March 21, 2015

"The president has jumped into the strangeness fray by musing aloud that mandatory voting in the United States would be a good idea."

Writes Peggy Noonan.
“It would be transformative if everybody voted,” he told an audience in Cleveland. Yes, it would. It would mean a lot of people who aren’t interested in public policy and choose not to follow it would suddenly be deciding it.

The way it is now, if you aren’t interested—and you have the right not to be interested—you don’t have to vote. If you are interested, you pay attention, develop political views, and vote. Making those who don’t care about voting vote will only dilute the votes of those who are serious and have done their democratic homework.

Most of us are moved by the sight of citizens lined up at the polls on Election Day. We should urge everyone to care enough to stand in that line. But we should not harass or bother those who, with modesty and even generosity, say they are happy to leave the privilege of the ballot to those who are engaged. Mandatory voting is, so far, the worst and most mischievous political idea of the year, and deeply eccentric.
In my view, mandatory voting is not only bad policy, it's unconstitutional. The government cannot compel people to have political opinions and to express them! Years ago, I heard some talk from a lawprof who was going on about how there should be mandatory voting, and my question was: "Are you talking about the United States?"

I don't even agree with Noonan that "We should urge everyone to care enough to stand in that line." Not voting expresses the lack of an opinion on whether one of the candidates on the ballot should be elected. There's nothing wrong with refraining from the work of figuring out whether you have a preference. There's nothing wrong with rejecting the belief that the ritual of voting is worthy in itself, regardless of whether you care. And you're entitled not to care. You could even have a deeply held belief — perhaps religious or philosophical — that you should not devote your mental energies to political matters. Some judges refrain from voting because they want to keep their minds apart from politics. Some nonvoters may believe — even correctly — that the result preferred by other people really is the best. Certainly, there are many decisions that we leave to others whom we regard as more expert and informed.

Those who abstain may look on from a distance and observe that things are going well enough with the choices their fellow citizens are making (or that no one is on the ballot who could improve anything significantly). The abstainers stand in reserve, and they can activate themselves if they are sufficiently motivated. Stop stereotyping these people as somehow wrong or — ugh! — uncaring. Think about why people abstain and show some respect instead of coming up with the despicable plan to force them to vote. Not voting means something, something you might not understand, and people are allowed to embrace that meaning.

140 comments:

MadisonMan said...

When will Senators and Representatives be compelled to vote Yes or No on every single bill?

That's a better kind of mandatory voting.

pm317 said...

In my view, mandatory voting is not only bad policy, it's unconstitutional.

What is with Obama that something as plain as this is not understood by him.

MadisonMan said...

(Wouldn't it be great to hear a "Journalist" ask that question of the President?)

Hagar said...

Indeed.
Not voting is also a vote, whether deliberate or not.
And on the practical side; if you agree with me, by all means come out and vote, but if you don't, I will be quite happy if you stay home.

Your Husband said...

How would mandatory voting be enforced?

FleetUSA said...

I think BH0 wanted to change the subject from Bibi and Iran, etc. and so this was a planted question for him to expound on a subject which may be dear to his base, i.e. getting out more of his base.

Patrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seeing Red said...

we are compelled to have health insurance.

He's in his "so let it be written, so let it be done" phase.

Told ya so.

Bob Ellison said...

Beware. Not voting leads to not reproducing and not continuing to live. Even not staying in the place where you are supposed to live. Build a wall around the 48 states (50 would be too expensive).

Patrick said...

Not voting also can signify that the choices are indistinguishable, or that even those that are distinguishable are not likely to help matters.

The idea of mandatory voting seems awful funny coming from a guy who could barely be bothered to vote "present" while in a job whose primary requirement is voting.

Bob Ellison said...

Your Husband, the IRS is the obvious agent of enforcement. Make it a $50 fine to fail to vote.

From there, make it a $50 fine to fail to vote intelligently, for policy-preference reasons.

From there, simply put up a dictator and don't bother with the whole charade.

MadisonMan said...

How would mandatory voting be enforced?

By the new Govt Bureaucracy, the Dept of Voting Enforcement (DoVE). It will employ thousands!

Jobs!

pm317 said...

How would mandatory voting be enforced?

Simple. Democrats will mine voter data and find the ones who don't vote and then vote on their behalf. Problem solved.

robother said...

Mandatory voting. Also mandatory church attendance, mandatory attendance at assemblies, mandatory reading of newspapers, mandatory gun ownership. There is a certain bent of mind that can only read a bill of rights as obligations.

Dave Schumann said...

