Thursday, October 13, 2005

Lest we forget...

Hey kids.

This is going to come as a shock to you, so you'd better sit down.


Hey, you know, there are other things going on in politics besides La Puerta Del Sol. Seriously. In fact, there's a story in the ABH today about another issue that we are very passionate about - namely the racist voter ID bill that was passed (by ethics guru and campaign finance law violater Bill Stephens) and the ensuing challenge in federal court.

Now this is important stuff. In fact, thousands of people's abilities to vote may be riding on it. The law is being challenged by the ACLU, AARP, and League of Women Voters.

And during a hearing yesterday, Cathy Cox (wearing her Secretary of State hat, not her candidate for Governor hat) testified. According to Cox, this law actually makes it easier to commit voter fraud, because no ID is required to vote absentee.

We should also point out that in our political opinion, this law is nothing more than a blatant attempt to disenfranchise minorites, the elderly, and poor people. Why so bold, Athens Politics? Because according to Cox, who as the state's numbah one election official should know these things, there have no cases of voter fraud by impersonation in Georgia.

Some hotshot Republican appointee to the State Elections Board told reporters that they had a list of "5,400 people [who] had voted who had names similar to those found on a database of dead Georgians."

Similar? Like what? John Smith? Robert Green? Professor Plum with a candlestick in the conservatory? Sorry, we digress.

Similar names do not convincing evidence make, pal. And unless you've got hard evidence that someone is committing voter fraud that the Secretary of State doesn't know about, then keep yer yap shut.

It's also interesting to note that when 13 Augusta voters were turned away under the new law for not having photo ID, only two returned to make their provisional ballot official. (Voters who don't have their ID are allowed to vote on a provisional ballot, and then by showing ID can make their votes count). That's hardly a representative sample, we know, but what if it is indicative of what's going to happen under this law?

Anyway, the federal judge is going to rule on this one "as soon as possible."

For more background on this law, we'd refer you to this post and this post.



Buck Laughlin said...

I don't understand how anyone can be critical of a law that simply requires voters to prove they are who they claim they are. The common sense component is off the charts, as is, by the way, the polling on this issue. Dems who oppose this--Cathy Cox, I regret to say--are going to be marginalized in a huge way. They'll be painted--rightly so, IMO--as defending the rights of those who would commit voter fraud.

Publius said...

The previous law also required voters to prove who they are. Honestly, it wasn't as if I could walk into my local polling place and be all like, "Hi, I'm Buck Laughlin, and I'm here to do a little voting."

What the previous law didn't require was a form of ID that is difficult to get for people who are too poor or too elderly to drive.

Try to get out to the Athens DMV without using a car and get back to me.

But, sarcasm aside, there were no recorded instances of voter fraud. Why the new law then? And again, the previous law also required ID, it was just a little less draconian about it.

I haven't seen any polling on this.

Also, one last thing. If you've got a law that is being attacked by the ACLU, the AARP, the League of Women Voters, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Common Cause Georgia, and the NAACP, in a state that is still subject to a stricter level of scrutiny under the Voting Rights Act, wouldn't you take a second look at it?

Or are Sue Burmeister, Bill (campaign finance law violator) Stephens, and Sonny Perdue smarter and more dedicated to doing the right thing than the ACLU, the AARP, the League of Women Voters, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Common Cause Georgia, and the NAACP?

When you've got that many reputable groups in opposition to it, and a handful of elected officials (who may or may not have a political agenda) supporting it, doesn't it deserve a second look?

Buck Laughlin said...

Why have there been no reported instances of voter fraud?

Because--typically--those who commit fraud don't hold news conferences to announce that they've committed fraud.

All the law says is that you can't use a utility bill to "prove" that you are who you say you are. Several other states--red and blue--have similar laws, and the Republic survives and even thrives.

The state is providing, free-of-charge, photo IDs for those so destitute as to be unable to afford them.

And your roster of critics might have a bit more credibility if it included so much as a single right-of-center organization. You've rattled of a list of the Usual Leftist Suspects.

Publius said...

Where to start, where to start...

While it is true that the people who commit voter fraud don't normally hold news conferences (although it'd certainly be entertaining), after the politics of 2000 and 2004 (and I'm not expressing an opinion either way, just acknowledging the fact that those were elections in which voter fraud charges were thrown about), candidates and campaigns are more than willing to cry foul. The Secretary of State's office and sometimes the US Department of justice investigates, etc. This hasn't happened. Georgia, at least as far as voter fraud is concerned, is on the up and up.

