Renew AmericaTim Dunkin
Like garlic and holy water to Dracula, silver to a werewolf, and Kryptonite to Superman, one thing that leftists absolutely, positively cannot stand are fair and honest elections. Indeed, it's so bad that the Democrat Party is, in many places, practically synonymous with vote fraud. Remember them down in Florida in 2000, desperately mutilating ballots to try to get enough chads to fall out so they could claim them as votes for Gore â€” all the while Team Gore's lawyers were busy disqualifying tens of thousands of military votes on the most spurious of technicalities? Who can forget the many times where inner city precincts have reported more votes for the Democrat than there are voters registered in the precinct? How about the Black Panthers standing around with weapons outside of polling places in Philadelphia back in 2008, intimidating voters? Here in my own neck of the woods, I've seen the Democrats play these sorts of games firsthand. Like how Democrat poll workers at polling places located in African-American churches would be busy preparing lists of voters who hadn't voted yet from official rolls handed out solely for use in running the election, so that Democrat operatives in a back room at the church could call these folks to get them to come out to vote. Or how about the homeless people that they'd bring in, giving them a false name and address to vote under â€” but which you couldn't do anything about because you weren't allowed to ask for ID, and it would be "voter intimidation" to challenge their story?
No, leftists and Democrats have never met an election that they didn't want to corrupt like a country boy on his first trip to the big city.
This is what makes the situation currently playing out in Wisconsin so amusing. If you will recall, last Tuesday Wisconsin voters went to the polls to, among other things, elect a Supreme Court justice. The race was between the incumbent conservative David Prosser, and his very left-wing opponent JoAnne Kloppenburg (officially, neither has a party affiliation since this was a non-partisan race). Because of the likelihood that Wisconsin's new law concerning public employee collective bargaining will end up before that state's Supreme Court, this race had quite a high profile, drawing attention both from conservatives who want the law to be found constitutional, and leftists, especially unions, who want it to be overturned. The Prosser-Kloppenburg race would determine the ideological split of the Court, going 4-3 to whichever way the election turned. As such, there was a lot of attention, money, and manpower being poured into the contest, especially by the unions and other "progressive" groups.
On election night, the race turned out to be very close, with the putative lead shifting back and forth all evening as returns came in from one stronghold or the other. At the end of the night, after nearly all the returns had been turned in, Prosser had the narrowest of leads, ahead by a couple of hundred votes. The next morning, Kloppenburg was in the lead, by just a few hundred. As the inevitable recount began, Kloppenburg looked to be edging forward with a very slight lead. The results were touted as a stunning flexation of union muscle, overthrowing the "radical" agenda of Gov. Scott Walker as the "people" made their voices be heard (though, one must admit, barely winning by a few hundred votes out of more than a million cast, especially with all the hype and turnout efforts from the unions, would be a less than decisive repudiation of Walker's agenda). Assuming that she had won (or, perhaps, assuming that the fix was in), Kloppenburg gave a smarmy victory speech about how the people of Wisconsin had rejected Gov. Walker's "anti-union" agenda. Within a day, MoveOn.org was sending out fundraising letters touting the "historic" defeat of Prosser as a reason to give. The meme in the media and on the Left side of the internet was that Prosser shouldn't even wait for the recount to be completed â€” he needed to "stop holding back progress" and concede defeat immediately.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the swearing-in ceremony.
As the recount was taking place, it was discovered that a computer error in Waukesha County (a heavily Republican leaning district) had resulted in the failure to report around 14,000 votes, the majority of which were for Prosser. The addition of these votes to the recount tally suddenly catapulted Prosser into the lead with over 7,000 votes, all but assuring him of victory.
As you can imagine, the Left is furious. "Dirty tricks," they're screaming! Well, no, actually not. First of all, the discovery of these votes is not like previous times where votes (which always seem to heavily favor the Democrats) have been found that swung a close election. This isn't a case of somebody finding a box of previously unseen ballots in the local Democrat Party chairman's trunk, all of which just so happen to be for the Democrat candidate. No â€” the issue with these votes in Waukesha County is that they had not been reported previously to the state election board. They had, however, been counted and duly registered on the county's computer system. The number just didn't get forwarded on the state officials. In fact, far from being a Republican dirty trick, the failure to report these votes on the part of the county clerk (who is herself a Republican) nearly cost Prosser the election.
