It began long before the 1965 expansion of voting rights. When literacy tests, poll taxes and other methods used to prevent "unqualified" voters from casting ballots all became illegal, the effort did not stop.
The brief itself is available in pdf form here.
Leafing through the legal papers filed two years ago, you get only a glimpse of the long, long effort by conservative activists to suppress minority voting. In 1981, it became blatant enough, and illegal enough, to make it to court.
In New Jersey, the Republican National Committee targeted minority areas with a "caging" scheme. They sent sample ballots and postcards to voters, focusing only on minority sections of low income areas. It's not an accurate way of determining occupancy. Particularly in low income areas, the rate of delivery tends to produce a remarkably high percentage of error. Republicans compiled a list of "ineligible" voters. The hired tough guys to stand guard at voting precincts to tell people they had better not vote. They augmented the toughs with off duty police officers and deputy sheriffs. Some of the unofficial Republican militia brandished firearms at voters. They wore armbands labeled "National Ballot Security Task Force."
You see, it was all an effort to prevent voter fraud, even though actual voter fraud was, and remains, virtually non-existent.
One of the "ineligible" voters they tried to intimidate sued. Republicans signed a consent decree promising never to do that sort of thing again.
That was 1981. Lower grade efforts, just under the radar, continued.
In 1986 in Louisiana, it came to the surface again. Republicans were doing the same sort of caging: Sending mail to minority voters and then telling them they couldn't vote. This time several actual voters sued.
Republicans said the only purpose was to prevent voter fraud, even though actual voter fraud was, and remains, virtually non-existent. It really, really, really, had no other purpose, they insisted, certainly not to keep black people from voting.
The voters who were suing got their hands on some Republican documents. One political director had boasted in writing that "this program will eliminate at least 60,000–80,000 folks from the rolls." He felt that the effect could be decisive. In a close race, "which I’m assuming it is, this could keep the black vote down considerably."
Republicans signed papers promising not to do it again. The definitions of the original consent decree were tightened up. One of the provisions of the new agreement said Republicans would no longer violate any laws. But low grade efforts went on, without widespread publicity.
In 1990, in North Carolina, it erupted into view. Republicans were at it again. This time they sent postcards to 15,000 households. In addition to the caging, the information they sent said that voters could go to jail if they violated certain laws that did not exist, like voting if they had moved from one part of the state to another.
Republicans said they wanted to prevent voter fraud, even though actual voter fraud was, and remains, virtually non-existent.
The court said there was not enough evidence they had actually broken federal law, but ruled they had violated the written promises they had made not to intimidate voters in a suppression effort. Republicans promised this was the very last time they would do anything like that. They said they really meant it this time. But efforts went on behind the scenes.
In 2004 in Ohio, it came into view once more. Republicans used caging, directing test mail to minority areas, to accumulate 35,000 names of voters they then ordered not to vote when those voters showed up at the polls. One of them sued, demanding a temporary injunction.
Republicans insisted it was all an effort to prevent voter fraud, even though actual voter fraud was, and remains, virtually non-existent.
The Ohio Republican Party argued that the consent decree didn't apply to them because only the national party had signed it. But email messages showed the local folks were acting under instructions from the national Republican Party. A Supreme Court Justice, wouldn't you know it, said the whole thing was moot because the single voter bringing the suit was eventually allowed to vote.
No harm no foul. Other voters? Well they didn't hire lawyers and sue, now did they?
Voter suppression erupted into plain view again in 2008 in New Mexico. This time the court said there was no technical violation of criminal law, but turned down a Republican motion to vacate the entire consent decree. You signed it, the court ruled, now live up to it.
This year, Republican majorities in 18 state legislatures have enacted measures to make it tougher, sometimes a lot tougher, for lower income voters to vote. Registration offices are closed in minority areas or moved to out of the way locations. Photo IDs are required and alternate proof of identity is rejected. Voters who persist in going after new IDs often have to take off work and wait in various lines for hours.
It's the same game, with the same objective. It is a "program to eliminate" tens of thousands "of folks from the rolls" in order to "keep the black vote down..." Those, by the way, are not my words. They were captured from messages sent and received by conspirators.
