13 July 2012


A perfect democracy, a 'warm body' democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally has no internal feedback for self correction. It depends solely on the wisdom and self-restraint of citizens ... which is opposed by the folly and lack of self-restraint of other citizens. What is supposed to happen in a democracy is that each sovereign citizen will always vote in the public interest for the safety and welfare of all. But what does happen is that he votes his own self-interest as he sees it ... which for the majority translates as 'Bread and Circuses'. 
Bread and Circuses is the cancer of democracy, the fatal disease for which there is no cure. Democracy often works beautifully at first. But once a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader -- the barbarians enter Rome.

Lazarus Long in Time Enough For Love by Robert A. Heinlein

Can someone please explain to me why actions taken by a sovereign state to ensure that the sovereign franchise is exercised only by citizens actually entitled to vote has become a sin?

I am catching up on the news after a hectic week and saw that the Attorney General spoke to the NAACP  (sort of an NRA for liberals), and "vowed" that the Justice Department would “remain aggressive” in challenging new restrictions on voter access to the ballot.

“In our efforts to protect voting rights and to prevent voting fraud, we will be vigilant and strong,” Mr. Holder said. “But let me be clear: we will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”
Holder and his boss and the Democrat party have been livid that a number of States and Commonwealths have enacted statutes requiring citizens to show a photo identification at the polls.  He was especially outraged that the new Texas statute allows concealed handgun permits to be used, but not student identification cards.  He carefully ignores the fact that no one has to do a background check to get a "student id", but to buy a gun or get a concealed carry permit requires a law enforcement records check.   Too bad the 9/11 hijackers were allowed to use student ids before they boarded their planes that awful Tuesday morning.

Holder went on, claiming that  that nationally “only 8 percent of white voting age citizens" lack a photo id, "while 25 percent of African-American voting age citizens” lack a government-issued photo identification card. . After claiming that many legitimate voters without a photo ID “would have to travel great distances to get them, and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them,” he added, “We call those poll taxes.”

Well, good for him.  No talking points here in an election years.  Oh, maybe there have been other protests, but certainly no one else has compared a legitimate exercise of the regulatory power of the States over its voting rolls to poll taxes.  Except

June 12, 2012:  "These laws are the new Jim Crow laws of our times.” —Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin (D)  

June 21, 2012:  "They're going after Eric Holder because he is supporting measures to overturn these voter suppression initiatives in the states. This is no accident. It is no coincidence. It is a plan on the part of the Republicans." — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

"December 7, 2011:  "They’re pushing laws designed to change election outcomes by reducing voting, repressing turnout and turning the clock back to the days of Jim Crow. This is the exact opposite of where our country needs to go." — Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.)

“We November 14, 2011:  "We are are witnessing a concerted effort to place new obstacles in front of minorities, low-income families and young people who seek to exercise their right to vote. A poll tax by another name would smell as vile.” — House Minority Whip, Steny Hoyer, D. Md

I note also that the folks who are complaining are the ones who need lots and lots of non-citizens to vote so they can recapture the glory days of the Pelosi House, something they are unlikely to do so long as only American citizens are allowed to exercise their sacred franchise.  They remind me of an activist working with "undocumented", i.e., criminal, aliens back when California was considering barring children of illegal aliens from getting the same tuition as California citizens in California colleges.  "We're not asking for anything extra," she said.  "We just want our fair share."  The statement was made in an NPR story, and, of course, no one at National People's Radio reminded her that their fair share was back in their home countries.

More importantly, where was Mr. Holder when a group of armed Black Panther thugs posted themselves outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2010 and kept voters from voting?  As I recall, his Civil Rights division ruled that voter intimidation laws apply only to white people keeping black people from voting.  That whirring sound you hear is Dr. King spinning in his grave.

I also wonder how many black citizens are wondering why the first black attorney genderal, representing the administration of the first black president, is allowed to casually insinuate that black folks are too lazy, too shiftless, too stupid, to obtain a valid photo identification card.  To get into the NAACP convention to hear Holder, you had to present a valid photo id!  If Mitt Romney had made such a statement, they would be erecting a cross to hang him on.

Holder concluded by saying  
The arc of American history has always moved toward expanding the electorate.  It is what has made this nation exceptional. We will simply not allow this era to be the beginning of the reversal of that historic progress. 
The historically-illiterate will tut tut and nod appreciatively.  What Holder was describing, of course, was the move to include disenfranchised AMERICAN CITIZENS--women, freed slaves, non-property owners--in the electorate.  No one who worked for those proper inclusions ever envisioned granting the franchise to citizens of the rest of the world.  That would be an invitation to "bread and circuses."