Thanks for expressing my thoughts on this so well, Professor.

iowan2 said...

If it weren't for the constitution Obama could really do something with this county.
I'm thinking Valenzuela is the model he is shooting for.

"fundamental change" That was the promise, why would anyone be surpised when leftist do as they promise.

I remember back before the 2012 mid terms when Dems wanted to delay the elections.

Original Mike said...

"How would mandatory voting be enforced?"

Camps.

Original Mike said...

"How would mandatory voting be enforced?"

Hanging Chad will take on a whole new meaning.

Ann Althouse said...

"How would mandatory voting be enforced?"

Through the tax code.

The return of the poll tax.

Francisco D said...

First, let's require all ballots to have a "None of the Above" option.

iowan2 said...

SCOTUS has already ruled that the federal govt has the constitutional power to force each citizen to purchase a service. Decades ago it was ruled that forcing everyone to save money for retirement was constitutional. I fail to see how the federal govt can be stopped from forcing citizens to do anything.

I predict not a single member of the media will ask Obama how he could float this idea, with his record of voting present.

Intellectual laziness is a feature for leftist, not a bug.

iowan2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

mandatory voting in the United States would be a good idea.""

Then make it easier. Anyone who takes a government benefit casts an automatic vote for the Democratic slate...

IMHO, we should be doing a full Heinlein...

"The difference, I said carefully, "lies in the field of civic virtue. A soldier accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the body politic of which he is a member, defending it, if need be, with his life. The civilian does not."

- Juan Rico

AJ Lynch said...

Obama really believes everything the average college kid thinks is a good idea.

Here is an idea I like:

We should stop debating about every dumb or smart word or thought from a sitting president. Treat it like the thought or word first occurred while the president was sitting on the throne.

theribbonguy said...

I dunno..it's worked out awesome in North Korea.

Big Mike said...

From the root of the word "Progressive," I assume that "Progress" is based on coercing people (using the threat of criminal sanctions) into doing things that are somehow thought to be good for them.

Somehow I thought that notion went out with the Enlightenment. So "Progress" is conflated with taking us back to pre-Enlightenment times? Interesting concept.

Big Mike said...

OTOH, I've been advised by a pretty intelligent person that all non-communist countries where there is mandatory voting have a spot on their ballots for "none of the above." Depending on what happens when "none of the above" gets a plurality, that might have worked out pretty well in the last three presidential elections.

Drago said...

Big Mike: "Depending on what happens when "none of the above" gets a plurality, that might have worked out pretty well in the last three presidential elections."

Note to self: Pick up strawberries, drop off dry cleaning, formally change name to "None of the above."

Paul said...

Obama is merely trying to get the illegal alien, homeless, drug users, insane, ex-con, and deceased vote.

No doubt among all those the Democrats could keep their power.

They would just offer free food or a fix for their votes.

madAsHell said...

How would mandatory voting be enforced?

The same way that dead people vote.

pst314 said...

"It would be transformative if everybody voted"

Obama has a sick obsession with transformation--an passion which is typical of leftists.

Anonymous said...

Voting shouldn't be mandatory, but no candidate should be allowed to take office unless they receive a majority of votes from all eligible voters rather than just a majority of those who show up at the polls.

Michael The Magnificent said...

Step 1: Legalize the illegal aliens (to do a job Americans are decreasingly willing to do - vote Democrat)

Step 2: Force them to vote.

Step 3: ???

Step 4: PROFIT!!!

Bob Ellison said...

madisonfella said "Voting shouldn't be mandatory, but no candidate should be allowed to take office unless they receive a majority of votes from all eligible voters rather than just a majority of those who show up at the polls."

That's the dumbest thing I've read today. Did you think before you typed?

Hey, here's an idea. No candidate should be allowed to take office without a majority vote from the entire eligible electorate.

That way likes anarchy! Literally. Nobody outside of North Korea achieves such a standard.

EDH said...

MadisonMan said...
When will Senators and Representatives be compelled to vote Yes or No on every single bill?

Yea, kinda strange idea coming from someone who voted "present" in the US so often.

This is not a serious proposal. It's what the Obama lame duck presidency has descended to. It's all about stoking argument and division. He's hoping objections, like the ones raised by Noonan and Althouse, when made by his political opponents, can be characterized as exclusionary and an attack on his alleged "base".

I say "alleged base" because, just like the Ferguson people who he used for similar ends, after all that stoking based on a lie, what they were left with was greater misery and lower property values.

Bob Ellison said...

