Tea Partier Admits Republicans Don’t Want African Americans To Vote. No Sh*t.

black_voteWhenever a Republican says something horrendous, the subsequent apology usually involves a confession that saying the horrendous something was a “mistake” or “an error.” Of course it is. The mistake was saying out loud what far too many Republicans believe to be true, but rarely say in public due to the potential backlash: abortion in cases of “legitimate rape” should be illegal because a woman’s body naturally rejects the resulting pregnancy; Native American tribal leaders are “dysfunctional“; depicting President Obama as a monkey in a viral email is an hilarious meme and so forth. Cue half-hearted, guiltless apologies.

One of my favorite examples is when Saline, Kansas County Commissioner Jim Gile (R) used the term “nigger-rigging” in a public meeting. His morbidly hilarious apology didn’t involve taking responsibility for his racism but, instead, he added, “I have built Habitat homes for colored people.” Oh, well, my goodness, in that case, glad to hear he’s deigned to help the coloreds. Good guy.

The statements are blurted in public without any realization that YouTube, blogs and The Series of Tubes exist, and the apologies are rarely contrite.

Yesterday, Dallas Tea Party activist Ken Emanuelson said, “I’m going to be real honest with you. The Republican Party doesn’t want black people to vote if they are going to vote 9-to-1 for Democrats.”

This is absolutely a factual statement. The Republicans don’t want African Americans to vote because they mostly vote for Democrats. Sure, it exposes the dark underbelly of the Republican Southern Strategy, and Emanuelson simply derped it out loud and in public when he probably should’ve kept it to himself. But that doesn’t make it any less true. His apology? It was a “mistake.” Of course. He shouldn’t have said it out loud. But then, within his apology, he literally restated the exact same thing for which he was apologizing:

“What I meant, and should have said, is that it is not, in my personal opinion, in the interests of the Republican Party to spend its own time and energy working to generally increase the number of Democratic voters at the polls, and at this point in time, nine of every ten African American voters cast their votes for the Democratic Party.”

No, Republicans definitely don’t want to increase the number of African American voters — that’s for sure. What Emanuelson didn’t mention was specifically how the Republican Party is obsessively pursuing this goal.

To carry forward the theme of yesterday’s column, while the Republicans are crying “Scandal!! IEEEEE!!!” over the IRS’s alleged politically-motivated scrutiny of tea party groups, Republican Party officials across the country are actively disenfranchising minority voters, the vast majority of whom vote for Democrats. So, no, the Republicans don’t want to increase African American voters — they, in fact, want to reduce African American voters, and they’re doing it.

Consequently dozens of Republican governors and state legislatures have passed or attempted to pass Voter ID laws, which make it difficult for low income, more-often-than-not minority voters from voting. 15 states, controlled by Republicans, passed laws making it more difficult to vote. Those states contol 203 electoral votes, and, shocker, many of those states just happen to be swing states. 180 bills were introduced beginning in 2011 and continuing through 2012. Millions of voters nationwide were prevented from voting as a result of these draconian Jim Crow laws. As for the existence of actual voter fraud as an excuse, the Republican Secretary of State for Ohio, Jon Husted, discovered 20 cases of possible voter fraud. 20 cases — out of 5.6 million ballots cast in the 2012 election. Millions disenfranchised in order to weed out a handful of illegal voters. Maybe — there haven’t been any convictions to date.

Meanwhile, Republican state lawmakers and election officials are purging voter rolls to potentially weed out undocumented workers and convicted felons, but these dragnets usually sweep up innocent bystanders with similar names. Hmm. What could possibly go wrong? Again, the people who are most often unknowingly stripped of their right to vote are Democrats.

And if the Voter ID laws and voter purges don’t manage to do the trick, Republican election officials have been targeting precincts with large minority populations, restricting voting the hours there, rolling back early voting opportunities and cutting the number of voting booths in relation to the number of the likely voters there. The result? Prohibitively long lines — lines that are much longer than predominantly white, suburban polling places.

On top of everything else, Republican Party officials in blue-leaning/purple swing states have been endeavoring to distribute electoral votes by district rather than the traditional winner-take-all system. This way, Republican presidential candidates have a better shot at grabbing more electoral votes from those states where they came up empty in the last couple of elections.

