NEOCON VOTING TRICKS TAKE ACTION! the voter 'ID' bill njw 09-19-06

This bastard piece of legislation (below) seeks to take back a key feature of the Voting Rights Act, so recently renewed with typical populist flourish by our alleged Federalist and Misleader-In-Chief. This measure is, in fact, a poll tax of a different kind. The vast majority of folks who do not drive, don’t have credit cards, don’t have employee I.D., and usually don’t have the types of identification listed in this bill, tend to be black or brown; and/or poor; and/or undereducated; and/or elderly; and/or disabled. Add to this that the incidence of voter fraud is virtually nil, one wonders why we are not requiring election officials to produce these damn things on demand; that and wear bells around their necks. The past three election cycles have shown conclusively that these folks are where the problem lies, not with the poor bastards trying – against all odds, in many cases – to exercise their right to have a say in who governs them badly for the next 2 or 4 years.


And, oh yes, over 80% tend to resemble Democrats; but that wouldn’t have anything to do with anything, would it? Sorry I mentioned it.


One thing that has become increasingly clear to me, over the past 35 years, is that the Republican Party has transmogrified from a force that was just ho-hum, antediluvian, garden-variety, elitist and exclusionary in its view of people, the world – not to mention its pinched and stingy vision of what this grand experiment known as America is all about - to a party that is, today, willing to do whatever, say whatever, break or ignore or temporize whatever laws of the land, traduce whomever, rig however many elections, and take whatever increasingly outrageous steps (up to, and most likely including, a select, few key assassinations) it must, in order to have its megalomaniacal way.


Once its leaders came to the conclusion that the party could never return to its profligate, cavalier, and oppressive ways (Goldwater’s 1964 defeat) by honest means, via open combat in the marketplace of intellectually-honest ideas (“Extremism in the defense of liberty…”), on a level field of play (Liberalism has its faults, but Conservative “ideals” should play no role in any humane vision of the future for our species), the die was cast; even though most involved in this paradigm shift had failed to give a particle of thought as to which particular road to hell such a philosophical “take” might lead (like Iraq redux).


For me, this deal was sealed, not when Bill Buckley founded National Review; nor when the lush Mr. Mellon-Scaife funded the American Enterprise Institute (and later, ditto for the Heritage Foundation); nor any number of other seminal events in the 40s, 50s, and 60s; but, rather, when Nixon’s election minions betrayed the nation – and the loved ones of some 20,000 more, mostly needless, additional American casualties* - with their Faustian, back-channel bargain with then South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu. Such grand betrayal of principle of any kind puts the relatively penny-ante bads of the Neocons in perspective, doesn’t it? Scale matters. To my own way of thinking, and besides the sheer bodybag count, Nixon’s is still the greater treason; he interfered with an ongoing peace process that was making progress until his interference prevented same – all for petty political aggrandizement. Team Bush’s bads, while equally scurrilous acts, were only partially driven by pure partisan political gain. Nixon’s actions had absolutely no redeemable value; even the Neocons’ fantasy-based one.


Of course, 99.5% of all Americans were not made aware of Nixon’s monstrous 1968 efforts, until this century, in his maniacal reach for the Tolkien ring of ineluctable power that temporarily resides in the U.S. Presidency. Even then, this offshore item was picked up by few in the mainstream American press; old news – shit, that’s a million years ago; who really cares? That’s like reporting – 40 years on - that Ringo preferred camels.


But the dark lessons learned from the Nixon era informed the sinister aspirations of the Karl Roves, Dick Cheneys, and a host of others, that winning was the only thing; trumping even treason and betrayal in order to achieve. No doubt, most of you reading this will cringe at the almost uncanny similarity of purpose and actions exhibited in the events of the 1968 election and by those of the President’s men, as compared to those in this century.


It instructs us how close we are to the knife’s-edge of despotism and how truly fragile our freedoms:

“… Nixon had asked (on the run-up to impeachment) the Joint Chiefs ''whether in a crunch there was support (as in, a military coup) to keep him in power,''


“… Nixon might have been intoxicated; it took very little alcohol to make him belligerent, and he became even more thuggish and incoherent when he threw in a few sleeping pills as well. He might have been hypermedicated, and he may have helped himself to a very volatile anticonvulsant called Dilantin, given to him by a campaign donor rather than prescribed by a physician. He might have been in a depressive or psychotic state; for three decades and in great secrecy he consulted a psychotherapist named Dr. Arnold A. Hutschnecker. He may even have believed the Jews were after him; on numberless occasions he used his dirtiest mouth to curse at Jewish plots and individuals.”


“… Nixon's illegal and surreptitious conduct not only prolonged an awful war but also corrupted and subverted a crucial presidential election: the combination must make it the most wicked action in American history.” And more; much bloody more. (though I differ with Chris that this was “…a nation founded on law and right.”)


Will anyone reading this deny that our current Oval dry-drunk could probably match Tricky Dick and raise him by a nutcase, or two?


