Monday, July 31, 2006

NRO's Jonah Golberg is back in The Star!

About a week ago "Doughy Pantload" made The Star that prompted this post. Jonah is well known as a "warblogger". He supports Bu$hCo and the Republicans nearly every column. Jesus General has some nice images contrasting real heroes, those making sacrifices for Bu$h's stupidly thought out and dreadfully handled war of choice, with the likes of Jonah. Dubyah was a rich boy cheerleader so the irony is running rich.

Today's Sunday's "Dumb, lazy folks should not vote — More voters could undermine process" has a general point that I'll agree with in that the idea of getting voters to the polls via entry into a lottery is misplaced. The proponent is a touch odd perhaps in his approach to getting people to vote yet Jonah's response is a combination of his arrogance and distain for both liberals and poor people. Here are portions:

... Since the civil rights era, Americans have been indoctrinated with the message that voting is the essential yardstick of citizenship. Editorialists, civics teachers and an assortment of deep-thinking movie stars residing in Periclean Hollywood have gone to great lengths to tell Americans that voter apathy is a terrible evil and that, conversely, high voter turnout is a sign of civic health.

Indeed, for several years, voting rights activists have been pushing to give prison inmates and younger teenagers the right to vote, presuming that giving rapists, killers and Justin Timberlake fans a bigger say will improve our democratic process.

The push to make voting much easier has been considerably less controversial.

Weekend voting, voting by mail and online voting are constantly greeted as vital reforms of our electoral system. And although some of these reforms are probably benign, all assume that even the slightest inconvenience in voting is an outrage because democratic health is purely a numbers game: More voters equals a healthier society.

My own view is that voting should be more difficult because things of value usually require a little work. That goes for citizenship, too.

Consider Internet voting. In the conventional view, the only legitimate criticism of online voting is its susceptibility to fraud. Almost no one questions its advisability if it worked — even though online voting assumes that we desperately need to hear from people who otherwise couldn’t be bothered to get off the couch.

Voting fetishists often liken democracy to a national "conversation" or "dialogue." So, tell me: What intelligent conversation is aided by the intrusion of Beavis and Butt-Head?

What is surprising about Doc Osterloh’s wacky idea is that the franchise maximizers hate it. The New York Times dubbed it "daft" and "one of the cheesier propositions on the November ballot." USA Today called it "tawdry." Fair enough.

But I think part of the reason they’re so scandalized is that Osterloh is taking their logic to its natural conclusion. Advocates of increasing voter turnout already frame the issue in terms of "what’s in it for you." MTV’s condescending Choose or Lose campaign, which aims to get 18- to 30-year-olds to vote, says it all right there in the name; the gravy train is leaving the station, and the ballot is your ticket onboard.

Just beneath the surface of much of this voter activism is the assumption that increased turnout would move American politics to the left, by redistributing wealth to the poor and disenfranchised. There’s probably some merit here, which explains why so many get-out-the-vote groups are proxies for the Democratic Party.

But that doesn’t change the fact that they are trolling for votes among people who don’t appear to take their citizenship very seriously. Osterloh’s bribery scheme merely exposes this motivation in a way that embarrasses voter activists.

Osterloh admits that he’s motivated by more than democracy worship. "One of the goals that I’ve had in my lifetime is to see that all Americans have health care like every other major country on Earth. One of the ways to do that is to make sure that everybody votes." At least he’s honest about it.

Perhaps the "poor and disenfranchised" have not gotten the rewards for their talents that has Young Jonah. Thir mothers might not be filthy rich plus an insider? Maybe they've become frustrated with The Man? I surely am! I expect the idea of redistributing wealth terrifies this child of privilege. Maybe getting enough voters will finally prevent Big Pharma and the insurance industry and ... from stopping some type of universal health care solution.

I'm not sure if by giving prisoners the franchise means after they've done their time. I think more folks are worried about those convicted of minor crimes losing the franchise for the balance of their days, something that is clearly influencing poor and often African-American communities.

You mention Beavis and Butthead as a put down to disinterested voters, and I concur up to a point, but some studies do suggest the more educated a person is the more likely they are liberal. And since your beloved Bu$hCo is surely the dumbest and most arrogant SOB we've ever had in the White House I'm not sure you want to go here. Then again, you and Bu$h have much in common. I've understood some type of quote that he was born on third but really think he hit a home run. You can relate huh Jonah!

Finally, in Ohio, tax exempt mega churches and other evangelicals likely made the difference in the GOTV battle so I'm really not up to being lectured on this issue. Also, who can forget your party making young black kids wait in line for hours at that college? And there is little dispute that Ohio's GOP SoS Kenneth Blackwell did an illegal purge of poor urban black voters! Loading up the numbers of voting machines for suburban voters by pulling them from urban areas was clearly done. Stretch the line and perhaps some will walk away? Florida tactics made even the more evil. I guess your side does laugh at these open, admittedly silly, efforts to level the playing field. After all we don't own Diebold!

I'm figuring if Jonah is a regular for The Star I'll have lots of material. Peace ... or War!