Reprinted from Smirking Chimp
Voting, Thomas Paine once said, "is the beating heart of democracy." It's what makes our democracy possible. Without it, Paine said, "man would be reduced to slavery."
It's for this very reason, of course, that conservatives have worked since the founding of our republic to make it harder or downright impossible for people who are not part of the political and economic elite to vote.
This conservative war on voting has taken on a number of different forms, Jim Crow being just the most obvious example, but it has always been based on one simple idea: conservatives lose elections when more people vote, and win elections when fewer people vote.
As American Legislative Exchange Council founder and Reagan advisor Paul Weyrich put it back in 1980, "our leverage in the elections" goes up as the voting populace goes down."
This has been the thinking behind every conservative voter suppression effort in history.
But conservatives are smart.
They've always been careful to disguise their war against voting in language that makes it sound acceptable, at least to the minimally informed.
But every once in a while the mask slips, and conservatives tell the truth about their voter suppression accomplishments.
Well, the mask slipped last night in Wisconsin.
During an interview with a local TV station, Republican Wisconsin Congressman Glenn Grothman admitted the truth about his state's new voter ID law.
Like all voter suppression laws, Wisconsin's voter ID law is supposedly about stopping "voting fraud."
But that's not what Congressman Grothman said it's about.
He said it was about making sure Republicans win the Badger State in November.
This actually isn't the first time a Republican has let the mask slip about voter suppression laws.
Back in 2012, Mike Turzai, the Republican leader of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, said that his state's new voter ID law would "allow Mitt Romney to win."