White House College Reporter Day took an interesting turn last week when President Obama showed up unannounced to deliver a speech to journalism students on the importance of voting Democrat. He didn’t actually tell them to vote Democrat, of course—he just told them to vote, though there’s no doubt which party he was hinting they should vote for. The message was about as subtle as a punch in the face.
The students were listening to Press Secretary Josh Earnest drone on and on when the president suddenly burst onto the stage. Earnest feigned surprised because, you know, everything in the Obama Administration is scripted. The audience’s reaction reminded me of the Beatles’ first Ed Sullivan Show appearance in 1964. I would not have been surprised if some of the girls had started throwing their bras at him.
Said Mr. Obama: “If you care about climate change, you care about college costs, you care about career opportunities, you care about war and peace and refugees, you can’t just complain. You’ve got to vote.” Of course he didn’t say “you’ve got to vote for my party” though I think that was implied.
The issues he raised are the ones Democrats think they own. Take rising college costs, for example. Prior to that remark, both Obama and Earnest had been bragging to the audience about the administration’s expansion of the Pell grant program and other steps they had taken to (supposedly) make college more affordable. I would argue that college costs have skyrocketed precisely because of government subsidies/loans and that all of this government underwriting can only lead to a debt bubble that will one day burst and obliterate the economy just as the housing bubble did in 2008. Nonetheless, the rising cost of a college diploma is an issue that Democrats often raise on the campaign trail. They’ve branded themselves the education party and, notwithstanding the shakiness of their claim, a large segment of the population believes it.
Obama knows this. He also knows he can use this issue to encourage young people to vote Democrat without actually saying the word “Democrat.” The same could be said of the other issues he raised. It would be like a Republican president telling an audience that if they really care about overturning Roe v. Wade, protecting the Second Amendment, and eliminating the death tax, they can’t just complain; they’ve got to vote. I think most people would hear the implication of that statement loud and clear.
But Democrats know how to make a partisan pitch sound like a nonpartisan appeal for more civic participation. They don’t fool all of the people all of the time but, with the willing complicity of the media, they fool too many people too much of the time.
Obama’s exhortation to vote (Democrat) reminds me very much of my own college days when I was almost bamboozled by the Democrats’ supposed spirit of cooperation and their alleged zeal for getting people—all people—to the polls. I’m not so naïve anymore. It was 2004, an extremely contentious election year, and I was an active member of the College Republicans. The University Democrats were coordinating a voter registration drive on campus and, as it turned out, one of those students leading the registration drive lived down the hall from me in the dorm. She asked me if the College Republicans would like to help out. “We just want people to vote,” she said. “We don’t care who they vote for.” I thought that sounded nice and fluffy so I raised the idea at one of our meetings. People said the club was too busy and the idea was shot down.
Looking back, I’m glad we didn’t participate. Was I really supposed to believe that she didn’t care who the students voted for? Yeah, right. That’s easy to say when the students were probably trending twenty to one for John Kerry. That figure is just a guesstimate—I know of no hard data on the voting patterns of students on my moonbat college campus in that election twelve years ago but I think I can safely say that Kerry and the Democrats won handily. People were literally crying when the election results rolled in.
Getting the College Republicans to help out with a voter registration drive would only have given the Democrats more foot soldiers at their disposal to get more students registered to vote (Democrat) while simultaneously giving the effort a bipartisan gloss. If the political tendencies of the campus had been reversed there’s no doubt in my mind that the Democrats would not have agreed to spend their free time registering hundreds of people to vote for George W. Bush.
I don’t mean to imply that the girl was lying to me. If she was deceiving anyone it was probably herself. She had told herself that it didn’t matter who her newly minted voters voted for but what she really meant was that she didn’t care if a few people voted for another party as long as the registration drive was a net gain for the Democrats—an outcome that was virtually assured. She could therefore afford to mouth platitudes about every voice being heard. It was selfishness disguised as selflessness, which is something I’ve noticed liberals do very well.
Ever stop and wonder why they use the welfare office to register voters? The egregious 1993 Motor Voter law actually requires the states to encourage welfare recipients to register to vote when they sign up for benefits. Career bureaucrats have an incentive to scare the wits out of welfare recipients with the specter of big, bad Republicans taking their bennies away from them. The bureaucrats, who are already loyal Democrats, want to make the welfare recipients loyal Democrats too. As perpetual wards of the state, welfare recipients will never in a million years dream of voting for anyone but a big government liberal who will reward them for their loyalty with a large portion of their neighbors’ property. Their participation in the electoral process can tip the balance of power from the makers to the takers, which sounds like a great idea—for the takers. Now you know why voter registration is focused on the welfare office and not, say, down the hall where gun licenses are issued.
Another one of these stealth Democratic get-out-the-vote campaigns is Rock the Vote, a laughably “nonpartisan” voter registration organization that focuses on the 18-24 year old demographic. Rock the Vote was founded by a Hollywood superliberal Jeff Ayeroff who has donated gobs of money to progressive groups (EMILY’s List, Moveon.org, et al) and political candidates, almost all of whom are Democrats. Rock the Vote’s current president, Ashley Spillane, worked for Democrat Tom Vilsack’s presidential campaign in 2007. She once headed up a group called Democratic GAIN that trains progressive activists for hire.
In 2003 Rock the Vote co-sponsored a presidential debate—though only for the Democrats. The next year they sent out fake “draft notices” to young people via email, a scare tactic that was heavily employed in the 2004 campaign to persuade them to vote Democrat. In 2014 they cut an advertisement encouraging young people to turn out for the midterms to vote for “marriage equality” and “global warming awareness” among other lefty buzz words.
Are you getting the idea that Rock the Vote might have a party preference? Don’t be silly. The FAQ section of their webpage states: “We don’t care what party or candidate you support. We care that you vote and participate in the process.”
Oh, gag me. Yeah, I’m sure that if all the young people were voting for Ted Cruz the celebrities featured in their ads would be thrilled because—hey!—at least they’re voting. And that’s what really matters, right?
Nothing liberal Democrats do is nonpartisan. Everything is designed to gain them some kind of political advantage. They’re completely unprincipled and they’ll do anything to advance their agenda. Voter register drives are no different. They are always aimed at demographic groups that Democrats think could be milked for a few more votes if only they exerted more effort—blacks, college students, welfare recipients, etc. Everything is calculated and nothing is left to chance.
If Democrats want to lead get-out-the-vote efforts, that’s fine; but they should at least have the decency to call them what they are. It’s called truth in advertising. They should try it sometime.