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Monday, September 26, 2016

Clint Eastwood’s memorable appearance at the Republican National Convention quickly inspired a meme: Conservatives are angry with an invisible President Obama, a man whom most voters simply don’t see. That explains their insistence that the president is a socialist, a Muslim, a weak and cowardly apologist for American strength.

It’s a sardonic bit of cultural commentary but a useful one: It gives voice to the gap between reality — Obama is a centrist liberal whose policies are well within the mainstream — and the tea-party-fueled fantasies about a president who is secretly plotting with the nation’s enemies. However, it turns out that the Eastwood-empty-chair meme doesn’t go far enough to explain the reality gap between the average American voter and the conservatives who make up the Republican base.

If you listen to the now-infamous video of Mitt Romney disparaging half of Americans as lazy moochers, you’ll understand that it’s not only Obama who is unrecognizable in the conservative mind-set. It’s also the nation. Republicans have not only made up a fantasy president; he is supported by an equally fanciful electorate.

In the minds of the legions who listen to Rush Limbaugh, voters support Obama only because he gives them government handouts. Furthermore, many of them are voting illegitimately, stealing elections from the reasonable Republicans who would otherwise be winning — or so that thinking goes.

Just take a look at one of the GOP’s decade-long obsessions: voter ID laws. Around the country, GOP-led state legislatures have imposed stringent requirements for specific forms of photo ID, all in the name of thwarting illegal ballots. Conservatives paint a dire picture of democracy under siege by fraudulent voters.

Never mind that in-person voter fraud — the illegitimate balloting that picture IDs are meant to prevent — is practically non-existent. An exhaustive new study of 2,068 alleged election-fraud cases since 2000 found 10 — 10 — cases of voter impersonation. In a nation where the bigger problem, by far, is voter apathy, it is bordering on delusional to believe large numbers of people would go to the polls pretending to be somebody else.

  • bcarreiro

    When you act for a living its hard to tell fact or fiction. Indivisible with Liberty not Invisible.
    Honesty is the best policy ….and the truth is what sets us free.

  • Had the photo ID, and other proposed or enacted voting requirements, been proposed a couple of years ago I would not have had a problem with it, but when a dramatic deviation from the norm is proposed a couple of months before an election, knowing that state governmental institutions will not have time to issue IDs to all the Americans who do not have them in time to vote, and that many Americans lack the mobility or financial resources needed to comply with this last minute requirement, the first thing that comes to mind is hanging chads. Republican strategists figured out what dictators worldwide have known for years, one of the easiest ways to win an election with a semblance of legitimacy is to deny supporters of an opponent the opportunity to vote using last minute tactics similar to those proposed by the GOP in the USA.
    As a minimum, people who wish to vote and cannot get a photo ID before election day should go to the polling place with whatever ID they have, including a birth certificate, veteran records, an old voter registration card or whatever form of identification they can find and let the officials at the voting place tell them that our Constitutional rights are meaningless this election year and that the fact that they were born in the USA and served in our Armed Forces is not good enough for them.
    I realize the Republican party is desperate, but what they are doing sets a dangerous precedent and is an embarrassment to the USA. Can you imagine the credibility of an American envoy to a foreign country to ensure their electoral process is fair?

    • Don

      Back in June of 2012, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) the Republican controlled Legislature in Pennsylvania rammed their so called “Voter ID” legislation through. Turazi stated that the House’s end game in passing the Voter ID law was to benefit the GOP politically: “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
      All those Voter ID laws passed around the same time by Republican-controlled states weren’t about some mythical massive voter fraud either; as they were quite clearly all about voter suppression of folks most likely to vote for a Democrat.
      Look it up.
      Let’s take back OUR Democracy and throw these Legislative Shams OUT, and nullify this legislation Immediately and Completely.

      Dear Dominick most likely Can tell that the elderly, students, disabled and disadvantaged can’t comply with these horrible pieces of legislation yet he chooses to support these thugs. Sad, isn’t it. Want a good piece of legislation? – make it so EVERYONE IS REQUIRED TO VOTE. That’d be good For democracy, so I bet he and his associates aren’t supportive.

      You all know what to do!