And it is also true that Georgia is providing free photo IDs. At the DMV. Where public transportation doesn't go.

Now, nineteen states require identification, as did Georgia even before this law was passed. Five states, other than Georgia require photo ID. Those states include Arizona, South Carolina, Louisiana, and South Dakota. Whoops, I forgot one. Florida. Fat lot of good it did in reducing voter fraud there.

Actually, though, the best counterargument to the position that "all the other states are doing it" is the same answer your mom probably gave you back in the day. If all the other states jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?

And, last I checked, the NAACP, and SCLC were non-partisan, not to mention the LWV. AARP supported the GOP Medicare reform plan in 2003, and got its start as an insurance company. Also, right-of-center (meaning GOP) affiliated organizations aren't going to get in this fight. THey know which side their bread is buttered on, and it's on the side that keeps the poor, the elderly, and minorities away from the polls.

RandomThoughts said...

Excuse me for intruding on a very interesting debate but I have an entirely different rant from the story. How dare Cathy Cox say that 'given the age of poll workers - they get confused'!? This is one of the most insulting things I have heard a politician say in a long time. And what is she saying? Poll workers may be 'confused' about what kind of ID is required but are competent to process me and my vote? If the poll workers are truly so easily confused that they can't remember if they need to see a photo ID or not, these are not the people I want running my poll place. Strike one against Cathy Cox. Shame on you.

Buck Laughlin said...

LOL! The NAACP and the SCLC are non-partisan?

Seriously, thanks for the smile. I needed that today.

You suggest the Right is pursuing this for partisan gain. Do you not acknowledge that the Left might be in it for the same reason? And what does it say that the Left would think there is gain to be had in voter fraud? You're essentially defending the "right" of a voter to cast a ballot without having to prove he or she is who he or she claims to be.

Do some polling on that one, and let me know what you find. Dems are going to further marginalize themselves with this issue, and in so doing they are walking into a trap very well placed by the Republicans. Best thing for Cox to do would be to say "good law, let's move on." But, then, she has a Democratic primary to win, so she has to pander.

Too bad, because I want her to be Georgia's next governor. As it is, she'll be Georgia's next Democratic nominee, and that's as far as it'll go.

Publius said...

Yeah, I'm not sure what to think of that. As I've posted before, I don't have a dog in the Cox v. Taylor fight, although I'm sure I will before things start to heat up.

For now, her comment is pretty suspect, but I'm going to give her the benefit of a doubt, and assume that Morris News didn't provide enough context for her comment. I say this mostly because, say what you will about Cathy, she's a smart politician, and I can't believe that she would say that in the way that we're interpreting it.

I'm looking forward to see if this will hack off some other folks and whether her staff will ralize the way that quote reads, and issue a clarification. At this point, she might consider doing just that.

Publius said...

Buck, Buck, Buck. I don't know you, and I don't know where you sit on the ideological spectrum, but I'll tell you this. Assuming that "black" equals "Democrat" is a fallacy that I'd jump on people in either party for agreeing with.

Perhaps the reason that the SCLC and the NAACP have been identified with Democratic groups and lawmakers is because (gasp!) those are the folks who have positions on those issues that the SCLC and NAACP themselves support?

Now, in the interests of clarity, I've got plenty of complaints about the Democratic Party and their handling of minority issues too, like how certain Democratic elected officials only set foot in the black neighborhoods two weeks before election time? (I'm not going to name any names, though) Another example is how the Clarke County Democratic Party talks a good game on registering minority voters, but backs it up with an effort that is anemic at best. But again, I digress. (That's why I'd be a terrible candidate, too much digression) Back to your points.

I'm accusing the elected Republicans of having a political agenda. Been pretty clear on that, I think. But, yes, I think that the dems have an agenda too - namely, making sure that a block of voters that is traditionally Democratic continues to be able to vote. I don't imagine that the Democrats would be as upset if someone passed a law effectively disenfranchising white evangelicals from Marietta. I'd hope that, as much as I tend to be a raving liberal, I'd break with the party on that one.

Now, I'm not defending the right to vote without having to prove who you are, and you know that. I'm defending the right to vote. Period. Because, as I've mentioned before, and as you have yet to acknowledge, Georgia did require identification prior to this law. Indeed, we were one of only nineteen states that did (including, as I'm sure you'll point out, five that required photo ID.)

