I've been writing about the conservative movement's long term project to disenfranchise Democratic voters since I started this blog. I had hoped that after the debacle of the 2000 election, the Democrats would take this issue seriously and put some weight behind substantial election reform. This was not to be. As usual, nobody wanted to look in the rearview mirror or play the blame game and now the results are possibly catastrophic.
This piece by Ari Berman in Rolling Stone tells the tale of that project finally coming to fruition. And it's chilling;
As the nation gears up for the 2012 presidential election, Republican officials have launched an unprecedented, centrally coordinated campaign to suppress the elements of the Democratic vote that elected Barack Obama in 2008. Just as Dixiecrats once used poll taxes and literacy tests to bar black Southerners from voting, a new crop of GOP governors and state legislators has passed a series of seemingly disconnected measures that could prevent millions of students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly from casting ballots. “What has happened this year is the most significant setback to voting rights in this country in a century,” says Judith Browne-Dianis, who monitors barriers to voting as co-director of the Advancement Project, a civil rights organization based in Washington, D.C.
There are a lot of scary things going on in our political and economic culture right now. The growing police state, the dysfunctional governing structures, the economic failure and corruption. But this one goes right to the heart of our democracy and attacks it head on.
The movement has been leading up to it for decades, but it's picked up speed in the last 12 years. They impeached a Democratic president and stole an election in a two year time span. They fired US Attorneys for failing to rig elections and dismantled the voting rights section of the DOJ. They've packed the courts with anti-democratic judges and filed cases before them to create a sense of systematic voter fraud that doesn't actually exist. And last November they made their move into state houses all over the country and wasted no time in creating laws to disenfranchise as many liberal voters as possible.
Democrats had better hope that the coming elections aren't close. If they are, there's just no way they can win with these laws that are coming on line. And that's the plan.
Not everyone can pay for the news. But if you can, we need your support.
Truthout is widely read among people with lower incomes and among young people who are mired in debt. Our site is read at public libraries, among people without internet access of their own. People print out our articles and send them to family members in prison — we receive letters from behind bars regularly thanking us for our coverage. Our stories are emailed and shared around communities, sparking grassroots mobilization.
We’re committed to keeping all Truthout articles free and available to the public. But in order to do that, we need those who can afford to contribute to our work to do so.
We’ll never require you to give, but we can ask you from the bottom of our hearts: Will you donate what you can, so we can continue providing journalism in the service of justice and truth?