Republican “Truth the Vote” Bully Brigades Deploying To Screw the Vote In Swing States

 “Now many of our Christians have what I call the goo-goo syndrome — good government.
They want everybody to vote. I don’t want everybody to vote.
Elections are not won by a majority of people, they never have been from the beginning of our country
and they are not now.
As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.
We have no responsibility, moral or otherwise, to turn out the opposition.”
[emphasis added]

Paul Weyrich (1942-2008)
So-called “Father” of the right-wing movement
and co-founder of the Heritage Foundation and the Moral Majority
Speech at Religious Rountable, Dallas, Texas
August 1980

Mr. Weyrich slipped up and told the unvarnished truth. The GOP, then and today, realizes it cannot in most cases win elections without somehow suppressing voting and/or intimidating voters. Most Americans bay far cannot, will not, and shall not benefit by the policies of the oligarchy that the GOP represents. This election cycle has shone a bright light on their efforts to keep voters at bay: Hispanics, African Americans, and others will not vote Republican, and the GOP schemers knew this, so after capturing state governments in 2010 began actively trying to, in a legislative sense, vote these groups out of voting.

We know many of theses states’ efforts were stuffed down their throats by the judiciary, yet GOP operatives were prepared. Groups like True the Vote arose to carry the fight beyond the legislature and into outright intimidation, although they hid their motives behind the straw man of “voter fraud,” a virtually nonexistent problem, although, ironically, the first report of voter fraud occurred in Nevada when Roxanne Rubin, a Republican, was arrested upon allegations that she attempted to vote twice.1 Whoops . . . Well, no one is fooled by the true motive behind all these GOP efforts, official or otherwise, to subvert and prevent Democratic voters, and lessen our turnout. In the end, they aim to return voting to the days when one must own property to vote – renters need not apply.

Now that Tuesday is upon us, the Republican intimidation is moving from the statutory to the participatory. Their various groups – Tea Partiers, True the Vote, etc. – are deploying their voter fraud detectives, euphemistically named “poll watchers'” to various and sundry precincts. Unsurprisingly, these precincts are minority communities.

Here’s an example today, from Pennsylvania:

After receiving information indicating that the Pennsylvania Republican Party and the Pittsburgh Tea Party may be systematically sending poll watchers to predominantly African American precincts in Pittsburgh, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Common Cause, The Advancement Project, The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the ACLU, together with a number of local community groups, sent a letter to Assistant U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perez, who is responsible for enforcing the Voting Rights Act, asking that the Justice Department “make every effort to ensure that voters at these targeted locations are able to cast their ballots freely and fairly” and also to ask the Pennsylvania Republican Party about the source of its lists and the basis of its targeting. 2

And in Ohio:

In Franklin County, True the Vote has submitted forms to the BOE to allow their observers into 28 precincts. Demographic data show that the precincts being targeted are mostly in African American communities. 20 of the 28 precincts are comprised of over 50% African Americans. And African Americans make up over 80% of the population in the the top 12 precincts.

Statewide, only 12.4% of Ohioans are African American. 3

 

And in . . . Florida, as always:

Last Friday and Saturday, the last two official days of early voting, black voters and NAACP members were upset when Republican poll watchers challenged NAACP members for passing out water and offering chairs to voters standing in long lines in the hot sun.

Black voters have been turning out in record numbers, not only in Tampa but throughout the state. There are reports of people standing in line up to seven hours, many of them elderly and disabled—and at one Orlando site there was a bomb scare. 4

So, they are on the prowl, these bullying Luddites trying to turn back the clock. Bullies need to be confronted directly, and with purpose. Lawsuits are fine, but black eyes and split lips are more immediate and more in line with what they deserve, what they’ve earned.

So, tomorrow, even if you’ve already voted, if you have a shy friend who is a bit fearful, worried about what may happen if he or she tries to vote tomorrow, then grab a hand, and help them into the breech. And be prepared to run interference.


About Michael Matthew Bloomer

From Presidents Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush, I was a senior legislative research and policy staff of the nonpartisan Library of Congress Congressional Research Service (CRS). I'm partisan here, an "aggressive progressive." I'm a contributor to The Fold and Nation of Change. Welcome to They Will Say ANYTHING! Come back often! . . . . . Michael Matthew Bloomer, contact me at mjmmoose@gmail.com