This is just an updated version of Jim Crow, except that the target is now political and socio-economic, instead of racial.

Buck Laughlin said...

I'm talking pure politics now. Right or wrong, the Dems are already the "black party" in Georgia. This reinforces that in a major way--in fact, it solidifies it--and when Perdue beats Cox by 10 points next fall, this issue will be a big reason why.

Publius said...

I'm not being snarky here. Please clarify. If Sonny beats Cathy, it's going to be because white people are going to vote Republican because they don't like black people?

And again, let's not assume that this law is just targeted at African-Americans. There are a lot of poor, elderly white people out there that are going to be affected by this too.

As I said before, and let me clarify that I'm not playing the race card, this is Jim Crow, but from a socio-economic and not a racial persepctive.

Publius said...

In a related note, I read today that Bush has a 2% (two percent, not a typo) approval rating among African Americans nationwide. Could that be symptomatic of why the SCLC and NAACP tend to side with Democrats?

hillary said...

If Sonny beats Cathy, it's going to be because white people are going to vote Republican because they don't like black people?


Buck Laughlin said...

If the GOP prevails, it will because the realignment of Ga politics is complete. The coalition of white rurals and black urbanites will have been split, probably for good, and the white rurals who for generations were Democrats will vote GOP (as they've been doing for a while in Presidential elections anyway). It has nothing to do with "not liking blacks" or even with being bigoted. It's demographics, plain and simple.

This election is pivotal.

Re Bush's poll numbers with blacks. They're reflective of Bush's poll numbers in general, and are in any case irrelevant. He's not running for anything. Put his name back on the ballot, and put a Democrat on the other side, then show me some poll numbers and I'll be interested.

Publius said...

Good clarification. I was worried there.

WRT your comments about realignment, I think you're right, to an extent. No one is surprised that rural whites are trending Republican. It's been happening since at least 1980. But I'd look for some new demographics to be added to the "black party" that might surprise you. For instance those crucial suburban swing voters who are upset about the overly secretive tenor of Sonny's administration.

However, if the democrats want to win in the South, then they've got to do some legwork. Lately, the dems have shown a distinct tendency to blow off the tough races in the South. That has to stop. Democrats also have to realize that while putting feet on the streets has lo these many years been a hallmark of successful Democratic campaigns, we are getting smoked by the GOP on the grassroots side now.

I should probably save all this up for a democratic wake up call post that I'll do sometime later, so I'll leave it there.

WRT Bush's polling, nothing could be more relevant than a sitting President's approval rating. And 2% is not representative of 39% (his overall approval in the same poll) in any respect. And while Bush isn't running for anything (thank God!), there are 468 members of Congress (House and Senate) from both parties that are running for something in 2006, and that 39% is going to make a big difference to them.

Was Kanye right?

Buck Laughlin said...

Most of the few competetive House seats are drawn to favor Republicans, and only a couple of the Senate seats are seen as truly competetive (ie Pennsylvania and Florida). Dems who think they'll make big gains in '06 are probably fooling themselves. In any case, it's not enough to be anti-Bush or anti-Republican. The Dems will have to be pro-something. And my guess is they'll find out again next year that pushing the policies of pacifism and plunder is not conducive to electoral success.

Kanye is a fool, but as a Republican I'll pay for any airtime he wants to buy. Give him the ball and point him toward the basket, I say.

Publius said...

I think Democrats win the Senate back in 2006. The House will take somewhat longer.

But you're right, the democrats are going to have to find a message at some point. But I've been bitching about that since 2002.

Buck Laughlin said...

Tell me which 6 seats you think they win.

Publius said...

Glad to. I'm assuming that we're just talking pickups here, so I'll leave Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, and Minnesota out for the moment.

Arizona: Pederson is down by less than 10 points thirteen months out. Kyl's negatives are skyhigh compared to McCain's.

Missouri: McCaskill is up one point on Talent.

Nevada: The Democrat is down by less than 10 13 months out, and he hasn't even announced yet.

Ohio: Hackett leads DeWine (who is getting slammed by GOP groups) by 8.

Pennsylvania: Santorum down 9 to Casey.

Montana is a distinct possibility, given Burns recent issues.

I also wouldn't rule out Rhode Island.

Publius said...

Going to lunch now. Back later.

Jmac said...

