Before we begin, I must preface this by saying that the truly vile things I am about to write about the state of Florida DO NOT pertain to my good, great and wonderful friend Joyce. Darling, you know this is no reflection on either you or Rob. Honest!
Ken Detzner is the Secretary of State for Florida. You remember Florida. It's one of those southern states that most of us secretly wish would just float off into the ocean and get washed up on the shore of some country that actually deserves it, although it is difficult to imagine any country deserving a nation of anti-Castro Cuban mercenaries. But as I was saying, Kenny boy is the Secretary of State of Florida, a job once held by the She-Wolf of Nazi Germany, Katherine Harris. Yesterday, the dubious Mister Kenny fired off a letter to the federal Department of Justice. His letter read, in part, "We have a solemn obligation to ensure the integrity of elections in this state."
You may take a few moments here to both laugh and cry. I certainly understand the reaction.
Last week the Department of Justice told the state of Florida (maybe we could get a giant set of scissors and just smile without a word as the teat of this country drifts away, shaking its collective fists in the night) that the Secretary of State was violating both the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the National Voter Registration Act by purging voters from the rolls by, first, not notifying the federal government of its actions in advance, and, second, by removing voters less than ninety days before a federal election. Florida voters are set to vote in a primary August 14 of this year, one that includes candidates seeking congressional seats. Therefore, the state has missed the three-month deadline.
Naturally, the silly-ass governor of the state--who looks uncomfortably identical to Pinal County, Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu--claims that all they are trying to do in Florida is halt voter fraud by removing from the rolls non-citizens who shouldn't be allowed to vote in the first place. To accomplish this, they seek to compare drivers license records with the rolls and exclude people who don't make it to both lists, which seems a little suspect considering that a person is not required to drive himself to the polls, even in Florida.
Florida is among a handful of states, mostly in the south, covered by Section V of the Voting Rights Act, a 1965 law that reinforces voting rights guaranteed in the Constitution, something that a lot of people consider good, especially those of us who remember that state laws were routinely trumped by federal laws at the request of civil rights attorneys during the 1950s and 1960s when parts of the south attempted to disenfranchise African-Americans. In five Florida counties, election officials have a history of such despicable and imaginative efforts to suppress black and Latino votes that any changes in voting-related policy or procedure must first be approved by the Justice Department or a panel of federal judges. In other words, based on racist policies over the last one hundred fifty years, Florida cannot be trusted to manage its own elections.
What is really going on is this: Romney has zero chance of capturing the majority of Latino votes in the swing state of Florida. The way the Outside Party (which is my new name for the GOP because in or out of power they prefer to think of themselves as excommunicated from everything, like the bratty child whose father owns the baseball field but who can't play well enough to make the team himself) runs their version of democracy is to correct this Latino issue by disproportionately removing people who plan to vote for Obama. That strategy has worked in the past, but even if it doesn't, there's always the back-up plan of simply not counting all the votes.
All this, of course, connects with the archaic, racist and inherently evil--or at least undemocratic--electoral college method of electing presidents. As things stand right this second, based on the blue/red dichotomy of things, Obama has secured 217 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win re-election. Romney has secured 191. The states that are up for grabs are Nevada, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and, you guessed it, Florida. People in other states probably don't even need to bother voting since the outcome of the electoral college in those states has evidently been decided without consulting the populace, mainly due to the time-honored practice of gerrymandering.
Florida has twenty-nine electoral votes.
Let's do a little speculating, shall we? Suppose that Nevada goes for Romney, which seems likely considering the state's proximity to Utah. Okay, there's six more electors. Let's add in Colorado's nine votes for the same reason. Now Romney is up to 206 out of 270 needed. He'll probably get New Hampshire's four votes because of their nearness to Massachusetts. That's 210. That leaves seven states, with Florida having more votes than any of them. In other words, give Romney Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, and you have a new president.
I think that no matter whose side one is on, the fatalistic aspects of the presidential election are kind of hard to swallow. But the electoral college method makes it much easier for elections to be stolen because it mandates that the states themselves manage their own federal elections. So in this schemata, paper beats scissors, the only place in the universe where such a thing is the case.
City governments can tell the people of that city what to do. County governments hold jurisdiction over the cities within their domain, just as the States may dictate to the counties and cities. Only when it comes to federal matters is there a history of dissent to this governmental structure. It was just such dissent, of course, that precipitated the Civil War. Certain states wanted to continue slavery. The federal government said they could not. Those dissenting states seceded and were severely spanked. Perhaps Kenny needs a history lesson.