Opinion » The Rant

The Rant



I wish that in real life people's heads could spin all the way around and around like the demonically possessed character Linda Blair played in the movie The Exorcist. I wish this because it would be great to grab hold of some of these Tennessee lawmakers and twist their heads around a few times and then screw them back in the right direction, kind of like shutting down and then rebooting a computer, to see if maybe they would rethink the racist, elitist, crooked, backward, Tea Party-favored voter ID laws and let the current bill to repeal it pass on through so that Tennessee (as well as the other few states that passed the law) will not set voting rights back 50 years. It is so obviously a way to keep a large group of people from voting to reelect President Obama it might as well be stamped on their foreheads. Now let me tell you what I really think about it.

Let's say you are 80 years old, poor, have no car or driver's license, live in a small town with no DMV, and you have some physical trouble getting around. You, my friend, have just hit the jackpot of being denied the right to vote. What, you don't have a passport? Not a world traveler? You have the hospital copy of your birth certificate but not a certified copy that costs money to obtain? What kind of record keeper are you? You don't have a valid military ID? What kind of patriot are you, anyway? You can't find a way to get to the big city so you can stand or sit in line for about six hours to get an ID after producing every kind of documentation possible save for having your corneas scanned to prove you are the same voter you have been for decades? You really don't have a chauffeur? How sad, you little person. You mean you're just an ordinary, law-abiding, standup citizen who volunteers for your church and who has voted all of your life with no problems and now you are whining because the GOP has made it impossible for you to cast your vote this fall in one of the most important presidential elections in history? Don't you know this is the American way? Sigh. Maybe if you called them and told them you plan to vote for the Republican candidate they might cut you some slack and come get you and take you to the DMV and get you a place in the front of the line. They have that kind of power.

All this mess in Tennessee seems to be based on the three — yeah, count 'em, three — Shelby County poll workers who admitted to voter fraud way back seven years ago in 2005. Hmm. Why then is it that, as President Obama enters his last year in office with reelection for another term likely for 2012-2016, has the law been passed? And it's not just in Tennessee, of course. The conspiracy was proposed in 30 states, despite the fact that there were only 86 convictions of voter fraud in the entire country between 2002 and 2006, during which time approximately 400 million votes were cast. Maybe that's why most of the states had the good sense to blow it off. Only eight states passed it and in two of those the governors vetoed it. Tennessee GOP lawmakers, does that not resonate with you in any way? Does that not tell you that the majority of the United States doesn't believe in setting back voting rights 50 years? You obviously know this is going to impact African Americans at a much higher rate than anyone else and does that not at least make your conscience cringe just one little teeny tiny itsy bitsy bit? Just a shred?

One of the things that drives me crazy about this is that the new bill to repeal the law is tied up "in committee." Why not just let the people vote on it? Oh, I forgot. Too many of them can't vote any more. Silly me.

You'd think the GOP would be in favor of voter fraud. How else would George W. Bush have gotten elected? Seems they don't mind when it works in their favor like that. But not now. Not with the looming possibility of Barack Obama spending another four years in office and ending wars and killing the world's most-wanted terrorist and improving the economy so we didn't go into a real depression after the crash that happened shortly before he took office. I have nothing personal against any of the GOP lawmakers. I've met a bunch of them and never met one I didn't like on a personal level. They are nice folks. But this desperate move to make the right to vote as difficult as possible for millions of voters who might vote to reelect the president is just sad. I wish the three — yeah, count 'em, three — Shelby County poll workers who admitted to fraud seven years ago had been able to predict the future.

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