What Senate seats do you see the GOP holding on to in 2006 Buck? I don't know if Democrats take back the Senate, but they make progress. They'll knock off Sanatorum in Pennsylvania, while DeWine is in a world of hurt in Ohio and will more than likely fall to the Democratic nominee (either Sherrod Brown or Paul Hackett). Montana is slowly inching toward a more progressive libertarian electorate, and Burns may fall there.

In Florida, Bill Nelson can hold off Katherine Harris (BTW, that's an excellent way to fire up the Democratic base in that state ... thanks for that). If Mark Warner runs in Virginia, then George Allen is done. And in Tennessee, Harold Ford might be able to knock off whoever the GOP puts up to replace Bill Frist.

Plus, never underestimate the power of a ticked off electorate.

hillary said...

Kanye is a fool, but as a Republican I'll pay for any airtime he wants to buy. Give him the ball and point him toward the basket, I say.

Did he really tick off Republicans by saying such?

Buck Laughlin said...

Pa and Fl are the only close-to-sure things, IMO. Minnesota might be, in fact it should be, but Dems have blown that one before. No way a Dem wins in Arizona or Nevada.

I think, in any event, the Dems are getting overly excited about current events. You're seeing the normal ebb and flow of second-term politics, and thinking you're seeing a wave that's about to crest. Personally, I think you're peaking way too soon.

And I don't think the polls are nearly so dire for W as most of you seem to. Keep in mind: election-year polls sample likely voters. These aren't election year polls; they're just sampling whoever answers the phone.

And for all that, W still hasn't hit numbers as low as those recorded for every president since JFK.

Publius said...

So? The people who answer the phone are just as entitled to have an opinion about the Preznit as anyone else, aren't they?

And yeah, Bush's numbers are lower than pretty much every President's since JFK, with the exception of Nixon in 74 and (I think) his dad.

As far as a Democrat not winning in NV, tell it to Harry Reid and Janet Napolitano.

Republicans are so busy eating their own that they can't see the forest for the trees. You guys have some serious ethics problems, and the American people are finally catching on.

Buck Laughlin said...

LBJ was in the thirties, Nixon in the low twenties, Ford in the thirties, Carter in the upper twenties, Reagan in the upper 30s, Clinton in the mid 30s.

Not a question of who "has the right" to answer the phone. It's a question of the reliability of the polling. You're looking at misleading numbers.

You heard it here first.

RandomThoughts said...

OK, you people were doing great and I was enjoying the debate. Let's get back to debate - which is educational for some of us - and away from hostility. Ya'll play nice.

Publius said...

Misleading numbers? Gosh, I don't know how those Zogby guys stay in business. Oh wait, yeah I do. Because their methodology is sound. No one said that this was an election year poll, but I have to wonder what all of these Republicans who were planning on coasting on Bush's coattails in 06 are going to do.
And to criticize a poll because it doesn't have the numbers you'd like to see is just fatuous, although typical of the GOP. Smart Republicans like McCain and Hagel are already taking steps to distance themselves from the failures of the Bush adminstration.
Bottom line, only 39% of Americans approve of the job that the President is doing. Only 28% believe that the US is heading in the right direction.

Also in the poll, 48% of Americans want Democratic control of Congress, compared with 39% who want Republicans in charge. That nine-point difference is the largest seen since NBC/WSJ began polling that question in 1994.

The Republicans are in a tailspin and the only response I've seen out of them is to pretend nothing's wrong, while the numbers continue to drop. but when you see numbers (and I don't think these are soft numbers here) this bad during the off-year lull, then that doesn't bode well for 2006.

But, please, let the GOP keep rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Makes my job easier.

Publius said...

RandomThoughts, it is a civilzed debate. After all, we both took an hour off for lunch!

Buck Laughlin said...

Look at it this way. For W to be at 40% (again, not historically low by any stretch), it stands to reason that some of the leakage--most, in fact--is from disenchanted Republicans (who, in terms of current polling, aren't being offered anything in the way of an alternative against which they'd likely vote).

They'll come back. At worst, they'll stay home. They won't vote Democrat.

At the end of the day, your side is going to have come up with good candidates and good ideas and stop banking on scandal and bad news (how miserable it must be to be the party that roots for bad news) to help you win elections.

Do that, and you'll rebound in '06 and beyond.

Fail to do that, and W could be videotaped molesting school kids and it wouldn't matter. Your side would still lose.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

One things for sure...this post has easily shattered our record number of comments for one post (albeit with a string of debate largely immaterial to the original post).

