ABA Journal


Annual Meeting

Hillary Clinton defends Voting Rights Act in first of series of policy speeches

Aug 13, 2013, 12:22 am CDT


Obviously, Mrs. Clinton is confused. Voter identification laws are not "restrictive", but apply to all citizens equally and protect the integrity of the election process.

By Yankee on 2013 08 13, 12:40 am CDT

"Clinton, long a familiar face at ABA gatherings and the first chair of its powerful Commission on Women in the Profession in 1987. . ."

Is the picture from a speech she made then?

By B. McLeod on 2013 08 13, 2:06 am CDT

Errr... actually almost all of the voting restrictions implemented so far in the suspect states can be shown statistically to target minority voters and their voting patterns in the most recent election. Further, they have little justifiable purpose otherwise.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 1:30 pm CDT

@1 - You are confusing "restrictive" with "facially discriminatory". Voter ID laws might not be facially discriminatory, but they are by definition restrictive in that they impose additional restrictions on the right to vote.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 2:16 pm CDT

@4 - And let's not forget that the analysis does not end at the facial level. Party X passed this law. Group Y historically votes overwhelmingly against Party X, because Party X actively discriminates against it. The law restricts voting during a period where 70% of Group Y votes. No justification is offered for the restriction on the voting period. No data to show any kind of voter fraud -- or even if such data existed, that eliminating voting during that particular period would affect it.

That's a pretty good recipe for showing intent to have a disproportionate effect on a particular group in order to keep them from voting against that party.

I just don't understand how even the most partisan zealot can't be outraged that ANY PARTY on EITHER SIDE would purposefully restrict voting just to prevent opponents from having their say in the ballot box. I really, really cannot understand what has to *happen* in someone's mind to brainwash them to the point where they can't be willing to admit that this is wrong and that it isn't a democracy when you can restrict the votes of your opponents' supporters and thereby lock down the government for one side.

Apologies for the tirade, it just... I try to see the best in people and give them the benefit of the doubt, and this just enrages me. Party politics have finally (?) trumped even the most basic ideas of democracy.

Then again... maybe these people don't *want* a democracy.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 2:28 pm CDT

@5 - Given the documented frequency of voter fraud, I think the intent and effect of these laws is really beyond debate. As far as the proponents not wanting democracy, these policies tend to emerge in heavily gerrymandered states where the will of the people is already being thwarted very effectively at the level of state government. A representative government requires that voters choose politicians, not the other way around.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 2:37 pm CDT

@6 "Given the documented frequency of voter fraud" opens a fair question: how frequent is voter fraud? I went to, and looked at the page "How widespread is voter fraud". The initial numbers might look quite scary: tens or hundereds of thousands of dead people still on the rolls, or more people on the rolls than live in the state/county. However, when you start to read further, you discover that the actual incidents of voter fraud are quite unusual. Very unusual. But the US is unusual to begin with, because the state gov'ts run the elections. You may want to try an independent body administering electoral divisons and elections.

By Ian C on 2013 08 13, 3:24 pm CDT

@7 - I would LOVE to have an independent body administering our elections. Unfortunately, our powers that be don't really want fair elections.

I would not rely on the data from "Truth the Vote," that having been said. Documented instances of voter fraud are very rare -- almost non-existent. One of the recent states pushing voter ID laws could not, in a court of law, point to even one documented case of the voter fraud the law was purported to be aimed at. In fact, the law was aimed at narrowing the voter eligibility of a population of persons that historically does not vote Republican because that party discriminates against it.

"On the rolls" is a different measure than "actually casting fraudulent votes." (And frankly, that's not an organization whose research you should trust without looking carefully at the documentation and comparing it to non-partisan evaluations.)

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 3:28 pm CDT

@7 - I guess I should have written "documented infrequency"; I meant frequency in the neutral sense, not to imply that there actually is a large amount of voter fraud occurring. As far as independent bodies go, I think it makes a lot of sense to keep the drawing of electoral districts out of the hands of the politicians who run to fill those seats. There is no good reason for the opposite to be the case.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 3:29 pm CDT

Errr... it is shameful that the political left would produce so much BS verbiage, and would engage in shameless baiting in order to facilitate voter fraud where it exits. Producing a government ID in order to cast a vote is simply not an unjust burden . . . and individual members of the political left must know that.

The amount of energy expended by the political left to prevent the implementation of reasonable measures to prevent voter fraud, is strong evidence both that political left knows voter fraud is occurring on a large scale AND that the political left is the beneficiary of this voter fraud.

By Yankee on 2013 08 13, 4:06 pm CDT

And yet, you're left without the ability to prove that what you're railing against even exists.

And remember, the laws that have been passed recently aren't even about ID's.