And the “Obama IRS’s” targeting tea party groups is a scandal-worthy offense? Unbelievable. The Republicans are trying to steal elections by resurrecting poll taxes and the like — laws that we assumed were obliterated with the passage of the Voting Rights Act. Apparently not. If indeed the IRS and the Obama administration are guilty of using political power to target and obstruct Republican activists, the Republicans are guilty of far worse. The IRS, whatever its sins might be, isn’t preventing Republicans from voting and it’s certainly not silencing or suppressing the rights of minorities. If the IRS situation is an impeachable offense, then, by rights, the Federal Elections Commission and the Justice Department should absolutely investigate the Republican Party officials responsible for the mass disenfranchisement. Subsequently, the election process in those states should be federalized. Fair is fair.

By the way, there’s one exception to the Republican apology process. The Republican state representative from Pennsylvania, Mike Turzai, who admitted last year that the state’s Voter ID law was deliberately passed (“Done!”) in order to disenfranchise Democrats and win the state for Mitt Romney never apologized. Like the others, he was telling the truth so why apologize? However, he owes an apology to the voters who were unable to exercise their most basic right in a representative democracy — the people who he and his colleagues targeted for political retribution and disenfranchisement.

In a final bit of irony, Ken Emanuelson’s tea party group, the Dallas Tea Party? It’s one of the groups whose 501(c)4 application is apparently being scrutinized by the IRS.

  • redastcyr

    Oh An I suppose Tea Party people are simply outraged an entire group of American Citizens are being disenfranchised, simply because like them We vote our interest

  • Paul Diaz

    You guys are idiots. You’re more ignorant than the imaginary boogey-men you’re talking about.

  • Ron Libby

    This is an absurd illustration of bias in the media. By what possible logic can a random quotation by an individual be taken as a representation of the Tea Party.
    Anyone who has attended Tea Party gatherings or rallies, knows that the Tea Party eagerly embraces everyone regardless of race, gender or creed. Their only criteria is that participants are patriots and honor the U.S. constitution. This is shameful journalism.

  • Ron Libby

    The absurd claim that the Tea Party is bigoted has no basis in fact. Although, the media and academy continue to make that assertion. Any thoughtful, rational person should ask for proof. For a demolition of this myth see Ronald Libby’s new book, “Purging the Republican Party: Tea Party Campaigns and Elections” by Lexington Book and scheduled for release on November 16, 2013.

  • super390

    The question is, how many Republican support the repeal of the 14th Amendment? That question has moved from the very radical fringes of neo-Confederate racism to the halls of Tea Party power. As usual, liberals refuse to confront them about this, much less show the public why no one would support restoring to state legislatures the power to strip blacks of their hard-won voting rights, etc, unless they intended to use it. We’re all supposed to think that we’re all good Americans and thus would never do such horrible things.

  • entulling

    I’d be glad if anyone here could make a list of countries where you can vote without having to show an ID.

  • Christopher Foxx

    If indeed the IRS and the Obama administration are guilty of using political power to target and obstruct Republican political activists,

    They’re not.

    If the IRS situation is an impeachable offense,

    It isn’t.

    And using it as an example, even in the “If” context, just perpetuates the false impression that there is something vastly wrong at the IRS and plays into Republican hands.

  • Christopher Foxx

    “What I meant, and should have said, is that it is not, in my personal opinion, in the interests of the Republican Party to spend its own time and energy working to generally increase the number of Democratic voters at the polls, and at this point in time, nine of every ten African American voters cast their votes for the Democratic Party.”

    Silver linings: He’s being honest, and he said Democratic. Two traits not typically associated with “conservatives”.

  • joseph2004

    Here’s another completely factual statement: Democrats want blacks to vote because they vote 95% for Democrats.

    Since we know that Democrats are no more ethical than anyone else, we can be quite certain that Democrats, if blacks voted for Republicans 95-5, wouldn’t want blacks to vote either. At the very least, the money handlers in the Democratic Party would think long and hard about “wasting” campaign dollars on groups that weren’t going to vote for them anyway.

