Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Last Call For Voting Irregularities

Two very different stories about the 2012 election, both from the indispensable Taegan Goddard's Political Wire.  First, a majority of Republicans don't believe the 2012 elections were fair in any way because after all, Democrats won:

Going into the 2012 election, both Democrats and Republicans expressed concerns about the fairness of the election. Only 15 percent of Republicans and 19 percent of Democrats were very confident that the election would be decided fairly.

After the election, fears about voter fraud abated among Democrats but skyrocketed among Republicans, with 58 percent of Republicans not confident at all about the fairness of the election.

Republicans are particularly concerned about voter fraud and intimidation in big urban areas, with 32 percent of them believing that it had a big impact on the election, 49 percent believing it had some impact, and only 19 percent believing it had no impact.

The only reason Democrats won?  OBAMA'S THUG LYFE X ARMY.  Oh, and the birther thing:

Despite releasing his long-form birth certificate in 2011, these rumors have persisted.  In particular, between 40 and 70 percent of Republicans still believe that President Obama may have been born outside of the U.S.

Furthermore, most of those who question President Obama’s place of birth are not just expressing negative views toward him without considering the implications.  When asked in a follow-up question about whether they thought being born outside of the U.S. would make Barack Obama “ineligible under the U.S. Constitution to be president,” 72 percent of those who thought the President might have been born outside of the U.S. believed that he would be ineligible to be president.

So you're looking at anywhere from 29% to 50% of Republicans who think President Obama is not even legally the President.   Split the difference and call it 40%, and that's still tens of millions of people who do not recognize Barack Obama as President.  No wonder the GOP is talking impeachment.

And speaking of actual voting unfairness...

A new Harvard study contacted over 7,000 election administrators in 28 states and found they provide different information about voter ID requirements to voters of different ethnicities.

And those differences are pretty stark and brutal.  Latino-sounding names got far fewer responses from election officials in the experiment.

The finding holds up when you drop certain regions, when you drop small towns, and when you control for whether officials are elected or appointed. What’s more, they find that there are actually statistically significant differences in the quality of response from officials, depending on what kind of name is used. Responses to Latino voters were likelier to be non-informative, less likely to be “absolutely accurate” (that is, giving complete and accurate information about the relevant topic), and even less likely to take a friendly tone.

It's depressing stuff all the way around.  Don't expect Republicans to lift a finger to try to improve either of these two situations, too.

Twistered Political Logic

While we're still waiting for the results of search and rescue and in many cases, far more sober recovery efforts in Moore, Oklahoma and the surrounding area today, it's important to note that we're all in this together when it comes to American disasters.  Some Republicans absolutely understand the need for a strong federal government during times of trial and tribulation.

Oklahoma GOP Congressman Tom Cole does.  He voted for Sandy relief, one of the 41 Republicans who did in the House, because he remembers the F5 tornado that ripped through Moore 14 years ago on May 3, 1999.  Another Democratic President came to the state's rescue then, when Cole himself was Oklahoma's Secretary of State.  He knew just how awful and real the damage to his state was and has said many times that he was grateful for the help.

Oklahoma GOP Sen. Tom Coburn on the other hand is already demanding budget cut offsets to pay for the cleanup in his own state, and is one of the 36 senators who voted against Sandy aid because it didn't do that.  This means Coburn is fully prepared to vote against disaster aid for his own constituents, and most likely will.  Coburn, as a Congressman, voted against tornado relief for his own state in 1999.  It's not like it ruined his political career, either.

And so it goes in Sooner Country.

Please Proceed, Rep. Chaffetz

GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz goes there on the "i-word" as the GOP starts floating trial balloons.

House Speaker John Boehner has urged patience on the issue of Benghazi, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Utah Republican says in a new report.

“Now, the speaker has more patience than I do,” Chaffetz (R-Utah) told National Review in a story posted on Monday. “He has told me to be patient, that the truth will eventually surface. But I’m not a patient person, and if this administration makes us do this the hard way, that’s what we’ll do.”

Chaffetz has long been a vocal critic of how President Barack Obama’s administration handled the deadly Sept. 11 attacks on a U.S. outpost in Benghazi, Libya, and has said that impeachment should be on the table.

“This is an administration embroiled in a scandal that they created,” Chaffetz said in the piece. “It’s a cover-up. I’m not saying impeachment is the end game, but it’s a possibility, especially if they keep doing little to help us learn more.”

Considering there's nothing the President can do to actually satisfy Chaffetz and his crew of Tea Party maniacs, I foresee impeachment happening sooner rather than later.  The FOX News monster will demand investigations and eventually the only way to feed the beast will be to go down this ugly road.

It's only a question of how soon:  before or after the 2014 elections?


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