Tyrades! By Danny Tyree
According to Newsmax, Republican-controlled state legislatures nationwide are stiffening voting laws with changes that include requiring valid photo identification, restricting early voting and imposing stricter rules on those who can register to vote.
Republicans assert that the changes are to ensure voters are qualified. Democrats counter that the changes are politically motivated and aimed at discouraging young and minority voters – many of whom comprise the party’s base.
Reading between the lines, the Democratic argument boils down to “Many of the people with whom our message resonates most strongly are too lazy, uninformed or muddle-headed to get out and vote. NOT THAT THERE’S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.”
Yes, the Democrats have learned to steal the thunder of the GOP’s patented patriotism angle. (“Our military personnel bled and died that we might have our freedoms. And now the heartless Republicans expect our citizens to get off their couches and vote in a narrow one-week window…Uh, maybe I’d better just stop talking.”)
The Democrats insist that the Republicans are kowtowing to a small cultural elite, while THEY are taking the pulse of the common man. (“Although, in a close election, LACK of a pulse isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker.”)
In spite of Democratic skepticism, the Republican leadership has vowed to protect the integrity of the election process. Unless a younger, prettier trophy election process comes along.
They don’t get much credit for it, but the Republicans are certainly brimming with empathy for the Democratic base. (“No, you don’t have to bring photo identification. You can get your nanny, groundskeeper or chef to vouch for you.”) They graciously dropped the stipulation of bringing the LONG FORM of your family’s copy of the Mayflower Compact to the election office.
The Democratic Governors Association has launched a Voter Protection Project to inform and mobilize its target audience. This is inspired by our Founding Fathers’ revolutionary idea that democracy is dependent on voters receiving a wake-up call, a van, free mani-pedis and reassurances that “Why, yes, I AM your late husband Arthur, and up in heaven we’ve been saying that what would really tick the devil off is a good corner office for the fifth district Democratic candidate…”
Methinks both sides of the aisle are chewing the scenery and blowing things out of proportion. The Republicans seem to fear that the old rules would entice a terrorist to fly a hanging chad into the Sears Tower or something. (And hordes of ne’er-do-wells are out there chortling, “Forget this scam of being a Nigerian government official needing to transfer funds! The big money is in fraudulently voting in the Ward 5 dog catcher race!”) Likewise, although minorities voted in record numbers AFTER Georgia adopted photo I.D. laws, the Democrats are insistent on playing the race card against every modest Republican proposal. (“Congrats on detecting the subtle racist overtones there, Larry, but I think that was just static on the House speaker’s microphone…”)
Oh, well, things will swing the other way when Democrats eventually regain control of those legislatures. I just wish we could have a PERMANENT fix, with true statesmen adopting common sense rules that are not self-serving.
But statesmanship nowadays can best be summed up with, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to eat free…”
©2011 Danny Tyree. Danny welcomes reader e-mail responses at email@example.com and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades”. Danny’s’ weekly column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate. For info on using columns, please email Cari Dawson Bartley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-696-7561.