Mr. President, If You Support the Troops, Help Them Vote


One of the president’s aims in his address last night was to clean up his image as the community-organizer-in-chief, the president who refuses to wear a flag pin on his lapel or put his hand over his heart for the national anthem. He attempted to boost his patriotism by rhetorically hitching himself to George W. Bush. In his address last night, Barack Obama said:

This afternoon, I spoke to former President George W. Bush. It’s well known that he and I disagreed about the war from its outset. Yet no one can doubt President Bush’s support for our troops, or his love of country and commitment to our security. As I’ve said, there were patriots who supported this war, and patriots who opposed it. And all of us are united in appreciation for our servicemen and women, and our hopes for Iraqis’ future. (Emphasis in original.)

The emphasis was deliberate. Obama intended to put himself on the same level as President Bush, who regularly got misty in the presence of the military and sobbed openly with those who had lost family members. Obama’s speech made it sound as though Bush’s patriotism were being questioned.

Left-wingers display unmatched outrage when they believe anyone “questions” their patriotism. (They spend the rest of their time telling us how much America sucks.) If President Obama wants to enjoy the respect of patriotic Americans, he should do it the old fashioned way: he should earn it. And there’s an easy way for him to do so.

Even as this is being written, thousands of military men are threatened with being disenfranchised in the midterm elections. And the Obama administration seems to be going out of its way to make sure their votes do not count.

In 2008, more than 17,000 military men and women lost the ability to exercise the freedoms they were safeguarding. In most cases, absentee ballots were mailed too late for them to have their votes counted. Congress passed the Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act in October 2009 to remedy this situation. It demands that states submit ballots to overseas military officers at least 45 days before an election. Congress found any less time “significantly” raised chances the military would be deprived of a vote.

Last week, the Obama administration found that four states — including toss-up states such as Colorado and Wisconsin — had not met the law’s standards. But officials signaled this winter that they would not file suit against those who deny soldiers the right to vote.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-TX, wrote a letter to Eric Holder late in July after hearing tales of the winter 2010 meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS). An attendee described deputy chief of the Justice Department’s voting section, Rebecca Wertz, as “totally undermining” the law. The meeting’s minutes note she gave states broad leeway to ignore the statute, called its provisions “fairly general,” and “said that litigation is always the last resort.”

Translation: Fuhgettabowdit.

Cornyn wrote that her words “appear to ignore Congress’ clear legislative language and could facilitate the disenfranchisement of our men and women in uniform.”

Wertz also implied the MOVE Act’s provisions may grant states a blanket waiver — meaning a state that receives a waiver from the federal government never has to fix its system to enfranchise military voters. “The waiver language is very narrow and very clear,” Cornyn wrote. It applies to only one election.

Two former employees of the voting section, M. Eric Eversole and J. Christian Adams, have said the voting crisis is no accident but the result of deliberate policy.

Adams similarly exposed the DoJ’s decision not to require states to purge their voter roles of the deceased, felons, or others barred from voting under state or federal law. Obama administration officials seem to admit as much. Deputy Attorney General Julie Fernandes has said openly:

We have no interest in enforcing this provision of the law. It has nothing to do with increasing turnout, and we are just not going to do it.

She makes clear (in the video clip below) that she is obsessed with race, especially with making sure minorities are not removed from the voting rolls even if they are ineligible.

(Story continues after the clip)

If Obama wants to prove he is a patriotic president, he should immediately file suit against every state that has failed to comply with the MOVE Act, noting swift penalties for inaction. The Justice Department has not been bashful about filing lawsuits against Arizona state legislators, law enforcement officials, or community colleges for simply enforcing federal immigration statutes.

There is one problem: unlike minorities, illegal aliens, felons, and the deceased, most servicemen did not vote for him.

Obama won 44 percent of the military vote in 2008, slightly more than John Kerry (who was in Vietnam, you know) four years earlier. Seeing to it that military men can vote will not help him “fundamentally transform” America.

The president’s agenda, personnel, and priorities make clear his goal is to transform the electorate itself. Although it does nothing to help the enlisted, the DoJ website helps felons learn how to regain the vote. The department threw out an open-and-shut case of voter intimidation by nightstick-wielding members of the New Black Panther Party. (According to J. Christian Adams, it is dropping all charges against minorities.) It has halted all lawsuits against illegal immigrants not guilty of grave crimes, especially those eligible for the DREAM Act (which Congress has never passed). However, it is stepping up lawsuits against the state of Arizona, and cities like Port Chester, New York — which ultimately gave Hispanics the right to vote six times.

Unlike minority groups, servicemen actually were disenfranchised. Unlike convicted felons, there is no question about whether they are fit to vote. But they get no quarter from their commander-in-chief. Perhaps these statistics have something to do with it:

A community organizer knows which groups to assemble to build a coalition of power. For him, helping the military is helping the other side.