Just a quick note on Nevada: it's usually about 50/50 in national/statewide elections. I don't see why this one is any different. You generally have Vegas and Reno going D, with much of the rest of the state voting for R's based primarily on fiscal conservatism and small government, not so much the quote unquote "values" issues that drive the R vote in the South, for instance. I don't think the current R's have a pot to piss in when talking about small government these days, so any race in Nevada should be interesting.

Generally, I agree with my partner in crime that things are really starting to look bad for the GOP, and if they don't think there's a good chance of losing lots of seats, I'm certainly not gonna be the one to point it out to them, but they're nonetheless crazy.

Publius said...

You know, one more thing. People get all up in arms about the lack of civility in political debate these days (for the record, I think both Buck and I did our jobs on this one), and how it gets personal. And I agree, taking personal shots is usually outside the pale. Ask the guy who managed the Republican against Paul Hackett about that one.

But, in a way, seeing politics get personal, in one way is not always a bad thing. It means there's some passion there, and a real dedication to seeing this country go in the right direction. And we need more passionate pols in this country. Heck, if both sides of the aisle in Congress were half as passionate about their issues as some of their non-elected supporters are, then Washington would probably be a better (or at least more entertaining) place.

Publius said...

No question the Democrats need a message, and they need to stick to it. But I was just reading an article this morning (and I'll have to search for a link, which I'll try to do) talking about how hard the GOP is finding it to recruit candidates.
You say the Democrats need a message, you'll hear no argument from me. And I assume that if I say the GOP needs to focus on its growing ethics problems, I'll hear no argument from you. Because both claims are backed up by facts.

Publius said...

Whoops! Forget to mention, the "leakage" Buck referenced?

First of all, Buck said earlier that this poll is invalid because it didn't poll registered voters, and now he's saying it's invalid because the drop-off in Bush's numbers is due to Republican voters. just wanted to point that out.

Its not pissed off Republicans. It's pissed off people who voted Republican in 2004, and there's a world of difference there.

Swing voters. Electoral gold. Political holy grail. Many of them will be voting Democratic if the GOP doesn't get their ethics game together and fast. That goes on the state level too (to pull us back slightly towards local politics), since the Gubner has had a few ethical lapses of his own.

Buck Laughlin said...

I think the "ethics" problem is overstated. As it almost always is, regardless of who is in power. Whatever Karl Rove did, this ain't going to be Watergate II.

Not saying there might not be some substantive issues--maybe, maybe not--just saying "who cares?" You might be surprised to find that most voters don't.

Republican voters expect gov't to be corrupt and incompetent. Learning that is it is is seldom a surprise to us.

Publius said...

"Republican voters expect gov't to be corrupt and incompetent. Learning that is it is is seldom a surprise to us."

Even when it's your own boys? I understand that Fitzgerald may be looking at Cheney, but of course that's just the rumor. In any event, I hadn't even thought about RoveGate. I was thinking more about Delay (according to the NBC/WSJ poll, "Sixty-five percent say that DeLay’s indictment on charges of illegally using corporate contributions for political campaigns suggests potential illegal activity, while 24 percent say the indictment is politics as usual and has little merit.") and Frist (same poll, "57 percent say Frist’s sale of stock in a company his family runs — just before the value of the stock declined — indicates potential illegal activity, compared with 28 percent who say the charge has little merit.")

But of course, the Rove thing will hurt too.

Buck Laughlin said...

Didn't say "registered voters." I said "likely voters."

THAT is the electoral gold, at least in a polling sense. Never put too much stock in the former; always bank on the latter.

Buck Laughlin said...

DeLay or Frist won't translate into many votes. "Gee, I was going to vote for Charlie Norwood, but that Bill Frist thing..."

Not going to happen enough to make a difference, no matter what the polling says. Fact is, polls lie all the time, and if you really know what you're looking for you can spot the fallacies in virtually every sample. Yes, people care about DeLay and Frist. But the question the polls can't really identify is how much (or how little) they care.

Publius said...

If you're going with likelies, that makes the point even less valid. But either way, you guys aren't losing hardcore Republicans. I'd put even money that you aren't even losing the mythical "NASCAR dad." (an overbroad generalization if I've ever seen one.)

That dropoff is swing voters, pure and simple. And if they're that hacked off this early, then they're at least undecided, and therefore in play.