Wait, I've got it: nobody should be allowed to take office unless he (if he) has a really expensive boutineer or she (if she) has a really expensive flower thingy on her wrist, or something. That way we can elect the best and the smartest!

Bob Ellison said...

"...no candidate should be allowed to take office unless they receive a majority of votes from all eligible voters rather than just a majority of those who show up at the polls.""

That seems like a "tell". You're saying that voters who don't vote should be counted. Much like voters who are not eligible to vote because of their lack of American citizenship.

Let's just tally up the likely votes of people on the left, and decide the election that way. No need for one man, one vote. It could be done so much more easily by computer.

Bob Ellison said...

BTW, madisonfella, I haven't done the research, but it seems likely that nobody in American history has garnered 50% of the eligible voters.

Bob Boyd said...

Would we be allowed to vote "Present?"

Bob Boyd said...

Wouldn't you have to require voters show an ID under a scheme like that?

William said...

I was far more liberal when younger, but I had the saving grace of laziness. When I didn't vote, it wasn't for any high minded reason of abstaining. I just couldn't be bothered.....I vote with some regularity now, but I live in NYC. There are some liberals like Koch and Bloomberg who are decent and sane, but some years the electoral choices are such that apathy and despair are the only appropriate response to the field of candidates.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Voting camp! With merit badges!!

Original Mike said...

"Wouldn't you have to require voters show an ID under a scheme like that?"

HEH.

CWJ said...

Didn't Michelle warn us right from the start that Barack will not allow you not to care?

Hagar said...

I have seen somewhere (here?) that Australia has mandatory voting, and after the election they go through the voting rolls and send everyone who did not vote a bill for $20 (AUS), and if they do not pay, they may be called to court as scofflaws and fined $120 (AUS).

I do not know what John Roberts would make of this if proposed for the USofA.

Hagar said...

How about making it simple and just declare that anyone not having voted Republican shall be "deemed" to have voted Democrat?

Eustace Chilke said...

Ann, your arguments, though not exhaustive, are principled. So are the President's. His principles, or rather principle, is that socialism should be imposed by any possible means. Mandatory voting is (we hope) just a wild-eyed pinko's wet dream but, if it was possible, it could be a practical path to implementing the President's socialist vision.

As a bonus, socialists impose mandatory voting after establishing dictatorship but, with the dictator having been empowered "democratically", mandatory voting would be retained and provide more than just a fig leaf of respectability for the scheme. A grape leaf, maybe. The One won't get this done but this may be the form chosen at the end of the last days of the republic.

Chuck said...

Please don't anybody be fooled by some odd notion that Barack Obama was interested in civic engagement, or broadening participation, or thinking about Constitutional principles.

He wasn't thinking about ANY of those things. As his commentary continued, he made it plain why he might be interested in mandatory voting in all federal elections. Obama said that mandatory voting "would change the political map" in this country. The Obama (Jarrett/Axlerod/Durbin/Plouffe) wing of the Democratic party just wants to win more elections with solid left-wing candidates. It's the Chicago way. To hell with the Constitution.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The freedom of expression problem is solved by putting none of the above on the ballot, or just letting you turn in a blank ballot, which you can do now, by the way.

Let's say there was a tax credit so that you get $$ back for voting. How high would that tax credit have to be to get everyone to vote?

Or how about privatizing, by paying people to get other people to vote. If I drive you to the polls, I get a commission.

Chris N said...

I propose a motion to heal the injustices of the past by offering mandatory voting from free shelters on National Parkland. There will be free healthy food options available as peole are high-speed railed into the Parks.

Justice monitors will ensure fairness is achieved and happiness evangelists will measure levels of oxytocin before and after your vote.

It's the only way Democracy will thrive.

Gahrie said...

Let us be honest here. The real reason the president is suggesting mandatory voting because the vast majority of new voters would be low information voters who could easily be swayed by emotional arguments such as the war on women, hands up don't shoot and Si se puede...in other words Democrat voters.

Terry said...

Jesus Christ on a surfboard.
People should be payed not to vote. If you will take $5 in return for not voting, your political opinions should carry no weight.
How in heck does this work with the Dems obsession with letting unidentified people cast a ballot?

Anonymous said...

That's the dumbest thing I've read today. Did you think before you typed?

Not my idea, rather that is what the Republicans in Wisconsin forced upon the public sector unions for their annual elections.

Terry said...

"If I drive you to the polls, I get a commission."
Obama is familiar with this system. It has been practiced for years in Chicago.

Richard Dolan said...

