ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Matthew Yglesias: Useful Idiot or just a plain old idiot?

This post by Matthew Yglesias regarding the Acorn voter fraud issues is just hilarious:

Error Rates

I find that an awful lot of problems are caused by people’s inability to understand things like error rates and big numbers. If a pharmaceutical company came out with a new anti-depression drug and gave it to a million people suffering from depression, of whom 970,000 were helped you wouldn’t turn around and conclude that the company was perpetrating a deliberate fraud based on the fact that “tens of thousands” of patients got no relief. You’d say that the medicine was helpful in 97 percent of the indicated cases. ACORN is trying — and succeeding — in an effort to register a lot of new voters.
Let me retool Matthew's example so it's more appropriate to the Acorn situation:
if a pharmaceutical company came out with a new anti-depression drug and gave it to a million peope suffering from depression and 30,000 people were killed outright, Barack Obama, John Edwards, the MSM and the plaintiff's bar would be on TV within minutes suing the pharmaceutical company for billions.

Fraudulent voter registration undermines and kills our democracy. If the dead, cartoon characters, and already registered individuals can be fraudulently registered to vote multiple times, our democracy is fraudulent.

And, it's good to know that a 3% disenfranchisement rate is acceptable for Yglesias.
There’s simply no way to gather over one million new voter registration forms without some of the forms having been filled out with bogus information.
"some of the forms"? How about 100% of the first 2500 forms turned into a county in Indiana?

That's not "some." That's criminal.
You could ask the group to automatically toss out the obviously wrong ones — some guy saying he’s Tony Romo, someone else saying he’s Mickey Mouse — but the law requires them to hand all the forms in to prevent them from tossing out forms filled out by people who say they want to register Republican.
Who passed the law?

Who makes it easy for such fraud?

Who consistently obstructs any attempt to require some form of identification for registration?
Consequently, if you go out and register over a million voters you’ll wind up with a lot of bad forms being submitted. But just as 30,000 is a lot of people and also only a very small fraction of one million people, when you’re talking about registering over a million new voters you’d need orders of magnitude more bad forms to constitute real evidence of a systematic fraud campaign.

Meanwhile, if you want to reduce the number of bad forms submitted, you have basically three options:
  1. Make voter registration much easier and more automatic so as to reduce the need for registration drives.
  2. Let registration organizers toss out forms.
  3. Stop all registration drives by conflating good faith errors with systematic, criminal fraud.
Conservatives like option (3) because they don’t like it when large numbers of people vote.
Actually, conservatives don't object to registration drives. They object to fraud.

Let's have a registration drive where people are required to show an ID and the conservatives would cheer.
And that’s what this is about, finding a backdoor way to delegitimize [sic] all efforts at large-scale registration drives. It’d be as if instead of trying to ban computers (obviously impossible) you passed a law saying you could throw someone in jail for selling a computer that’s prone to crashing. It’s computer sales fraud — the thing’s supposed to work! Well, nobody knows how to build a crash-free computer so, bye bye computer industry.

That's an idiotic analogy.

In reality, fraudulent voter registration is already a crime. Voter Registration forms have the following:
The information I have provided is true to the best of my knowledge under penalty of perjury. If I have provided false information, I may be fined, imprisoned, or (if not a U.S. citizen) deported from or refused entry to the United States.

I know that perjury isn't a big deal (especially when it's involving a sexual harassment case), but it would seem that ACORN, being the great "community organizers" that they are, are assisting people in committing perjury. This is also a crime, called subornation of perjury.

It's a crime you imbecile! What ACORN is doing on behalf of Barry Hussein Obama is criminal! Registering Mickey Mouse is criminal.

My ruling?

Matthew Yglesias is just a plain old idiot.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Comments (4)
ts said...

You have kind of missed the point.

If YOU go out and ask a million people to fill in your forms, YOU are going to get quite a lot of "Mickey mouse" and "Abraham Lincoln" forms too.

But LEGALLY, you have no choice but to submit ALL the forms you've received. (or would you rather ACORN could just select the forms it liked the look of, and throw the republican ones in the bin?)

ACORN can't be selective, it'd be illegal and dangerous.

How do they know about so many of the potentially fraudulent applications?? Because ACORN flags them as potentially fraudulent when they submit them.

Sorry, what was the problem again???

ts again said...

PS/ has anyone, even the republican activists, suggested that all these fake people are actually going to turn up and vote? I haven't seen it.

Even if 100% of all ACORN submissions were fake (which obviously they aren't) it doesn't help the democrats at all to have a million people who don't vote.

They could add a billion deceased people to the electoral role.. but that doesn't secure them a single extra vote unless they find people to turn up and try pretending to be those people...

St Wendeler said...

if you're an ACORN person and someone starts to fill out a form with the name Mickey Mouse on it, you should tell them that they're committing a felony (perjury) as stated on the registration form.

ACORN's efforts are intended to "flood the zone" with ridiculous ballots, undermining any credibility that the system may have.

The fact that I can register my dog to vote and successfully fill out and submit an absentee ballot is a travesty, especially when compared to the amount of times I have to show a photo ID just to take a form of transportation.

St Wendeler said...

So, it's not just 3%....

it's 30%