America’s path towards bankruptcy and ultimate Third World status never seems clearer ahead of us than when the Dear Leader takes his cult of personality onto the late-night talk shows, as he did again last night. Even Bill Clinton, as president, had enough respect for the dignity of the office not to play the celebrity himself, though he spent a lot of time with celebrities. That we had better get used to the Hugo Chavez style of politics is also suggested by the unseemly squabble over voter identification laws in this election season. Now the Democrats, who profess to believe that having to produce a photo ID to vote is an act of intimidation, have invited the Euro do-gooders of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe to come and monitor our elections for all the world as if some strong man dictator — hey, isn’t their guy the man in charge here? — were trying to rig our election and we needed to call in the Portuguese to protect our democratic virtue.
According to Fox News:
The OSCE is coming in response to a request by groups that oppose voter ID laws and voter registration investigations. The groups include the ACLU and NAACP. "We are not coming to judge a result but to report about the process," said OSCE member Joao Soares, who is from Portugal and is leading the monitoring effort, in a statement on the group’s website. "In a country so well-known for its diverse citizenry, we will observe how inclusive the election process is in line with the country’s own laws and international election commitments."
Reflexively, I suppose, Republicans are up in arms about this, since the implication is that they are the ones these incorruptible Eurocrats must keep an eye on.
Several Republican political leaders and conservative groups have expressed outrage, saying that foreign citizens have no business monitoring U.S. polling places. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has threatened the OSCE with "criminal prosecution" if they come within 100 feet of the entrance of a polling site. In a letter to OSCE, Abbott said: "OSCE has identified voter ID laws as a barrier to the right to vote. [Voter ID opponents] urged OSCE to monitor states that have taken steps to protect ballot integrity by enacting voter ID laws."
I can understand the resentment felt by Mr Abbott and others, but I wonder if they aren’t being too defensive? I find it hard to believe that anyone really thinks having to produce a photo ID is an undue burden on anybody, or an attempt to discourage the poor from voting — or that those who so vehemently oppose the laws that require it do not themselves have any idea of facilitating voter fraud by doing so. I think the GOP is missing a trick here. They should invite the OSCE observers in as well — to observe those heavily Democratic areas where turnout so often tends to be suspiciously high. They could start with certain precincts in Philadelphia where, according to Pennsylvania’s Republican governor explaining the need for that state’s new voter ID law, turnout exceeded 100 per cent in a recent election. If the Democrats can’t wait for their profligate spending to reduce us to a banana republic, we might as well join in the fun.