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Wealthy called to action
October 2, 2012 - Harry Eagar
An "open letter" advertisement in the New York Times addressed to the rich was not aimed at me, but this being a democracy, I clicked through anyway. In it William Louis-Dreyfus (founder of the Dreyfus Fund and father of a well-known TV actress) makes an eloquent -- and loaded -- appeal for a broad-based democracy.
I’m 80 years old and retired from the work that made me rich. Among the many things that contributed to my wealth is the political society in which it was earned. The voter suppression effort is a direct assault on that society and on the democracy which it created. We who have the blessing of our millions need to know that protecting our assets demands preserving the democracy that made them possible.
I don't know whether other uber-rich patriots are responding. Dreyfus himself says he is giving $1 million to unnamed non-partisan groups that will defend voting rights now and in the future. (The letter is on the website of the Brennan Center, a legal think tank.)
Actually, protection of voting rights seems to me to be far more the kuleana of government. Plenty of Democratic-oriented groups have protested the Republican legislative efforts to curtail voting, but so far it has been the courts that have been effective.
One wonders, now that it has been proven that the Republicans are spending millions to run fraudulent voter registration programs, whether public opinion will come to the fore. I doubt it.
Abundant evidence that voter imposture has been undetectable has not managed to shame the Republican legislators and local party officials. Why would they develop conscience now?
(Considering the number of Republicans who have been buying guns and ammo and threatening violence if they don't win the election, I think "call to arms" in the advertisement for Louis-Dreyfus' letter was poorly chosen.)
UPDATE: Tuesday afternoon
The Washington Post rounds up reaction to the court decision stalling the Pennsylvania voter ID law. This one says it all. No one can possibly deny now that the purpose of the Republicans was to punish the poor:
"Justice Simpson’s final decision is out of bounds with the rule of law, constitutional checks and balances for the individual branches of state government, and most importantly, the will of the people. Rather than making a ruling based on the constitution and the law, this judicial activist decision is skewed in favor of the lazy who refuse to exercise the necessary work ethic to meet the commonsense requirements to obtain an acceptable photo ID.” — state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, chief sponsor of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law.
How dare those poor people be born without a birth certificate!
AND ANOTHER UPDATE
In comments on politico.com, "Youngrightwinger" sez:
"I'll give this guy $1 million if he can find anywhere in the Constitution where it says voting is a right."
However, Youngrightwinger describes himself as a libertarian, so I guess he isn't speaking for Republicans, or not for the GOP kind of rightwinger.
Louis-Dreyfus may not have pried any money out of rich patriots (I have asked the Brennan Center but have not had an answer), but the reactions from the rightwingers are priceless.
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