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Tuesday, January 17, 2006


OH-SEN: Hackett refuses to back down, stands by GOP/bin Laden comment

Paul Hackett's comments in the Columbus Dispatch are getting some attention.  Of note was this one:

"The Republican Party has been hijacked by the religious fanatics that, in my opinion, aren't a whole lot different than Osama bin Laden and a lot of the other religious nuts around the world," he said. "The challenge is for the rest of us moderate Americans and citizens of the world to put down the fork and spoon, turn off the TV, and participate in the process and try to push back on these radical nuts - and they are nuts."

The Ohio GOP sent out their attack dogs, and Hackett didn't budge.   The Ohio Republican Party Chairman, Bob Bennett, called the remarks "hateful" and "incendiary" and asked for an apology:

"Paul Hackett's attempt to compare Christian conservatives to terrorists is abhorrent and completely inappropriate. These intolerant views have no place in the public debate, and I hope his fellow Democrats reject this divisive hate speech. Hackett has shown repeatedly that he will say or do anything to get attention, and it's unfortunate that views like his are embraced by the Democratic Party. I think, Mr. Hackett, you've once again proven who real `radical nut' is."

Standard-issue GOP intimidation.  Well, you're dealing with a Marine:

"I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it. Equal justice under the law for all regardless of who they are and how they were born is fundamental to our American spirit and our American freedoms. Any person or group that argues that the law should not apply equally to all Americans is, frankly, un-American."

"The Republican Party has been hijacked by religious fanatics, who are out of touch with mainstream America. Think of the recent comments by Pat Robertson - a religious fanatic by any measure - that the United States should assassinate a democratically elected leader in Venezuela, and that Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment because Sharon wished to trade land for peace."

"Since the Republican Party has been utterly unable to stand for something positive, they have created an atmosphere of fear and intimidation, and have pandered to religious fanatics not to vote for something they believe in, but to vote against their fellow Americans with whom they disagree. Those among us who would use religion and politics to divide rather than unite Americans should be ashamed."

Hackett's team sent this as an email within a couple hours of the GOP comment.  That's how you deal with these attacks.  Quickly, honestly, and without a hint of apology.  The Ohio GOP thinks they can turn Hackett into the same caricature they manufactured for Dean, but it's just not gonna happen.

I wonder if Hackett's marrow could be donated to some of our Beltway insider Dems?  Maybe that can happen when he's elected to the Senate this fall. - From a Kos Diary by dday

The Ohio religious right? Aren't they the same folks who sold their souls to Bush in exchange for the gay marriage amendment?
Hackett had to do something, he's getting less support than Sherrod Brown, according to Rasmussen.

I wonder what he thinks about Democratic Mayor Ray Nagin saying that God punished us by sending hurricanes to New Orleans?
I'd like to let Nagin off with a warning as a first-time offender. He got a little carried away at a King Day picnic. At least he was calling down judgment on his own people instead of judging others.
Oops, scratch that about Nagin not judging others, I just read the rest of his comments.
I'm neutral on the Hackett vs. Sherrod Brown primary. Both are great progressive democrats.

The one of the will be replacing, Mike Dewine is a disaster who voted FOR: BUSH ENERGY PLAN, LESS WIRE-TAP RESTRICTIONS, PHOTO I.D. TO VOTE. BUSH'S VANITY WAR IN IRAQ


Can I ask the argument against making people present a photo ID to vote?
It discriminates against people without Id's...

which Okay, I give on that one.
I believe the argument is that it's a de facto poll tax.
In Georgia, where the GOP has pushed and passed a photo-ID law, the problem is that ID's are only available at specified DMV offices and some are a very long drive away from guess who? Minority voters, like the folks in New Orleans who didn't have cars. AND there is a $10 charge for the ID card which discriminates against who? The Poor! So the overall effect is to disenfranchise a major constituent group of who? The Democrats. And that is the GOP's REAL Agenda. All this crap about verifying registration is just that, crap.

In Delaware they ask for photo ID but if you don't have it you can still vote with a provisional ballot and the Department of Elections has to verify that you are who you say you are. It puts the burden on the DOE not the poor voter. In Delaware there is even a system to register the homeless! And there are rules that allow former fellons to vote. They have to meet certain requirements but they can earn back their rights as citizens. Everyone should be able to vote!
"Everyone should be able to vote!"

Yeah, but only once. And only if they are alive, eligible and registered.

And don't give me this ID's discriminate against the poor stuff. Should I list all the things in today's society that you can't do without a photo ID?
Should I list all the things in today's society that you can't do without a photo ID?

No, I'll do it:

Drive a car?
Apply for credit?
Open a checking account?
Get in the door of your college dorm?

These are all things that are not part of the lives of the poorest people. It's true, you can get a state ID card for a small fee. But some people don't even have that.

I'll admit, it's kind of a weak argument, and I'm not that passionate about it. But in the South, imposing any kind of obstacle to voting is an explosive topic.
How about: cash a paycheck; rent an apartment; buy alcohol; take a car, plane, train, boat, etc. for any kind of travel.
THe huge difference being, of course, is that those aren't rights guarenteed by the Constitution. The twenty-fourth amdendment states that "The right of citizens of the United States to vote in any primary or other election for President or Vice President, for electors for President or Vice President, or for Senator or Representative in Congress, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State by reason of failure to pay any poll tax or other tax." Requiring a photo ID that costs money is a form of a poll tax, and is thus unconstitutional, not to mention discriminatory.
What if the ID's were free?
Then it would be more up to interpretation - the question would be if the physical act of obtaining an ID was an impedement to voting. That would probably depend on the specific situation. I'm not a constitutional scholar, so I'm not familiar with any case law on this, but that would be my guess as to how it would go.
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