Gov't can't force you to vote, but can probably impose a reverse poll tax -- tax everyone over 18 $100, say, and give those who vote a special $100 tax credit. CJ Roberts would be happy to see Congress pick up on his expansive notions of the taxing power. It would be a terrible idea, but so was (is) O-care, and we know how the challenge to that mandate turned out.

As for this peaen to abstention, it's highly romanticized. There many be a small portion of the 45% of the adult population that doesn't vote in a presidential year who are motivated by the high-minded reasons described in this post. But I suspect it's mostly just a matter of being too disconnected, too uninformed, too lazy to care. For that segment, Noonan's suggestion about urging them to get with it and earn the democracy they benefit from, seems sensible (if not very practical) to me.

Cody Taggart said...

I could support mandatory voting if: "none of the above" was always available as an option, and if "none of the above" won a plurality, then a new election would be held with none of the defeated candidates eligible to stand for election.

chillblaine said...

San Francisco wants to legalize voting for 16-year-olds. Enfranchising the young and clueless is a key Democratic strategy.

I think a better system is to restrict voting to people who own property or even just have jobs. Too much voting for free stuff going on these days.

Hagar said...

BTW, I just read that independent political parties are allowed in China - as long as they do not garner any appreciable number of votes.

MadisonMan said...

One point to madisonfella...sorry Bob E...

Martin L. Shoemaker said...

If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

Bruce Hayden said...

The Obama (Jarrett/Axlerod/Durbin/Plouffe) wing of the Democratic party just wants to win more elections with solid left-wing candidates. It's the Chicago way.

I think that this is really it - that Obama wants mandatory voting in order to guarantee that his type of Dem candidates can win elections. We have seen them win two Presidential elections by motivating the low and no-information voters. Which is why, really, Republicans have won the last two non-presidential elections - because the low and no-information Dem voters can't be bothered.

We have heard a lot about the Dems' upcoming permanent majority, combining government workers, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, limousine 1%ers, and maybe a couple of their tradition base - working class whites. But, the illegal Hispanics are taking jobs away from Blacks, and Blacks and Hispanics are taking university slots away from hard working Asians and Jews. The limousine liberals are demanding severe restrictions on energy production to prevent supposed global warming, which drives up energy costs of the rest of their constituents, and takes jobs away as well.

You see AG Holder engaging in pretty blatant race baiting and race hustling, and the likely reason is that the Blacks who put Obama in office have been screwed by the Dems in terms of jobs and energy costs. The Dems need to offer this demographic something, and the thing that they are offering is hate. Hispanics are in little better shape, getting amnesty, even of some of the most violent and criminal of the illegals, even when many know that they will be worse off as a result.

The coalition is ready to self-destruct. I suspect that the biggest thing that is currently keeping it together is the largess that a Dem President can ladle out. And, when they lose that? It will be back to different groups of poor fighting it out, sometimes in the streets, etc. If they don't have Congress, the Executive branch, or a majority of the states, to ladle out special privileges and largess, then what is the reason for so many of these groups to vote Democratic?

Danno said...

Your choices for mayor in Madison in the following thread prove the point that you don't always have a decent choice.

SteveR said...

This is certainly one thing that's transparent.

dbp said...

Voting for a representative and voting to form a union are utterly different.

You need a representative and who ever gets the most votes should have that job. If the choice is to unionize or not, a majority of the affected workers should assent. Imagine if this was not so: A place with 500 workers is being organized. The union organizer asks around about interest in forming a union and only tells those who are for it where the meeting is to be held. 10 guys show up and all vote to unionize. This is fair to the 490, who didn't want a union and didn't attend the meeting?

Levi Starks said...

If you want to see how manditory voting works, just look at the results in Philadelphia in the last 2 presidential cycles.
But seriously, you fail to understand that there are 2 two different constitutions, the second one exists only in Obamas head.

LarsPorsena said...

Reminds me of a story from the cold war era


"Today in East Germany 99.5 percent of the population turned out to vote for the Communist Party. The other .5 percent spent the day escaping to the West."

Pianoman said...

That which is not forbidden is compulsory.

n.n said...

Abstentions from voting will be selectively interpreted to uphold a favored outcome a la Obamacare, where implied consent justifies involuntary participation and exploitation.

Somehow, it seems to defy the spirit of "promote the general Welfare"; but the Constitution was torn asunder when one of its named parties, Posterity, were selectively, violently excluded from its jurisdiction.

Curious George said...

"MadisonMan said...
One point to madisonfella...sorry Bob E..."

Maybe you could explain how his point relates?