Laws and courts have made literacy tests and poll taxes illegal. So other means will be found.
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It is the Democrats/Obama that are ruling by executive order fiat because they cannot get their agenda fully passed by the congress elected by the people. Hell, they even had to pay of various senators to ensure their votes to pass the un-constitutional Obamacare law. And yes, it is un-constitutional, despite what Justice Roberts had to convolutedly argue to make it otherwise.
When a president and a party INTENTIONALLY put forth programs that violate my 1st amendment right to my practicing of my faith, they are no longer following the Constitution by definition and are no longer worthy of serving in office, sir.
People should be able to worship how they want, as long as what they consider the exercise of their religion does not cross certain minimal lines.
For example, human sacrifice should be prevented. So should any interference with other people following their own conscience in matters like, for example, abortion.
I thought I was safe since I started avoiding the use of charts. Graphic illustrations of data seem especially provocative.
ACORN promotes voter fraud by paying for votes and stuffing ballot boxes with votes from the deceased, Disney characters, pets, pro football teams, etc. This has the same effect as vote suppression because every fraudulent ballot cast cancels a legitimate vote.
Both parties have some culpability, however, the left sees a requirement to identify oneself in order to vote as voter suppression. This is, of course, ludicrous. And the arguments that attempt to support the left's position are almost invariably racist.
The bottom line is, the left attempts to demonize the right by claiming attempts by the right to prevent voter fraud amount to vote suppression. When, in fact, the left's true goal is to promote their own brand of voter fraud and vote suppression tactics that helped them win the election in 2008.
The policy of the Justice Department in cases of voter intimidation where there are small numbers of perpetrators involved is to turn the matter over to local enforcement. I disagree with that policy, I have said so here:
If you consider the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, example with the three from the Black Panther Party really bad, it's even worse than you think. Read that link.
Examples in 2005 in Mississippi, and in 2006 Pima, Arizona were horrible by comparison and no federal action was taken at all, except to notify local police.
Your ACORN example turned out to be bogus. We covered it here:
One other thing. ACORN no longer exists and hasn't for a number of years.
But you knew that, right?
Actually Jack may have been referring to a previous conversation. You will find other comments similar to your own here:
However I am interested in what flaw you see in my step by step reasoning.
But you already knew that, right? ;-)
No, I hadn't heard that. I did a little quick research and found that there was a story last year about housing funding going to an ACORN affiliate. Nothing about voter fraud.
The story apparently was on FoxNews and was picked up by various right wing sites. Doesn't mean it's false, of course. Just that it should be double checked.
So ... the GAO issued a report saying the story basically didn't happen, HUD relayed that to FOX. FOX retracted the story. Good for them.
But it remains on other sites, more committed to a point of view.
Here is where you can find a chronology:
Here is where we check out the original story of voter fraud and ACORN.
Let me know if this helps.
First, I discovered your blog only a few days ago and have been enjoying it immensely.
Second, the first problem with your step-by-step argument lies between steps 2 and 3. You are making an assumption that people will leave the party and not return. It is more likely that those who leave the party, e.g. to vote for Obama in 2008, will return to the party when they become disenchanted with their temporary status as democrats. This second move back to the republican party will come about as a result of the perceived failure of the democrats to create a long term environment of economic growth and the perception of National security. Also, the second move will bring with it a number of centrist democrats, for the same reasons that the first move drove centrist republicans away from the republican party.
I think this is similar to concepts discussed by others in the comments to your original post on the subject.
So in effect, I think the flaw is that you are disregarding the repulsive nature of the far-left fringe element in the democratic party, and focusing too much on the effect of the fringe elements of the republican party. The fringe elements seem to be strengthened by large victories (like Obama in 2008) of their party, which causes that party to be weakened in subsequent elections as centrist voters from each party are pushed away by the views of the extremists. The winning party tends to believe they have received a "mandate" to push a more extremist agenda, and it is this action that causes them to lose centrist members.
There is more but it is getting late...
As you know, we are discussing this item:
I'm not supposing conservatives who leave the GOP will become Democrats, or that their conservatism will be affected, although I know that my Redeemer lives and miracles do happen.
