Republican Efforts to Suppress the Vote – #2 September 17, 2014 Warren S: “Efforts like those disgust me, too. They further undermine people’s confidence in elections. But wouldn’t you agree that it’s not dissimilar from using the IRS to inhibit conservatives’ ability to mobilize the vote in recent years?” ☞ Actually, no. I see stark differences on several levels. First, the IRS is not the analog of the Republican Party. Not least because it was run at the time by a Bush-appointee. An appointee, by the way, that the Republicans in Congress for years prevented President Obama from replacing with his own. That alone, it seems to me, makes the two situations entirely dissimilar. Second, the goal of the IRS was entirely legitimate: namely, to find an efficient way, given limited resources, to cope with a flood of new applications. (By flagging key words that sounded political — including words like “occupy,” that are generally associated with the left, not the right.) By contrast, the goal of the Republican Party is deeply illegitimate (and unAmerican): namely, to find ways to make it harder for likely Democratic voters to vote. Third, as soon as the IRS situation came to light, Democrats from the President on down embraced the general alarm, taking immediate action to investigate and fix it. Show me one Republican Party official condemning their ongoing efforts at voter suppression. Fourth, the Republican efforts directly affect millions for whom voting will now be more difficult or nearly impossible. The result will be Republican wins in races they would otherwise lose. By contrast, I don’t think anyone can argue the IRS did kept even a dime of Republican money out of politics or cost them a single election. Those who wished to spend tens of millions of dollars funding right-wing groups went right ahead and did so. So no: I do not see the similarities here at all, Warren. SIGA This little speculation filed for bankruptcy yesterday. Oops. Not because it’s broke, but because . . . well, if you own shares, as I do, read the story. I’m not selling at these prices but I’m obviously sorry I recommended it — unless you sold some or all your shares in that lovely period when they quintupled (and I advised that you “hang on” for further gains*). *I was an idiot.