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Comments of the Week: Voting Rights, Fox News, and S.E. Cupp | The Nation

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Comments of the Week: Voting Rights, Fox News, and S.E. Cupp

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This week, our readers sound off on Fox News, S.E. Cupp and the fight against voter suppression. Let us know what you think—in the comments!

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ajdjr73: It's a sad day in America. When I first started to subscribe to The American Prospect and The Nation was when I returned to Massachusetts after living in and working in Chicago for several years in 2001. When I returned to Massachusetts it was clear to me that the wonderful state that Michael Dukakis had turned over to Republican governors was no longer extant. I wondered, what happened? I went to work for Robert Reich for his campaign for governor and was at a school meeting getting signatures to put his name on the ballot. People spoke to me quietly while signing. I rushed home and told my wife: "We're not the only ones! There are other people out there that think like we do!" Republicans had systematically isolated like minded progressives from each other over the years. One had to be cautious about what one said at the water cooler at work. Then, Howard Dean got us together at Meet Ups in coffee shops and people's homes, writing letters, by hand, for support . This was the beginning of a movement. I scraped together the money to subscribe to these great periodicals and just a few short years later, it is no longer sufficient merely to subscribe and pay for one's subscription. Now, one has to also donate dollars to keep the printing press rolling and the mail man delivering. When I studied high school civics, many years ago, our teacher told us that if we would watch the six o'clock news, read a weekly like Time magazine and the newspaper daily, we could be assured that we were informed citizens, doing our bit for our democracy. Today, it is much more difficult to do our bit for our democracy than what our teacher told us so many years ago.
In response to Katrina vanden Heuvel’s “Save The American Prospect.” May 18, 2012.

Jessy169: My parents are die-hard Republicans. All they watch is Fox News. When I try to discuss politics with them, the points of view and "facts" they come out with are from a different world. We can't have any kind of discussion because we have completely separate "realities". I own a number of guns, I always have and always will. I stay well informed reading many news outlets regularly, and I don't feel any threat to my gun ownership. But when I mention this topic to my parents, all they talk about is how Obama is trying to "take away our right to bear arms." It is surreal.
In response to Ben Adler’s “It’s Official: Watching Fox News Makes You Stupider.” May 21, 2012

Gray Porcella: I have to take issue with your article in one regard. This is not a matter of bad journalism. That would imply some sort of ineptitude, or carelessness in research. No, this level of misinformation is not happening by chance or accident. It is not only by intent that they present false information, that false information has actually been run past several focus groups of republican voters to see exactly which wording creates the desired impact on the listener. They not only lie on purpose, they tailor their lies by testing them out on real people to create their talking points, which they then distribute through an echo chamber, so those lies, in their exact wording are repeated again and again, exactly the same way, with exactly the same words, and exactly the same structure. This, in my opinion constitutes a conspiracy to misinform, and I believe if we ever hope to regain our ability to believe journalists again, we must demand that those who have licenses to broadcast to the general public need to be held to a rigid and highly ethical standard. Fox News should have their broadcast license revoked. Allow them to make movies, and television shows for entertainment all they want, but it is time that this 24/7 prostitution of the news, and the words fair and balanced come to an end.

It is difficult enough to make a correct decision when you have factual information, but it is virtually impossible to make the right decision with incorrect information.
In response to Ben Adler’s “It’s Official: Watching Fox News Makes You Stupider.” May 21, 2012

Jcwtts1: Voter ID laws are a solution in search of a problem. There hasn't been a concerted effort of in-person voter fraud in decades. Not seriously. So why all the histrionics about fraud? Well, the President is black. Massive black turnout in the south endangers the GOP. Forever. Also, young people vote at school. The election is during the school year, most primaries are also during the school year. When young people didn't participate and split evenly that didn't matter. But now young people are going 80-20 Obama. That is a problem for the GOP for two reasons. Reason number one, it turns red sections of states blue. Small college towns that are red counties are, when the students arrive, blue counties. Penn State, Indiana County where John Mertha won for decades, are just two of the PA examples but they are also in FL, NC, VA, and OH. Even IN. So what the GOP wants to do is prevent those kids from voting. There is a more insidious reason as well, when you can get any demographic group to vote for your party three times in a row you own them for life. Historically, that means that sans major upheaval like the Civil Rights Act or 9-11, People perform in a static way. So what that means for the GOP is that young people voted for Obama in 2008, they voted in 2010 (though not as much) and if they pull another cycle of full participation for Obama the GOP loses these people for decades. They really become the party of old white men. They really do become a regional party. That's part of what is going on. That and pure racism. But Representative Clyburn is right, we can get the ID straight, we must. I believe the voter id laws are unconstitutional on their face but that doesn't change the fact that eventually these protections will fall to a conservative racist court or to a conservative racist party. We need to spend time, and treasure getting people in compliance while concomitantly resisting the return to Jim Crow.
In response to Brentin Mock’s “Representative Clyburn: ‘Vote ID is Not a Problem’…Really?” May 22, 2012

William J. Hamilton: I spent the entire day in 2008 out in a parking lot in Florida doing voter protection in Pensacola. Another lawyer was inside the polling place. New laws had been passed for voter protection. When a voter was turned away inside, I got a cell phone call and had to intercept them outside to provide the necessary assistance. It worked and we shut down voter suppression in that Precinct. There were 12 thousand Florida Attorneys and 9 thousand out of state attorneys involved in the effort.
In response to Brentin Mock’s “Why We Still Need the Voting Rights Act.” May 24, 2012

Denver Duke: If S.E. Cupp is using her great intellect to argue that existing legislation is insufficient to prevent HER tax dollars from funding actual abortions at Planned Parenthood, then I link her with extremists who are rewriting licensing rules to eliminate all abortion clinics in particular states (one state at a time). Does she prefer the Mississippi coathanger to safe, legal and accessible alternatives?

Still, no one should retaliate against women on the base, sexist level chosen by Larry Flint and Rush Limbaugh.

I guess this falls under the "both sides do it" rubric which masks the false equivalence arguments we get from the right all the time. If we have to claim Larry Flint as a progressive misogynist equal to Rush Limbaugh on "their" side; I stand with Ms. Cupp in being appalled and offended.

She is not a sympathetic figure, however, and one wonders how such a bright mind could miss the institutionalized misogyny and inconsistency on women's issues in the Republican Party, and continue to speak out for their"failed" policies.
In response to Katha Pollitt’s “Feminists: Time to Stand with S.E. Cupp.” May 25, 2012.

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