A variation of your argument might work, though, if those who leave an increasingly extreme party become disenchanted with resulting liberal victories and return. This would tend to moderate the extremism. I'm skeptical, of course. Seems a little Rube Goldberg to me, but it could happen.
A separate argument might be that wealthy, less extreme, contributors will wield enough influence through independent advertising to convince remaining Republicans to nominate moderate candidates. Mitt Romney would be an example. I'm skeptical here as well, although I think it is a more plausible scenario.
And I can appreciate the lateness observation. I'm reminded of a cartoon of a hapless computer user explaining to an impatient spouse: "I can't come to bed yet! Someone on the internet said something wrong!"
As you very well know, worshiping is a whole lot more than just going to Sunday services, or at least it should be. Worshiping God should entail putting into action His will as taught to us and thereby actually LIVING our faith. Such is the case for many Christians and even other faiths that are against abortion, sterilizations, and contraception. Obama’s HHS mandate states that regardless we must provide insurance that covers those things which are an absolute anathema to our faith. There is no religious exemption or conscience clause allowed, as the ever-lying Obama promised would be the case.
I find it amazing that progressives have an inordinate desire for government to assist them in all facets of life from the womb to the tomb - that is assuming one can make it out of the womb alive.
Actually, I try to strike a happy medium: clever but not too clever. As you know, I usually err on the not-too-clever side, as my conservative friends point out.
You could apply your reasoning, without much effort, to any compensation. I pay you, and therefore I have a right to instruct you to avoid using your compensation in a way that would violate my faith.
And if the government tells me I can't control your life to that degree, even as a condition of employment, I can scream that the government is violating my freedom to violate your freedom.
If a religious institution wants to instruct the congregation on how to conduct their lives, I have no problem with that. If my church goes further in taking actual control of what ought to be a private decision, you can count on me to object.
Government tells the insurance company to provide certain minimal coverage. That's been true since about ... well ... forever, I think.
Nothing new here. Move along, folks. Nothing to see.
We have been over this. Even if my religious beliefs required that I not support the military with my money, I would not--and should not--be entitled to avoid paying taxes that end up supporting the military. If the First Amendment meant what you want it to mean, then we would have anarchy.
The "free exercise" of religion could have a few different meanings.
In your understanding, it appears to mean that people have the right to avoid paying or in any way supporting behavior, policies, or institutions that conflict with their religious beliefs, regardless of the content of their religious beliefs. In other words: anyone can avoid paying for anything if he "justifies" his choice by pointing to his religious beliefs.
In your understanding of my position, "free exercise" is meaningless because the state can justify anything with a secular argument, allowing it to force religious people to support behavior, policies, and institutions that they would otherwise oppose.
However, we need not choose between all or nothing. My actual position protects the free exercise of religion to a reasonable extent. You are free to believe as you wish, to attend your church, to worship in your home, to verbally support or protest, etc. However, since you are not free to act in any way you wish, you must either consent to do as the law requires (such as funding contraceptives) or accept your punishment. If I am not free to choose where all of my tax money goes (or even whether or not to pay taxes!), then you are not free to do so either. Your religion does not get you special rights.
There are two masters: your government and your god. You cannot serve both unless they never conflict. They do conflict. Therefore, you must choose one or the other.
But perhaps your deity would understand that your support for contraceptives is forced, not willing. You can simply blame the government.
This, however, is a matter of the federal government by force of law telling me and like-minded business owners, churches, etc. what we must provide in the TYPE of compensation for our employees. It makes about as much sense as forcing a Kosher Deli to provide gift cards to its employees for a honey baked ham as part of the compensation package.
A vast majority of people that work for Catholic Relief Services, Catholic Hospitals, and Catholic Schools presumably do so because they are either Catholic or find common ground with the tenets of the faith. If they do not agree with such basic tenets of the faith like supporting the protection of life from conception to natural death, then perhaps they are better suited looking for employment elsewhere. Surely that bit of common sense is not lost on two exceptionally bright gentlemen as you both are.
