It’s odd, where you can find insight.
A few days ago, my colleague Rick posted a truly remarkable political ad. That particular ad was cited all over the place, including IMAO, FrankJ’s largely-humorous right-wing blog. And in the comments there, one of his readers — John Morris — said something that hit me hard:
But remember kids, we can’t actually field an army or shoot the bastards…. yet. So long as the ballot box remains viable the cartridge box is out of bounds. SEIU, ACORN, etc. Note the exception being noted and take heed.
Damn. I’ve always been extremely sensitive to people screwing around with elections. I’m still angry over the 2002 phone-jamming scam the New Hampshire Republican party pulled, even though four guys went to jail and the party paid a hefty fine to the Democrats. I have a deep and abiding loathing for ACORN for their assing around with fraudulent voter registrations — and, occasionally, actual voter fraud. And I am disgusted and appalled with the Obama/Holder Justice Department and their dropping of the charges against the New Black Panthers Party over their voter intimidation in Philadelphia in 2008.
After reading Mr. Morris’ comment, though, I have to wonder if at least part of my anger over this is motivated by fear. Fear that should enough Americans lose their faith in the honesty of elections, they just might turn from the soapbox and the ballot box to the ammo box.
If there is one area where our enforcement of law must be borderline draconian, it has to be in maintaining the integrity of our elections. When incidents like the above happen, the punishment must be swift, it must be sure, and it must be severe.
In New Hampshire in 2002, the state GOP jammed the Democrats’ “get out the vote” phones for 45 minutes on election day. As a consequence, four men went to jail and the state party paid a fine (to the New Hampshire Democratic Party) of $125,000. And I think that was too little.
On election day in 2008, members of the New Black Panther Party’s “militia” stationed themselves outside a Philadelphia polling station, weapons at hand, and proclaimed that Whitey’s day was over, that we were going to be governed by a black man, and whiteys better get used to it. As a consequence, one of them was forbidden to bring a weapon to a polling place until 2012.
I can’t wait to see who shows up at polling stations in 2012. And what sorts of weapons they bring. After all, the door’s been opened. Anyone can just walk in.