Sunday, October 31, 2010

Texas Elections Director: Electioneering For Greg Abbott Isn’t Electioneering

In a stunning abandonment of all logic and reason, the Texas Director of Elections, Ann McGeehan, has determined that wearing in a polling location a button or a T-shirt bearing the words “Don’t tread on me” along with a coiled snake doesn’t constitute electioneering.

Writes the director in what can be described as the most poorly worded policy decision that I have ever read:

“It is the opinion of this office that people simply wearing a t-shirt or button with the wording “Don’t Tread on Me” displaying the coiled rattlesnake and nothing else are not electioneering for (nor does such action relate to) a candidate, measure or party and such action does not relate to the conduct of the election.”
Stunning in that this symbol has become the unofficial seal of the TEA party movement.

Illogical in that this symbol is the adopted symbol of a real Texas Republican politician engaged in a real campaign against a real Democrat. In other words, if wearing the symbol that represents the campaign of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is not electioneering, then anything goes from here on in.

Unreasonable in that Greg Abbott actually uses the Gadsden Flag on his campaign material. He even has a “Don’t Tread On Me” campaign on his website. You can see it here and read about the fact that “If you contribute just $10 to General Abbott's campaign, you can get your own "Don't Tread on Me" embroidered hat or t-shirt!”

He even poses for a photograph with his campaign symbol.

It now appears to me that merely bringing the federal Department of Justice here and federalizing the entire election process in the state of Texas would not be enough to stop the gross crimes and misdemeanors of ultraconservatives and other assorted fanatics. Texas is simply too far gone for any of that.

No, there is only one thing we can do in order to bring Texas forward into the 21st century, completely skipping the 20th.

Bring back Reconstruction.

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