Friday, October 26, 2012

Dumb rednecks with Twitter

In today's dispatches from the "stuff never happens in a vacuum" front, behold the top story at the Fair 'n' Balanced Network:

Texas has a message for international election observers planning to watch over the Lone Star vote Nov. 6: "BRING IT."

Texas officials this week launched a prickly and very public dispute with the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe, which plans to send monitors to polling sites across the U.S. on Election Day. The group has done this since 2002 -- but this year, Texas took exception to what officials perceived as a challenge to the latest wave of voter ID laws.

Attorney General Greg Abbott is now threatening to prosecute any observer who breaks state law by getting too close to any polling site.

OK. For our international guests, parts of the South have kind of a history of getting annoyed when outsiders poke their noses in and threaten Our Way of Life, particularly when it comes to little stuff like ballot access, civil rights and the like. This is exemplified in libel law by L.B. Sullivan's $500,000* case of hurt feelings against the New York Times, celebrated in the Montgomery Advertiser as a "formidable legal club" with which to whack the "out-of-state press" upside the head. (The hope at the Alabama Journal was that "reckless publishers of the North" would reconsider "their habit of permitting anything detrimental to the south and its people to appear in their columns."**) So when a state's top law official suggests that you might not want to let the sun set on your glasses-wearing OSCE ass in his jurisdiction, it kinda takes us back.

Anyway, one reason our gubmint bureaucrats might seem to produce less actual work for the dollar than you as a taxpayer might want is that they're busy answering questions from Fox News reporters who want to know whether the French are going to, you know, just walk in and start driving on the wrong side of the road with their funny cigarettes and all:

"We had, I think, about 15 states that they were going to go to," she [the State Department spokeswoman] said. "To my knowledge, (Texas is) the only state that came forward and said please reassure us that you're going to follow our state electoral law. And they have now been reassured."

Fat lot of good that did:

On Twitter, Abbott didn't sound reassured.

He tweeted: "UN-related vote monitors warn Texas: Don't mess with us. My response: BRING IT."

And were you wondering whatever happened to ...

Gov. Rick Perry also chimed in, saying "No UN monitors/inspectors will be part of any TX election process."

The story's moved downpage by now; there's another hastily assembled Benghazi-gate story, some "critics" "blasting" a campaign ad from the enemy camp, the rare sort of story in which you can use "Nanny Horror" in the hed, and the latest installment of "Bias Alert," which today has been largely dedicated to railing at The Media for ignoring Fox's favorite made-up stories. But it's still findable, and it's a nice reminder that, beyond temporary distractions like the economy and the Fractious Near East, Fox has a core agenda: They are coming for Our Way Of Life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

* Not bad in 1960 dollars. Sullivan sued (and won) over a full-page fundraising ad in the Times that, in his view, included defamatory falsehoods that reflected badly on his conduct as commissioner of police. The Supreme Court sent him packing in the 1964 decision that established the "actual malice" standard for public officials.
** The quotes may be found in Fraleigh and Tuman's "Freedom of Expression in the Marketplace of Ideas."

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Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

How dare those yurrupeeans insinuate that everything might not be all square and true-blue, er, true-red?, er, true-true in Texas?

8:06 PM, October 26, 2012  
Blogger fev said...

Because TEXAS!!!

8:48 PM, October 26, 2012  

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