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View Diary: Obama issues Executive Order to investigate voter suppression (212 comments)

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  •  No ratfuckers allowed? (32+ / 0-)

    Obama announced in his SOTU speech, of all places, that he intended to name Ben Ginsberg as this commission's co-chair.  Ben Ginsberg, who was part of the Romney team and who tried to peddle the lie that early voting in Ohio was hurting military families (by letting other people vote early too.)  He also ran the Swiftboat Veterans for "Truth" and helped lead the 2000 Florida recount for Bush.

    Fine choice there, Mr. President.  What's the election reform equivalent of chained-CPI?

    Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

    by Dallasdoc on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 05:25:17 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  WTF I have no words (6+ / 0-)

      We all stand submissively before the global ATM machine network like trained chickens pecking the correct colored buttons to release our grains of corn. Joe Bageant

      by Zwoof on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 05:50:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've dealt with Ginsberg (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GoGoGoEverton, NedSparks, wasatch

      I think he's an honorable man, honestly.  And I've seen no evidence he was involved with the Ohio situation.

      I have no problem with trying to make this commission bipartisan in its leadership.

      •  DallasDoc seems to be able to find 'problems' (0+ / 0-)

        re: Obama.

        I see what you did there.

        by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 07:08:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was The Nation who wrote the article (14+ / 0-)

          Apparently there's a bigger consensus among thinking Democrats that Ginsberg has lots of problems.

          Here's the link to the article by Ari Berman again, in case you missed it:

          Obama Appoints a Controversial GOP Lawyer to His Voting Commission

          For over two decades, Ginsberg has been a top lawyer for the Republican Party—the same party, you may recall, that has led the effort to restrict voting rights of late. Ginsberg helped lead the 2000 recount effort for George W. Bush. He was forced to resign from the Bush campaign in 2004 after it was revealed that he was also advising the vile Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. In 2006, Ginsberg said, “Just like really with the Voting Rights Act, Republicans have some fundamental philosophical difficulties with the whole notion of Equal Protection.” And in 2012, he was counsel to the Romney campaign when it absurdly claimed that the Obama campaign was trying to suppress military voters by pushing for early voting for all Ohioans. Does that sound like the kind of guy you want leading a “non-partisan” voting commission?

          It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

          by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 08:30:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Maybe . . . (0+ / 0-)

            President Obama appointed Ginsburg with the idea that somebody who knows how to skew (screw) the system is just the type of guy who will know what needs to be done to avoid all of the pitfalls that he has previously tried to use.

            Just speculating!

            "Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?" Will Rogers offering advice to the Republican Party.

            by NM Ray on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 09:09:02 AM PDT

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            •  Problem with that (12+ / 0-)

              Is Obama has never been able to utilize such a strategy successfully.  Intentionally or no, he never provides the oversight to get that result.  The crooks and bad actors he puts on these commissions just end up producing crooked, bad proposals (see Cat Food Commission).

              For that strategy, you have to oversee the work and make sure the designated rat fuckers actually clean up the mess they created.  Otherwise, you're just putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

              It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

              by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 09:16:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Historical Note (6+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dallasdoc, trumpeter, wasatch, BradyB, madhaus, BYw

                IIRC, FDR put Old Joe Kennedy in charge of cleaning up the stock market and establishing its regulatory structure. Joe was an expert at the dirty tricks that cause the stock market crash.

                FDR knew Old Joe was desperate to be appointed Ambassador to the Court of St. James.  He was dying to rub his working class Irish heritage in the face of the British royals.   So, without even hinting at any such offer, FDR made him work his ass off to clean up and regulate Wall Street.  

                Only after Joe Kennedy had done the job to FDR's satisfaction did he consider appointing him Ambassador.  Of course, Joe later screwed that up, but that's another story.

                That's how you use a crook.  You don't even talk to them until they've publicly admitted their mistakes and proven they've repented.  Then you put them in a position where their goals are very specific and where you watch them like a hawk until they clean up the mess you've assigned them.  

                But you never, ever endorse or in any other way, show approval of their unethical behavior.    In fact, you should make them admit their mistakes publicly and apologize for the harm they've done.

                Now, if you can't find a crook willing to do all that, fine. No problem.  In the case of this commission, you don't need their expertise. Their abuse of the system is fairly obvious and base, something that doesn't require any real skill or intelligence.

                But have some self-respect.  Don't worship crooked, dirty people.

                It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

                by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:40:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Hmmm... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wasatch, Dallasdoc

            Anybody who would voluntarily be in the same room with the Swift Boaters is suspect, much less someone who worked with them.

            I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

            by trumpeter on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 01:01:20 PM PDT

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            •  Agree, they're scumbags of the lowest order (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dallasdoc

              and its laughable that anyone in the WH or the Dem Party for that matter, thinks the Swiftboarters were smart or clever.

              There was nothing smart or original about their strategy.  Just the usual lies and smear tactics with a big media budget.  It doesn't take a smart person to do that.