They're about restricting voting in a way -- even times -- that is targeted to the statistics regarding when minorities vote.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 4:09 pm CDT

@1: Voter fraud is part of the Dem business model. As a minority myself, I'd like to know what about requiring me to produce a valid ID restricts or inhibits my vote. Why do liberals assume that minorities can't obtain the necessary proof of their identity? I also don't need a voting period beyond election day.

@11: I don't think anyone needs to prove that voting fraud exists to require a valid ID in order to cast a ballot, although people go to jail each election cycle for it. Reasonable measures to protect the franchise makes sense in various areas of life. My bank requires my PIN or ID before a transaction, though its never been robbed or my account hacked. l show ID at the airport, but airline terrorism is a relatively rare occurence. So statistically, its non-existent, a non-event, yet we have all kinds of measures to prevent harm.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 5:22 pm CDT

@12 - "Voter fraud is part of the Dem business model." Please provide some empirical support for your claim.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 5:23 pm CDT

@12 - False analogy. There were, in fact, crimes of that nature before those safeguards were taken.

The fact is, no one's ever really denied that voter ID laws could be perfectly acceptable if implemented responsibly and correctly. The problem with some of the ones proposed within the recent past have been their suddenness before elections and the difficulty of obtaining them for the destitute. Again, I have absolutely no problem with them if they're done responsibly -- but when the politicians behind at least some of them have openly stated that the purpose of them was to try to win the 2012 election for the Republicans, I don't think you can make the case that they were being proposed for a legitimate purpose.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 5:26 pm CDT

"At least some of them (politicians) have openly stated that the purpose of them was to try to win the 2012 election for the Republicans"--I read that as stopping the democrat voter fraud game plan, and that is a legitimate purpose. The Dems have always denied that voter ID laws could be acceptable, and that there is no responsible or correct way to implement them because it inhibits voter fraud.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 5:33 pm CDT

@15 - That is not a reasonable interpretation, as there had been no demonstrable voter fraud by the Democratic Party or any other group at the time.

I, for one, have never found that they could not be acceptable if implemented correctly, and I don't personally know anyone else in the middle or middle-left who would take that position. I imagine someone on the far left could take that position.

But it would be a tremendous logical error to conclude that any such person reached that conclusion because you believe he or she is sinisterly sponsoring voter fraud that has never been proven to happen...

With respect, it sounds to me like you aren't really discussing the topic. You're just... saying completely untrue things about a political party you disagree with. And that's your right, I suppose. But you can't really expect us to continue to engage with you if you're just going to make up unsupported claims simply because you don't like a group.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 5:41 pm CDT

@13: You do your own research if you're interested. But here's one to start you off, one of the more recent famous cases, as I'm sure you are well aware, was that of the new black panthers in Philadelphia. They were engaged in voter intimidation of non-minorities at the polling precinct and were successfully prosecuted under Bush, but when Obama won in '08, Holder dropped the indictment because fraud and intimidation is part of the Dem business model.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 5:43 pm CDT

@17 - Even if that's true (and if it is, it's terrible), it still doesn't bear a reasonable relationship to voter ID laws. We could both draw out a litany of both sides making voting difficult for the other.

You are making claims that don't follow from each other. You still haven't shown any voter fraud. As I said, the people behind the law couldn't even demonstrate that voter fraud had occurred in a court of law in order to support the new legislation.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 5:47 pm CDT

@18: If the link doesn't work, you'll have to google this national review article yourself. The convicted Melowese Richardson would probably agree with you that fraud never happens and what she did wasn't fraud at all; after all it was for the greater good of the Dem party. As I said before, the case for voter ID stands even without proving fraud exists.

"Even if that's true (and if it is, its terrible)"--do you mean to tell me you are unaware of this case?

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 6:31 pm CDT

I'm sorry, you're still just... saying things that aren't true about an entire party's agenda. And it's just obviously not the case and there's no objective proof that can even reasonably lead to that conclusion. The fact remains that in the state in question, in a court of law, they could not show that it had happened at all. Therefore, your interpretation of the politician stating that the purpose of the law was to allow the Republicans to win is not reasonable.

And what I mean to say is that I would need to do my own reading (and I will), because based on this discussion, I cannot trust you to give an objective account of anything if a group you disagree with politically is involved.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 6:35 pm CDT

I hope you will do your own research. By the way, I don't like Republicans either. I think Dems are evil and Repubs are their slightly less evil, stupid little brother. I'm conservative and have no use for either party. Can you answer my questions in the the first paragaph of @12?

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 6:40 pm CDT

@21 - I suppose that's an apt metaphor, although really, to me, it's the reverse. One side is actively evil, and the other side just clueless and, at times, spineless.

I would have to answer your question by saying that it may be a mistake to attribute that point of view to "liberals" and that you may be misunderstanding their arguments.

