Monday, September 24, 2012

That familiar smelling purpose

History will cast a shameful light on the GOP’s coast-to-coast effort to suppress the vote in 2012. After the books are published that will document who exactly launched the campaign, who financed it and under whose auspices it was coordinated, the low-road strategy’s chief sponsors will be appreciated in the historical context they deserve.

Among other things they are the racist Dixiecrats of today, trying to suppress the voting of ethnic groups they know their white constituents fear and despise. The ghost of flinty Strom Thurmond walks in our midst.

Beyond that level of skullduggery, today’s rank and file Republicans, who are parroting rightwing talking points about preventing widespread voter fraud -- a phenomenon that plainly doesn’t exist -- will find themselves being compared to their counterparts in the Jim Crow Era, too.
  • The white folks who took picnic lunches to a public lynching.
  • The white citizens who watched approvingly from Southern sidewalks, as white cops bludgeoned and fire-hosed black civil rights demonstrators in the streets. 
  • The white parents all over the commonwealth who yanked their children out of public schools, when Gov. J. Lindsay Almond couldn’t deliver on his campaign promise to prevent desegregation from being imposed on public education on Virginia. 
Make no mistake about it, since there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud today, the only reason for this sudden push from the right to clean up elections in so many states is to suppress voting in targeted groups. It’s the old poll tax scam in a new suit of clothes.

Same as it ever was: It’s still about race and class.

Its familiar smelling purpose is to hold onto power in a country that is changing too fast to please today‘s throwbacks, who happily turn their deaf ears to the better angels of our times. 

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