Monday, 12 May 2008

Passports: The new chads

A disturbing story from Missouri suggests that Republican mafia dons are plotting a new way to frustrate the popular will as the voters get set to blow them Katrina-style into a Level 5 pile of political rubble. The new scam is a proposed referendum to require voters to show proof of U.S. citizenship.

The cynicism of this latest alarmist ‘illegal immigrant’ panic is mind-boggling. Given the miniscule numbers of voter fraud cases actually found or even conceivable, the plot obviously has nothing to do with protecting the electoral process. But it might be a great way to play on people’s xenophobic fears to reverse the results of the next election.

If this new version of the poll tax were to succeed, it might block upwards of 200,000 legitimate voters from casting a ballot in that swing state, where presidential elections are decided by substantially fewer (e.g. Bush’s 80,000-vote margin over Gore in 2000). But that doesn’t mean our trusty Supreme Court would declare it an abuse of democratic practice.

It would be ironic if all the demagoguery pumped up over Mexican gardeners and Salvadoran cleaning ladies were to lead to yet another judicial coup and hijacking of the presidency through utilization of the Dobbs-ian clamor for respect for THE LAW.

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