Publius said...

"Fact is, polls lie all the time, and if you really know what you're looking for you can spot the fallacies in virtually every sample."

Translation: "I don't like this poll, so I will attack its credibility."

I've got ten bucks that says if the polling showed Bush with a 60% approval rating and 75% of Americans believing that the charges against Delay and Frist were politically motivated, then the GOP wouldn't be questioning its credibility one bit.

Publius said...

And, on the other thing, yeah I doubt Norwood is going to lose many votes (at least in Columbia County) over Delay and Frist. But the actual voter thought will be much more like this:

"Hmm, this [generic Republican] sounded good, but the Republicans are all so corrupt..."

Or they just won't show up, if they really can't stomach voting for a Democrat.

But you're right. Ol' Sorry Charlie will probably coast.

Buck Laughlin said...

The truly big picture: forget the scandals and the hurricanes and the courts and abortion and right to die. Forget even the deficit. There are two issues, and two issues only: terror and taxes. Republicans want protection from both. So do those swing voters you're talking about.

Until the Dems get in the game on those issues, the GOP will win. I frankly see no indication that you're close on either issue.

Which is unfortunate. A Tony Blair Democrat would win every time.

But you seem to be in short supply of Tony Blair Democrats right about now.

Publius said...

And I thought NASCAR dad was a distortion and a generalization. Terror and taxes may be the only two issues that the Republicans like to talk about (because you can promise the moon without actually having to deliver), but believe me, the people are a leeeeeeeetle more complex than the GOP talking points give them credit for.

For instance, health care? We do remeber health care, right? 41.6 million Americans (75% of them in the workforce) with no health care?

Or perhaps pubic education? That one's kind of important.

If I were going to generalize like you, and I won't. I'd say the big issues are jobs, health care, and education. Forget taxes. Most Americans now (53%) think that Bush's tax cuts were a bad idea, and 85% say that, on the war, either "the worst is yet to come," or "there's a long way to go."

People are worried about kitchen table issues, and all the GOP is giving them is the feeling of being less safe, and a huge budget deficit that any sane person is worrying about.

The Republicans have got to face the reality that their policies left the average American behind, and that the terror rhetoric is wearing thin.

DoubleDawgDareYa said...

So Republicans want to fight terrorism, but they don't want to pay for it. Good luck.

Actually, the neocon R's currently in power want to fight a war that is completely unrelated to terror, except for the terrorism haven that the war itself has created, and then, oh yeah, not pay for it. And meanwhile who cares about actual homeland security. Except for those beaners; let's make sure we keep those job-grabbing bastards out. And, damnit, what's with those hurricanes? I'll guess we'll have to fix up the Gulf region somehow, but it sure as hell ain't coming out of the pockets of our base.

I agree, though, that Dems need to get in the game on these issues. I disagree that this is difficult to do.

Anonymous said...

This is a very entertaining exchange, and I thank you both.

If I could digress back to the original issue for a moment, it's clear to anyone who's watching the states led by Republican governors that they did indeed talk about how to supress the Democratic vote at their Governors convention this year. Several Governors went home from there and began working with their legislatures to pass laws that would somehow restrict our access to the polls. The thing that's amazing about that is that Perdue dearest would have the furry onions to do it here where we are still under the supervision of the Justice Department because of elitist exploitive bigots like him and all his other ruling class buddies.
And you don't want to get me started on Cathy Cox, except to say that she's no champion of any low income or minority voter, no, not one. Period. She's so busy telling Emily's List to keep their money she forgot she's a Democrat at all, much less a supposed progressive... give me a break.
Now, back to the topic again....
Not only minority, elderly and poor voters are marginalized by this deliberately mean-spirited law, but women. Yes, white women, young women, employed women, any women who are recently either married or divorced. Think about it. How are they going to prove who they are, and what documentation will they have to tote over three or four counties to pay for a license or id? Make no mistake about it, the good ole republican party knows where they're most vulnerable, and they want to keep potential swing voters AWAY. I'm posting here the link that will clue you in on the requirements of the new law... and while you read it please remember that there are only about 50 offices in Georgia that can produce these photos... now that Perdue screwed up the system by completely changing it last session. (Remember that?) And keep in mind that it is a lie that the photo ids are free, even though the website says so... they cost 20$ for 5 years, and 35$ for ten years, I believe. Unless ... well, heck, follow the link, will ya?
Great chatting with y'all, thanks for the topic. You struck a nerve with me, fo' sho!
Requirements for applying for an ID may be found here:


Publius said...

