Slate Needs to Hire a New Lawyer (and Drop the Contrarian Bullshit)

27May08

What’s almost as dumb as invoking the assassination of a Civil Rights leader when you’re losing to a candidate that happens to be black? Writing an article suggesting that voter fraud will not at all be in issue a race with the first ever black candidate. Dahlia Lithwick, Slate’s legal expert, today in a pseudo op-ed (aren’t they all on Slate) suggests that voter fraud is nothing to worry about in the next election.

Lithwick begins the article by comparing fears of voter fraud to the boogeyman. I didn’t know the boogeyman kept Hispanic felons eligible to vote while denying black felons that same ability. I also didn’t know the boogeyman has the last name Bush, but I probably should have guessed.

She also ignores an historic article written by Robert Kennedy, Jr. for Rolling Stone following the 2004 election (yes the same Robert Kennedy Jr. that is now defending Clinton for bringing up his father’s assassination, but let’s ignore that for now). Kennedy outlines some of the more egregious behavior by Republicans working in the election here:

But despite the media blackout, indications continued to emerge that something deeply troubling had taken place in 2004. Nearly half of the 6 million American voters living abroad(3) never received their ballots — or received them too late to vote(4) — after the Pentagon unaccountably shut down a state-of-the-art Web site used to file overseas registrations.(5) A consulting firm called Sproul & Associates, which was hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six battleground states,(6) was discovered shredding Democratic registrations.(7) In New Mexico, which was decided by 5,988 votes,(8) malfunctioning machines mysteriously failed to properly register a presidential vote on more than 20,000 ballots.(9) Nationwide, according to the federal commission charged with implementing election reforms, as many as 1 million ballots were spoiled by faulty voting equipment — roughly one for every 100 cast.(10)

The reports were especially disturbing in Ohio, the critical battleground state that clinched Bush’s victory in the electoral college. Officials there purged tens of thousands of eligible voters from the rolls, neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives, shortchanged Democratic precincts when they allocated voting machines and illegally derailed a recount that could have given Kerry the presidency. A precinct in an evangelical church in Miami County recorded an impossibly high turnout of ninety-eight percent, while a polling place in inner-city Cleveland recorded an equally impossible turnout of only seven percent. In Warren County, GOP election officials even invented a nonexistent terrorist threat to bar the media from monitoring the official vote count.(11)

We need not also address the 2000 Election, now documented in a recently released HBO film, where the election was won by Bush by 5-4, with the 5 most conservative justices siding with Bush. It is then of course true that liberal judges went with Gore–I’m not saying there isn’t bias on both sides, just that Republicans have had things go more in their favor, and that favoritism is very real.

Lithwick decides to ignore all this though, mainly by arguing that most of the time it is conservatives accusing liberals of voter fraud. Yet she provides evidence counter to her own point:

The more we believe the other side steals elections, the easier it becomes to devalue their votes. And I’m not sure that’s a road anyone wants to travel. A recent Rasmussen poll showed 17 percent of voters believing that large numbers of legitimate voters are prevented from voting and 23 percent convinced that a large number of ineligible people are allowed to vote. That’s a lot of people certain that the other side is cheating. That’s a lot of reasons to cheat first.

Hmmm….I wonder what the political ideology of people who think that ineligibles are voting actually is. So then Lithwick seems to suggest that this is the reason conservatives then go out and fix elections, to balance the effect liberal “cheating” has on the system. Did Jeb Bush think that all of the black felons he reported as ineligible would somehow find a way to fraud the system and risk further incarceration to vote?

Lithwick’s ideology wreaks of the naivety that has been a major point of weakness for liberals and the Democratic party. It has been charged of the presumptive nominee, Obama, but his campaign responds immediately to any right-wing smear. The time for turning a blind eye to Republican disenfranchisement tactics is long past overdue. It is not about cheating to counter cheating, but rather making sure the proper checks are in place to make sure it doesn’t happen in the first place.

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One Response to “Slate Needs to Hire a New Lawyer (and Drop the Contrarian Bullshit)”

  1. I didn’t know his last name was Bush too… lol.

    Good article.


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