Elections matter, even when the choices are bad

I flew to Louisville today to vote. Since I work in Washington, I’m not going to be home in Kentucky to vote on Election Day Tuesday, so I made a special trip here to cast my ballot.

And to tell the truth, I’m really not enthused about the candidates who are up for statewide election. It’s a choice between a bunch of Democrats who posture as Republicans Lite, and a bunch of Republicans who have gone off the deep end of crazy.

But I vote because of things like this. (Via Mother Jones)

In Alabama, you need a driver’s license or other form of photo ID to vote. But getting that ID just got a lot harder, especially in the state’s majority-black counties.

Due to budget cuts, Alabama is closing 31 satellite DMVs across the state. The biggest impact will be in rural, largely black counties that voted for President Obama in 2008 and 2012. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald put it this way:

Take a look at the 10 Alabama counties with the highest percentage of non-white registered voters. That’s Macon, Greene, Sumter, Lowndes, Bullock, Perry, Wilcox, Dallas, Hale, and Montgomery, according to the Alabama Secretary of State’s office. Alabama, thanks to its budgetary insanity and inanity, just opted to close driver license bureaus in eight of them. All but Dallas and Montgomery will be closed.

Closed. In a state in which driver licenses or special photo IDs are a requirement for voting…

Every single county in which blacks make up more than 75 percent of registered voters will see their driver license office closed. Every one.

Now the folks who created these voter ID laws are saying they have to close the places where most black people get their voter IDs because of fiscal issues. Voter suppression has been a way of life in Alabama:

The county this woman lived in was Hale County. Of course, that county shows up in the list of places where the driver license offices were closed.

Alabama recently agreed to a “partial reversal”:

Alabama governor Robert Bentley announced that the facilities would not close completely, but would remain open one day a month.

So if you live in predominantly black rural Alabama, you get one day a month to get an ID that will allow you to vote. But if you live anywhere else in the state, you get a lot more days to take care of that, especially when you live in predominantly white Republican counties.

Meanwhile, in the Democratic presidential race

Bernie Sanders, the Vermont Independent, seeking the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. Is drawing large crowds, and we haven’t been hearing about it because everyone thinks Hillary Clinton has her party’s nomination locked up, and folks like Donald Trump have given the GOP process the appeal of a car wreck on a highway (You can’t help but watch).

But Sanders drew about 10,000 at a rally in Madison, Wis.

That’s probably the largest crowd at any rally so far this campaign season:

There’s definitely a clear message coming from the Sanders campaign, and it fired up the cheeseheads. Let’s see how it resonates across the country.

The dark secret of Obamacare, as seen by the GOP

A Republican congresswoman, whom I’ve never hear of before (Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington), put up a Facebook post asking people to relay their Obamacare nightmares, because, according to the GOP, Obamacare is nothing but a nightmare. I’m not exaggerating. Here’s what she said:

This week marks the 5th anniversary of #Obamacare being signed into law. Whether it’s turned your tax filing into a nightmare, you’re facing skyrocketing premiums, or your employer has reduced your work hours, I want to hear about it.

Please share your story with me so that I can better understand the challenges you’re facing: http://mcmorris.house.gov/your-story/

So people responded:


Oops. Not quite the nightmare, huh. So what’s a Republican to do?

Well, try clicking on the link above that directs you to Rodgers’s Facebook page, where people are posting their nightmare. Nevermind, here’s what you’ll see (click to enlarge):

facebook sorry copy

You’ve got to admire the integrity of Republicans. By the way, I didn’t follow the link because Rodgers isn’t a source I can trust.

I read elsewhere that Rodgers did manage to come up with a couple of nightmares. One was from a woman in her 60s who said she could not longer afford care. Turns out the reason is because the woman lives in a Republican state, where the GOP made sure that Medicaid expansion, a planned element of the Affordable Care Act, wasn’t approved.