Perhaps the greatest, most heinous crime of this election cycle is voter suppression and how it is being accepted into state law across the country. Sure, voter suppression has taken various forms throughout our nations history—remember Jim Crow?—but there's something particularly pernicious about it to the extent that it is an explicit attack by conservatives on, it seems, everyone who is non-white and non-male.
Conservatives claim that these voter registration laws are an attempt to curb voter fraud—because the 86 cases of voter fraud that were reported between the years of 2002-2007 were too overwhelming for the GOP to handle. Then again, 86 is too high a number for some to count to when, let's just say, we can per$uade a few black-cloak wearing members of our federal government to hand the election to someone.
Ruth Rosen penned a stomach-churning article over at Alternet about voter suppression and how African American women are the demographic that is affected the most—a demographic that has been a loyal voting constituency of the Democratic Party since 1980. Quoting the Brennan Center, which researched the effects of these voter laws, she writes
“[T]he scope of the suppression movement and its potential impact are staggering ... as many as 11 percent of eligible voters—roughly 21 million Americans—lack current, unexpired government-issued photo IDs. The percentages are even higher among seniors, African-Americans and other minorities, the working poor, the disabled and students—constituencies that traditionally skew Democratic and whose disenfranchisement could prove decisive in any close election.”
Rosen continues to explain that conservatives are fully cognizant of the effects of these laws—because the effects are intended:
"Republicans are thrilled by their successful effort at suppressing women’s votes, particularly those from African American women. The conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh recently said 'When women got the right to vote is when it all went downhill because that’s when votes started being cast with emotion and maternal instincts….'
Earlier, in 2007, the conservative Fox news guest and celebrity pundit Ann Coulter told the New York Observer, 'If we took away women's right to vote, we'd never have to worry about another Democratic president. It's kind of a pipe dream, it's a personal fantasy of mine, but I don't think it's going to happen. And it is a good way of making the point that women are voting so stupidly, at least single women.'
I feel like I cannot articulate the depths of my disgust, here. But, Bill Maher does a pretty good job of doing it for me:
Likewise, I turn to the great segment of the finale of Newsroom for a more dramatically affective response: