clear the distinction that what McCain's mob is calling "voter fraud" is really "registration fraud." I blogged on pretty much the same stuff over the course of several posts last week.

    And yes, I've come to the same conclusion: McCain's intention at this point is to destroy Obama's ability to govern. They may be able to do it; I don't know. Or they may just manage to steal the friggin' election... who knows. Either way, we should not make it so easy for them this time.


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