  • Are you talkin’ to me? Are you talkin’ yo me? You must be talkin’ to me. I’m the only one standin’ here, so you must be talkin’ to me. If i’m the only one standin’ here, and nobody else is around, you must be talkin’ to me. You talkin’ to yourself? You must be talkin’ to yourself if you’re not talkin’ to me and only you and me is standin’ here. If you’re not talkin’ to yourself and nobody is here except you and me, then you must be talkin’ to me! What’re you laughin’ at? You laughin’ at me? You take me for a joke? Do I amuse you? Am I a clown to you? Who are you laughin’ at? You lookin’ at me and you’re laughin’. You lookin’ at me! I’m lookin’ at you to see you lookin’ at me, so you must be lookin’ at me! . . Don’t walk away. You think you’re better than me? Huh? You think you’re better than me! You’d better walk away. That’s right, go to your mommy! Ooooo, you’re a tough guy! . . You f%&#*in’ wuss!

  • Jim Lou

    I don’t understand why we don’t use more modern technology. When I go to the DMV I have to be photographed. The photograph is then digitalized and saved. When I get a new license I get the same picture on it.

    There are other technologies available. Many companies use machines that scan your finger prints in order to validate your identity in order to gain access to areas. This can be extended to voting.

    All aliens have to be finger printed when they get citizenship. It is a simple matter to verify the citizenship of these people.

    My daughter had her feet printed and it is on record. I don’t how many jurisdictions do that.

    On another tack, it is hard as an American who isn’t white to be asked to prove my citizenship. I can remember being asked if I were American. Yet I don’t see that being asked of whites.

    There are many illegal whites in this country. There are many Irish, Polish and others in this country illegally. Yet many of the laws aren’t targetting them. That is the problem with many of the laws.

    • A friend of mine is Mexican American, he was asked for ID when a police officer heard him talking in Spanish to someone outside a 7-Eleven. My friend, a veteran, was born in the Midwest, his parents, grandparents and great grandparents were all born in Texas. The woman that cuts my hair, and most of the other women that work with her, were born in Russia, they speak Russian among themselves, and nobody ever challenges their status or minds the fact that they speak a foreign language.
      You are right, a lot of Europeans enter the USA with student or tourist visas and never leave, and many enter via the Canadian border and nobody ever says anything about erecting walls there.

  • emadis41

    These laws are aimed at the 47% ers.
    Let it be known that the 47% also includes the smart (the elite) who will never join the GOPers, as Santorum said.

  • Does the country really want some sort of national ID card? If so the process has to be given a reasonable time period. In the mean time those without such documentation should be grandfathered. It is obvious that the hole ID fanfare is about the election this year. The notion that folks are fighting against voter fraud is indeed a fraud. The time to make change is certainly not in an election year. We vote for President every four years so start next year and develope a system to ensure that all citizens are able obtain such an ID by 2016. Of course Obama would be running again so the ID issue will fade after his second term.

    • Don

      Oh dear Lynda – I’m not finding your “papers please” to be very exciting at all. Are you an Arizona Republican? I have an idea for all of you that want to “improve” elections and Democracy: Let make it so EVERYBODY HAS TO VOTE! It’s well known within anyone that sees the situation clearly that the “ID” garbage REALLY means Vote Suppression. As usual the rethuglicans don’t call it what it is REALLY. I suppose you will support their wanting to repeal the 17th amendment next. (Appointed Senators) You are aware that that’s where they want to go next, aren’t you Lynda.

      • You’ve got my point totally wrong. I’m as far from a Arizona Republican as one could get. My point was that rushing to push such legislation during an election year is obvious. If states really wish to have voter ID laws they have to allow reasonable periods of time and allocate the financial resourses to ensure that all citizens are helped in obtaining such ID’s. I’m not necessarily in favor of such a process..I was asking if the ‘country’ really wants such a thing the politics has to be taken out of the process.