However, if I had to argue in support of that proposition, I would do so by reminding you that ID's tend to cost money. Even if they don't, there are transportation costs, time away from work required to get one... I do pro bono work for people so poor that taking the subway to the firm impacts food for their kids that night. I am not exaggerating. They can't take half a day from work to get an ID, and they certainly cannot pay for an ID. Some don't even have permanent addresses because they don't know how long they'll be allowed to stay in the shelters. And those people deserve to vote. Or, *I* think they do, anyway. (Our Founders might not have, however...)

In short, if you don't understand the serious issues with voter ID's, you either A) haven't considered all of the logistics, or B) you simply do not know what day to day reality is like for the poorest among us.

Now, I think we can work around those problems. But the fact is that the people implementing these laws *do not want to* work around these problems and refused to even acknowledge them. And that is likely because the purpose of the laws is to restrict the affected people from voting -- because those people are not going to vote for the party advocating cutting food stamps.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 6:52 pm CDT

@17 - So New Black Panther activities reflect on the "Dem business model"? That's about as ridiculous as claiming that the Republican business model is defined by Klan activities.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 6:58 pm CDT

@23: Tell it to Eric Holder. By the way the Dems ran those Klan activities you speak of too.

@22. You're right, if you're on public assistance and can't get an ID, I'm not too concerned about your ability to vote. That's when voting equals theft.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 7:02 pm CDT

@24 - Then all I can do is say that in our legal and political framework, as it exists, that is not the law. If you want that to be the law, you need to advocate for a change to the Constitution.

Until that point (especially if you are a lawyer) you have an obligation to uphold the law... and not to try to do exactly what you're talking about -- use indirect methods to prevent people that you don't want to vote from voting.

If you don't want them to vote, you have to take away the franchise legally. You can't just steal it and illegitimately change our democratic system.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 7:05 pm CDT

@24 - I have to give you credit for at least being open about your fascistic sympathies. Luckily you are still in the fringe of our society.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 7:15 pm CDT

The parrioting of left wing talking points on this board is maddening. Asking every single person for a government issued ID does not prevent franchised citizens from voting.

And as much as they may deny it, given their seeming irrationality on this issue (when we know they are not irrational), leaves only one explanation for their comments, namely, they want to facilitate wide spread voters fraud which has worked so well for them in the past

By Yankee on 2013 08 13, 7:17 pm CDT

@26 - I mean, interestingly, his vision is probably more in line with the Founders'.

Thankfully, more charitable views prevailed.

And Slip, I hope you can see what the issue is. If the poor cannot vote, then the wealthy are free to legislate against them, preventing them from ever removing themselves from poverty. The wealthy would be free to use their political powers to enact legislation that tilted the playing field even more against the non-wealthy and to render their own positions untouchable.

Note please: We are not saying "wealth distribution" is the answer. What we are saying is that it is inappropriate to put people in the position where they are subject to a political system that is incentivized against them and yet disenfranchised to affect it.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 7:19 pm CDT

@25: Legally? Apparently what passes for legal is any executive order the President signs, or the whim of whoever is the swing vote on the Supreme Court. No Constitutional change appears necessary. If you're concerned about illegitmate change to our democratic system, you're talking to the wrong guy.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 7:23 pm CDT

@29 - Well, sir, you can blame Abraham Lincoln for that... ;)

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 7:24 pm CDT

@28 - As far as the Founders, let's not go there. They all feasted regularly with their good friends the Indians, were uniformly as selfless as the ascetics, and believed everyone should be equal under the law.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 7:30 pm CDT

@28: I hope you can see that the issue today is that people with no stake get to vote themselves the property of others that have actually produced. You can call them the "zero liability" voters; and as it is today, the poor remain poor generationally because of this largesse that hasn't freed them but has only enslaved them and discouraged their upward mobility. LBJ was even more focused than tha when he said the goal of his great society program was "to keep those N------ voting Democrat for decades". Funny how you began this conversation by talking about "non existent voter fraud" and now you've moved on to phantom oppression by the wealthy through their vote.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 7:36 pm CDT

Phantom voter oppression? I think the response was to your suggestion that it is criminal for the unemployed on public assistance to vote, and what a policy that would adopt that position would implicate.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 7:41 pm CDT

@32 - I suppose we just have to disagree. I think that the poverty cycle is much more complicated than that.

And yes, #33 is right. I was talking about why we cannot disenfranchise the poor, because it leads to a result where they are governed under a system in which they have no say.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 7:45 pm CDT

If the founders wanted us to have government issued IDs as a condition of voting they would have said so.

Funny how every time legislation is passed whose efffect is to limit the ability of US citizens to vote, the legislation is written and sponsored by Republicans.

