So the GOP is in a bit of trouble right now. They are steadfast in their determination to be the “Party Of No,” or as I refer to them as the “Grand Obstructionist Party.” They are determined to prevent anything proposed by President Obama and the Democrats until they can win back both Congress and the White House. The latest evidence was yesterday when they blocked debate over financial reform, adding to their title: “The Party Of Wall Street.” For some warped reasoning on their part (I can only assume, given that we’ve yet to hear any reasonable explanation for it) they seem to think this will win them votes? More like win them campaign cash, but I digress.
When the GOP is in trouble, what do they do? Well, if they aren’t winning over the voters, they try other things. A couple recent examples?
They’re having fundraising problems, probably due in part to the way they spend the money for things like the lavish $340K spent on a semi-annual meeting in Hawaii, for one thing.
Another reason, and I would guess the bigger problem, is that they aren’t doing anything. They are now the “Party Of No” and they prove it over and over by trying to prevent health care reform, and blocking financial reform to name just two examples. After all, why would people want to contribute to a Party who does such things, with the exceptions being the health insurance companies and bankers who would benefit from those very actions? If they can’t get voters to donate, they find other ways.
Recently they’ve sent out fake “Census” letters in hopes of getting donations. We’ve received lots of those in Florida and I’ve written about them several times here. They recently came back for a third round in Florida and another nationwide, even after congress passed a law saying they were misleading and couldn’t do it anymore. No such law will intimidate Michael Steele, no sir! Keep it up! Using tricks to get donations is one way to gain a foothold, but that’s not all.
In Florida there’s a proposed constitutional amendment, “Fair Districts” which voters in Florida are in favor of and showed overwhelming support in the form of petitions. Yesterday the GOP-controlled House voted to “clarify” that initiative. Why? Because it would favor competitive elections in Florida and increase minority representation in legislative and congressional districts. After hearing that news yesterday, there were probably a lot of voters in Florida having flashbacks to the nightmare that was the Florida 2000 election in which Florida’s Secretary of State (and dare I say the “wicked witch of the south”) Katherine Harris, along with the U.S. Supreme Court handed the Office Of The President to a disaster in the making: George W. Bush. We all know how well that worked out.
How about the U.S. Attorneys scandal? Several were fired when they wouldn’t investigate what Republicans claimed were instances of “voter fraud?” Or another more recent scandal that was in the news. ACORN anyone? I don’t know about you, but when I hear the Republicans whining about things like “voter fraud” I am immediately suspicious about their motives.
This brings us to Arizona. Last week as you’ll recall, the GOP Gov. of Arizona, Jan Brewer signed into law the “Papers Please” immigration bill where people now have to prove their citizenship, which has rightfully caused a great deal of outrage over discrimination and racial profiling. That’s been the focus in the media. However, there might more to it just under the surface.
Jan Brewer was appointed Gov. when former Governor Janet Napolitano was chosen by Pres. Obama to become Director Of Homeland Security in January 2009. Before she was appointed Governor of the state, Brewer was Arizona’s Secretary Of State. In 2004, while holding that office, she had the opportunity to purge voter rolls of 100,000 voters. Most of those were hispanic voters. There’s an interesting history behind this purge written by BBC investigative reporter Greg Palast for Truthout.org. (In 2008 Palast joined law professor Robert F. Kennedy in investigating voter integrity and the American voting process itself.)
In Palast’s view, the real story isn’t just immigration and racial profiling. He concludes that the real story is voting and the legalities of registering to vote as a citizen of Arizona. Not to mention the fear of the Republican Party that a minority might favor one party over another in a state where there is an overwhelmingly large hispanic population like the state of Arizona.
Is all the outrage over immigration, racial profiling and the “Papers Please” law obscuring another possible voter purge in Arizona? One that could favor a lean to the right in an election where many hispanic voters favor democrats? You can read Palast’s article here and decide for yourself.
Is this just one more incident in a long line of attempts to “game the system” under the guise of immigration and matters of civil rights for a Party which is failing voters in every other way?