The Democrats have nothing to scream about here, though they continue to do so. The investigation into the Waukesha County vote totals so far shows that the numbers are all matching up. Mark Blumenthal at the Huffington Post observes that the corrected number is actually more statistically probably than the unofficial result which allowed Kloppenburg to have the lead (something that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Craig Gilbert and Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight also noted). In fact, Blumenthal also points out that the Brookfield Patch, the local paper for the municipality in which the discrepancy took place, reported exactly the same numbers on election night as were found on the computer. In other words, the votes are real, they were tallied, and they were even reported at that time to the local media. The county clerk just forgot to report them to the state election board (and, I would note again, almost cost Prosser the election because of it).
Still, they screech. After having initially agreed that the vote count change was legitimate, the Democrat observer Ramona Kitzinger changed her story, and is now claiming that the numbers "don't jibe" (though, as we should note, the official investigators from the state seem to disagree with her). Even more oddly, Markos Moulitsas at the Daily Kos, while admitting that there's not any actual evidence that any fraud took place, nevertheless thinks that there should be criminal investigations launched with the purpose of showing how the Republicans defrauded the election. Since, as we all know, whenever a race is close and a recount called, the Democrat must win, otherwise there's obvious fraud taking place.
Which is ironic, considering that prior to the rediscovery of the votes in Waukesha County, there was quite a bit of vote fraud being openly perpetrated by the Democrats. In Mequon, ballots were apparently being shredded, and about 10,000 more votes were cast in the Supreme Court race in Dane County (left-leaning, where Madison is) than for any of the other races on the ballot.
I think we can see what the Democrats are really mad about â€” expending all that effort to steal the election, thinking they have it in the bag, only to have it snatched from their grasp by an incompetent county clerk who forgot to forward a file on the the state election board. They know they've lost it. All the calls for "investigations" of "numbers that don't jibe" aren't about actually making sure every vote is counted â€” they're about casting doubt on the legitimacy of Prosser's victory, giving the Left the next big "we was robbed" talking point that they can use in fundraising literature. Nevermind the fact that they'd have been perfectly happy for 14,000 voters in Brookfield to be disenfrancished by not having their votes tallied by the state â€” so long as it meant that Kloppenburg won.
This follows the general trend that we see with the leftists and Democrats, which is that they don't really care about free and fair elections. They care about winning â€” even if they do so through shady and devious means.
Which brings me back to my state of North Carolina. One of the results of the historic 2010 election was that, in the Tarheel State, the Republicans were placed firmly in control of both houses of the state legislature, something that hadn't happened since Reconstruction. One of the reforms now on the table in the State Senate is voter ID legislation. I'm all for it. It seems only common sense that if someone wants to vote, that they should have to be able to prove that they actually are who they say they are. After all, we have to do that if we want to use a credit card, board an airplane, or rent a motel room. Why not when we help to determine the direction of our states and our country?
But no â€” that's just unacceptable to the leftists, who are up in arms about the pending legislation, using the most idiotic arguments possible in the process. For instance, they say that "the poor" and "the elderly" won't be able to vote if they're required to show ID. Why is that? Most poor people drive, don't they? So they obviously have licenses already. Even if they don't, it easy to obtain a state-issued ID card that fulfills the same identification role â€” all for a lot less than the cost of that pair of hightop basketball shoes they're wearing. Same thing goes for the elderly â€” most of them drive, therefore they have licenses, and for those who can't, they can still get an ID card. The arguments about massive voter disenfranchisement are entirely spurious.
See, the point again is not that the Left actually cares about whether voters are disenfranchised, per se. If they thought that potential disenfranchisees were likely to be Republicans, they'd have no problem whatsoever with it. In fact, they'd be leading the charge for this "needed reform." However, what the Democrats know will really happen should a voter ID law take effect is that their ability to defraud the vote will be greatly reduced. No longer will they be able to drag in homeless people off the street, give them the names and addresses of deceased voters who haven't been purged from the roles yet, and have them vote for Democrats. A cleaner, fairer election is the last thing the leftists and the Democrats want.
It's seriously time for us to stand up and start supporting our representatives at the state level who are trying to put through efforts to clean up our electoral process, through measures like voter ID laws and others. We know the Left is going to fight against fair elections tooth and nail. It's time we start letting our elected officials who are trying to reform the system know that we support them.
Â© Tim Dunkin http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/dunkin/110413