I'm a little behind on things that I've been wanting to post about, and here's one of them.
IN Secretary of State Todd Rokita this past Thursday made a comment at a Republican event that raised quite a few Hoosier eyebrows. When discussing how African Americans generally vote Democratic, he said:
"How can that be?" Rokita said. "90 to 10. Who's the master and who's the slave in that relationship?"
Looking past the fact that his analogy is silly and trivializing of this country's history of slavery in saying that African Americans exercising the right to vote is the same as slavery itself (others have already
responded to that aspect of it), and look at the fact that we have the Secretary of State, the head honcho in terms of voting here in Indiana, saying that he doesn't like the way a certain group of people is voting. This is supposed to be the final arbitor of elections who makes sure that everyone who's supposed to be enfranchised is and to make sure that laws are applied in a non-partisan fashion to promote democracy for everyone
, Black or white, Republican or Democrat. And yet he's at a clearly partisan event (the Washington Conservative Club) saying that he's oh so bothered by the way that a group of people is voting. (continued after the jump)
Let's also not beat around the bush here. Todd Rokita has quite the history of being against democracy and in favor of the GOP. While it's totally OK to work for a political party, it should not be OK to then take up a job that's supposed to be about fairness in elections. That's like having an umpire in a baseball game who has wagered $2000 on one of the teams, and everyone knows it. It's like a divorce being ruled on by a judge who's the mother of one of the soon-to-be divorcees. Would either of those situations make sense? Absolutely not.
So it doesn't make any sense at all that our democracy is in the hands of someone who just last Saturday made statements like these:
"You can do a lot of powerful things as a team and one of those things is win," Rokita said. "And we win when we run as a team."
He challenged local Republicans not to accept the status quo, but to be true leaders, like President George W. Bush and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels because they were not afraid to make the tough decisions while in office.
"Everyone of these men and women (candidates) that stood up tonight and briefly said what they are about and asked for your vote, they deserve our applause simply for that and they deserve our inspection," Rokita said. "Because they are true leaders."
"It is Republicans under God that will save this country if it is to be saved."
What an objective observer can take from those statements, along with the slavery comment, is that Todd Rokita has a problem with Blacks, liberals, and non-religious people voting, that he has strong opinions on what the outcomes of specific elections that he has overseen
should be (by specifically mentioning Bush and Daniels), and that he considers himself on the Republican team first, the Hoosier team second.
How much more clear can he make his disdain for the responsibilities of his office?
It's long past time that the office of the Secretary of State became nonpartisan. An election in another country that were run by partisan officals would not be regarded as legitimate by the US, nor should it be. Todd Rokita is just the tip of the iceberg, and if we truly believe in democracy and free elections, then we'll make sure that these officals can't be members of a political party, can't raise money for a political party or a candidate, and can't stump for a party or a candidate either. The umpire or judge mentioned above would have the decency in the real world of recusing themselves or being recused before they could make judgments that even have the hint of being self-serving. It looks like the people of Indiana are going to have to do that for Todd Rokita.