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Just last night I was thinking about the people who waited all those hours in lines that stretched for blocks. Waiting for what? To scratch a few pencil marks on a sheet of paper (or twelve)? The more I thought about it, the more pissed I became. This treatment of people fulfilling their civic obligation was a deliberate attempt to prevent them from doing so. In 21st century America, the highest elected officials in the most important state on the electoral map openly—and proudly—committed malicious acts of voter suppression.
What should we do? How about putting them in stocks all day in full view of President Obama's inaugural address? We could put a sign above their heads saying "I tried illegally to prevent this day from happening." My imagination ran wild. How about a jail cell into which President Obama's Des Moines speech was piped 24/7? "Fired up! Ready to go!" How about tarring and feathering? How about ...
Then it struck me. The patriots who stuck it out in those long lines had already humiliated these political monsters simply by voting. The evil machinations of Rick Scott and his henchmen had been beaten by ordinary citizens just doing their duty. Their state ultimately went to Obama by the slimmest of margins, in spite of the (arguably treasonous) actions of their elected leaders. Those "leaders" tried voter purges, picture ID, deliberately engineered long lines, and other foul tactics. Our brothers and sisters defeated them. Our brothers and sisters stuck it out for hours to scratch those pencil marks on those sheets of paper that were meticulously designed to slow them down. Our brothers and sisters rubbed their noses into the steaming pile of shit that is Florida voter suppression. Against considerable odds, our brothers and sisters won the fight in Florida.
Now, there are many political heroes on the Democratic side in 2012, and by no means do I mean to slight them. But, we OWE our brothers and sisters who stood in those lines—big time. We can begin to repay them by passing federal legislation that stops voter suppression cold, not only in Florida but in the other 49. We need to take to heart the lessons of 2012.
"We need to fix that." Yes indeed, Mr. President, we need to fix it.
Originally posted to Tim DeLaney on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:00 AM PST.