Because voting, or not, for elected officials in no way places specific conditions to be placed on an individual.

The union vote however does.

It's no different than quorum rules being in place to safe guard that all in a body will be heard.

Are you really as stupid as penquin?

By the way, these same unions, or their supporters, want non-private voting.

Morons.

Quaestor said...

Obama is in love with that word transformative isn't he? Like it implies something good.

harrogate said...

He said nothing of the sort. This has been distortion, clickbait for the lazy. I cannot believe you blogged this as if he actually took that position.

Sebastian said...

"In my view, mandatory voting is not only bad policy, it's unconstitutional. The government cannot compel people to have political opinions and to express them!"

Faux surprise implied, right?

You are not assuming Barry's government is constrained by the Constitution, are you?

This is a Progressive two-fer: more gov power via mandate, bigger base of LIV rent-seekers.

The "Constitution," whatever it is these days, won't stop it. Ridicule and countervailing power will.

Curious George said...

"harrogate said...
He said nothing of the sort. This has been distortion, clickbait for the lazy. I cannot believe you blogged this as if he actually took that position."

Is English your second language?

harrogate said...

Go back and read the actual speech he gave.
Not WAPO's headline or Noonan's ridiculous column. Read the speech and show where he said he was for mandatory voting . You can't do it because he didn't say it. Avoid being an idiot.

Michael K said...

"find the ones who don't vote and then vote on their behalf. Problem solved."

No, they do that now and it hasn't worked.

Anonymous said...

Because voting, or not, for elected officials in no way places specific conditions to be placed on an individual.

Q: What kind of person thinks that elected official aren't capable of placing "specific conditions" on an individual?

A: The same kind of person who thinks he is the Batman of this blog.

BTW, still waiting for you to provide a link for the "Dane County Judge Upholds Right to Work" quote you posted earlier. If it's too hard for you maybe you can ask Robin or someone else in the Justice League to help you out.

(cue your usual childish name calling in 3, 2, 1...)

Drago said...

LarsPorsena: "Today in East Germany 99.5 percent of the population turned out to vote for the Communist Party. The other .5 percent spent the day escaping to the West."

ARMeltdown: That's not funny!

Anonymous said...

The union organizer asks around about interest in forming a union and only tells those who are for it where the meeting is to be held. 10 guys show up and all vote to unionize. This is fair to the 490, who didn't want a union and didn't attend the meeting?

You believe that unions can have secret elections in order to decide certification? That they don't have to notify everyone in the bargaining unit?

That's absolutely absurd. You should correct yourself before the Batman of the blog starts calling you a moron and a super-villain for saying such a dumb thing.



Hahahahaha! Just kidding - CG is just fine with misinformation when it is his side being dishonest and never calls out one of his own.

SteveBrooklineMA said...

I'm amused by people who think there is a constitutional issue here. It's such old fashioned thinking!

As others have pointed out, simply raise taxes $500 per head for those who make enough money, then give a $500 tax credit per head for those who vote. If it's a "refundable tax credit", you will essentially be paying people pay no Federal income taxes to vote, since their tax liability will be negative.

Clearly $500 is not coercive, and so would likely get a Supreme Court O.K. It's not like the government would be forcing you to vote.

Bob Ellison said...

Let us consider the possibilities from moral and philosophical grounds.

1) I am eligible to vote, and I voted, and therefore I have fulfilled both my moral and philosophic duties.

2) I am eligible to vote, but I didn't. I am a moral and philosophic poo-poo-head.

3) I am not eligible to vote, but I voted anyway, so I am morally and philosophically horrible, but ethically, I am an angel, because the Left wants this kind of thing to happen.

Obama is straddling (2) and (3).

Bob Ellison said...

Hey, harrogate, avoid being an idjit.

Obama said it. He said "mandatory voting". He said "I don't say this publicly". He wants it, he knows why he wants it, and he tells why he wants it in the speech, wherein he talks about how money, which he rakes in by the truckfull, is the big problem.

AReasonableMan said...

Drago said...
LarsPorsena: "Today in East Germany 99.5 percent of the population turned out to vote for the Communist Party. The other .5 percent spent the day escaping to the West."


Another mindless non sequitur from the dumbest man on the blog.

PB said...

Along with mandatory voting will come mandatory voter education, certification of journalists, and approval to make campaign contributions (or bans on certain people/groups).

Bob Ellison said...

I'd like to understand the Wisconsin point-scoring system, MadisonMan. How can I score a point? Or avoid my opponent scoring a point? It seems like a rigged game.