        • Don

          Perhaps I did get part of your point wrong Lynda. However, did you know that in the USA we are NOT legally required to have or show ID’s? Let’s keep it this way. States wish to have voter ID???? Nope – not states Lynda – or Country – How about We The People. How about US protecting our Civil Liberties. Yes, as usual the situation has much more to it than meets the eyes. Did you know that these folks have plans to repeal the 17th amendment, (which allows US to Elect rather than have our Senators Appointed) as well? Look it up.
          Here’s what I’ve had to say about this matter previously Lynda, and I hope that this clarifies things for you, well actually in part I’ll let the republican(s) tell it as it’s there “deal” so to speak.
          Back in June of 2012, House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) the Republican controlled Legislature in Pennsylvania rammed their so called “Voter ID” legislation through. Turazi stated that the House’s end game in passing the Voter ID law was to benefit the GOP politically: “Voter ID, which is gonna allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done.”
          All those Voter ID laws passed around the same time by Republican-controlled states weren’t about some mythical massive voter fraud either; as they were quite clearly all about voter suppression of folks most likely to vote for a Democrat.
          Again, look it up.
          Let’s take back OUR Democracy and throw these Legislative Shams OUT and nullify this legislation Immediately and Completely.

          The elderly, students, disabled and disadvantaged etc. can’t comply with these horrible pieces of legislation. Think it through Lynda. Want a good alternative piece of legislation? – make it so EVERYONE IS REQUIRED TO VOTE. That’d be good For democracy, wouldn’t it? Oh – and abolish electronic voting machines too!
          I hope this helps Lynda.

  • dljones

    Whine, whine, whine!!!!! More excuses then a first grader. Sounds like you want to perpetuate illegal voting than mobilize honesty through identification. If voting is that important to you, why not expend as much energy securing an ID. For a start,perhaps those without citizenship can return their country and vote for their dictator alleviating part of our problem.

    And those working the polls, you need closer oversight as some workers as well are part of the problem. By the way, dead voters can’t vote, so if they show up, please remind them.

    • johninPCFL

      Yeah, a few million bucks to keep the 6 folks per year who fraudulently vote fits the GOP plan of claiming to reduce government spending while continuing to increase the size, cost and scope of government.

      • dljones

        Like big spender Stimulus Man, your arithmetic is short of reality.

        • johninPCFL

          Sure. A few million bucks is worth keeping half a dozen folks per year from voting fraudulently. There have been 86 cases documented from 350 million votes cast over the last decade or two.

          Florida’s spending about $10 million to try to implement Scott’s crazy ambition to eliminate Hispanic voters (at least 90+% of those to be cut have Hispanic-sounding names.) I guess teabagger liberals are OK with wasting taxpayer money.

          • dljones

            If you want voter fraud cancelling your vote, that is your choice. Tens of thousands of our military have died for the choice of voting in a democracy opposed to protesting in the streets for that right in countries denied to vote.

          • johninPCFL

            So spending tens of millions of dollars to keep tens of thousands of citizens from legally voting is a worthy salute to that sacrifice?

    • phantomoftheopera

      funny, but the one case of voter fraud i’ve heard of involves a repulican using a dead person’s absentee ballot for four years!

      your hatred is showing through. and it’s clouding your brain.

      • dljones

        One case of voter fraud? Really, “ONE” You living in a tunnel of endless truth?

        My “hatred” is relative to many of those that perpetrate dishonesty.

        • phantomoftheopera

          yes. just one. so voter fraud isn’t really a problem, eh?

          dishonesty? try the republican party! it’s the one that miraculously found a “voter fraud problem” and is trying to alleviate it–all at the last minute when they might lose!

  • stephen7777

    I think the best thing to do about this is to have President Obama embrace it. If he were to come out tomorrow as saying he believes that all Americans should have a photo ID for voting and called it the ‘Obamacard’ the Tea Party would immediately screech into reverse. It would be an affront to state rights, an attack on liberty, a Neo Socialist Kenyan Anti Imperialist plot that undermined the constitution.

    They’ve already tipped their hand with the ACA: If Obama’s for it, we’re against it.

    So why aren’t we using it?

  • Let me put this is terms anyone can understand.

    Republicans are the masters of using fear to get away with dirty tricks.

    Twelve years ago, the fear of paper ballot fraud, which was just as fictitious then, led to the imposition of electronic voting machines–and unreliable results in the republicans’ favor.

    George W. Bush was handed Florida by the Supreme Court before a recount could be completed.

    This is real. These people will continue to use fear and distortion to set up an elite consisting of themselves, as the rest of us are not “real Americans” in their eyes.

    This sick madness has to end.

  • Phil Trites

    The 47% are good to go with their Government prisoner ID.
    If they don’t have that – Then they are aliens – so they can shove it.
    if they are too Fkg Lazy to get a valid ID by now – they’re too mentally challenged already.