By AndytheLawyer on 2013 08 13, 7:47 pm CDT

@35: "Funny how every time legislation is passed whose effect is to limit the ability of the US citizens to vote, the legislation is written and sponsored by Republicans". Yes, and thank God. Especially when we've got B.S. like the Dream Act coming from the Dems to deal with.

@33 and @34: Phantom voter oppression because of your suppositions about what wealthy voters might do. Right now we have disenfranchisement of those (the producing class) from whom property is taken. The Dems pander all day long to the poor because of it. That is the problem to fix. No need for supposition about that.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 7:59 pm CDT

Andy: I suspect that all or most of the Jim Crow Laws that resulted in the Voting Rights Act of 1964 were written by Democrats

By Yankee on 2013 08 13, 8:02 pm CDT

@37 - You do realize that a drastic realignment between the parties took place in the 60s and onward, with the Jim Crow segregationists and their ideological heirs overwhelmingly coming to the Republicans, right?

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 8:09 pm CDT

I keep hearing about this grand realignment. Would this be the realignment that ended up with Klansman Richard Byrd, Al Gore Sr. and William J. Fulbright becoming Republicans?

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 8:13 pm CDT

@36 -At the risk of feeding a troll, what is your exact problem with taxing those who have property? You do understand that it would make little sense to have those in poverty carry the tax burden, since they don't have the resources? To look at it in a different light, the wealthy by definition have benefited the most from our society. It makes sense that they would contribute the most.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 8:14 pm CDT

@39 - It's the same realignment that has witnessed self-described states rights supporters switch to the Republican party at the same time that the party that once imposed and supported segregationism and Jim Crow took up equal rights for minorities. If you've only ever "heard" about this realignment, feel free to crack open a book.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 8:17 pm CDT

@40 - To be fair, I think there's a very delicate line there. You can't punish them for being successful. You can't just rob them.

I think the problem is really with our taxes on corporations. Our top corporations make use of the Irish loophole and contribute nothing back to the infrastructure that sustains them and their markets.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 8:20 pm CDT

@42 - I'm not too worried about the delicacy of the line. A free and competitive electoral process is enough of a check on where the line will be drawn. We're moving away from that ideal, and the ever increasing concentration of wealth is probably creating a bit of a feedback in the cycle. That worries me.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 8:33 pm CDT

@40: The wealthy haven't just benefitted from society as if THEY were the parasites. They helped create it. The problem with taxing them them is that you create disincentive for those who create when you have a tax rate that is confiscatory and that goes to support programs that are designed to keep the poor in their condition. Forty-Five years since LBJ's great society and nothing to show for it but a voting block for the Dems. Hmm, who woulda thunk it?

The party that began segregation took up equal rights for minorities? They must've had one hell of an epiphany. Especially for over a hundred years being pro slavery and opposing the Republican Civil Rights Act of 1891. Presidents Wilson and FDR being world class racsists, and JFK spying on that trouble maker Martin Luther King. Its a story thats almost too good to be true. Almost as if there might've been a crass political motive to seem as though the party moved its position on race, but we see the evidence of the truth today when that party still promotes poor schools in the inner cities and opposes voucher systems that would allow kids to escape failing schools.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 8:36 pm CDT

I don't think we can fix that. The people who designed the cycle were careful to insulate it from real change. Even our "diametrically opposed" political parties really aren't that far apart on the serious issues. For instance, neither is going to bat for us against the illegal domestic surveillance.

The only way to change things is to get the money out of the political process. And no one in power wants that to happen.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 8:38 pm CDT

@44 - You're right to point out the incentivization problem, but I think you've gone too far to the other direction. There is, in fact, little to suggest that the wealthiest contribute to our national infrastructure in any meaningful manner.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 8:39 pm CDT

The wealthiest don't contribute in any meaningful manner. Now I've got to see some support for that.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 8:42 pm CDT

@44 - Because of tax loopholes and the artificial distinctions in types of income, the wealthy pay a lower tax rate than the middle class. No one is vilifying success. However, the mathematical reality is that in order for there to be social mobility (which is key to a successful economy, is it indicates that ability is rewarded not just familial provenance), society has to provide public services to the less well off. This requires funding, and the more money one has, the more one can afford to contribute to this public funding. It's that simple.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 8:47 pm CDT

Perhaps I was being hyperbolic, but what I mean is, many do not contribute proportionally to the benefit they derive.

For instance, that money isn't out there building homes, bringing our transit systems into line with other First World countries, ensuring clean energy to the extent possible, etc, etc. A lot of that money is going into partisan politics, and I don't consider that a worthwhile use.

I agree with you that they aren't parasites and that we have to avoid confiscation. But I disagree that simply having wealth means that someone is somehow contributing to our country. Especially inherited wealth. Because you are correct that there is an incentive problem -- but what about those who are simply handed money by virtue of a lucky birth? Maybe the real key to this is in limiting what a person can leave to others after death!