              It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

              by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 01:33:20 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  An honorable man (6+ / 0-)

        ... who seems to have no problem participating in dishonorable pursuits for partisan purposes, as his record shows.

        Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

        by Dallasdoc on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 07:14:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GoGoGoEverton

          1. Is there any evidence that he was involved with Ohio?  (And even if he was, is it more than "he advanced an argument which was rejected"?)
          2. Did SBVFT break the law in any way?  Yes, they advanced partisan goals with which we disagree, but ... he's a Republican! He's going to support Republicans!

          •  Oh please (11+ / 0-)

            He was advising the Romney campaign on legal matters when it pushed that absurd claim.  Did he speak out against it?  And just because the SBVFT didn't do anything illegal, that doesn't mean it's not a disqualifier for someone considered to chair a voting rights commission.

            He was an adviser to the Prosser campaign in WI, when those 7000 votes were "found" by the sketchy county voting supervisor.   How many campaigns does he have to associate hiimself with that demonstrate such dishonest tactics before we come to believe he's not an hones player?

            There's also this speech at Duke in 2006, which contains this little gem:

            A quick note on perhaps the most interesting issue that came up [during Bush v. Gore] as we dealt with it, and that was Equal Protection . … Now, just like really with the Voting Rights Act, Republicans have some fundamental philosophical difficulties with the whole notion of Equal Protection.

            Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

            by Dallasdoc on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 07:25:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, please. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GoGoGoEverton

              That is guilt by association, both with OH and WI.  Romney had thousands of lawyers, and if they were organized anything like how we were in PA, each state had significant autonomy.  On WI, all you have is "his campaign benefited." So what?

              As to that Duke speech, you do cut him off there before the end:

              . And in this case we decided nonetheless to begin filing the complaints based on Equal Protection. I was defeated in the Florida district court down in Miami early on, it went up to the 11th circuit, it sort of hung around there, it reemerged as an issue in the Florida Supreme Court cases, uh, which is what ultimately went up to the U.S. Supreme Court and at the end of the day there was a 7-2 majority of the US Supreme Court to find Equal Protection violations in the Bush vs. Gore case. The justices split on the remedy 5-4 but there was a 7-2 majority for the notion that you needed to do something about the Equal Protection violations in Florida. Of course, Bush vs. Gore is probably the most notorious of all the election violation cases that went up to the Supreme Court.
              •  So as a Republican... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                zinger99, Cynic in seattle, BYw

                ... he has a problem with Equal Protection, but he doesn't mind using it to win a case.  A very lawyerly thing to do, but again, is that the sort of person we want heading a commission to ensure voting rights?

                Maybe you do, but I'd like to see better.

                Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

                by Dallasdoc on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 08:03:45 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Then it wouldn't be bipartisan, probably. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GoGoGoEverton

                  And therefore, none of its recommendations would go anywhere.

                  •  It can be bipartisan without elevating bad actors (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    zinger99, Dallasdoc, lostinamerica, BYw

                    Surely there are Republicans somewhere who haven't been on the forefront of developing and promoting voter suppression strategies.  The GOP is pretty corrupt these days, but they do still have a few outliers.

                    I truly don't understand Obama (and his supporters) proclivities for self-sabotage with every project or program they undertake.  There isn't a single effort they've undertaken that didn't involve some person, some agenda item that didn't completely undermine their stated goals.

                    It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

                    by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 08:59:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Again, guilt by association (0+ / 0-)

                      Name one "voter suppression strategy" with which Ginsberg was involved.

                      •  Pressuring Ohio (0+ / 0-)

                        on early voting.  I live here, so I know.  Illegal or no it was unethical to say the least.

                        Anyone who lies like he did on the SBVT is a scumbag of the highest order, not someone to be taken seriously or given a position of responsibility.  

                        Hey, its only fair. If you choose to base your professional reputation on dishonesty and dirty tricks, you shouldn't be surprised that you'll miss out on opportunities reserved for honest, professional people.  You can't have both. You're either someone who can be trusted and respected or you can play dirty and cash in.  

                        Commissions to review serious issues like voting rights are reserved for respectable, trustworthy people, not rogue actors.  But, hey, there's nothing to stop the scumbags from expressing their opinions or providing input via the news media, on a blog or by writing a letter or submitting testimony to the Commission.

                        It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

                        by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:00:08 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  The Romney campaign was. (0+ / 0-)

                          I haven't seen an article that claimed that he was, as opposed to whoever their Ohio lawyers were.

                          We differ on what a lawyer's obligations to a client are, and what client actions are attributable back.

                          •  He's a dirty, crooked man (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Dallasdoc, lostinamerica

                            His CV is littered with evidence.  

                            Have some self-respect and hold yourself to a higher standard than unethical, base people like Ginsberg.  Democrats are supposed to be better than GOP dirty tricksters and ratfuckers.  

