I really cannot figure out Scott Brown’s angle in his latest verrry personal attack on Warren, and indeed her family:
“I want every legal vote to count, but it’s outrageous to use taxpayer dollars to register welfare recipients as part of a special effort to boost one political party over another,” the senator said in a statement. “This effort to sign up welfare recipients is being aided by Elizabeth Warren’s daughter and it’s clearly designed to benefit her mother’s political campaign.”
Substantively, this is laughable: The state is complying with the 1993 National Voter Registration Act,and many other states have settled in a manner similar to Massachusetts. The idea of Warren’s daughter scheming to get a few extra votes for Mom via a lawsuit for compliance with a federal law just requires too many leaps for a sensible person to take. Yes, Warren’s daughter advocates for greater voter registration and enfranchisement — not just in MA but across the nation. I guess Brown has a problem with that.
(And Brown attacking Warren’s daughter’s work, well, that’s totally above board; but pointing out the source of Ayla’s health insurance is just despicable politics. Alrighty then.)
From the Findings and Purposes of the NVRA (page 1, folks, I’m not exactly in the weeds here):
The Congress finds that—
(1) the right of citizens of the United States to vote is a fundamental right;
(2) it is the duty of the Federal, State, and local governments to promote the exercise of that right; and
(3) discriminatory and unfair registration laws and procedures can have a direct and damaging effect on voter participation in elections for Federal office and disproportionately harm voter participation by various groups, including racial minorities.
The purposes of this subchapter are—
(1) to establish procedures that will increase the number of eligible citizens who register to vote in elections for Federal office;
(2) to make it possible for Federal, State, and local governments to implement this subchapter in a manner that enhances the participation of eligible citizens as voters in elections for Federal office;
Waiiit for it … waiiit for it … here’s the kicker (pg 4):
(1) Each State shall designate agencies for the registration of voters in elections for Federal office.
(2) Each State shall designate as voter registration agencies—
(A) all offices in the State that provide public assistance; and
(B) all offices in the State that provide State-funded programs primarily engaged in providing services to persons with disabilities
… and so forth. Pretty clear. (Wow, remember the good old days, when voter registration was just Mom and apple pie Americana? Now it’s a left-wing thing, I guess.)
This fits the pattern of GOP attacks against any organization, law, or effort that tries to encourage or allow low-income people to exercise any political power whatsoever. They hate it. Brown is essentially admitting — proclaiming! — that he’s got nothing to offer poor people who vote — except that he thinks it should be harder for them to register. And rather than modify his positions to accommodate the interests of low-income people — to earn their votes — Brown and other Republicans try to delegitimize their very votes themselves. No let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may stoicism from Scotto, no sir.
Eric Fehrnstrom’s little brains and hands are all over this one. Is it a coincidence that Mitt’s going with the same “welfare queen” angle this week? Putting on my Kremlinology cap, it seems that KrazyKhazei and Ko. are still playing the early-season fire-up-the-base game.
The real question is whether they’ve got any other kind of game. Compare this kind of petty crap up against Warren’s new ad, the one with college kids:
The #GoSox!!11!!! radio “reports”, Perfesser-Lie-a-Watha lines, and Ray-Flynn/has-been endorsements are only going to go so far. People should have a strong suspicion that on things that actually matter, Brown is about as deep as a false-bottom hat. That’s going to show up in debates. It’s going to show up when and if local media outlets actually press him on matters of substance.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop … maybe it’s a one-shoe dance.