    According to the NYTimes, black voters outpaced white voters for the very first time.
    ( http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/us/politics/rate-of-black-voters-surpassed-that-for-whites-in-2012.html?_r=0 )

    Where’s all that voter suppression, Cesca? And how can anyone believe that Republicans can, by hook or by crook, put a dent in black voter turn out, even if they wanted to?

    You maintain the fiction that black voters are being held back, why exactly?

    The NYTimes also featured this little gem regarding Democratic Party campaign philosophy:
    ( http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/27/the-future-of-the-obama-coalition/ )

    from which we learned that…

    “All pretense of trying to win a majority of the white working class has been effectively jettisoned in favor of cementing a center-left coalition.”

    and that…
    “The 2012 approach treats white voters without college degrees as an unattainable cohort.”
    I know this doesn’t mean anything because, after all, white voters are, well, white and so deserve all sorts of derision.
    But the principle is the same nonetheless. When a party knows that a block of voters is at any one time unreachable, they aren’t going to waste precious dollars trying to reach them. That includes Democrats, too.

    • Lady Willpower

      “Since we know that Democrats are no more ethical than anyone else…”

      Hahaha, “we know.” FOX-speak at its best.

      Maybe you know that Joseph, but that’s actually just an opinion. Plenty of people are convinced they know things, yet those people are still wrong. Lots of people “know” that evolution and global warming are myths, yet those people are completely wrong.

      • joseph2004

        Yep, I know that when push comes to shove, Democrats aren’t any more ethical or moral than anyone else – and you know it, too.

        By the way, I wouldn’t know about Fox News; I don’t watch it.

        • Lady Willpower

          Don’t tell me what I know.
          I do believe there are similarities between Dems and Repubs, just because they’re both kinds of politicians. They both want to make money. They both like power. They both like staying in power. That’s the obvious stuff.

          But when it comes to what they do when in office, that’s where the battle lines are drawn. Democrats care about women, minorities, poor people, gay rights, health care, and treating immigrants like human beings. Republicans don’t. They care about money, corporate welfare, guns, fetuses, Christianity, keeping gay marriage illegal, letting sick people die, and building that dang fence to keep the brown people out.

          Not the same.

          • joseph2004

            You’re a liberal puppet.

          • Lady Willpower

            That’s the best you could come back with after 19 days?

            You lost this argument three weeks ago.

          • Man About It

            I think everyone cares about fetuses (all things being equal). The Dem difference is caring about the actual born instead of saying “you’re on your own once you’re born, because we’re gonna find a way to kill you!”

            I still ideally prefer that we expand beyond the two-party system.

          • Lady Willpower

            Yes, when I say Republicans care about fetuses I meant they care about them to the exclusion of all else. Of course, once the kid’s born the Rs could give a shit. No food stamps for you!

      • Audio7

        The phrases “it’s a fact” or “it’s widely known” seems to pop up in those echo chamber discussions quite often especially when there are no such facts and things are not widely known.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Here’s another completely factual statement: Democrats want blacks to vote because they vote 95% for Democrats.

      Getting more voters registered to vote is a good thing in and of itself. That it happens to be advantageous to a particular side is irrelevant.

      “They want it because it works out well for them” is certainly no argument against supporting voter registration.

      • Lady Willpower

        Yeah, I want everyone to vote. Even people I don’t like. That’s where Republicans and I part company. I could say “I don’t want old white people and gun-toting rednecks to vote because they’re just going to vote against my right to choose” but I don’t. Those people deserve to vote, even if they want to vote all my rights away.
        Republicans just say “the coloreds want to vote Dem? Let’s make it so they can’t vote at all!”
        That’s a pretty huge fucking difference.

        • Christopher Foxx

          Exactly. And you’ve described perfectly the distinction that joseph2004 just fails to see.

          we can be quite certain that Democrats, if blacks voted for Republicans 95-5, wouldn’t want blacks to vote either.

          Not true, joseph. Oh, sure, you can point to some Democrats that would feel that way, and some Republicans that oppose the voter suppression that’s going on. There are always exceptions.

          But by and large, liberals support everyone having the same rights, while conservatives want to limit those of people they don’t agree with.

