Xenophobic wackjobs invent voter fraud case out of thin air in Ohio

Voter buttons

Dan Froomkin has taken note of a pathetic and disgusting attack on Americans of Somali origin who chose to vote early in Ohio.

Under the fat, bold headline IS VOTER FRAUD BEING COMMITTED IN OHIO? and a subsequent article, Human Events—the ultra-rightist Washington, D.C.-based publication that gave Paul Ryan its “Conservative of the Year” award in 2011—claimed that carloads of Somalis were taken to polls in Columbus and told how to vote by “Democrat” operatives even though there was no way to tell if they were citizens. GOP poll watchers interviewed by the publication also claim the Democrats did some of their work inside the 100-foot radius that defines the no-politicking line.

Froomkin quoted the head of a Somali-American association who was upset over the implication that these early voters were cheating. Omar Hassan said: “That’s the American dream; exercising the freedom of voting. […] This is scare tactics, to be honest with you.”

Ben Piscitelli, a spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections, mocked the concerns expressed in the Human Events story. “‘Gee, all these Somalis, who knows if they’re U.S. citizens? Who knows what Somali pollworkers are saying to them? Gee, we saw Democrats outside that were giving them slate cards.’

“The answer to all of that is: So what?” Piscitelli said.

A foaming screed on the subject appeared at the conservative website American Thinker, which describes itself as devoted to “thoughtful exploration of issues.” Under the byline Jeannie DeAngelis was written:

[I]f Democrats choose to forego raising the eligibility issue with, let’s say, busloads of Somali voters, then any illegal Somali votes will still be counted on Election Day.

Nonetheless, being a global citizen and all, regardless of the ensuing crisis Barack Obama has consistently attempted to maintain a spirit of camaraderie with the Muslim world, and that world includes Somalia. […]

Who would have thought that almost 20 years later some of the Somalis who may have jeered as the American soldiers’ burnt and desecrated bodies were being dragged naked through the streets of Mogadishu could be among those voting in the swing state of Ohio?

And so it seems that with nary a whisper of apprehension concerning potential election fraud from the Obama White House, Ohio Democrats have decided to emulate Somali pirates and attempt to hijack the election.

Yowser. Danged thoughtful that exploration.

The fundamental fear of the suppressors of voting has been the same throughout our history. It’s all bundled in their view that some people—the other, the different, the black and brown and yellow and red, the poor—don’t deserve the right to vote and every effort should be made to keep them from doing so. The Ohio Somalis? How could they possibly be legitimate voters when their erstwhile countrymen killed American soldiers two decades ago? What the hell, goes the subtext, are they even doing in this country in the first place? Up to no good, obviously, with their alien religion and bad English. And helped along by a president who himself is alien, other and up to no good.

America was never like the Norman Rockwell version that seems to animate these rancid, hyperventilating promoters of xenophobia and myth. Were it up them, the Statue of Liberty would have been designed as a pair, holding between them a huge chain across New York Harbor and a big bronze sign: “Hey, you huddled masses yearning to breathe free: Keep Out”!


Xenophobic wackjobs invent voter fraud case out of thin air in Ohio

Voter buttons

Dan Froomkin has taken note of a pathetic and disgusting attack on Americans of Somali origin who chose to vote early in Ohio.

Under the fat, bold headline IS VOTER FRAUD BEING COMMITTED IN OHIO? and a subsequent article, Human Events—the ultra-rightist Washington, D.C.-based publication that gave Paul Ryan its “Conservative of the Year” award in 2011—claimed that carloads of Somalis were taken to polls in Columbus and told how to vote by “Democrat” operatives even though there was no way to tell if they were citizens. GOP poll watchers interviewed by the publication also claim the Democrats did some of their work inside the 100-foot radius that defines the no-politicking line.

Froomkin quoted the head of a Somali-American association who was upset over the implication that these early voters were cheating. Omar Hassan said: “That’s the American dream; exercising the freedom of voting. […] This is scare tactics, to be honest with you.”

Ben Piscitelli, a spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections, mocked the concerns expressed in the Human Events story. “‘Gee, all these Somalis, who knows if they’re U.S. citizens? Who knows what Somali pollworkers are saying to them? Gee, we saw Democrats outside that were giving them slate cards.’