Public-sector unions?

This is insanity.

Drago said...

AReasonableMeltdown: "Another mindless non sequitur from the dumbest man on the blog"

Did you not see that it was LarsPorsena who posted that?

LOL

Hang in there Tiger.

And let me know how the "courageous" mass deletions are coming along.

Drago said...

Although, truth be told, I should be happy to be associated with LarsPorsena's postings.

I just prefer that certain clearly unstable personalities who shall remain nameless not attribute to me that which is posted by others.

It's those kinds of mistakes that puts one in the running for "dumbest man on the blog".

Drago said...

Maybe ARMeltdown is simply out of sorts knowing that he was a volunteer and bootlicker for a regime who sent it's intelligence officers to N Vietnam to torture, maim and murder American POW's while that torture, maiming and murder was actually occurring.

............

Nah.

AReasonableMan said...

Drago, too stupid to think of stupid things for himself.

harrogate said...

Yes he said those word groups in the same speech! He said some countries have mandatory voting and he said he has never stated publicly that we should be making it easier, not harder, for people to vote. That totally means he is calling for mandatory voting in the minds of fucking idiots only.

Bob Ellison said...

Oh, harrogate, harrogate, please try harder. Obama wants mandatory voting. Admit it, like it, love it, marry it. Get it.

Now try to defend it.

Bob Ellison said...

Try to defend it on philosophical or moral grounds.

harrogate said...

I am not surprised you are drawing this ridiculous conclusion. That Althouse blogged this unironically---unskeptically!!!! (Ha)--does surprise me though

Bob Ellison said...

No, Obama called for mandatory voting. He did it. He did that. That is not so hard to admit, is it? You can only deny that if you're and idjit.

harrogate said...

Why would I defend it? If he'd called for it I would disagree with him strongly. But he didn't call for it. Either way there's no need for me to "defend it."

Anonymous said...

@Bob - Obama didn't call out for mandatory voting anymore than your message at 9:41 called out for non-voters to be fined $50.

Drago said...

AReasonableMeltdown: "Drago, too stupid to think of stupid things for himself"

So, the reason you mistook LarsPorsena post for mine is that I'm stupid?

LOL

Why, that is just about as perfect a caricature of a lefty that one is likely to encounter.

Thanks ARMeltdown!

Drago said...

Let me guess ARMeltdown, you had no choice but to join the Verencemos Brigade (as a standard issue Castro bootlicker) because someone else, somewhere, somehow was "stupid"?

Drago said...

AReasonableMeltdown: "Drago, too stupid to think of stupid things for himself"

And since we're on that, it should be pointed out that the joke LarsPorsena relayed that ARMeltdown is calling "stupid" was a joke devised by the poor human beings who were forced to live in precisely the sort of leftist, totalitarian, repressive and murderous political system that ARMeltdown was serving so faithfully in Cuba.

I guess if I were you with that kind of baggage I might be lashing out as wildly and ineffectually as you.

AReasonableMan said...

Drago, why don't you just admit that have no ability to think outside of the most ridiculous caricature of a winger imaginable? It is obvious to everyone else. The stuff you say is childless and silly, not the kind of things a normal man would say.

I don't like pointing out that you are mentally defective. It pains me to do this. But, you are mentally defective.

Brando said...

Rather than oppose this stupid idea from the beginning, the GOP should encourage Obama to roll out his plan to make it happen. Then the inevitable question of how to enforce it (without voter IDs) as well as what sort of people can get exemptions (judges, journalists, religious objectors) can unravel the scheme and let it flop like the mess it is.

Obama as usual isn't pushing this because he expects it to ever happen--he just wants to sound all idealistic with ideas like more participation and giving more voice to the voiceless (whether they like it or not) and to goad the GOP into reacting violently to this idea so they sound like they don't want certain groups (blacks?) voting. Rather than play into it, call his bluff and let the stupidity of his statement collapse in on itself.

Hagar said...

I don't think anyone can stop you from forming a union any more.
Getting it recognized and certified, etc., so as to get official standing, now, that is another matter.

Drago said...

AReasonableMeltdown: "It is obvious to everyone else."

Hmmmm.

First it's "..we.." and not it's "..everyone else."

It is precisely this sort of weakminded need need for group validation (going so far as to speak for "everyone else" on a blog) coupled with his bizarre inability to grapple with the realities of his own personal experience which marks AReasonableMeltdown as a profoundly broken individual.

It's probably far too late to appeal to any sort of independent thought process as a breakout tool for ARMeltdown as he has clearly devolved into a hard-wired intellectual failure.