          “I vehemently disagree with what you say, but I’ll vehemently defend your right to say it.” is a liberal sentiment.

        • joseph2004

          The “difference” you claim is unsubstantiated, and clearly self-serving. It’d be great if it weren’t mere window dressing.

          • Lady Willpower

            Denying that it exists is self-serving, for you.

      • Steven Skelton

        “Getting more voters registered to vote is a good thing in and of itself.”

        I couldn’t disagree more.

        We need more informed people voting and fewer uninformed voting.

        Were stuck in this whole left/right fight and missing the bigger the picture here. It is “us vs. them,” but the “us” and the “them” isn’t right vs. left, it’s informed vs. uninformed.

        Maybe if we had fewer dipshits voting, we might elevate the quality of those elected.

        • Christopher Foxx

          Maybe if we had fewer dipshits voting, we might elevate the quality of those elected.

          I agree, but I still defend the right of Republicans to vote.

        • Christopher Foxx

          Maybe if we had fewer dipshits voting, we might elevate the quality of those elected.

          Maybe if we had fewer Republicans voting against every effort to have an educated citizenry, we’d have fewer dipshits.

        • Man About It

          Then inform the uninformed. Problem solved.

    • muselet

      Moreover, Hillary Clinton is reported to have assured some parents of the dead in Benghazi that the videographer in question would be arrested and prosecuted.

      It’s been a month and still no links, joseph. You weren’t lying about that reporting, were you?

      –alopecia

      • Christopher Foxx

        Yes, he is.

        • muselet

          It’s entirely possible. But when I ask him for the links, joseph2004 seems to go into hit-and-run mode; that’s less annoying than when he sticks around and argues.

          Plus, smacking him around is a better use of my time than fisking his nonsense.

          –alopecia

          • Lady Willpower

            He probably saw some link on WorldNutsDaily that was summarily debunked. Can’t be spreading that kind of nonsense around when the adults are talking.

          • joseph2004

            http://www.politico.com/story/2013/05/the-benghazi-patsy-91101.html
            You’ll probably assume it’s all a lie, because Hillary Clinton is so wonderful. I think she’s a flunky stateswoman.

          • muselet

            Dick move, responding on a different comments thread.

            That’s the same Rich Lowry opinion piece you linked to before. It also doesn’t support your claim.

            Either provide links to the reporting (not an opinion piece) or admit you lied.

            –alopecia

        • joseph2004

          So, Chris, do you read the news? Or, do you get everything you need to know right here from the Cesca universe?
          If you don’t believe me, check it out yourself. Claiming I’m simply lying is no less the dodge alopecia (also news challenged) claims about missing links. Maybe you should try what I do and visit site with opposite points of view. Or perhaps you’d prefer to appear, well, lazy.

          • Man About It

            Many of us do visit the righty sites. And while the articles themselves may give one something extra to consider, the childishness (and coded bigotry) is off the charts in the comment sections.

          • Christopher Foxx

            It’s “Christopher“. Thanks.

            And yes, I do keep up on the news. And why is asking you to actually provide support for your claims some kind of foul?

            Let me try: I could provide support for my contention that joseph2004 is a liar and troll, but it’s a dodge on joseph’s part when he asks me to do so.

            Wow, that is fun.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663669914 Sean Richardson

      No, you’ve got it backwards. Democrats don’t want black people to vote because they vote Democratic; black people vote Democratic because Democrats have consistently done significantly more to advance and protect their right to vote.

      “Since we know that Democrats are no more ethical than anyone else”

      Can you point to specific examples of the Democrats working to systematically purge legal voters from the voter rolls? If you can, please do. If not, then you are deluding yourself.

    • super390

      The difference, joseph, is that Democratic governors are not the ones threatening nullification and secession if their enemies are not disenfranchised under “states’ rights”. The Democratic governors and senators who talked that way 50 years ago became Republicans.

  • trgahan

    Don’t forget this issue is more than just about suppressing Democratic voter. Much of the GOP base insists that minorities are rendered and/or remain second class citizens. So, as they are robbed blind by the Job Creators and the Free Market, they always have a least one group below them to look down upon, project their fears, and take their frustrations out on.