In the end, if I am ever put in a position to have to choose between God and the government, I will absolutely choose my Lord. I would far rather answer to the freedom-usurping government than have to explain my gravely sinful behavior to God come judgment day simply because I found it to be the path of least resistance, sirs. Somehow I don't think "the government made me act sinfully" would be an acceptable excuse.
The goal of Obamacare was never to assure that people have insurance, it has always been to move America toward a single-payer system with health care coverage/payments being provided ultimately by the government.
The Catholic Church might not have the same financial issues as small businesses, so additional levers were added to force this issue with Catholics.
Our current government is very much anti-Christian and especially anti-Catholic.
“I thought I was safe since I started avoiding the use of charts. Graphic illustrations of data seem especially provocative.”
You were safe. I am all for using those things, as I do when I make a claim about data. I am not for using only the data that supports your position while completely ignoring the equally valid data that refutes it entirely.
“I'm just waiting for Mr Myste to stop by and point out how partisan you've become lately, Burr. He is very intolerant about that sort of thing.”
I have already been over this a thousand times and I described it as a political question that motivates people for political reasons. There is no sense in beating a dead horse. There is nothing new to add. Just like I did not respond to your most recent “facts.” That prove Obama sucks and Bush is better. It was the most arbitrary easily dismantled argument imaginable, but I we have been over those types of things before, and it is just a big waste of time to loop up contradicting data and present it, as has been repeatedly shown on you filibuster facts post. If there is one thing I have learned, it is that those who have “the facts,” certainly are not interested in facts. Those who are interested in facts, rarely claim to have definitive evidence, as none of these issues are black and white and the process of economic and political cause and effect is largely conjecture.
If someone has an opinion, even without facts that are any better than their opponent’s opposite facts, then I only respect it to the degree that they can make a good philosophical argument to support their philosophical opinion.
You have basically just said that you think your God takes precedence over the Constitution and America. j
This means that you would probably advocate having a president with the same views, obviously.
Perhaps if Romney admitted that he would rule in accordance with the Mormon faith and its goals in mind first, he would be a better choice, huh?
The constitutionality of Obamacare’s tactics was challenged in the Supreme Court of the United States. But the Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is constitutional because the government is authorized under the constitution to levy taxes, and the “fines” imposed under Obamacare are “taxes.” Following this line of reasoning, it becomes apparent that by imposing “fines” for refusing to violate their religious beliefs, Catholic institutions will be forced to pay Taxes. This will violate a tradition established at the birth of our nation, and will clearly violate the separation of church and state.
Therefore an attempt by the government to enforce this part of Obamacare would be unconstitutional.
I'm not sure I completely follow your reasoning.
The requirement to cover contraceptives for those women who choose to use them, as I understand the issue, applies to insurance companies. If there is a fine for churches, I'm not yet aware of it. OR, and this is an active possibility, I may have been aware of it but forgot it. Age is beginning to take a toll.
On the surface, your logic strikes me as sort of a reverse tautology. You seem to be arguing that Obamacare is constitutional and that therefore it is unconstitutional.
Whether a house of worship may, as a religious principle, violate the law with impunity is an interesting argument. I'd like to see you develop that idea a little more.
These are your words:
"When a president and a party INTENTIONALLY put forth programs that violate my 1st amendment right to my practicing of my faith..."
"Obama’s HHS mandate states that regardless we must provide insurance that covers those things which are an absolute anathema to our faith."
Now you say:
"...this is NOT a matter of one being obligated to pay his taxes to the government....
This, however, is a matter of the federal government by force of law telling me and like-minded business owners, churches, etc. what we must provide in the TYPE of compensation for our employees."
Please explain how the following two examples are meaningfully different with respect to the First Amendment:
1.) A man is forced to pay taxes that go toward programs that conflict with his religious beliefs.
2.) A business owner is forced to offer to his employees a form of compensation that conflicts with his religious beliefs.
Either way, he must use his money to pay for something that conflicts with his religious beliefs. I don't have much patience for rhetoric that attempts to create distinctions where none exists, so I hope that you have a satisfying response.
Also, given that 1.) you know that some of your tax dollars support programs to which you object on religious grounds and 2.) you claim that you will choose your deity over your government if you are forced to make the choice, please explain why you are not in prison yet.
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