Teabaggers say: Romney lost because of VOTER FRAUD!
The Nation has has a nice writeupabout how Teabaggers and right wingers are having trouble coming to terms with the fact that they lost a presidential election for the second consecutive time, and instead of being personally responsible and doing a little self analysis to discover why it is they lost, the personal responsibility crowd is engaging in time honored tradition right wingers have perfected since the late 1960’s - blame someone or something else.
This time it’s the dreaded bugaboo of…VOTER FRAUD! Of course, the number of verified instances where true, in person voter fraud has been caught couldn’t tip the balance of an election for dog catcher, yet these teabagger groups are convinced that it is happening, and in some instances, may have violated a federal consent decree against targeting people of color for challenges of their eligibility to vote:
On October 5, an e-mail circulated around Allegheny County from Patti Weaver, head of the Pittsburgh Tea Party Movement, that was a clarion call for volunteers to be poll watchers on Election Day. In that message Weaver included a caveat:
Be warned that some of the areas that need poll watchers are not in the nicest part of town. However, this is an excellent opportunity to serve your country.… We are working with the Republican Committees so that they can place people at the locations with the highest likelihood of fraud.
This was interesting because for years, Tea Party groups and True the Vote have sworn that they aren’t targeting minority neighborhoods in their poll work. They’ve been denying this not just to sound moral but because they know it could be found a violation of the Voting Rights Act. And if it is happening in coordination with the Republican Party, then it’s in violation of a longstanding legal consent decree that grew out of the party’s previous efforts to suppress black voters.
But in the post-election fog of finger-pointing on the right, True the Vote and Tea Party groups are directing blame for Mitt Romney’s loss to that very consent decree. They believe that Obama was fraudulently elected both this November and in 2008, and that the Republican Party is unfairly restricted from rooting out that fraud because of the consent decree.
The party has had trouble following these rules. Federal courts found the RNC in violation of the consent decree in 1990 and again in 2004 in Ohio (pdf), where the GOP targeted black voting districts with voter challenge lists.
Republicans have tried to have the decree dismantled as recently as this year, but federal courts have refused (pdf) , citing how demonstrably effective it’s been in stopping the Republican Party from intimidating voters.
At this point, it’s helpful to remember Paul Weyerich’s take on voting - he doesn’t want everyone to be able to do it: