January 18, 2014 7:11 AM

What do you call a party that must lie, cheat, and steal to win? How about pathetic, dishonest, and anti-democratic?

So we all know that the GOP is trying really hard to keep ‘undesirables’ from voting — whether we are talking about youngsters, racial minorities, or anyone who might be too poor to afford proper ID. (Thanks, SCOTUS.) But North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory (R-1950s) has come up with a novel way to disenfranchise minorities: just deny them a member of Congress! BRILLIANT, right? Rather than all the effort of suppressing voters and costs associated with weeding out undesirables, why not just straight up deny a majority-minority district their member of Congress for a year?

I often find myself wondering how and why one of our two major political parties could have concluded that the path to power is paved with dishonesty and bad intentions. How is it that the GOP has determined that the only way they’re likely to win elections is to legislatively block large swaths of the populace that normally doesn’t vote Republican from the ballot box? Surely Republicans haven’t stooped so low as to decide their own chance for electoral success is to lie, cheat, and steal?

And yet that appears to be exactly what they’re doing. Voter ID, a concept built on the idea that we must keep our elections free from fraud, is a solution in search of a problem. Actual, prosecutable voter fraud is something that occurs WAY less than 1% of the time. It’s no exaggeration to say that roughly 99.896% of votes cast in local, state, and national elections are above board. Instead, Republicans are focusing on the .104% of fraudulent votes cast and framing that as a Grave Threat to our democracy and Our Way of Life ©. They claim that the only way to prevent the evil scourge that is voter fraud is to tighten eligibility requirements. That they’re doing this in ways that almost exclusively impact college students, minorities, and the poor (traditional Democratic constituencies) is PURELY coincidental.

Right…and I’m Mary Queen of Scots.

North Carolina used to be a fairly moderate place that leaned Red without being unreasonable. Now that Teapublicans have been voted into power, they’ve almost completely remade state government into a place unfriendly to democracy and Democrats. Hell, if people aren’t going to vote the RIGHT way, why should they even be allowed to vote? How can we entrust them with access to the ballot box when all they’re going to do is vote for Commies and Libruls??

Governor Pat McCrory has decided to leave his state’s 12th Congressional District without representation for close to a full year after Democrat Mel Watt moved into a position in the Obama Administration. Governor McSmarmy McCrory defended his decision as being what he had to do in order to comply with the election laws in North Carolina. Of course, the fact that Watt is a Democrat- meaning his absence leaves Congress with one less Democrat- had NOTHING to do with his decision. Governor McSmarmy McCrory is willing to leave one of his states Congressional Districts without representation…but it’s OK, because if folks there aren’t going to elect a Republican, they don’t deserve to be represented.

Republicans talk about how the want to restore integrity to government, yet they’re heavily invested in dishonest, immoral, and unethical means to seize power. If Machiavelli were alive today, he’d be living in the Tar Heel State, and he’d be proud of what Republicans have accomplished. North Carolina today is the closest thing we have to a banana republic, the home of a sort of electoral apartheid whose sole purpose is to put the “right” people (i.e.- Republicans) into elected office.

Sure, North Carolina’s electoral process and eligibility requirements have the patina of democracy. Look deeper, and you’ll find Republicans have passed laws (in the name of electoral integrity) that game the system and tilted the playing field in their direction. Evidently feeling they won’t win based on the strengths of their ideas, they’ve determined that lying, cheating, and stealing is their best and only path to power.

I’d say something about how North Carolina’s Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for staging such a naked power grab, but that would presume they actually understand the concept of shame. When it’s ALL and ONLY about winning by any means necessary, you’re probably a Republican. And North Carolina is a model for what Teapublicans want to do in the rest of the country.

So much for democracy.

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This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on January 18, 2014 7:11 AM.

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