A few days ago, President Obama lamented the fact that many Americans do not vote and said that mandatory voting would be “transformative.” This caused a right wing freak out because they know that, if everyone in America voted, they could not possibly win. So we have now been treated to a parade of Republican politicians, and right wing talking heads, actually defending the notion of not voting.
Fox News’s “Special Report With Bret Baier” took on the topic of mandatory voting on March 19. At first it looked like everyone would be in agreement that mandatory voting was a terrible idea, until guest Charles Lane of the Washington Post went terribly off script.
After playing a clip of President Obama’s remarks, Tucker Carlson, who always brings race into the discussion, jumps in to call the president’s proposal “racial demagoguery,” because of the concern the president expressed over the low voter turnout amongst minority and low income voters.
Next, talk radio host Laura Ingraham says that, “when the left loses, the left wants to change the rules,” referring to a comment Hillary Clinton made about changing the electoral college. Ingraham conveniently forgets Republican proposals to award electoral votes by congressional district in Michigan and Pennsylvania, which would have given those states to Mitt Romney in 2012.
The conversation passes to Lane, but instead of going along with the party line, he says,
But actually, there is a problem in this country with voter participation. We do vote at a much lower rate than a lot of other democracies, but there’s so many other things we could do to make voting easier and cheaper, starting with putting it on a Sunday, or making it a national holiday, increasing direct mail voting, a whole lot of other… automatic registration… a whole lot of other measures which may not be popular at this table, but would increase participation before you start threatening people with compulsory voting.
The responses from Carlson and Ingraham are classic. “Who cares what other countries do?” Ingraham exclaims.
Carlson complains about voters who don’t know what they are voting for. Needless to say, he doesn’t go on to add that he’s talking about virtually the entire Republican base.
“Maybe we should have a literacy test, too,” Lane says, sarcastically.
Charles Lane delivers a truth bomb that Carlson and Ingraham just can’t handle.
Here’s the clip, via Crooks and Liars: