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Thursday, October 28, 2004

Moral Equivalency 

Our venerated colleague Paperwight came across the following argument by a libertarian blogger named Will Wilkinson. It appears to be proliferating, because we have lately spotted, in the less reputable online venues, a couple of variations on the same theme:
Republican vigilance about keeping illegal voters from voting is democratically equivalent to Democratic vigilance against Republican attempts to suppress the legal vote. Republican vigilance has the semi-intended side-effect of suppressing likely Democratic votes. And huge Democratic registration and GOTV drives have the semi-intended side-effect of canceling out a large number of Republican votes with illegal ballots. I bet I can tell from your party affiliation which you think is worse.
Paperwight whips, purees, crumbs, chops, grates, blends, and liquefies this fatuous proposition in quite satisfying fashion without any assistance from us. The exchange did remind us, however, of two items we'd been meaning to bring to your attention; we think their juxtaposition might help to illuminate the philosphical differences between the two parties. The first, which we discovered through TomPaine.com, is an academic study entitled "Securing the Vote: an Analysis of Election Fraud." Its conclusions? Illegal votes are so few in number that they almost never affect the outcomes of elections, and the "menace" of voter fraud is therefore grossly overrated.

The other, courtesy of Oliver Willis, is this.

UPDATE: MyDD and Atrios on the latest weapon deployed by the Ohio GOP in its relentless crusade to keep the election honest: perjury.

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