Furry onions?

That's a new one, but thanks for the post. I hadn't thought about recent divorcees, but you're right, that's going to be a problem too.

Jmac said...

Just out of curiousity Buck, have you ever actually researched Tony Blair's political ideology? He's much to the left of many of this country's staunchest Democrats. Comparing the political parties from European countries to the existing American ones is an exercise in futility. Much of their political parties are much more liberal - heck, much of Europe is socialism-lite (whether or not that is good or bad is up to one's own ideology).

He gets praised by conservatives in this country for his willingness to go along with Iraq, but few if any of them really know his political beliefs. I always find this quite funny.

Also, I'm not sure where you're getting your approval ratings for past presidents ... or that you say it's perfectly normal for a second-term president to have such low numbers. For instance, your claim that Clinton suffered through a similar stretch in the second term is way off. His second term saw him enjoy approval ratings in the high 50s on a consistent basis, reaching above 70 during the impeachment proceedings.

Reagan's ratings wildly fluctuated from the mid-40s to the low 60s throughout his second term, while even the first President Bush closed out in the mid-50s (after hovering in the 40s throughout the 1992 campaign). Only Nixon's ratings in the 20s and Carter's ratings in the high 30s are close to Bush's. So to suggest this is a perfectly 'normal' thing to have happen to a second term president is completely misleading.

And I'm completely befuddled on your two issues that matter to voters - taxes and terror. Maybe these are the only things which matter to Republican base voters, but it's a stretch to say that applies to all voters. As it's also a stretch to say that Democrats need to 'get in the game' on this one. What you really mean is that Democrats should adopt the Republican position, and then that would be dandy.

Like Publius, I'd agree that Democrats have done a pretty poor job of building a message and conveying that to the voters. But I'd also say that doesn't mean Democrats don't have ideas on these issues.

Shockingly enough, the Democratic response to terrorism is strikingly similar to the Republican one (by all practical purposes), but with increased funding and a better use of resources. I mean, who can argue that, well, terrorism is bad and we need to develop the appropriate mechanisms to defeat it. This is pretty much a universally agreed upon principle in this country, I think.

The differences are how best to put that simple theory into practice. And the Democratic way, by in large, doesn't include things like invading Iraq. It does include increased funding for port and transit station security, the addition of more special forces, a smarter non-proliferation treaty and strengthening the economies of impoverished nations which can become breeding grounds for terrorists. The Bush administration, and Republicans by in large, typically don't subscribe to that theory. Why? Do they hate America?

Regarding taxes, it's a simple thing for the GOP right now ... spend lots of money like it's no one's business and then continue to lower taxes, thus forcing worthwhile public sector investments to fall by the wayside.

So it seems to me the GOP stands for helping 'me' and the Democrats stand for helping 'we' ... hmmm, that seems hard to defend. They must really hate America.

Buck Laughlin said...

Clinton's low numbers came in his first term, after the GOP opened its 1994 can of whup-ass.

I'm well-versed in Tony Blair's ideology. His leftist positions, in fact, make my point. A liberal with balls on defense would never lose an election in this country, which is why my favorite President is Democrat Jeb Bartlett (how do you know West Wing is fiction? The Democrats are interested in national security).

We can't even get today's real-life Dems to agree that taking out Saddam & Sons was a good thing.

Jmac said...

I don't know if I follow you buck. I just laid out several points which are a part of the Democratic platform for national security, and you say they're not ready to even talk about it? They ran a veteran for president and had the former commander of NATO in the primaries ... seems to me they really wanted to talk about national security, while all the GOP wanted to talk about swift boats and why everyone should always be absolutely terrified.

Again, Democrats do need a better coherent message for national security - of course, the Republicans need a better actual plan for it, but that's another thing - but to say they're not interested in talking about it is silly.

Buck Laughlin said...

Tell me where that veteran stood on Iraq. Should be easy--he stood just about everywhere. There was not one position he took that didn't run head-on into another position he'd taken previously. Of course the American people weren't buying it. They knew that under President Kerry, Saddam would still be running Iraq (hell, under President Kerry, Saddam would still be in Kuwait--Kerry voted against Gulf War I).

And "they" didn't run a NATO Commander; he ran himself. "They" didn't vote for him.

