Because the last thing we want is for Juan Peron to beat both Romney and Obama
Great news for everyone worried about voter fraud! The Europeans are here to save us!
It appears that the UN-affiliated watchdog Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) will be sending election monitors to the United States in order to ensure American Democracy goes off without a hitch. (As it turns out, this is not the first time that OSCE has been monitoring elections – they’ve been doing it since 2002. Who knew?) Ironically, many of this year’s monitors will be from countries that themselves have terrible reputations for government-sponsored election fraud, such as, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Albania and Bosnia.
When I first heard about this, my immediate thought was that it a little tit-for-tat payback, like when your college roommate thinks you’re playing your music too loud and so they turn on their stereo even louder just to prove a point. In my head I see a Kazakhstani national standing next to a little old lady who’s handing out ballots at an elementary school gym, poking a blank ballot in her face and asking her how she likes being monitored. “Not so fun when it’s you, is it? Am I bugging you with this ballot? It’s not touching you. It’s not touching you. Am I bugging you? It’s not touching you.”
It turns out, however, that the OSCE is here at the request of different liberal activist groups within the United States, including the NAACP, the ACLU and the League of Women Voters. In a public letter requesting the monitors, activist leaders argued that European overseers would “help to improve [American] citizen’s trust and confidence in election results,” which makes me wonder if any of them have ever actually met any actual American citizens, ever.
In a bold reaction that will come as a shock to anyone that has not watched the news or listened to the radio in the past four years, a few GOP firebrands are using the OSCE monitors as a way to instill a little election-time jingoism into the base. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott took time off from his busy schedule of running for Governor to write the OSCE and let them know he was watching them, and was ready to toss them in the hoosegow if they tried to do anything funny. (And in doing so also claimed – true story! – that Texas voter ID laws were totally allowed, despite being blocked by federal judges two months ago for being discriminatory.) Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL), took time out of his busy schedule runnig for Senate to issue the following statement:
“The very idea that the United Nations – the world body dedicated to diminishing America’s role in the world — would be allowed, if not encouraged, to install foreigners sympathetic to the likes of Castro, Chavez, Ahmadinejad and Putin to oversee our elections is nothing short of disgusting… The United States must defund the United Nations. The United Nations should be kicked off of American soil once and for all.”
This seems like one of those situations where political foes take opposite and ridiculous grandstanding positions that obfuscate rather than bring light to important issues.
As I noted here, voter ID laws that were sold to the public as necessary tools to fight corruption are anything but. Worse, they actually work to suppress the vote. Lawyers fighting for Pennsylvania’s voter ID law admitted that up to 9% of voters could be disenfranchised. And despite this obvious hoax, it also seems obvious that with technology accelerating as it is the potential for catastrophic voter fraud being committed by a small number is quickly growing and should be addressed in a bi-partisan, For-The Good-of-the-Country-Not-the-Party kind of way. Instead, it seems like all we want to do is use fear to rev up the troops.
I understand liberal activists’ desire to make sure that electoral shenanigans don’t disenfranchise the poor, minorities and the elderly – especially after the voter ID law measures the GOP has taken. But honestly, what do they expect is going to happen by bringing in monitors from freaking Kazakhstan? If there is a better way to make sure that Americans actually ignore legitimate instances of fraud or intimidation than having it reported by Eastern European nationals, it’s not coming to mind. Bringing in the OSCE doesn’t strike me as a way to solve a problem; it strikes me as a way to fire up your base at the possible expense of making it worse. If I had to think of one word to describe it, it would be “Rovian.”
As for the Republican Talk-Radio crowd using this as a method to get their base to pull out their checkbooks because UN black helicopters are just over the horizon, all I can say is… ah, fish it. Why even bother at this point?