I’m sending/posting this opinion piece by Donna Brazile with a tart caveat about her.
On the one hand, she gets it (sort of) right, in this piece and elsewhere, about vote
suppression, which is indeed a major problem, as the GOP in many states has, through
many different tactics, turned the clock back to the days before the Civil Rights Act.
Such work has been enabled by the GOP’s vast propaganda drive against ACORN
and/or the spectre they call “voter fraud”–a pack of lies that has been largely parroted
by our compliant press. Thus the media has actually abetted the Republicans, by serving
as a megaphone for their loud, groundless argument in favor of more voter purges, ID
requirements, and other neo-Jim Crow measures. (All the more reason to step up the
pressure on the New York Times for refusing to retract its faulty coverage of James
O’Keefe’s fake video “exposé” of ACORN’s alleged criminality.)
So Donna Brazile (partly) “gets it” when it comes to vote suppression; but while she has
her eyes wide open on that front, she also has them tightly shut against the even greater
danger of election fraud–a problem that, inside her universe, does not exist. Her vision,
then, is badly skewed, since there can be no progress on the voting front unless those
fighting for it recognize the clear and present danger of computerized voting systems.
For one thing, vote suppression has itself been carried out not just through such old-
fashioned and explicit tricks as ID laws and legal voter purges, but, as well, through
the far simpler–and less perceptible–expedient of purging voters from the
rolls illegally, which, since all the US voter rolls are electronic nowadays, is just about
as easy as deleting emails. That’s just the kind of thing that Brazile would dismiss a mere
“conspiracy theory” (even though USA Today reported on it, in detail, two years ago),
and so her effort to “protect [the] voter gains of ‘Bloody Sunday'” is inadequate to start with.
And it’s all the weaker for the sad fact that election fraud can disenfranchise voters even
in a precinct where all eligible citizens have managed to get registered; although the surest
way to rig a contest is both to suppress the vote before Election Day, and then to change
the numbers electronically. That’s how it’s been working since 2000 (and how it worked
too in the last election–which Obama won, in fact, by a far larger margin than we’ve all been told).
And that’s how it will also work this year, unless we start to have a real discussion of this problem–which means that we must move beyond the blinkered vision of Brazile and other leading Democrats (including Pres. Obama), and start to face it not as partisans of either kind, but as the citizens of what once was–and what might be again–a promising democracy.
Protect voter gains of ‘Bloody Sunday’
By Donna Brazile, CNN Contributor
March 7, 2010 10:27 a.m. EST