In a speech in Houston on Thursday, Hillary Clinton came out strongly in favor of automatic voter registration as soon as a person reaches eighteen (the legal voting age) and the restoration of important voter protections gutted from the 1964 Voting Rights Act by a 2013 Supreme Court decision invalidating the act’s important section IV provisions. She criticized Republicans for what she called “fear-mongering” about a phony epidemic of voter fraud. And, she took some pot-shots at some of her potential GOP rivals (all governors or former governors), mentioning them by name and calling them out for actions taken in their home states to restrict voting rights.
Hillary Clinton came out strongly in favor of automatic voter registration as soon as a person reaches eighteen and the restoration of important voter protections.
Clinton accused former Governor Rick Perry (right there in his own backyard) of signing a law that a federal court said was designed to intentionally discriminate against minority voters. She reminded the crowd that while Jeb Bush was Governor of Florida, state authorities there operated a widespread campaign to purge the names of already registered voters from the voting roles in front of the 2000 election. She also mentioned how Governor Scott Walker ( a current front-runner for the GOP nomination ) cut back early voting in Wisconsin and signed legislation that makes it harder for college students to vote. And she did not leave out New Jersey Governor Chris Christie or John Kasich of Ohio. She charged Christie with vetoing legislation to extend early voting, and brought up how last year Kasich had signed two bills into law in Ohio that restricted voter access to the polls. One changed the rules on early voting (making it more restrictive) and the other governing rules on how absentee ballots are to be treated. Guess which way that went? And just last month, Republicans in the state introduced legislation that would require voters to show a passport, driver’s license, military I.D. or state I.D. card in order to vote.
The Republicans, hearing of the speech, of course shot back. Kasich called her assertions pure demagoguery, responding that: “. . . elections should be focused on what’s going to improve America, not who’s going to divide America.” That’s an interesting sentiment to hear coming from a Republican.
If Republicans really wanted to improve America, you’d think that they would work to expand the franchise, make it easier for more people to vote, instead of working to limit the vote. That’s hardly true democracy. You’d think they’d work harder to create real economic opportunity for young working people (the poor and the disadvantaged ) in the country by investing more money in infrastructure spending and education, and by expanding access to more affordable health care, instead of working as hard as they do everyday to provide more tax-cuts and special interest perks to big corporations and their wealthy donor class. Maybe we could even get the economy back on a sustainable growth path again rather than last quarter’s (1st quarter 2015 ) dismal -0.7%, that’s right, a minus 0.7% contraction. That doesn’t help the poorest among us even pay the light bill.
Voting rights should be a centerpiece of discussion in the run-up to the next election.
If we really want a better country, more real opportunity for everyone, and a better more responsive democracy, then we need to see that every person has a chance to vote. Voting rights should be a centerpiece of discussion in the run-up to the next election. The right to vote should be every citizen’s natural prerogative and an individual right, not a state’s rights issue to be restricted by some Republican state assembly, or totally aborted by some Super Pac’s money. We need everyone voting in this country. Not just pissed-off, fat old white geezers with million dollar IRA’s. We can’t let people like the Koch brothers and their corporate fat-cat friends high-jack the electoral process and our personal liberties. That’s not what America is suppose to be about.
Hillary Clinton struck a real populist note in Houston. This is good stuff for her. And something she needs to be doing. It puts the Republicans on the defensive, and makes her less vulnerable to their phony attacks. And if she keeps it up, and her poll numbers improve back to where they were a year ago, then Progressives, middle-of-the road Democrats, and maybe even some Independents will be happy to forget about her vote for the Iraq War, the whole Benghazi nonsense and the equally pointless e-mail flap. This is what she needs to do to be President.
Three cheers . . . and good luck Hillary!
The Money Trader