Sunday, October 26, 2008

Shotguns are more Democratic or: Why I can't stand this Bullshit about ACORN

I know I may be a couple of news cycles late on this story (I guess we're making things up about Biden now?), but I ran across an article that made me get mad all over again. So. ACORN. Other people have defended ACORN with sense and eloquence, and I won't rehash their arguments here (just link you to them). In the last Presidential debate McCain said (preposterously) that ACORN was "destroying the fabric of democracy." To most people (who understand that the charges against ACORN are bullshit) this seems like a ridiculous statement. But what if, instead of just being overstated rhetoric to stir up anti-ACORN sentiments and set the stage for a post-election blame-it-on-ACORN strategy, it also revealed an essential truth about the way the Republicans view democracy? If you think that more people voting is "destroying the fabric of democracy," what does it say about what you think that fabric is made out of?

I was reminded of all this by a post on Part of that post is an interview with Chris Schoenewald, Chairman of the Albemarle County Republican Committee (Albermarle is the county seat of Charlottsville, VA) in which he discusses the differences between the Republican and Democratic party's methods of voter registration:
We discussed voter registration, and the varied approach each party's campaign takes. "Democrats use a shotgun approach to voter registration. Republicans use a rifle." If Democrats are setting up a voter registration table on the Downtown Mall, for example, "they're registering a lot of Republicans." By contrast, Schoenewald said, "we're going after very targeted people."
Does this mean that the Dems are being sloppy? No. This means that Democrats are more interested in getting more people to vote than they are in getting their own guys to vote. I'm not blaming Mr. Schoenewald for their sharpshooter registration, but it is indicative of a a larger truth. The fact is that the Democrats believe in a democracy where everyone gets to vote, because they have faith that the more Americans who take part in an election, the more likely the party that deserves to will win it. And in this day and age, that means them.

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