That explains much of the childish name calling and inability to deal with reality.

A possible opening might exist were ARMeltdown to admit that some of his early choices in life in support of dictators and murderers was a mistake.

Alas, very few leftists can make that first basic step.

Pianoman said...

"In Australia, and some other countries, there’s mandatory voting. It would be transformative if everybody voted. That would counteract money more than anything. If everybody voted, then it would completely change the political map in this country, because the people who tend not to vote are young; they're lower income; they're skewed more heavily towards immigrant groups and minority groups; and they're often the folks who are -- they're scratching and climbing to get into the middle class."

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/03/18/remarks-president-city-club-cleveland

Judge for yourself, everyone.

Pianoman said...

The context of his remarks is his opposition to Voter ID laws, BTW. That's why he says things like, "We should get more people voting, not less." He's signaling that the DOJ is going to continue pushing back.

Drago said...

Planoman: "He's signaling that the DOJ is going to continue pushing back."

I don't think any of us needed any obama admin "signaling" on this issue that the DOJ would keep opposing Voter ID law.

Oh, and if by "Planoman" you are referencing your home locale of Plano, TX, then congrats on having Toyota moving it's US Headquarters from lefty land in LA to your town.

Of course, Toyota is only moving to TX because it want's to be associated with the Confederacy.

Clearly.

AReasonableMan said...

Straw men and cliches are not arguments or facts.

You are very stupid. This is no longer an open issue. The question is why you are so determined to display your stupidity. My best guess is that you are mentally defective, but maybe you are emotionally defective or socially defective or some other kind of defective. But, defective nonetheless.

Drago said...

If believing all that makes you feel a little better about the choices you made in life, then have at it.

Drago said...

AReasonableMeltdown: "My best guess is that you are mentally defective,.."

LOL

Oh, there is no question that is your "best guess".

Drago said...

AReasonableMeltdown: "My best guess is that you are mentally defective, but maybe you are emotionally defective or socially defective or some other kind of defective. But, defective nonetheless."

Precisely the arguments made by communists in multiple countries who opposed communist leadership.

A system you supported.

How....predictable.

Old habits die hard, eh comrade?

AReasonableMan said...

Back to the straw man. It's all you've got. Sad, defective Drago.


Mick said...

Force people to buy health insurance, force people to vote...
It's all the same for the little dictators on the "D" team (not that the "R" team is any great shakes).

You miss the whole point "law prof". By voting you are giving your consent to the corrupt political system, which is beholden to the Bankers, not me and you.

ALL the criminals in Congress should be run out of town. ALL are committing treason.

Drago said...

AReasonableMeltdown: "Back to the straw man."

Someone needs to revisit the definition of a straw man.

And alot of other things as well.

Clyde said...

The idea of mandatory voting is deeply fascistic, with its notion that the citizens are the property of the state and should be compelled to do whatever the state desires them to do.

While I agree that is a bad, bad idea, I have voted in almost every election since I became eligible to vote. I was taught that being informed and voting was part of my civic duty. I did skip last year's off-year primaries, because I really didn't know or care that much about the candidates in those races, but I did show up for the general election in November. I wasn't necessarily voting FOR anyone, but I can always find someone to vote AGAINST. Since 9/11, that's been pretty much everyone with a D after their name. I don't really like the Republicans, but I despise most of the Democrats, both for their bad ideas and their general character, so I vote against them.

In the non-partisan races, I will vote if I know something about the candidates and if I really care about it. But when it comes to stuff like the water district or the like, I sometimes leave those blank.

Pianoman said...

It's "Pianoman", with an "i". Not "Plano".

I'm a classically trained pianist, as well as a huge fan of Billy Joel.

QED

CarlF said...

One of our local city clerks managed to record and certify election results where the total vote in several races was 117% and 138% of the poll book totals. She later was the Democrat nominee for Secretary of State. (Luckily, she lost.)

Drago said...

Pianoman: "It's "Pianoman", with an "i". Not "Plano"."

Well then. Congrats on Toyota not building it's new headquarters atop your favorite piano.

AReasonableMan said...

I want to help you Drago. I'm a reasonable man after all. But first you have to help yourself. You need to stop talking in cliches and using ridiculous straw man arguments. If you want to make a sensible contribution to a discussion this is an essential first step. I honestly don't know if you can do this.

jimbino said...

It should be required that a candidate gain 50% of the vote of all registered voters. That way, those who boycott the election are voting "none of the above," which is usually the best choice.

Drago said...