There are some Dems who are serious and credible about the War on Terror. Joe Lieberman comes to mind. How'd he do in the primaries? Harold Ford is another one. Should've been your party's House Minority Leader, but they chose--surprise, surprise--a San Fransisco liberal.

And who's running your party? Howard Dean.

Hard to work up much credibility on defense that way.

Jmac said...

OK, again, Kerry's problem wasn't his proposed course of action for Iraq - again it was strikingly similar to Bush's with a few exceptions - it was his inability to convey a coherent message and the ability of the GOP to piece together out-of-context quotes and paint him as a flip-flopper (despite the fact that Bush has changed his story over Iraq hundreds of times).

And, like most Republicans, you bring up the Joe Lieberman card. Well, of course you like Lieberman considering he practically is a Republican. As for Ford, I supported him in his bid for minority leader but it didn't happen ... as I supported a centrist in Simon Rosenberg for party chair over Dean (though Dean actually is a very moderate Democrat, it's just his opinions on this particular excursion in Iraq which falsely allow the GOP to paint him as weak on defense).

You have conveniently ignored other party leaders - including the most effective one in Harry Reid, who is a moderate, strong on defense Democrat who is the Senate leader. And you also conveniently have ignored the fact that under the leadership of Dean, Pelosi and Reid the favorable ratings for Democrats have steadily risen, better candidates are being recruited across the country and fundraising has boomed as well.

It is a difficult path for Democrats to take - roughly 35 percent of country identifies itself as 'conservative' while only 25 percent says it's 'liberal' ... thus making Democrats having to go that much further when it comes to winning elections.

And while we're on it, why is it that when Republicans discuss strong plans for national security, it automatically comes down to where you stood on Iraq? If the president said we need to barge into Canada and take 'em over, would those who said 'that's a pretty dumb idea' be labeled as soft on defense?

Look at the long litany of things Democrats do support when it comes to national security - increased port and transit security, more special forces, appropriate armor and resources for troops overseas, plans to address poverty and strife in the Third World, strengthening alliances and treaties which can make the world safer. Why is unconditional support for the War in Iraq the only thing which matters to Republicans these days?

Was getting rid of Saddam a good thing? Yeah, why not ... guy was an awful dictator who victimized his country. But so is Kim Jong Il and a host of African leaders, but we haven't gone in those places with guns a-blazing, have we?

Furthermore, all we've done as of now is replace one form of tyranny in Iraq with the seeds for a long civil war ... one which could result in an Islamic theocracy which would pose much greater problems for the U.S. than a weakened and isolated Saddam Hussein.

And merely because acknowledging Saddam was a brutal dictator and that he should probably go doesn't mean the war against his nation met the criteria for just war.

Jmac said...

By the way ... what in the world are you doing at 5 a.m. buck? That's early my friend.

Buck Laughlin said...

John Kerry: "Wrong war, wrong place, wrong time."

I'm not sure, but I think that runs counter to the White House position on Iraq.

Admittedly, Kerry also said that "knowing what I know now (meaning: no discoveries of stockpiles of WMD) I'd still have voted to authorize..."

So, as I say, there's no position he can take that doesn't run counter to another position he's already taken.

But he's yesterday's news.

And he's a far piece removed from whether people so addled as to be unable to shell out $20 for a picture ID are in any way competent to cast an informed vote.

Publius said...

"...whether people so addled as to be unable to shell out $20 for a picture ID are in any way competent to cast an informed vote."

The United States Constitution says they are, that's good enough for me.

Jmac said...

I'm not sure, but I think that runs counter to the White House position on Iraq.

You mean, close your eyes and pretend like it's all OK?

That was a tad snarky.

Publius said...

Someone ate their Cheerios this morning, and by someone, I mean J.

From this morning's NBC First Read.

"As for the House, Cook says "this business about the playing field being narrower than it used to be because of redistricting, which is certainly true, obscures the fact that" the necessary 15-seat gain for Democrats to take back the House "is doable if you fill the existing playing field with decent challengers." Singling out Ohio, he and colleague Amy Walter see as many as seven GOP-held seats in play: "seven potential targets in a toxic state with a governor" -- the scandal-plagued Bob Taft -- "whose job rating is 15%.""

Forgive the tortured syntax, I didn't write it, although I've done worse. Charlie Cook, who along with Stu Rothenberg, is the go to guy for political handicapping thinks that a Dem takeover of the House is doable. Interesting.