“The answer to all of that is: So what?” Piscitelli said.

A foaming screed on the subject appeared at the conservative website American Thinker, which describes itself as devoted to “thoughtful exploration of issues.” Under the byline Jeannie DeAngelis was written:

[I]f Democrats choose to forego raising the eligibility issue with, let’s say, busloads of Somali voters, then any illegal Somali votes will still be counted on Election Day.

Nonetheless, being a global citizen and all, regardless of the ensuing crisis Barack Obama has consistently attempted to maintain a spirit of camaraderie with the Muslim world, and that world includes Somalia. […]

Who would have thought that almost 20 years later some of the Somalis who may have jeered as the American soldiers’ burnt and desecrated bodies were being dragged naked through the streets of Mogadishu could be among those voting in the swing state of Ohio?

And so it seems that with nary a whisper of apprehension concerning potential election fraud from the Obama White House, Ohio Democrats have decided to emulate Somali pirates and attempt to hijack the election.

Yowser. Danged thoughtful that exploration.

The fundamental fear of the suppressors of voting has been the same throughout our history. It’s all bundled in their view that some people—the other, the different, the black and brown and yellow and red, the poor—don’t deserve the right to vote and every effort should be made to keep them from doing so. The Ohio Somalis? How could they possibly be legitimate voters when their erstwhile countrymen killed American soldiers two decades ago? What the hell, goes the subtext, are they even doing in this country in the first place? Up to no good, obviously, with their alien religion and bad English. And helped along by a president who himself is alien, other and up to no good.

America was never like the Norman Rockwell version that seems to animate these rancid, hyperventilating promoters of xenophobia and myth. Were it up them, the Statue of Liberty would have been designed as a pair, holding between them a huge chain across New York Harbor and a big bronze sign: “Hey, you huddled masses yearning to breathe free: Keep Out”!


Based On Race

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Oh yeah? You think slavery is bad? Well, Jesus and the Constitution, so there!

statue of Jesus with hand to face

This is why we can’t have nice things:

If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?

The South has always stood by the Constitution and limited government. When one attacks the Confederate Battle Flag, he is certainly denouncing these principles of government as well as Christianity.

This bit of genius comes to us courtesy of one Loy Mauch, a state representative running for reelection in Arkansas, endorsed by the National Rifle Association, the Arkansas Right to Life PAC, and, until this week, the Arkansas Republican Party.

There’s nothing special about Mauch, really; turns out, he’s just one of several Arkansas politicians whose years-old love letters to the institution of slavery have been recently exposed, thus causing embarrassment for the state GOP, which has all of a sudden decided to be offended—or at least embarrassed. Thus, this oh-so-bold decision:

Arkansas Republicans said Monday they will no longer financially help three state House candidates whose racially charged writings have come under fire, including one lawmaker who called slavery a “blessing in disguise” and another who labeled Abraham Lincoln a “war criminal.” [..]

The move was the latest by GOP leaders to distance the party from the trio after renewed attention to their writing.

It’s hard to decide what about this story is most troubling. That any of these jerks were elected in the first place? That it wasn’t until this week that the Arkansas GOP decided supporting these jerks looks sort of bad? That endorsing slavery because Jesus is apparently such an accepted position in Arkansas that it took years, and the scorn and disgust of people outside of Arkansas, for the state’s GOP to feel compelled to distance itself from such blatant racism?

Or maybe it’s just that the argument is so mind-numbingly stupid that it really makes you think we need some sort of literacy test for candidates. (Also, maybe an American history test. I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure there was a war or two before 1861.) Because, really, this is just about the stupidest thing someone has ever said (and I say that as a devout watcher of both Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin):

If slavery were so God-awful, why didn’t Jesus or Paul condemn it, why was it in the Constitution and why wasn’t there a war before 1861?

Yeah, and if the Constitution is so important, why didn’t Jesus or Paul say anything about that? And if banning abortion and gay people is so important, why didn’t Jesus or Paul say anything about that? And if taking care of the poor and sick and elderly among us is so important, why didn’t Jesus say anything about—Oh. Wait. He did.

Like I said, this is why we can’t have nice things.