Hamilton County Situation Catches NY Times Attention
Caleb Faux just shared this link with us:
In a piece titled "Overt Discrimination in Ohio," the New York Times editorializes about how Warren and Butler counties have made it super-convenient for voters to cast a ballot, while "if you live in Cincinnati, you’re out of luck. ... The convenience will not be extended to the city’s working people."
The sleazy politics behind the disparity is obvious. Hamilton County, which contains Cincinnati, is largely Democratic and voted solidly for Barack Obama in 2008. So did the other urban areas of Cleveland, Columbus and Akron, where Republicans, with the assistance of the Ohio secretary of state, Jon Husted, have already eliminated the extended hours for early voting.
The editorial goes on to point out the outsized impact this has "in counties more likely to vote for Barack Obama," and especially on black voters.
This is just the latest alarming example of how Republicans across the country are trying to manipulate the electoral system by blocking the voting rights of their opponents. These actions have a disproportionate effect on blacks, Hispanics and other ethnic minorities who struggled for so long to participate in American democracy.
In Ohio, as in other states, the Republican Party is establishing a reputation for putting short-term political gain ahead of the most fundamental democratic rights.
That is exactly true. They can bluster all they want about Democrats playing politics. In fact, the Republicans seem to have become so unconfident of their policies' appeal to voters (Upend Medicare! Slash Pell grants! Encourage the relocation of jobs overseas! Lower taxes dramatically for the very rich and raise them on everyone else!) that they feel the only way they can win elections is to lie incessantly (see: Josh Mandel) and to prevent their opponents' supporters from voting.
And when they wrap this anti-democratic impulse in the American flag and professions of "freedom" and "protecting the Constitution," they've become a sad — and dangerous — spectacle.