The key, I think, is moderation. It's in making sure that the corporations that are benefiting from American markets and infrastructures are paying their fair share. And it's in getting the money out of our political system.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 8:48 pm CDT

With respect to inherited wealth, it still gets taxed. I don't feel the need to judge them, its their money, not yours or mine. So the Clintons, the Kennedys and the Kerrys can do what they want with their money. Although, I do find it distasteful that they promote and help create consificatory tax policy and then create "foundations" to hide their money or move a yacht from Massachusetts to Rhode Island to avoid taxes.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 9:05 pm CDT

Mostly agreed -- though it depends on what the "Foundations" in question do. If they actually fill social needs and create infrastructures, great. If they just fund politics, well... I don't consider that building infrastructure. Though there are, perhaps, some issues that come close to being both where the call would be difficult.

For my part, I don't think we have the right balance right now, but I can't tell you that I know what the right balance is. I can tell you what way I think we need to move, but I am cautious about moving too far, too fast. You don't find the right point in-between by swinging to the other extreme.

A world without restriction on wealth where the wealthy can use it to propagate their own wealth is a dystopia. (See Bioshock.) A worldview wherein everything has to be shared and no one can get ahead... is equally dystopian. (See Bioshock 2.)

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 9:12 pm CDT

@ 50 - Some inherited wealth is taxed, but there is an enormous exemption. But I was referring more to the distinction between capital gains and earned income as one glaring example of actual disparities in how the wealthy and the middle class are taxed; the loopholes referred to by Anonymous, which are for all intents and purposes available to only those with wealth, are another. It is simply untrue that the tax burden imposed on the wealthy is now somehow unprecedented. Decreasing social mobility and an increased concentration of wealth to levels not seen since the 20s are obvious indicators that our tax system and provision of the public goods necessary to a thriving economy are decidedly in the "inadequate" category.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 13, 9:34 pm CDT

@52: If social mobility is decreasing, I guess I'd want to understand the cause and not just assume that the tax structure needs adjusting. There may be more fundamental things that need adjusting. I also don't know that wealth is concentrating at any particular level, at any particular rate.

@24: Zero liability voters engages the government to confiscate my earnings to redistribute to the zero liability voters, and I'm the fascist? I'm glad to be the fringe in whatever world you're living in.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 13, 10:20 pm CDT

@53 - Then it seems to me that you should be able to see the danger of *either* group having absolute power over our political system, yes?

I think you're being very reasonable and I appreciate your participation in the discussion at a level other than disregarding others' arguments as "liberal talking points." I do have to take issue with the idea of a "zero liability voter." The fact is that many (if not most) of those people *want* to leave that status. And I do think that they *all* have liabilities. It's a catchy phrase, but I just don't think it's accurate. Depending on how you define it, even some college students might be zero liability voters.

Here's a question for you -- we all derive benefits from the government. At what point does the scale tip to where we shouldn't get a vote anymore? Is the rule "if you take more than you give?" If it is, most red states (and of course some blue ones) shouldn't get representation in Congress, as they are net "takers" from the government rather than "givers"...

By Anonymous on 2013 08 13, 10:41 pm CDT

@53 - "I also don’t know that wealth is concentrating at any particular level, at any particular rate."

Now you do.

As far as your response to my comment @26 - To the extent you would like to restrict suffrage to those you judge to sufficiently contribute to society, I would say that view tends toward the fascistic.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 14, 12:05 am CDT

@55: As I said before, its not enough to say that the rich are getting richer or the poor are getting poorer and then conclude that tax policy has to be adjusted. What values and decisions are in play that led to poverty? Regarding my comment @26, I didn't judge anyone as insufficiently contributing to society. There are lots of ways people can contribute to society. I'm in favor of more people becoming wealthy and not pandering to the poor to keep them in dependency like the Dems do. However, those who have no skin in the game other than what goodies politicians can promise them by taking money from people who earned it shouldn't vote. That would be immoral, and if that is fascistic, then I'm guilty as charged. I think its fascistic to compel by force of government to take from producers and give to the recipient class for political gain.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 14, 1:46 am CDT

@56 - Well, I appreciate the candor. With respect to you living in a world that sees you as fringe; that would be the objective one. Anyone who knows a Democratic would not accuse Democrats as seeking to keep the poor in dependency. Similarly, of the many conservatives I know, none would ever suggest a means test for voting. They would find the idea reprehensible.

And unfortunately, I probably they and certainly I would not trust you (or anyone else) to decide who has sufficient "skin in the game" or enough "liability" to be able to exercise a constitutionally guaranteed right.

