In the last decade, I've become more than accustomed to being lied to. What's more entertaining is watching the GOP lie to itself about its voting proposals. Vote suppression? No! Never! We're, uh ... we're protecting the integrity of the vote. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Kevin Drum and E.J. Dionne weighed in last week on the GOP's efforts to suppress the vote. Drum first:
Well, look: we'll probably never find smoking gun proof that voter fraud laws are aimed at suppressing the black and youth votes. After all, you'd have to be a monumental moron to actually admit this in any kind of written or otherwise permanent form.
Still, let's walk through the evidence:
1. Research showing that actual voter fraud is minuscule — perhaps 0.001% of the vote or so — is overwhelming and very well known.
2. Republicans have nonetheless been pushing voter fraud laws for nearly two decades.
3. This costs a lot of money and sucks up a lot of energy.
4. Parties don't generally spend lots of money and energy on things unless they benefit the party or its supporters in some way.
5. The evidence that voter fraud laws reduce turnout among groups that trend Democratic is also very well known among party apparatchiks who pay attention to such things.
If this were happening in an emerging democracy, we’d condemn it as election-rigging. But it’s happening here, so there’s barely a whimper.
The laws in question include requiring voter identification cards at the polls, limiting the time of early voting, ending same-day registration and making it difficult for groups to register new voters.
Sometimes the partisan motivation is so clear that if Stephen Colbert reported on what’s transpiring, his audience would assume he was making it up. In Texas, for example, the law allows concealed handgun licenses as identification but not student IDs. And guess what? Nationwide exit polls show that John McCain carried households in which someone owned a gun by 25 percentage points but lost voters in households without a gun by 32 points.
One of the common excuses for implementing voter ID is that massive voter fraud might be taking place, but without voter ID how would we know? It's a premise worthy of Kilgore Trout. Every other person in the bar might be an alien robot, but unless we require a thorough medical exam how would we know? As a commonsense precaution?
Since the premise being offered by the GOP is to prove a negative, perhaps they should first have to prove their efforts are not intended to suppress the vote?
(Cross-posted from Scrutiny Hooligans.)