By Bob Cesca: Throughout the previous decade, anyone who claimed that there was no real threat of terrorism was hectored, accused of hating America and temporarily driven out of politics, even though the numbers vindicated them.
According to a study by Nate Silver, your odds of dying in an airplane-based terrorist attack are around one in 10,408,947. Statistically, that’s pretty close to zero. Conversely, your odds of dying by suicide are around one in 121. In other words, you’re significantly more of a threat to yourself than any terrorist ever.
And yet for the last 10 years, we’ve spent countless trillions of dollars fighting terrorists while enacting dubious laws like the USA PATRIOT Act, along with warrantless wire taps of American citizens, torture, two wars and illusory airport security measures that include disposing of your potentially explosive bottle of water in a trash bin that sits in the middle of a crowded line of passengers waiting in line.
Why? It’s a means of controlling the population through fear, while subsidizing security and defense contractors who’ve made a fortune because we think there’s a serious chance we’ll be killed in another 9/11 style attack.
The same thing is happening with Voter ID laws. Republicans have passed law after law forcing Americans to, in effect, pay a poll tax through the acquisition of government-issued photo IDs in order to vote this year. That’s on top of the usual voter registration process. As I’ve detailed here many times, the laws are entirely intended to suppress Democratic turnout in order to stack the deck in favor of Republicans like Mitt Romney.
How do we know this? Basic deduction from the standpoint of a near zero rate of actual voter fraud. It simply doesn’t exist. Study after study has turned up at most 13 instances of possible voter fraud nationwide over the last 10 years in innumerable elections and, repeating something I reported here last week, the Bush Justice Department searched for voter fraud for five whole years and turned up nothing.
This week, the Pennsylvania Voter ID law went to trial in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU and the NAACP, and in a pre-trial agreement, Pennsylvania attorneys admitted to nonexistent voter fraud in that state.
“There have been no investigations or prosecutions of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania; and the parties do not have direct personal knowledge of any such investigations or prosecutions in other states,” the statement reads.
According to the agreement, the state “will not offer any evidence in this action that in-person voter fraud has in fact occurred in Pennsylvania and elsewhere,” nor will it “offer argument or evidence that in-person voter fraud is likely to occur in November 2012 in the absense of the Photo ID law.”
Astonishing! So why the new Voter ID law? The answer is obvious and was confirmed by PA House Republican Leader Mike Turzai who said that the Voter ID law was designed to get Romney elected.
A similar confession occurred in Wisconsin yesterday. State Senate Minority Assistant Leader Glenn Grothman, a Republican, blurted out the truth on the Alan Keyes radio show.
KEYES: If it were upheld and in place in time for the November election, do you think — polls have shown a pretty razor-thin margin — do you think it might ultimately help Romney’s campaign here in the state?
GROTHMAN: Yes. Right. I think we believe that insofar as there are inappropriate things, people who vote inappropriately are more likely to vote Democrat.
KEYES: So if these protections are in place of voter ID, that might ultimately help him in a close race?
GROTHMAN: Right. I think if people cheat, we believe the people who cheat are more likely to vote against us.
But there isn’t any evidence of “inappropriate things” anywhere. So how the hell can Grothman know that Democrats are somehow more responsible for them? Clearly, he can’t know. Because there aren’t any numbers or prosecutions or arrests indicating anything. I mean, this is like saying, “Let’s pass an anti-hobbit law! Even though hobbits don’t exist, they’re totally gonna steal your veggies and hurl your jewelry into volcanos. Yeeehaw! Fuck hobbits!”
300,000 registered voters — mostly low income Democratic-leaning voters in Wisconsin don’t have a photo ID required to vote. In a tight race, that’s the election.
At the end of the day, this could end up electing Mitt Romney and, potentially, a Republican Senate majority. And they’re telling us that Democrats are the “people who cheat?” They’re digging up the corpse of Jim Crow in order to steal this election. Who’s the cheater again?