And they thought we were exaggerating…
Undermining Americans’ belief in their own institutions of self-government remains a prime GOP electoral strategy. But if this technique falls short of producing Karl Rove’s dream of 30 years of unchallengeable one-party rule (as all such techniques always fall short of achieving the angry and embittered true believer’s New Jerusalem), there are other even less savory techniques upon which to fall back. Ever since Republicans captured the majority in a number of state legislatures last November, they have systematically attempted to make it more difficult to vote: by onerous voter ID requirements (in Wisconsin, Republicans have legislated photo IDs while simultaneously shutting Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices in Democratic constituencies while at the same time lengthening the hours of operation of DMV offices in GOP constituencies); by narrowing registration periods; and by residency requirements that may disenfranchise university students.
Newly retired Republican congressional staffer of 28 years, Mike Lofgren, speaks his mind on the current state of the Republican Party. If you think this is all angst and conspiracy talk, reflecting no real truth and that he’s just a turned liberal who left the party, burning bridges in his wake, look no further than one of the major Republican Party-aligned websites for an even more solid understanding. According to the American Thinker, Registering the Poor to Vote is Un-American:
Why are left-wing activist groups so keen on registering the poor to vote?
Because they know the poor can be counted on to vote themselves more benefits by electing redistributionist politicians. Welfare recipients are particularly open to demagoguery and bribery.
Registering them to vote is like handing out burglary tools to criminals. It is profoundly antisocial and un-American to empower the nonproductive segments of the population to destroy the country — which is precisely why Barack Obama zealously supports registering welfare recipients to vote.
The Republican Party seeks to return to an era in the United States where wealth and landownership were the only ways to merit the ability to vote. It seems that despite previous reporting that the Tea Party is only a small subsect of the Republican Party, it seems to either be directing the party or is emboldened to act less opaquely than they have in the past. They block everything the legitimate presidential administration attempts to do, including blocking any nominations, leaving important posts empty, and they install cronies and ineffectual people in office when they are in power.
Here is a dialogue between Thomas Frank and Bill Moyers from Moyer’s Journal on PBS, with Frank speaking of how the Republican Party sees government and explains how the Republican Party makes bad government a reality, creating a self-fulfilling prophesy:
THOMAS FRANK: Government is– yeah, government is a perversion. And to believe that the federal government can be operated, you know, with all of its programs, can be operated well and do things that are good for the people, is, as you say, is a perversion.
And they look at someone like Barack Obama and it makes them seethe. Because that’s, you know, that’s what he’s trying to do. What conservatism in this country is about is government failure. Conservatives talk about government failure all the time, constantly. And conservatives, when they’re in power deliver government failure.
BILL MOYERS: Not merely from incompetence, you say, but from ideology, from philosophy, from a view of the world.
THOMAS FRANK: And sometimes from design.
BILL MOYERS: From design? What do you mean?
THOMAS FRANK: Not always from design, but often. The Department of Labor, for example, the conservatives when they in office, routinely stuff the Department of Labor full of ideological cranks. And people that don’t believe in the mission.
And the result is that it doesn’t– they don’t enforce anything. Towards the very end of the Bush-era, the Department of Labor had been whittled down. It was a shell of its former self. And at the very end of the Bush Administration, one of the government accountability programs did a study of the Department of Labor. And, I’m smiling, because it’s kind of amusing. It was like an old spy magazine prank.
They made up these horrendous labor violations around the country and phoned them in as complaints to the Department of Labor to see what they would do, okay? They responded to one out of ten of these, you know, where they called in as like, "Well, we got, you know, kids working in a meat packing plant during school hours. You know, can you, you going to do anything about that?" "No." Or you look at something like the Securities and Exchange Commission. These guys are supposed to be regulating, you know, the investment banks, okay? Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, that sort of thing. These guys were so under-funded, and not just under-funded, but you had people in charge of it who didn’t believe in regulating Wall Street.
BILL MOYERS: So, they made the Securities and Exchange Commission a laughing stock, if you will. They really did.
THOMAS FRANK: Right…
The Republican Party is finally showing its true face: bold and without mercy. And they’re winning.