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The Expansionist
Thursday, January 19, 2012
 
Another Two Bite the Dust. The Republican field has been narrowed by two more worthless candidates, one a decent man — who thus had no chance of being nominated by an indecent party — the other a dunce whose stupidity not even the most rabid Radical Rightists could defend.
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We are left with Richie Rich, Ricky Religious, Newt the Mack, and the Libertarian Loon, little Ronnie Paul. What a field! What a great thing for this Republic, that one of the two major parties has nothing but bad candidates to vote for!
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How is Richie Rich supposed to win the support of even the middle class, now that they see that this mega-millionaire, with a net worth of over $200 million, pays 15% income tax — less than they do! — and that he made over $300,000 in speaker's fees — which he called "not much" — and that he admits that he has "invested" in the Cayman Islands, one of the world's most notorious offshore tax havens? It was bad enuf that Romney admitted that some of his company's investments produced the closure of businesses and layoffs of thousands of workers, even as that company, Bain Capital, walked away with millions of dollars in fees from those very businesses. He could hide behind the "free-enterprise" system there: 'that's just the way capitalism works, and I am not going to apologize for capitalism.' That threadbare excuse has power only among the Radical Right set, whose Pavlovian response is always to defend free enterprise, no matter how abusive Monster Capitalism proves.
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Now Newt Gingrich, puffy playboy, is revealed as a degenerate, who wanted his second wife to agree to an "open marriage" so he could have convenient, no-fault, multiple adultery in which he need not sneak around nor fear ruinous divorce with a punitive property settlement predicated on his adultery.
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Rick Santorum,, who put his children thru the horror of seeing a dead baby, the result of a miscarriage, is trying not to be seen as the freak he is. Some people make excuses for that truly grotesque action. But how many Americans have EVER taken a miscarried fetus home to show the kiddies? Very, very few, I'm sure. Barbara Bush apparently showed her son, George W., a miscarried fetus preserved in a glass jar! (We do not, however, know how old Dubya was at the time, because Matt Lauer did not follow up for details, but rushed away from that grotesque incident at warp speed. It would seem some very prominent Republicans are freaks. Why are they not called on their freakishness?
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In any case, the Republican field is now halved from its condition after the early (and perhaps unwisely premature) withdrawal of Tim Pawlenty — tho anyone who doesn't have the guts to stick it out is unfit to be President, so our preposterously extended, grueling selection process does serve to eliminate the weaklings. Bizarrely, we see here the very "survival of the fittest" (Darwinist evolution) that the Republican base does not believe in.
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Of course, the remaining candidates are not really fit to be President, so the Republican base might still have a point if the Republican nominee, if it be one of these clowns, loses the general election badly, as seems very likely. The polls that show a close contest against Obama are almost assuredly wrong, and the only way Tepublicans have any chance whatsoever of winning the White House is if they can block hundreds of thousands of people from voting, which they sure are trying to do. And not just by discouraging people, but by actually enacting laws to bar as many as FIVE MILLION voters!
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If Republicans are really concerned, as Romney pretends, about people voting multiple times, why doesn't he just advocate an Iraq-style solution, indelible ink for the fingers of anyone who has voted? That's quick and simple, and I haven't heard any reports of people in Iraq getting the ink off in order to vote multiple times. We could create a Purple Badge of [Civic] Courage — a play on the universally-known phrase "Red Badge of Courage" from an esteemed writer from my city, Newark, NJ, Stephen Crane — by which people could show their civic-mindedness and encourage others by appearing in public with a proud, purple finger.
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This would show us visually the level of participation in elections by various communities, and at once encourage hesitant voters and reproach nonvoters. It would be, for media, "shorthand" evidence of voting levels, engagement, apathy, and willful abstention.
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Anyone who does not have a purple finger (or lite lavender for dark-skinned people, if purple would not stand out, which it probably would) could expect to be asked, repeatedly, "Why didn't you vote?", thus bringing community disapprobation to work for increased voting levels.
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Every State in the Union could have purple-finger laws in place by this November's election. The costs would be trivial. And people NOT entitled to vote would not want to be found to have a purple finger when the authorities come calling to investigate a claim of illegal voting.
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You want a foto ID? OK: take a digital picture of each voter, with purple finger, as s/he emerges from the voting booth, with the name of the voter inextricably connected electronically to the foto. No needless documents to collect, at a fee, in order to get another form of foto ID; no application to a state agency for a foto ID. No expense to the individual voter at all, just a totally trivial expenditure — esp. given our multi-billion-dollar national elections — for some ink and digital fotos to be entered into a database. Such a foto could thereafter be printed out alongside the voter's signature in the books we have to sign when we go to vote, updated for each time we vote. Simple, no?
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How much do you want to bet that Republicans will find some excuse not to go for it?



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