Tuesday, November 29, 2005



With all the hubbub over the Reagan-era Salvadorian death squads poppin' up in newly democratizing (take note Wesley Clark, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Mark Warner) Iraq and with poor Congressman Cunningham admitting to a few million dollars in bribery to cover-up a Republican culture of corruption that should demolish the GOP's iron grip power in Congress and the White House, who has time to pay attention to a little old fashioned Georgia racism? Your pals at DWT, that's who!

Now if you thought Mean Jean Schmidt was an evil and vile crack whore you would be correct but that's like shooting ducks in a barrel because she looks like an evil and vile crack whore. Georgia GOP legislator Sue Burmeister, on the other hand isn't all haggard and perpetually frothing at the mouth. Appearances can be deceptive. This religionist fanatic, whose ideas are more akin to the thinking of the early Middle Ages (or to to that in moderne theocracies like Iran and Taliban-era Afghanistan), has personally carried much of the GOP's most divisive and highly charged, super partisan issues in this year's legislative session-- with a smile and what passes for charm in GOP circles. (Think, if you dare, of that Coulter monster.)

Another far right loon down there, Georgia's House Speaker Pro Tem, Mark Burkhalter (R-Alpharetta) can think of no better compliment for the somewhat deranged Burmeister than to refer to her as "just a great woman warrior for conservative causes." Her latest "conservative cause" is an attempt to reinstitutionalize racism in Georgia's voting system. Her photo ID requirement legislation has alarmed African-Americans, at whom it is aimed, and everyone who even learned about and understood why this country fought a Civil War. Many Georgia legislators have pointed out that Burmeister's vicious little bill is nothing more than a racist attempt to disenfranchise minorities (not just African-Americans but also the elderly, particularly the poverty-stricken elderly) who are less likely to drive than white people.

OK, that basically is the background. I'm not going to tell you that Burmeister was caught at a neo-Nazi rally in Decatur or that someone tackled a torch-brandishing KKK freak and when the sheets and pillowcase came off it was charming and smiling Sue Burmeister. Instead there's a little secret memo that got released that has people going bonkers. You see Representative Burmeister is fast to always point out that she was born and raised in "racist free" Wisconsin of "racist-free" Finnish parents and that she's never had a racist bone in her body and so on.

In any case, a couple weeks ago, after Burmeister's racist bill was passed-- and was then over-turned by a judge saying we don't do poll taxes to prevent people from voting in America anymore-- a memo leaked out of the Justice Department that was as good as taking off Burmeister's sheet and pillowcase hood.

According to the memo, Burmeister told the Justice Department that she was "aware of vote-buying in certain precincts" and detailed one episode in which she said former Augusta Mayor Ed McIntyre (now, conveniently dead) offered to put her name on a card and then round up black voters and "pay them to vote for the candidates on the card in exchange for $2,000." Burmeister then went on to say that "if there are fewer black voters because of this bill, it will only be because there is less opportunity for fraud." She said that when black voters in her black precincts are not paid to vote, they do not go to the polls. See? No racism there! And if there is any she didn't get it from Finns or Cheeseheads. I wonder how long you have to live in Georgia before you catch it?


At 10:31 PM, Blogger KenInNY said...

What's most interesting about the account of the tangled history of this bill--at least for those of us who cherish the nuts-'n'-bolts of how things get done in the Real World--is that a staff report by unnamed Justice Dept. officials who reviewed the bill recommended that the administration NOT support it, for all the obvious reasons, but once again the higher levels of ideological thugs in the department prevailed, and our one and only attorney general, "Abortion Al" Gonzales, came out with guns blazing in the bill's behalf.

As usual, the Chorus of Lying Scum in the agency in question--in this case the Justice Dept.--are just lying their lying-fool heads off, claiming that the leaked memo was just an early draft that's riddled with factual errors and has been superseded by all sorts of more recent and more accurate fact-finding and investigation. I'd happily bet the life of the Bush twins that every single word of this propaganda counter-attack is a flat-out lie.

Lies, after all, are one thing there's no shortage of in this administration.

On the other hand, and perhaps of some significance to the "glass half full" crowd, it is a fact that the person(s) who produced that staff report recommending against the bill appear actually to have been attempting to do his/her/their job, even in the Bush administration.


At 7:00 AM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Cynthia Tucker at Working For Change has all the details about how the foul Bush Regime came to endorse this racist bill inside the context of their political and racist world-view. Interestingly, when the memo was first leaked, KKK heroine Burmeister herself admitted it was basically true. Her exact words to the Atlanta Constitution were that the memo "was more accurate than not. That sounds pretty harsh. I don't remember saying those exact words." In the re-write of history the Republicans have engineered, it has gone from the reflexive GOP repsonse when caught in the act ("I don't remember") to the current "it was all made up."


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