Monday, December 22, 2008

Plain Dealer Editors Want to Reward Republican Bad Behavior

The editors of the Cleveland Plain Dealer recently gave an example on how Republicans' intellectual thuggery gets rewarded by the news media. The PD ran an editorial on Sunday, December 21, 2008, supporting Strickland's announcement that he was going to veto the flawed "election reform", (read voter suppression), bill passed by the outgoing Republican General Assembly. This is a quote from the editorial:

Senate Bill 380 was a textbook example of how not to improve election administration. Republicans eager to settle partisan grievances with Ohio's chief elections officer, Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, rushed it through on a series of party-line votes. And though Ohio GOP leaders will sputter in outrage when Strickland wields his veto pen, there is absolutely no way they ever could have expected him to sign such an ill-considered package.

The editorial then goes on to call for a bi-partisan approach to election legislation and notes that Ohio's Secretary of State recently hosted a conference to discuss the experiences of the 2008 election. The editorial writer refers to her conference as "valuable." Then, incredibly, the editorial calls for Brunner to step back and not be involved in such conferences in the future. Here's the reason:

Thanks to both GOP targeting and her own actions, she has become a partisan lightning rod.

What actions of Brunner is the writer referring to? Running a problem free election in 2008 compared to the soap opera Ohio experienced in 2004? Making sure that voters' rights were protected? Winning virtually every lawsuit that the Ohio GOP filed?

Basically, it seems to be the PD's position that since Republicans filed baseless lawsuits against her, and since they made hysterical comments to the media about her, somehow it is now illegitimate for her to make election law recommendations. Basically the PD is rewarding the Republicans' bad behavior.

The problem here is that the media is afraid to call Republicans bullshit for what it is, bullshit. When the media takes positions such as the one quoted above, it provides cover for baseless Republican attacks.

Here's our suggestion: Brunner should hold a another conference, invite Republicans as well as Democrats to the conference, develop proposed legislation, and then take that legislation to the Democratic controlled House of Representatives and see if the House will pass it. Once passed, then she goes to the Senate and tries to get them to pass it, and if the Senate doesn't pass it, then at least she has tried.

What she cannot do is forsake her constitutional duty to be Ohio's chief election officer just because the Ohio GOP will throw a hissy fit.

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