Thursday, July 07, 2011

Voting suppression: different partisan styles

Republicans all over the country are stirring up fear of voting fraud in order to enact procedures that make it harder for the poor, the young and the marginalized to vote. That's what tougher voter ID requirements, more difficult registration hurdles, and reduced early voting periods accomplish. The Brennan Center tracks this effort. It's proceeding rapidly in Republican controlled states, rolling back many of the gains of the civil rights era.

Democrats, in particular the President, are also doing their best to depress the proportion of the population that votes. They do it by running as defenders of the poor, the young and the marginalized -- not mention as protectors of Social Security and Medicare for elders -- then adopting the policies of Republicans that crush these constituencies.

No wonder more and more people stop believing it makes much difference which set of our rulers gets to dicker in Washington. The trouble is, it probably does matter.

But choosing between the vicious and the vacuous is not hope inspiring.

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