As far as taking from producers to give to a recipient class, from what I gather mainstream liberals do favor a government providing a pretty minimal safety net, but more importantly equal access to an excellent education and all the other conditions that would minimize the importance of parents' socioeconomic status on the opportunities their children might have to succeed in life. Those conditions are all public goods (strong defense, universal healthcare, infrastructure) that everyone, including the wealthy, benefits from and ought to pay for.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 14, 4:03 am CDT

And please forgive the lack of proofing.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 14, 4:05 am CDT

If Democrats aren't seeking to keep the poor in dependency, they have done a whiz bang job of it for three generations by accident.

By B. McLeod on 2013 08 14, 6:23 am CDT

@57: "Anyone who knows a Democratic(sic) would not accuse Democrats as seeking to keep the poor in dependency". If that's case, I'm happy to be on the fringe of whatever version of reality that's all about. I think all Dems should have to spend a year living in Detroit where their policies have had the run of the place since the 1940's. Its a Democrat paradise. Liberal policies always produce the exact opposite of their stated intent.

"From what I gather mainstream liberals do favor a government providing a pretty minimal safety net". That "safety net" is more like a hammock. If you think what is provided is minimal then you'd likely support even greater theft and redistribution. The government is nothing more than the corner dope dealer. The first hit is always "free".

As far as excellent education goes, I think you should be the first to demand that people in public office send their children to the local public schools. None of this Sidwell Friends for the annointed BS. I would also exempt teachers from being able to organize under the NLRA. None of this union BS in the public schools either. You're with me, right?

By SlipKid on 2013 08 14, 12:58 pm CDT

@59 - How do you assign blame for the increasing lack of social mobility and increasing income gap on Democrats when they haven't controlled the White House, Congress, Supreme Court, or state governments for a majority of the past three generations? C'mon.

@60 - We could go on and on forever. Most people agree that there is a role for the state in providing some sort of minimum standard for people. You may disagree, but your view would be a minority fringe view by far. The real debate is over where to draw the line. I'd prefer a society where a kid born and raised in a broken down neighborhood nevertheless has access to the same or similar levels of education and healthcare as one born and raised in the burbs, and with sufficient support to help neutralize the environmental disadvantages that the kid in the hood has to deal with. The opportunity to succeed should be as equal as possible, so that talent and ability can be utilized most efficiently. But that's just one bleeding heart's view.

As to your last point, I'm not sure why teachers should not have the freedom to associate and collectively bargain for employment conditions if they so choose. It's not as if teachers live lucrative lifestyles, and the salaries of good teachers do not nearly reflect the value they provide to society.

Morals of the story: make friends with a liberal/progressive; make friends with someone who is or has been on public assistance. You'll be surprised how far your assumptions of these folks differ from reality.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 14, 5:15 pm CDT

Slip, I want to echo what Nole just said in one part. You've been very respectful and coherent here, unlike a lot of posters on these boards. You engage with ideas rather than just dismissing those who disagree with you.

It just seems like you have some assumptions that might not really be *completely* true. I think *both* sides are to blame for a *lot* of failures -- and for some successes. So, I want to echo that maybe you should find some friends who don't agree with your ideas and will challenge preconceived notions respectfully. And talk with people who've been on public assistance and lived in poor, rural red states.

Just one final thought. You may be right about some Democratic economic policies being unwise or misguided. But I think you've rushed to impute some time of *evil intent* where, in fact, it might just be economic ideas that were well-meaning but didn't play out all that well in the end. The programs that you see as enabling a cycle of poverty in urban areas are necessary for subsistence in the poor red states where I'm from. And certainly, at the state level, the same programs aren't in effect for both. The cycle of poverty seems to be continuing no matter WHO the subject is or what cultural group they're a part of. So it's tough to say that only Democratic economic policies have that effect.

I think we'd all agree on this: People have to *want* to succeed and escape the cycle. And you can't make them want that. The trick is to figure out how not to waste assistance on those people without punishing those who do legitimately need the help despite their best efforts.

At the end of the day, I think that the path forward is moderation, but when only one party compromises, it keeps pulling us further and further to the right -- and that, I think, weakens us all.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 14, 5:43 pm CDT

@61: The moral of the my story is that I don't have friends that I don't respect, and I don't respect Dems and hardly respect Repubs. My observations and conclusions don't change because of who I know. This ain't a coke ad and I'm not trying to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony.

Re Teachers: When the tension is between education kids and their jobs, the kids lose everytime. Teachers may not live lucrative lives. That's irrelevant; but just try to fire one.