                            Don't drag our party into the gutter by associating with these people. Too many Democrats (myself included) have worked our asses off to make it a reputable organization.  Show some respect and appreciation for your fellow Democrats and keep our party on the high road.  Don't wallow in GoP filth.

                            It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

                            by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:45:37 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  The Florida 2000 recount (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        lostinamerica

                        I think we can all agree that a complete recount would have declared Gore the winner.  Ginsberg was one of the main drivers of the Bush  campaign's squelching of that recount.  Does that meet your standard for a voter suppression strategy, stealing a presidential election?

                        Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

                        by Dallasdoc on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 11:35:05 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I think of voter suppression as ex ante, not post (0+ / 0-)

                          But we can certainly agree that we thought the results were bad.

                          •  I understand your point (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lostinamerica, Zinman

                            ... but in my non-legal opinion, disenfranchising a majority of the nation's voters by stealing a presidential election is voter suppression too, of a scale I don't recall seeing in this country in its history.

                            Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

                            by Dallasdoc on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 12:05:03 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  a few points (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Adam B

                            First, I looked into the Florida situation at the time. Whether Gore would have won depended on the standard used to judge ballots.  In some, but not all, of the standards, Gore would have won.

                            Second, I would expect someone like Ginsberg to pursue a particular legal avenue to benefit the Republicans.  After all, he is on that side.

                            That makes him partisan but not necessarily evil or dishonest.

                            I am not saying that he should be on the commission, just that him fighting to win Florida does not rule him out from my perspective.

                            Of course, there may be other dirt on him

                            Blake: I am an enemy of the Federation but it is corrupt and oppressive. I will destroy it if I can

                            by GideonAB on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 04:30:00 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

                            Folks here seem to want an imaginary Republican who never represented a "bad" Republican or conservative cause, which they'd label as "anyone but Jon Huntsman."

                          •  evidence (0+ / 0-)

                            I hope the difference between us and Republicans, is that we are careful to look at the evidence.

                            I see little tactical advantage in the Democratic party becoming as sloppy in evaluating the evidence as Glenn Beck.

                            If we do not want Glenn Beck accusing Soros without cause, we should set the example in our analysis of Ginsberg.

                            I recommend the episode "A Man Alone" of Deep Space Nine

                            Blake: I am an enemy of the Federation but it is corrupt and oppressive. I will destroy it if I can

                            by GideonAB on Sat Mar 30, 2013 at 01:50:36 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, Adam, but Ginsberg was a public face of (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            zinger99, lostinamerica, Zinman

            the Bush administration's vile, dishonest actions.  He's is simply a liar.  If lying is ok as long as you're advancing a partisan goal, then I suppose he's a fine choice.

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

            by accumbens on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 07:49:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  SBVFT was a highly unethical, dishonest vendetta (7+ / 0-)

            against Sen. John Kerry.  

            Yes, they lied, yes they told horrible falsehoods about the military record of a respected Democrat running for POTUS.

            No, there's nothing good, honorable or professional about that kind of activity.  

            There's no reason to reward or even respect political operatives who make money engaging in those kinds of smear campaigns.

            I'm shocked that any Democrat would try to defend such a deplorable political operative.

            It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

            by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 08:39:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, there was (5+ / 0-)

            He tried to pressure the state to suppress voting by mail.

            It doesn't matter if his activities barely skirted the law, endorsing voter suppression activities by elevating this man and his unethical schemes  is wrong.

            What kind of message is the WH sending by promoting him to a powerful seat?  Are they saying they support voter suppression?  It certainly appears that way.

            If they're trying to imitate FDR by making crooks reveal secrets and write regulations to fight criminal activities (as he did with his own version of finreg) Obama's out of his league on that one.   He's never demonstrated the ability to successfully use such a strategy because he allows the crooks to do as they wish.  He provides no direction or oversight.

            It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

            by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 08:54:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  He headed Swiftboat Veterans for Truth (6+ / 0-)

        If you were following that election, you would know their work was disgusting, an insult to every veteran who ever served.

        It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

        by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 08:32:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Swiftboating a military veteran (0+ / 0-)

        is not honorable.

        Either Obama is paying a political favor or its bipartisan unity nonsense that he continues to believe in??????

        "Sisters, brothers and the whities, Blacks and the crackers, Police and their backers, They're all political actors"--Curtis Mayfield

        by Cynic in seattle on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 07:10:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ugh (7+ / 0-)

      Surely he could find a Republican who isn't a radical activist in the field.

      It is an old strategy of tyrants to delude their victims into fighting their battles for them. FDR

      by Betty Pinson on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 08:25:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  tipped (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dallasdoc, lostinamerica, Zinman

        sorry Adam, must dissent.

        As much as your profession requires you drive this thread into the weeds - or trees - some of us see the whole picture and recognize the familiar pattern of Obama the Enabler.

        Again.

        The "extreme wing" of the Democratic Party is the wing that is hell-bent on protecting the banks and credit card companies. ~ Kos

        by ozsea1 on Fri Mar 29, 2013 at 10:11:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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