FATIGUE FACTOR

Posted in Quick Hits on August 28th, 2013 by Ed

Admittedly it has been a while, but one of the things I recall distinctly from the years of being a Republican was that it was very tiring. It was exhausting, frankly, to keep one's motives hidden. It wasn't even that bad back in the 1990s, yet I could already see the clear distinction between thoughts and words that were acceptable in private (i.e., among fellow travelers) and the public Message. I said, and heard people say, things in private that it was understood were For Republican Ears Only. I'm not even talking about anything horrifyingly offensive – it was simply the pretense of being concerned about A, B, and C when in reality we cared about X, Y, and Z. Pretending to be morally outraged at the Lewinsky affair, for example, was a tiring cover story for the fact that Republicans just kinda hated Bill Clinton. But you can't just say "Well there's no point, we just kinda hate Bill Clinton." You have to have a reason that sounds good.

That was long ago for Ed. I got out before it became necessary to pretend – for years on end – the pretense that voter ID laws are about preventing fraud. Certainly the GOP is sick of engaging in tortured explanations of how something that doesn't exist (in-person voter fraud) is a major problem that only Republican state legislatures have the courage to address. After more than half a decade of having this debate publicly, I'd almost respect them more if they'd just come out and admit that they're passing these laws because they think it will help them win elections. Just be honest. Nobody believes the horseshit cover story anyway.

Well, Phyllis Schlafly is dropping the charade. Since the Supreme Court has signed off on explicitly partisan election laws at the state level, why the hell not? Just come out and say:

The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama's ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama's national field director admitted, shortly before last year's election, that "early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election."

Well, Phyllis came out and said that. And a lot more. All of it amounts to, "We really can't win presidential elections unless we stop some of These People from voting."

There's a certain freedom wingnuts enjoy when writing in a forum like World Nut Daily – talk about preaching to the choir – but Schlafly is a visible figure and perhaps this is a signal that it's OK to start telling the truth. We all know exactly what is going on here anyway, so I welcome a world in which we no longer have to have this phony hand-wringing about voter fraud that does not exist in any way that Voter ID laws could prevent. It's tiring for everyone involved.