In addition to blaming the Dems for the lack of social mobility, I also blame individuals for their values and decisionmaking. The Dems have actually controlled the institutions you mention for too much of the past 3 generations. Our national experiment in liberty is always under attack and it doesn't take long for the lefties to inflict great damage, so its not about whether the Dems had the reigns for a majority of the time. In addition to holding those institutions, the Dems controlled the media, education and labor and still do.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 14, 5:52 pm CDT

@63 - "...I don’t have friends that I don’t respect, and I don’t respect Dems..." Well, again, there are many thoughtful Dems that you probably would respect if you ever got to know them. That is assuming that you could get past your apparently circular view that "Dems are bad because they are Dems." Who knows.

" doesn’t take long for the lefties to inflict great damage..." Considering how completely inept Democrats are at implementing their policies even when they control multiple branches of government, that statement is based on multiple flawed premises.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 14, 5:59 pm CDT

I guess our point is this. You seem like a reasonable person, but certain things that you state as though they were undeniable facts -- in your last post for instance -- just are not factually true, and we can't tell why you believe them.

And you know... it's ok to respect people that you don't agree with. Our "experiment in liberty" only works when we respect those who disagree with us. After all... that's sort of what the First Amendment is all about, isn't it?

I don't know how old you are, but for most of *my* short lifetime, the right has been the one attacking most of *my* liberties. Now, don't get me wrong: I don't trust the left with my right to bear arms, and I don't trust EITHER side with my Fourth Amendment rights. But, as I said, in my short life, the side that gets most associated with attacking individual rights isn't the left...

By Anonymous on 2013 08 14, 6:00 pm CDT

@65: I don't merely agree to disagree with the left or the RINOs.

@62: Yes, the cycle of poverty continues; "The poor you shall have with you always". The individual is to blame as is the panderer (or if you like, the junkie and the pusher). I've done more than talk with the chronically inner city poor--I'm related to some and I was around to see the decision they made to pull their lives into a downward spiral (and they don't vote Republican). I sure as hell would means test them.

Stealing by way of the ballot box isn't merely unwise or misguided policy. I think evil is an apt description.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 14, 6:37 pm CDT

Well... we tried.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 14, 6:41 pm CDT

@67: I accept your unconditional surrender.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 14, 6:45 pm CDT

All you may have, sir, is that portion of my dwindling faith in humanity that you've helped to slay.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 14, 6:49 pm CDT

@69: I'll take it! Excuse me while I light a cigar and pour myself a scotch.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 14, 7:04 pm CDT

In case you're wondering, Don Pepin Blue natural in a Churchill and 21 yr old Jura.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 14, 7:20 pm CDT

George Carlin had a funny bit about cigar smokers. In any case, try not to snub it out in the face of a disabled orphan or widow if you happen to pass one by. Enjoy!

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 14, 7:35 pm CDT

Please remain on-topic


By B. McLeod on 2013 08 15, 12:39 am CDT

I had the pleasure and honor to be in attendance and she delivered a powerful and very moving speech.

By House Delegate on 2013 08 16, 6:06 pm CDT

Hillary delivers moving speech. Sounds like a "lysol moment" to me.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 16, 6:18 pm CDT

Interesting exchanges above, and also uncommonly respectful, so thanks guys (and/or gals).

I just want to circle back to the actual topic of the article, and to a question Anonymous posed @ 5:

"I just don’t understand how even the most partisan zealot can’t be outraged that ANY PARTY on EITHER SIDE would purposefully restrict voting just to prevent opponents from having their say in the ballot box. I really, really cannot understand what has to *happen* in someone’s mind to brainwash them to the point where they can’t be willing to admit that this is wrong and that it isn’t a democracy when you can restrict the votes of your opponents’ supporters and thereby lock down the government for one side."

As a non-partisan who sees BOTH major parties as largely a blight on the Republic, let me offer a couple thoughts: (1) I think you are purely making an *assumption*, colored by your own partisanship, that the "purpose" of voter ID laws is "just to prevent opponents from having their say in the ballot box." (Just like I think you're making a partisan assumption that voter fraud does not exist -- just in the last election, just in one county in Ohio (Hamilton), there were hundreds of cases of voter fraud identified, and dozens of people either convicted or referred for prosecution (some still pending). Nationwide, there is certainly exponentially more voter fraud than, for example, as SlipKid aptly analogizes, would-be terrorists at airports.)

So, as someone who strongly favors strict voter ID requirements, let me offer my own, entirely non-partisan reason (to which SlipKid actually already alluded in passing) for same: if a US citizen is not informed, competent, and motivated enough to (a) register in advance, (b) obtain appropriate (and yes, *free*) personal identification, and (c) show up at the right place at the right time to vote, then I quite candidly assert that that person should not be considered competent enough to exercise the sacred privilege of voting. Period. I don't care at all of what political persuasion that person might be, where they live, rural or inner city, old or young, black or white, rich or poor, etc.; if they can't handle complying with basic requirements like presenting a valid ID, then I for one think it is quite rational to deem them unfit to vote. To say that, e.g., black folks are "incapable" of obtaining proper ID, and thus the bar needs to be lowered for them, is flat-out racist, the soft bigotry of low expectations.

