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Oh, they wish we were in Dixie!
Oy vey! Oy vey!

colored only drinking fountain

Are you an African American? Are you poor? Are you elderly? Are you a young person living in a college town? Are you planning on voting in 2012? You had better start making other plans for Election Day.

The Republican party is at this very moment mounting a campaign that, if successful, will disenfranchise the voting rights of African Americans - and everyone else who tends to vote left-of-center - all across America.

Isn't that sweet?

They understand all too well that the mysterious and unknowable segment of the population that the sociologists describe as "moderate" or "swing voters" (I call them "purple agitators" myself) are starting to become disgusted by the extremists who hijacked the Grand Old Party decades ago.

What to do? Not to worry! Just bypass that nasty ol' Voting Rights Act of 1965. That'll learn 'em!

The tactics they so lovingly introduced in Florida in 2000 and then again in Ohio in 2004 are about to go nationwide. Think of it as some weird and twisted musical comedy that was edited and polished in a handful of, out-of-the-way off-Broadway theaters before the grand opening on the Great WHITE Way. How could this possibly happen? How could it be that the "party of Abraham Lincoln" is stooping so low as to steal from millions of people so fundamental a right?

What has happened to the GOP? Historically speaking, something just ain't right! A little history lesson is in order here:

First of all, the obvious: They are no longer the party of the great emancipator. They haven't been that since 1964. Do you find it as odd as I do that the two greatest Republican presidents in history - Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt - are no longer even mentioned in their campaign literature and propaganda? You would think that that party never even existed before that day in 1980 when they nominated uber dingbat Ronald Reagan as their standard bearer! What the hell's up with that???

"A man without a vote is a man without protection." --Lyndon Baines Johnson

LBJ never lived to be enlightened with regard to the Women's movement, but I am certain he had them in mind as well.

As their talking point never fails to remind us (and what cannot be denied) is that the Democrats stood in staunch opposition to Civil Rights in America prior to the nineteen-seventies. For a century after the end of the Civil War the boll weevil southern Democrats could never bring themselves to register with the party of "that bearded bastard what freed the slaves". Ironically, back in the days of yore the overwhelming majority of registered Republicans south of the Mason Dixon line were black!

Everything changed in the mid-sixties.

After Lyndon Baines Johnson signed into law the Civil and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965 respectively, he told his two aides Bill Moyers and the late Jack Valenti, "We [meaning the Democrats] have lost the South for a generation." A generation??? He was kidding himself. He might as well have said, "We've lost the South forever."

Within a decade of the passage of these two monumental laws, a tidal wave of southern Dixiecrats fled - like psychotic rats - to the Republican party. And that is where their ideological heirs reside to this day. Just before he left the Senate to become a highly paid lobbyist in 2006, Trent Lott told an interviewer that the mass exodus had nothing to do with race; that it was all about economics. Bullshit. It had EVERYTHING to do with race and nothing else. Who the hell is he kidding?

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Fast forward to 2011. It's not like it was in the bad old days. Racism in the State House has to be a tad more covert than it was back then. Their solution was brilliant - in a perfectly evil kind of way that is. They decided that they needed to confront - head on, I tell you - the "plague" of voter fraud. The fact that there is no wide-spread epidemic of electoral fraud in this country (on the part of the Democrats that is) was irrelevant to these jackanapes.

What is their evidence for the widespread fraud? An edited video of some nitwit dressed as a pimp, walking into one acorn office somewhere and getting a woman behind a desk to admit that fraudulent voting does occur. Case closed? Please.

Previously, the signature of a person who showed up at the polls would be matched against his or her voter registration. They would then be allowed to cast their precious ballot. If the Republicans have their way, from now on the people will be required to show identification. And if they lack a proper driver's license, they will be forced to purchase voter IDs.

Do you see a pattern here? You're blind if you do not. First of all, it puts at a decided disadvantage - not only blacks - but city-dwellers who rely on public transportation and don't drive - the very people who tend to vote for the Democratic party. In order to obtain a proper, government-issued voter ID, they would be obliged to dig up their birth certificates. They would also be required to pay a fee for the ID itself, another disadvantage for poor people - traditional and reliable Democratic voters.

They're trying to pass laws that will make it more difficult to cast an absentee ballot. This would put the elderly at a disadvantage for the simple fact that voting at polling places, particularly in big cities, often involves standing in line for an hour or more. The elderly tend to vote for the Democrats. You're not surprised by this. I didn't think you would be.

In addition to all of the above they are looking into a nifty little scheme that will make it impossible for college students to register to vote in the towns where they attend school. College students also tend to vote Democratic. I'm sure that that's just a coincidence though.

What the Republicans have planned for 2012 is a subtle coup d'etat. "Subtle", that is, if you're not paying attention.

If you rely on Rupert Murdoch's propaganda empire for your news and information you will be forgiven for not having noticed that any of this is happening in this once-great nation. But it is happening. Don't take my word for it; look it up for yourself. These hideous people have a plan for this republic and it doesn't turn out well for the rest of us. Wake up - if you haven't already.

Tom Degan


Unprecedented: The 2000 Presidential Election (2002)
A film by Robert Greenwald

If you do not know the name Robert Greenwald, you really should. This gifted and superb filmmaker is responsible for some of the finest, hard-hitting documentaries ever made. The film mentioned above is no exception. The title speaks for itself. It is about how the Bush Mob was able to steal the election of 2000, the aftermath of which we're all still paying a heavy price over a decade later; a price the American people will be paying for generations. Mr. Greenwald's company is called, most appropriately, "Brave New Films".

Assuming you no longer have an independently owned video store in your neighborhood (Who does?) all of his films are available from All are highly recommended.

Cheerio! Pip! Pip!