We have heard over and over again from conservatives about how government should “get off the backs” of the people and undo, among thousands of other things, clean air and clear water regulations.
After all, who has ever heard of dirty water or air in America? It’s almost treasonous to even suggest either is possible. Of course those regulations are unnecessary. It’s government run amok, trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. And conservatives are AGAINST that, always.
Except when they’re for it. Which is the case with voter ID. Take two recent examples regarding the GOP pet regulations concerning voter ID.
One was in South Carolina, whose conservatives were in an absolute uproar last year. That happened after a South Carolina DMV official idly expressed an opinion that as many as 950 dead voters had cast ballots in a recent statewide election. South Carolina Republicans freaked out. They called it “zombie voting.”
So the legislature passed a law requiring photo ID for voters while it ordered an in depth investigation into the DMV toady’s musings. The report came out in 2012. State officials promptly buried it.
But this summer an enterprising reporter forced them to release it under the state Freedom of Information Act. (Now, the South Caroline legislature probably will amend that law to forbid the release of voter investigations). Guess what? It showed no dead people voted! Hey, voter ID laws are still necessary. Because zombies MIGHT vote, you never know.
Something similar happened in Colorado. There, the fear was not dead people who weren’t actually voting. It was that noncitizens were voting. You know what that means — Mexicans. And yikes, that’s even worse. This was exposed by that state’s right-wing Secretary of State, Scott Gessler.
Turns out, he was 100 percent wrong, too. Mind you, this will not stop Colorado Republicans from demanding their state implement voter ID measures. Because even though no noncitizens are voting now, who’s to say it can never happen? One Mexican casting a ballot can destroy in integrity of the whole system!
And that is the neat thing about those voter ID regs: The need for newer, and more powerful, voter-identification regulations will never end. Because if Republicans can imagine some way that fraud MIGHT occur, it becomes a major bugaboo that requires new laws and regulations. And imaginations are pretty much limitless, even for Republicans.
For example, who’s to say that, once nationwide voter photo ID is the law of the land, that Democrats WON’T get hold of photo ID machines and begin cranking out counterfeit photo IDs for Democratic voters? Nobody can PROVE that won’t happen, after all.
So then, we will need stringent regulations on those ID-producing machines. And even newer and harder-to-counterfeit IDs for voters. And of course they’ll have to get those newer IDs regularly. The problem is this kind of thing can go on forever.
And perhaps the GOP in its wisdom will one day realize that the ONLY way to prevent the voter fraud they’re so worried about is to STOP VOTING ALTOGETHER (once Republicans are fully in charge, of course). After all, if you’re deathly concerned about getting cancer in your left arm, there’s only one way to be sure it NEVER happens. Amputate the thing!
In other words, to save our democracy, we must end all voting. It kind of reminds you about what they used to say about a village in Vietnam, eh?