By Just Some Bloke on 2013 08 16, 8:10 pm CDT

Let me throw a wrench into this and see if it changes your views at all.

With regard to A) -- 1.) How do you deal with the law being enacted too quickly to register and ID all persons soon enough? 2.) How do you square this with activities in other states restricting voter registration efforts that are used predominantly to register minorities to vote?

B) Free is reasonable -- but please note, as discussed above, that there are costs other than the price of the ID itself. As I said, there are people who just cannot take the time off of work. They may be being paid under the table, doing all they can to feed their kids. I've seen it.

C) Again, how do you square this with 1.) impossibly long lines to vote in some jurisdictions and 2.) efforts in those jurisdictions to curtail voting at places and times again predominantly used by minorities?

As I said above, I think reasonable Voter ID measures are alright. But I just don't think you can combine them with the other targeted voter suppression laws out there.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 16, 8:17 pm CDT

@77: A) No one is restricting voter registration.
B) Time off work to vote isn't a problem the government should fix. Take a vacation day or submit an absentee ballot. Election day is usually on the calendar so it shouldn't be a surprise.
C) Long lines? You're kidding right? People have fought and died to preserve our rights and I'm supposed to be concerned with the inconvenience of waiting a while to vote? Tell you what, I'll worry about voter suppression when voter fraud has been fixed.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 17, 3:00 am CDT

Sorry... I just don't think you've voted in a major city. Either that or you are completely in denial about the logistics behind voting.

By Anonymous on 2013 08 17, 3:09 am CDT

@78 - A) As a practical matter, many of the measures to "fight voter fraud" would impose costs, and therefore restrictions, on voter registration. Some of those restrictions are unreasonable, hence the criticism.
B) Time off work, or at least sufficient time, to vote is a problem only the government can fix. Where it is not doing a sufficient job at doing so, there is nothing wrong with calling out failure.
C) This past election there were lines in my state where voters, including elderly ones, had to wait many hours to cast a ballot. Magically, such lines do not happen in every type neighborhood. Conveniently that doesn't happen in urban areas. That may not be the result of a conspiracy, but it still shouldn't happen.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 17, 4:21 am CDT

@79: I've been an election poll watcher/challenger for the last 2 cycles. I probably won't do it again because it was so depressing. Last Nov. my partner and I were assigned to city precincts largely blue collar and minority. No one had a hint of problem voting. What we did find were union goons patrolling the parameter of the place as unofficial "security" (probably not for helping republicans cast a ballot); Campaigning for various Dems too close to the precincts; folks with SEIU insignia on their jackets walking around inside the place "assisting" the precinct boss. We addressed some issues on the spot and called for legal back up on others. One lasting image I have is from an african american lady waiting in line at the library polling place calling up an associate, and in loud voice saying "You better get your a$$ down here N-word and vote!" Well as an african american myself, I was offended by that, and wouldn't have minded if someone actually had suppressed her vote because that idiot cancelled out mine. By the way, when I got home I learned on the news there had just been a shooting in the area my partner and I had been.

@80: B) Absentee ballot??
C) Blame the Dems Great Society for warehousing minorities in neighborhoods. The Projects were a liberal brainchild that has apparently backfired because those who were warehoused can't get to the polling place to vote themselves more democrats. Yeah, my heart just bleeds. Government screws up and now must provide the fix for the screw up. Brilliant.

By SlipKid on 2013 08 17, 2:33 pm CDT

Urban should have been suburban in my post @80. Urban poor the world over live in high density areas and in specifically poor neighborhoods. That is not the result of any Democratic or Republican policy, just the natural order of things.

By NoleLaw on 2013 08 17, 4:43 pm CDT

@81 I grew up in one of those blue collar inner city precincts of which you speak and am not surprised by your report. I witnessed what only many years later understood to be systematic, large scale, and utterly shameless voters fraud while keeping my parents company as they waited in line to vote. The sickening corruption that I witnessed played a decisive part in my decision to reject the political party of my parents when I became old enough to vote.

When a precinct is dominated by a single political machine, voters fraud is not only possible, it is the normal course of business. The only way to curb it is with outside observers coupled by Voters ID laws. Members of the democrat party know full well that Voter ID laws are not discriminatory. Senior leaders of the democrat party also know that their success in statewide and national elections is dependent upon keeping the fraud going. This is a matter of political survival to them.

By Yankee on 2013 08 18, 9:16 pm CDT

So the point of the story is that Hillary Clinton has completely lost it? She's now defending laws from attackers only she can imagine? I'll pray for her and her family in this difficult time.

By associate on 2013 08 20, 4:11 pm CDT

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