(NO) VOTE 2012:<br />
The Suppression Continues

It would be ideal if voters realized their own power.

Mitt Romney has the charm of a rock, the political spine of Gumby, and I’m almost certain I could excite conservatives more with a picture of me kissing British Olympian Louis Smith than he could making a speech about their spirit animal, Ronald Reagan.

Even with an anemic economy I have a hard time believing that the former Massachusetts governor will successfully sneak his way into the White House, though if he does manage that feat, Romney can thank the suppression efforts launched by his GOP brethren.

At this point, Republicans playing games at the polls to prevent a Democratic win is a known constant, but they’re taking their efforts to pathetic lows with this widespread push of new 'Voter ID' laws. Many have viewed this as yet another way of them preventing typically Democratic voting blocs – Blacks, Latinos, and youth voters – from the polls. However, Republicans have always maintained that the laws are meant to ensure the integrity of the voting process, stop voter fraud that only exists within their minds, blah, blah, and blah.

Finally, one of their own is telling the truth about their trickery.

Back in May, Florida’s former Republican Party chairman Jim Greer gave a deposition over two days that saw him denounce some party officials as “whack-a-do, right wing crazies” actively trying to suppress Black votes.

Welcome to our world, Jimmy. That said, make note that Greer has a bit of an axe to grind.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Greer “blamed criminal fraud charges filed against him in 2010 on legislative leaders and other party officials who he says orchestrated an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the statewide grand jury to avoid paying him money he was due.”

Whatever. It doesn’t matter what road one takes to the truth so long as they arrive.

On those efforts to keep Blacks from voting, Greer revealed that he had just completed a December 2009 meeting with party officials when questions arose about fundraising. "I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,'' Greer explained.

While most people with at least seven working brain cells drew this conclusion on their own, it is different to hear an actual Republican confirm the obvious.

Meanwhile, the debate wages on as to whether or not news of suppression efforts will motivate those targeted to act.

Last week New York Times op-ed columnist wrote a piece entitled “Where’s The Outrage” lamenting the GOP-led effort to keep minorities and young people from voting along with the apparent apathy in response to it.

Blow wrote: “There is little likely to be done about the Big Money before the election, and, although some of the voter suppression laws are being challenged in court, the outcome of those cases is uncertain. These elements are not within voters’ control, but two things are: energy and alertness.”

He also warns, “If Democrats don’t wake up soon, this election might not just be won or lost, it could be bought or stolen.”

I have to admit I can see why Democratic voters have become increasingly apathetic. In 2008, voters who were "fired up and ready to go" cast their vote for what they thought would be substantial change. The change turned out to be slow, gradual, and occasionally nonexistent – not what you’d expect from a figure that was sometimes presented almost messianic-like.  That, in turn, has spurred disappointment.

Yes, some of it is unrealistic, but understandable all the same.

It would be ideal if voters realized their own power, but realistically it’s up to President Obama and his campaign to instill energy and alertness among the increasingly apathetic. I’m confident that he can, or at the very least, enough to win reelection. Now here’s to hoping once they do show up they won’t be turned away.

Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick