Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Letting my cynicism shine through

Not often do I allow a "doom and gloom" outlook become the principal manner of how I view developments throughout the world. I feel that optimism is a powerful force for dealing with unfortunate realities--not to mention it does wonders for fighting off ulcers!

But sometimes. . .sometimes. . .you take a look at something, and the voice in your head says "that's a really bad idea!" And you reflect on that observation for a while, only to realize in the end that good/bad is not going to carry the argument. The masses are lined up against a "proper" outcome, and it is only a matter of time until this "bad idea" becomes enacted.

The source of today's despair? The Count Every Vote Act of 2005 as introduced by Sen. Clinton and Sen. Boxer on the Senate Floor about 3 weeks ago. In a nutshell, it is the Democratic response to the voting irregularities of the last two national elections. It supposedly provides for greater access to the voting "process" and places strict limits on activities that might lead to "disenfranchisement".

Now I've got to say that clearly the election "process" in this country needs some tweaking. I am 100% in favor of measures that make electoral fraud harder to perpetrate. To me, the last two national elections show vote FRAUD to be the biggest problem, and a national recognition of that problem (real problems, like in Milwaukee, rather than trumped-up (NOT non-existent--although I'm not convinced that they do exist--just trumped-up) problems as in Ohio)--possibly even a national direction of how to deal with that problem--is something that I would love to see.

But of course, the CEVA has almost nothing to this end. It appears that the big lessons the Dems learned from this last election is that voting machines are good, that same-day registration is good and that provisional ballots are good. And while I agree that all 3 avenues are excellent ways to expand voter access IF MONITORED PROPERLY, these also happen to be 3 avenues that bear the greatest fruit for electoral fraud. Of course, the CEVA calls for no specific limits and regulations on these methods of voting--it just calls for more More MORE!

My biggest beef, however, comes from the part of the CEVA that would allow ex-felons to vote. FOR THE RECORD: I could care less if felons vote in an election. In fact, a truly reformed ex-con totally deserves the ability to vote. That description would open up a Pandora's box of debate: "what does truly reformed mean", etc etc etc. . .but I do believe that if you have done your time and adjusted well to society upon reentry then you should have your rights returned to you. But honestly, this is all beside the point!

The reason that I hate this provision in the act is straight from Sen. Clinton's mouth. When she co-introduced this act on the Senate floor, this is what she had to say: "An estimated 4.7 million Americans are not eligible to vote as a result of felony disenfranchisement laws that apply in 48 states and the District of Columbia."

48 states! Think about that--all but 2 states have declared ex-felons ineligible to vote--BUT THE DEMS THINK THAT THE OTHER 48 STATES ARE WRONG!!!

I'll let you decide the Dems' motivations for moving in this manner. I'm too cynical at this point to keep emotional thought out of my analysis. I'll just say it this way: this stinks!

I do not believe that the U.S. Senate--indeed, the U.S. Government--should seek to overturn the states' right to govern their populace--ESPECIALLY in the face of an overwhelming majority, as in this case. This is Big Brother-type government at its finest, brought to you by the biggest believers in Big Brother: the Democratic Party!

But now for why I'm REALLY PEEVED: I think CEVA will die a slow, public death--if not in the Congress itself than in the Oval Office. BUT, given the activism undertaken by the SCOTUS recently, I think there is a strong possibility that--someday--those 48 states will be told that their disenfranchisement laws for ex-felons constitute a violation of the 8th amendment.

And once again the states will lose their right to govern at the feet of the U.S. Government and its agents.


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