AReasonableMeltdown: "If you want to make a sensible contribution to a discussion this is an essential first step."

LOL

In a thread where he mistakes one posters post for mine, ARMeltdown doubles down with the above.

ARMeltdown, you do realize, don't you, that we still await your first "sensible" contribution to this thread.

I'm going to have to go with: no, you didn't realize this. I'm beginning to wonder if you incoherence is chemical based.

Faux intellectual heal thyself.

Drago said...

ARMeltdown: "I'm a reasonable man after all."

LOL

Yes, of course, Reasonable men often go on mass deletion of posts exercises out of mortifying fear that others will encounter the results of their latest psychotic break.

Of course they do.

There, there.

AReasonableMan said...

More deep denial, Drago. You will never make a useful contribution if you can't get past this denial. You talk only in cliches. Old, silly cliches, that bear no relevance to anything modern or current or even sensible. Yet you can't help yourself. Maybe it is a somatic disorder, or maybe it is spiritual - having overdosed on right wing media. Whatever the problem you first need to be honest with yourself. Should any man, any sensible man, only speak in cliches? If you can answer that question, honestly, then I think we help you, but you have to make that first step yourself.

MrCharlie2 said...

How about if a state made voting mandatory, or a town?

Freeman Hunt said...

If you make a Venn diagram of mandatory voting supporters and bossy people, you get a nice ring of bossy people who aren't politically inclined.

Drago said...

One can only guess at the volume of posts ARMeltdown will be "disappearing" after tonight.

It won't be pretty.

Terry said...

After the 2014 Democrat election debacle, Obama said “To everyone that voted, I want you to know that I heard you. To two-thirds of voters that chose not to participate in the process yesterday, I hear you, too.”
So what do you need mandatory voting for? Obama already knows what the non-voters want.

ken in tx said...

Eisenhower did not vote while he was on active duty. He considered it a point of honor, like a judge recusing himself from a case in which he had a personal interest.

Bob Ellison said...

Then disagree with him strongly.

richard mcenroe said...

If you don'tt vote I care if you're too damn lazy or too damn principled. More proportionate power for me, either way.

Please, stay home.

Rusty said...

OpenID madisonfella said...
@Bob - Obama didn't call out for mandatory voting anymore than your message at 9:41 called out for non-voters to be fined $50.

Poll taxes have been determined to be unconstitutional.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I wonder if Obama has internalized this one small detail about compulsory voting. To wit: If you are going to penalize people for not voting, then you must provide some mechanism for them to prove that they voted. The government would have to know for certain that it was you who voted, so you would get full credit from the voting police. Have you leaped ahead of me? Do you see what this would require? UNIVERSAL VOTER I.D.

EMD said...

Why isn't the media talking about Obama Fatigue?

I has it.

cubanbob said...

There are too many voters as it is. We need less voters in general and to limit the vote to actual US citizens in full possession of their civil rights who are also private sector taxpayers. In other, only those who actually contribute financially.

Achilles said...

If you don't pay more in federal income taxes than you get in various benefits from the federal government you shouldn't get to vote. The only exceptions would be veterans. That goes for companies like General Electric and Honeywell as well as people sucking up SS checks.

jim murray said...

I want a test, like the one given to new citizenship candidates, for eligibility.

Bob Ellison said...

It won't be a "poll tax". John Roberts will determine that it is a "poll fee".

Bob Ellison said...

There ought to be a way to make money on this. What's the over-under on Obama issuing an executive order declaring a $50 fee for not voting?

Tom said...

If everyone was mandated to vote, we'd end up with President Kanye West and Vice-President Taylor Swift. The Speaker of the House would rotate between Jerry Springer and Chuck Norris. And our Chief Judge would be named Judy. I'm not sayin'... I'm just sayin'.

Terry said...

"There ought to be a way to make money on this. What's the over-under on Obama issuing an executive order declaring a $50 fee for not voting?"

You are not thinking like the current occupant, Bob Ellison. He will fine people based on how much he wants them to vote. White working class=no fine, black or on public assistance = $100 fine.

Kirk Parker said...

William,

"There are some liberals like Koch ... who are decent and sane"

Indeed there are some.

"..and Bloomberg ..."

WHAT???? Nanny Bloomberg sane? Bloomberg of the numerous astroturf anti-gun organizations -- SANE????? You have got to be kidding me.

Kirk Parker said...


MadMan,

"When will Senators and Representatives be compelled to vote Yes or No on every single bill?"

I'd be willing to expand that to Yes, No, or I Resign.