Friday, June 05, 2015

Hillary Diversion

You need all sorts of identification in this life.  You have to present a drivers license to buy a six pack of beer, even if you are 70 years old.  You need strong i.d. to get on an airplane.  You need i.d. to purchase just about anything where you present a credit card.  It is just a way of life that people may not like, but they acccept.

Some politicians think requiring an i.d. when you go into vote is some sort of attempt to keep you from  voting.  It is one of those culture war things that helps divert attention from the real problems in this country, and Hillary Clinton has joined the battle. Her notion that everyone should be automatically registered to vote on the 18th birthday is a good one.  But the debate on ID is a red herring.  Hopefully, she can move on from this diversion soon.

I would rather see her tackle the gerrymandering of congress and how to stop it.  I would much rather her talk about reigning in the big and corrupt bankers in this nation.  I would much rather see more action on getting a coherent foreign policy.  I would much rather see her take a realistic approach to the so called 'war on drugs.'  But right now she seems concerned about having to show voter i.d.

I am not talking here about many right wing people trying to keep poor people from voting.  A reasonable requirement for a simple i.d. for voting won't stop voters from going to the polls.  If someone doesn't have any reasonable i.d. to show, a new one can be devised just for them.  But it wouldn't really be many people who need one would it, anymore than the number of people who the republicans say vote fraudulently every election cycle?  That has been proven a myth.

So lets talk about the important things instead of little culture battles where the only goal is to win a meaningless victory.

7 comments:

New Mexican said...

"So lets talk about the important things instead of little culture battles where the only goal is to win a meaningless victory."

Good luck with that........

Anonymous said...

?? What problem does requiring an ID solve? If voter fraud isn't a real problem, why institute voter ID? I don't get your logic here. We should institute voter ID because you don't think we lose anything to do it?

Bosque Bill said...

Jim, a corrupt Wall Street and gerrymandering are certainly big problems in this country, but I strongly disagree with you on the importance of Voter ID laws, such as those passed in the last few years in red states, ostensibly to prevent voter fraud.

Many of these laws actually prevent some people from voting who have expired licenses or no way to get off work to go to the county clerk's office during business hours. Other laws simply make it so difficult the person gives up rather than vote. We shouldn't be discouraging people from voting. Forcing honest citizens, who don't have the "right" ID, to go to unusual lengths to get special ID to vote is just another form of poll tax.

In some cases we're talking about people who never fly, because they can't afford it. And isn't it a false equivalent to compare ID requirements to protect one's fellow passengers from "known terrorists" boarding a flight versus voting? One fraudulent vote does not have the potential to kill hundreds of people in a ball of flames.

And are you equating purchasing beer or using a credit card to the right of a citizen to vote? You should be ashamed to employ that comparison.

Students over 18 are allowed to vote where they go to school, but these new laws prevent them from using their student IDs to vote and if they do have a drivers license, it is probably not a local address. The GOP doesn't want young people, who overwhelmingly approve of such things as equality in marriage, to vote.

These new Voter ID laws also seem to go hand-in-hand with restrictions on early voting, eliminate after hours or week-end voting, and prevent local officials from extending voting hours in response to long lines on voting day. Keep those poor people who are struggling along only because they have to work two or more jobs from voting by all means, as they're not going to vote for the Republicans who are against the minimum wage or affordable health care.

I respectfully ask you to look beyond your comfortable situation and consider the affect of these laws on the poor, the young, and the minorities in this country who deserve a voice in our government.

Anonymous said...

having a voter i.d. doesn't really solve any problem, but it takes off the table this endless silly debate that gives cover for both sides as a way of ignoring important issues.

Anonymous said...

You may want to pick up the latest edition of ABQ Free press where Dinelli unloads on APD. You may remember when APD kept file on political s including you, Jim Baca. Its worth the read.

Bubba Muntzer said...

I think Bosque Bill provides the right context for thinking about voter ids, and despite the news coverage, Hillary’s speech was very similar to what he’s talking about. Her remarks start at 18 min. into this video and go to 57:

http://www.c-span.org/video/?326400-1/hillary-clinton-remarks-voting-rights

Republicans probably prefer the debate to be about voter ids, which are more easily defended than some of the other things they’re doing to limit voting rights. But what about voter ids as an issue in and of itself?

When courts rule on limiting rights they weigh whether the government has a compelling interest to limit the right. No one except ill-informed Republican masses believes voter fraud occurs enough to be statistically significant, therefore there’s no compelling government interest there, and no reason to limit the right.

Many articles have debunked the idea that there’s anything more than a minuscule amount of voter fraud. Here’s one from the NY Times last year:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/06/11/upshot/vote-fraud-is-rare-but-myth-is-widespread.html

I also agree with Bosque Bill that there’s an issue about the kind of right voting is. We accept so readily that you need an id for some things that it’s easy to think about voting in the same way.

Here are some things you can do without showing an id:

Mail a letter
Petition the government
Call your congress member
Walk into your congress member’s office
Bail someone out of jail
Buy food
Report a crime
Walk down the street
Walk through the bosque
Walk along the river
Buy a car
Sign an apartment lease
Register a business
Pay taxes
Join the armed forces
Form a more perfect union
Establish justice
Insure domestic tranquility
Provide for the common defense
Promote the general welfare


I'm not so sure that some of these haven't already been curtailed by the constant fear mongering about terrorism, where the government is claiming interests that don’t actually exist. Our right to privacy certainly has been. It’s been all but eliminated. Besides the practical matter of fairness in elections, it’s prudent to maintain a skepticism toward any effort to limit any right we have. One hoop can lead to another.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the reason why Hillary isn't going to do anything about Wall Street is because she is in bed with the banks and corporations. See this Bloomberg article.
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2015-05-22/clinton-foundation-discloses-speech-fees