Reince Priebus, head of the republican party, recently did what republicans do best - spend a bunch of money needlessly, to figure out a problem that was easily understood, then do nothing with the money spent. Otherwise known as GOP Rebranding.
The party's top activists will spend much of Thursday in strategy meetings aimed at best practices for packaging and presenting their conservative ideas to young people, women, and black, Hispanic, and Asian constituencies. The training is part of the party's new outreach efforts to types of voters who overwhelmingly have supported Democrats in recent elections.
Of course in this same conference, was the party base, asking "why are slaves so upset we gave them occassional meals and didnt charge them rent?"
However we see why there is such panic on the right. For the first time, black turnout exceeded white turnout in 2012. In a brilliant piece on The Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky breaks it down:
Because for all this talk about a “new” GOP out to steal minorities’ hearts, the (usually white) people doing the talking seem to forget that today’s Republican Party is doing more to stop black people from voting than George Wallace ever did. ....
Do Republicans really think black and brown (but especially black) people just won’t notice all this? I suppose they must. They think that people won’t see what’s right in front of their nose. And of course, Republicans don’t actually talk to black people—well, they talk to black Republicans, but that is sort of like evangelicals talking to Jews for Jesus and thinking they’ve gauged Jewish opinion—so they have no way of knowing how disingenuous they look.
The Republican Party is thus more officially racist than it was in Nixon’s day. Back then, at least they had Jackie Robinson and Sammy Davis Jr. And at least, back then, the Republican Party did these things in code and not via the law. It was not so brazen as to think it could on the one hand be waging efforts in half the states to keep black people from voting and on the other be improving its “outreach.” The black vote will dip a bit when Obama retires, but as long as Republicans insist on these tactics, they will be doing more than they know to keep turnout high and keep hope alive.
What are the voter suppression techniques that he describes? Ari Berman from the Nation runs them down:
In 2011 and 2012, 180 new voting restrictions were introduced in forty-one states. Ultimately, twenty-five laws and two executive actions were passed in nineteen states following the 2010 election to make it harder to vote. In many cases, these laws backfired on their Republican sponsors. The courts blocked ten of them, and young and minority voters—the prime target of the restrictions—formed a larger share of the electorate in 2012 than in 2008.
By my count, 235 new voting restrictions have been introduced in forty-four states over the past three years.
Here’s the breakdown of where such laws have been introduced in 2013.
• Mandating a government-issued photo ID to cast a ballot: Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Washington, Wyoming
• Restricting voter registration drives: Illinois, Indiana, Montana, New Mexico, Virginia
• Banning election-day voter registration: California, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska
• Requiring proof of citizenship to register to vote: Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia
• Purging the voter rolls: Colorado, Indiana, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia
• Reducing early voting: Arizona, Indiana, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin
• Disenfranchising ex-felons: Virginia.
(On the plus side, thirty states have also introduced measures to make voting easier by adopting online voter registration, election-day registration, expanded early voting and the restoration of voting rights for ex-felons.)
Where in does the republican takeover of Wisconsin fit into this?
Let's ask Speaker Robin Vos:
“We promise that election reform led by voter ID will be in place for the 2014 election,” Robin Vos said.
Vos's Speech here.