“If The 99% Vote, The 1% Won’t Matter”…Or Will They? Voter Suppression & The GOP

Well, my fellow Politicos, it has been a long time in blog years-July of this year- since I have posted here at mommapolitico.com, and I extend my heartfelt apologies. The new job has been all-consuming, but it is work for the common good, the work of making young people into smart and productive citizens,  and I love it, exhausting as it is. But I could not stand back and let this monumental election go by unnoticed, especially with the extreme effects it will have, for good or for bad, on the middle class and working people. So here I am.

Today I just got a terrific bumper sticker from boldprogressives.org , which I promptly put on the car. (This despite the fact that The Hubby says I am one bumper sticker away from a ticket for lack of visibility!) You all know how I love small-d democracy, and it’s a mere 3 days from the national election, and our Little Man’s birthday, so there’s a celebratory tone here in the Politico household. I believe the sentiment expressed on the Bold Progressives bumper sticker with all of my being. And if we can get out the vote, I truly believe we will have a groundswell of support for not only the President, but for the so-called “down-ticket” races.  And that matters. Because a Democratic Congress could make for a real recovery for this country, in actions and not simply in words.

Over the last six months, I’ve been listening to lots of people, too: friends and colleagues, people in the grocery store line and at the bank and post office. Folks who have been struggling and trying to get back to some sense of normalcy are grateful as the economy improves, people get back to work after tough times, the housing market improves, Obamacare provisions begin to kick in, our family and friends come home from wars in the Middle East, and they see the quality of their lives improve in so many ways. Our President has become a strong Commander-in-Chief, a leader in times of crisis (such as the flooding and damage wreaked by Sandy). My Republican friends tell me that they can’t, in good conscience, vote for Mr. Romney, for a myriad of reasons. And that is encouraging news for the upcoming election.

Despite all the momentum I see, there has been a strong, deliberate and disturbing movement going on over the past four years by the Rethugs. I have told everyone that would listen that if the President loses this election, it will be for one reason and one reason only: the GOPs voter suppression efforts. Over the past four years, side-by-side with personhood amendments and all the other attacks on women, the GOP has quietly made sure that many state election boards, state legislatures and governorships have gone to the Republican side. And through this mechanism they have put in place, they have wiped poor, minority, young and elderly (read: Democratic-leaning) voters off the rolls, eliminated or changed early voting in Democratic-leaning states, and done a great job of confusing and intimidating voters about voter ID laws. Add to that a natural disaster that is knocking out power, making polls inaccessible, and we could have a long, late night Tuesday.

But I believe the President will win this election. And here’s why: because citizens are showing their fighting spirit. Even six-hour lines in Florida, a battleground state in which the GOP governor cut the days and hours for early voting, are not a deterrent to the good people of that state:

Long lines were reported across the state, including a six-hour wait time at one early-voting site in Miami-Dade County. Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Harry Sawyer asked for more early-voting time, but was told by state officials that no emergency existed to justify an extension.


There have been cuts in hours, days and now, as GOP desperation rears its ugly head, even bomb threats in Florida:
The reaction of voters to this delay and obfuscation?

This is why I am encouraged, despite the GOP dirty tricks. They cheered. They cheered when allowed to vote after hours of waiting. Because it is worth it, and Americans like you and me will fight for what is an inalienable right, the right most core to what we believe as Americans. We have the right to vote, and will do what it takes to exercise that right. 

I encourage you to become well-versed in the voter suppression tactics being wielded against democracy. For a good look at the underhanded tactics being used by the GOP corporate machine, please take a look at this Mother Jones article.

The underhanded, corporate, Citizens United push to knock our Democracy into an oligarchy is driven by eliminating the vote for countless Americans. That’s about as un-American as it gets. And when we talk about what we, as Americans, can do to keep our recovery on track, our rights in place and our President in office, the bumper sticker politics make perfect  sense. Get out the vote, give  your elderly neighbor a ride to the polls, stand in line as long as it takes to vote, and if you’re turned away at the polls, fight it. Fight hard. Fight for all the right reasons. Vote early if you can. Tweet, blog and tumbl the vote. Because when it comes down to it, complacency is not an option. Because when the 99% vote, the 1% don’t matter. Let’s make it clear Tuesday what we want for this country and put President Obama and Vice-President Biden, and every down-ticket Dem into office where they belong. Give them the opportunity to continue to fight for our families, working people and the middle class.

And if you’re seeing suppression in your neck of the woods, Politicos, report it in here, and we’ll help to tweet it out to the world. Our voices matter. Add your voice to the conversation here at Kitchen Table Politics!