Posted by Bob Lord
All pretense regarding the purpose for the restrictive voting measures that swept the country has been peeled away. Weeks ago, a Pennsylvania Republican outright boasted how their passage of the voter ID law would allow them to deliver Pennsylvania to Romney in November. There's no shame. There's no contrition. There's no decency. Systematically denying the voting rights of millions is well within bounds in today's Machiavellian political world.
But that's not what's troublesome about the voter law situation. What's troublesome, really troublesome, is that we're living through a civil rights crisis and the reaction of both those whose civil rights are being destroyed and their supposed allies is anemic at best. Yes, lawsuits have been brought and, yes, the Department of Justice has taken some action. And there will be court victories, as there were last week. But fighting this fight in the courts and only in the courts is a huge mistake. Filing claims against every stunt the Republicans pull and prevailing in each case is not possible. And if the courts continue to be stacked with more Republican appointees, the task will get more difficult, not less. More crucially, a courts only response reeks of widespread apathy. When corrupt leaders sense that those whose rights are being taken are apathetic, it's a safe bet the taking won't stop there.
The data from Pennsylvania indicates that 700,000 voters may be denied their right to vote, with the victims coming disproportionately from the African American community. A bought off, corrupt Republican judge already has refused to overturn the offending statute. It is stunning that all hopes seemingly are being placed in the reviewing court. If there ever were a time and place for massive demonstrations, the kind that make political leaders nervous, Pennsylvania right now would have to be it. It's not too late, and there are effective strategies available.
If this were the 60's, this fight would be being fought on the streets, through nonviolent civil disobediance, and it really should be today. When government seeks to suppress the rights of its citizens, it is not only the right of those citiizens, it is their duty, to rise up And it's not just to duty of those whose rights are being suppressed, but that of all citizens. Remember the old quote: "First they came for the ..." So the inaction of the masses is disturbing, to say the least. If we're not willing to take a stand here when one of the most fundamental rights in our society -- voting -- is so clearly at stake, when is it that we will take a stand?