The upshot was that Thieu agreed to delay (by withdrawing) the start of incipient (Paris) peace talks until after the 1968 U.S. election. In return, Nixon’s emissaries agreed to provide more military support for Thieu - on the ground - than Humphrey had already told Thieu he would (also giving Thieu more time to line his own pockets). Nixon’s victory over Humphrey was razor-thin. Most historians give credit for putting Nixon “over the top” (he had been trailing in many polls as few as two weeks before the election) to the Democrats inability - despite promises to do so - to actually have peace negotiations underway by Election Day. Given the mood of the country, it served as a forerunner to Bush 41’s “Read my lips…” moment.


Despite the political chaos that began with the fractious, bumptious, and uproarious election campaign of 1968, and continued through the 70s with such nadirs for the Republicans as the impeachment and hounding from office of both a sitting GOP Vice-President and President, 1968 was indeed the turning of the screw as to which of the two major competing ideologies would propel the American hegemon through to century’s end.


In the three-and-a-half decades since Reagan took office, the “Republican” Party has left behind any and all claim to the salutary values (there are a few) it may have once possessed; most notably, that of intellectual honesty and fidelity to its principles and ideals - in all those principles’ wrong-headed, counterintuitive; muddled, misanthropic, myopic, mean-spirited; and miscreant glory.


As Sy Hirsch so succinctly phrased it, “We’ve been taken over by a cult (Neocon).” Well, I say we’ve been betrayed by a party. The Bush administration is the most logical continuum of the path the GOP has trod since 1980; when it finally regained some real say in the country’s governance. Why should anyone be surprised at our present low state? Gilded Age anyone?


Given the apparently endless parlous state of the affairs of men, boy, did Old Ben have it right, on the steps of Independence Hall, not so long ago.


Rigged elections may be the least of our problems. Make the call anyway.


NjW 09-19-06


*Estimates of upwards of 200,000 additional Vietnamese, Cambodians, and Laotians may also have perished in vain, during the extra 2-3 years of prolonged conflict, borne as a direct result of the Nixonista’s unforgivable and traitorous duplicity on the eve of election in 1968.



From: Elaine Patton [mailto:epsunshine2@yahoo.com]

League of Women Voters of the United States <lobbying@lwv.org> wrote:

Subject: Action Alert: Don't Let Congress Shut Out Voters



Take Action. Now!




Action Alert: Don't Let Congress Shut Out Voters


The House could vote as early as this Wednesday, September 20, on a bill that would disenfranchise large numbers of legal voters.  The so-called “Federal Election Integrity Act of 2006,” H.R. 4844, would create new barriers to voting by requiring every voter to provide government-issued, current and valid photo identification at the polling place in 2008.  By 2010 every voter would have to provide ID that includes proof of citizenship.

Photo ID requirements discourage voting and discriminate against certain voters. Photo ID requirements disproportionately impact those who are least likely to have current photo ID:  the elderly, young people, people of color, rural voters, the homeless, low-income people, individuals with disabilities, frequent movers and persons in large households.  The expense involved in obtaining photo ID is an economic burden and has a real discriminatory effect. 

At the polls, acceptance of the ID would be determined by poll workers and election officials.  Such tests and devices have historically resulted in discrimination and disenfranchisement of eligible voters.

Voter fraud addressed in H.R. 4844 is a rare problem.  There is no question that election misconduct exists, but the lack of evidence of instances in which voters misrepresent their identity at the polls suggests that the kind of voter fraud ameliorated by a photo ID requirement is an oddity.

Congress is using the pretext of voter fraud as a means to manipulate the voting process.  If there is little misrepresentation at the polls, why is Congress insisting on passing more restrictions on voting?  Congress should not be playing politics with the right to vote.  Voter participation should be increased, not blocked by unnecessary barriers.  

Proof of citizenship required by H.R. 4844 is like a 21st Century poll tax.  H.R. 4844 calls for every voter by 2010 to provide a government-issued, current and valid photo ID that proves citizenship.  A newly issued U.S. passport currently costs $97 plus postage, and requires supporting documentation.  Obtaining proof of citizenship imposes real costs in both time and money.  If H.R. 4844 were enacted, many Americans would have to pay to obtain proof of their citizenship.  This amounts to a 21st Century poll tax.

Voting is the most fundamental expression of citizenship.  Much of the last century was spent breaking down barriers to citizen voter participation – from literacy tests to the poll tax.   We must continue to protect eligible voters from discrimination, and must not allow new barriers to be erected in the 21st Century.


1. Contact your Representative in the House now, by phone and by email, and urge her/him to oppose H.R. 4844 and the barriers to voting it creates.  Tell your Representative that H.R. 4844 discriminates against legal voters and discourages voter participation.  Congress must not manipulate the voting process by blocking voters from participating in elections.   

Phone calls are helpful and can be made through the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121 or 202-225-3121.  Click here to enter your zip code and send an instant message to your Member of Congress now!

2. Send this alert to other concerned citizens — your grassroots network, your friends and coworkers.  Encourage them to contact their representative today!

If this email was forwarded to you, sign up to receive Action Alerts directly by email. Don't miss an opportunity to take action! It’s easy to sign up and the League will never share your email with others: http://takeaction.lwv.org/lwv/mlm/signup/.

Action Alert #109-37, ID, House, GLC, 9/18/06


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