There's a scene in the beginning of this season's premiere of "Louie" where the title character meets his girlfriend for lunch. After a few moments of the type of awkward and strained conversation that people in bad relationships always seem to have, the girlfriend has an epiphany:
"You didn't bring me her to eat. You brought me here to break up with me."
The look on Louie's face lets the audience know that her suspicion is true, but Louie refuses to admit it. He even goes so far in denying it that she actually ends up doing it for him. Basically, his refusal to just tell the truth and admit his intentions results in the girlfriend taking the initiative and breaking up with herself.
I couldn't help but think of this scene earlier this week when news broke that Pennsylvania Judge Robert Simpson said he wouldn't grant an injunction that would have halted the law requiring each voter to show a valid photo ID. This law has no justifiable basis It's supposed to guard against voter fraud, but since there hasn't been one documented case in the state of PA of the type of voter fraud the law is supposed to prevent, passing this law is no different than a man saying "Well, she hasnt cheated yet. But, she might in the future" when explaining why he's divorcing his wife.
Like Louie, proponents of this law are loathe to admit the real reason why they want it enacted: to make it very difficult for certain people to vote in the November presidential election. "Certain people" undoubtedly means "college students, people in urban areas, and minorities," and "college students, people in urban areas, and minorities" definitely means "people who'd be more likely to vote for President Obama." Pennsylvania is a battleground state, and Republican Gov. Tom Corbett and the Republican-dominated state legislature are very obviously doing what they can to help swing the state for Romney.
As upsetting as this news is, like Louie's girlfriend, I'd feel a little better if they just came out and admitted it. Well, maybe "feeling better" isn't completely true, but I'd definitely have more respect for them. Right now, it feels like they're just insulting our collective intelligence and wasting our time with the fraud prevention double talk, and I'd prefer if they just stopped the games and got real.
I know Republican State Rep. Mike Turzai already said something about the law helping Romney win the state, but I want to see Governor Corbett hold an official press conference where, when someone asks if this law is meant to hurt Obama's chances, he replies "Duh! Of course! What other possible reason would I have for doing this?" I want the PA state legislature to go even further, and amend the bill so that voters need to have ID and need to be able to pass a paper bag test. I want the Governor to attempt to get Pittsburgh and Philadelphia — two Democratic strongholds — disannexed.
Of course, none of this will happen. To many Republicans, "politics" and "subterfuge" seem to be synonyms. And, since subterfuge gives them room to continue to spin facts and manufacture intent, there's no real upside in admitting that you don't really think the Black Codes were such a bad idea. But, while the honest truth may hurt, we can handle it. We're going to win anyway, so it's better to just lose the race instead of losing the race and our respect.
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