There’s a moment in Groundhog Day when Phil Connors turns to the two drunk townies and says, “What would you do if you woke up in the same place everyday and the same things always happened and none of your choices mattered?”
And one of the drunk townies says, “That about sums it up for me.”
"You’re dumber than you think I think you are."
Guys, I’m about to watch a movie. Guess which one! No cheating.
I’ll give you a very big hint:
"Can you believe it? We’re in the middle of a drought, and the water commissioner drowns. Only in L.A…"
In the movie ‘His Girl Friday’ there’s a moment when Walter tells a woman to go find Bruce. The woman asks what Bruce looks like and Walter says, “He looks like that actor in all the pictures. What’s his name, Ralph Bellamy.”
It’s a great joke because Bruce is played by Ralph Bellamy.
In and of itself it isn’t racist. It is a bad solution to an almost entirely imaginary problem. In-person voter fraud is extremely rare. A five year investigation by the Department of Justice under George W. Bush could only find 86 cases of voter fraud out of millions of votes that were cast. The problem could be much much much worse and it still wouldn’t be much of a problem. It is almost impossible to believe that an election would be swung by in-person voter fraud. It would be so inefficient as a means of swinging elections. But the laws that protect against it could very well effect elections though. ID laws do effect minorities and the poor disproportionately. Oh and younger voters too. And maybe that’s just a coincidence and republicans wanting voter ID laws have their hearts in the right place. That’s fine. I think reasonable people can support voter ID laws.
My post wasn’t actually inspired by voter ID laws.
I was making a general point, which is that I don’t think republicans want as many eligible voters to legally cast votes as possible. I don’t think they wish there was 100% participation among eligible voters. I wasn’t calling anyone racist or thinking about voter ID laws. I was thinking about Wisconsin cutting back early voting and restricting weekend voting hours. What is the argument against early voting? People work! One Tuesday to vote isn’t very convenient. A state like Wisconsin that just had a smooth election and used early voting to get 72.3% of its eligible voters to vote should be tremendously proud—not looking to change things and make it harder to vote!
I think there is cynicism and a tremendous desire to win on both sides but we have to draw the line at messing with elections in this way. Nothing gets me more angry than when democrats start gerrymandering and messing with elections.
I think we can all deal with losing if we know we had a good clean robust election. And there will always be problems, but shouldn’t our goal be the same regardless of which side we’re on?
Shouldn’t we want everyone who can legally vote to do so in as easy and efficient a way as we possibly can manage?
That’s all I’m trying to say.
I read about the Wisconsin changes here.
A much younger version of myself once found Fight Club to be really important. That younger me just loved it. He thought it really cut through “the bullshit.”
I kind of want to see that Noah movie.
You’d think both sides would be able to agree that we want to get as many eligible voters voting in our elections as possible.
But you would be wrong.
That was the year, my twenty-eighth, when I was discovering that not all of the promises would be kept, that some things are in fact irrevocable and that it had counted after all, every evasion and every procrastination, every mistake, every word, all of it.
There is value in allowing ourselves to project meaning onto the books and stories we find around us, even when those stories are largely imaginary and based only on a vague but powerful half-stolen letter.
(This is the thing I wrote that I was talking about yesterday.)
This is me at the DMV. I want to thank the DMV web cam for making today’s live-stream of my wait possible. Truly thrilling, cutting edge social media content creation happened today. Thanks to Jen for the screen cap and thanks to all of you who participated. In a way, we all went to the DMV today.