Monday, October 17, 2011

Voter Suppression Redux: Huckabee Edition

Former presidential hopeful and current FOX "News" talking head Mike Huckabee was in Ohio last week, lobbying voters to support Issue 2. Issue 2 would balance the state's budget on the backs of public employees, while also limiting their collective bargaining rights. He "jokingly" told a crowd at a Republican-party sponsored event in Mason:

“Make a list… Call them and ask them, ‘Are you going to vote on Issue 2 and are you going to vote for it?’ If they say no, well, you just make sure that they don’t go vote. Let the air out of their tires on election day. Tell them the election has been moved to a different date. That’s up to you how you creatively get the job done.”

I saw the story today at Think Progress and thought to myself, "That sounds eerily familiar." Turns out I was right - this has become a Huckabee theme. From February 2008:

In a brief homecoming Monday afternoon in an airplane hangar, Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee urged his supporters to get people out to vote today.

And, Huckabee jokingly said if they know people who intend to vote for someone else, to go let the air out of their tires.

And, as I was searching for links to the current story, I found this on YouTube. Huckabee was in Virginia in early 2009 campaigning for gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell. Once again, he advocated letting the air out of the tires of opposition voters:

“You have two jobs – one get all those people who are going to vote for Bob out to the polls and vote. If they’re not going to vote for Bob, you have another job – let the air out of their tires and do not let them out of their driveway on Election Day,” Huckabee joked at a rally for McDonnell in the rural southwestern Virginia enclave of Tazewell County.

Once is a "joke". Twice might be a fluke. Three times is a pattern, and I suspect Huckabee, under his "jovial" exterior, is dead serious. This is all of a piece with the Republican strategy of disenfranchising millions of voters by passing stringent voter ID laws, ending early voting, and making voter registration more difficult -- all purportedly in order to stop rare to the point of non-existent fraud. Hey, if you can't win on the merits, cheat. Just what you'd expect from a "family values" conservative.

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