Banana Republicans

BANANA REPUBLICANS….Greg Gordon of McClatchy on the politicization of the Justice Department:

For six years, the Bush administration, aided by Justice Department political appointees, has pursued an aggressive legal effort to restrict voter turnout in key battleground states in ways that favor Republican political candidates.

The administration intensified its efforts last year as President Bush’s popularity and Republican support eroded heading into a midterm battle for control of Congress, which the Democrats won.

….On virtually every significant decision affecting election balloting since 2001, the [Civil Rights] division’s Voting Rights Section has come down on the side of Republicans, notably in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Washington and other states where recent elections have been decided by narrow margins.

Much more at the link. Read it all.

And over at the LA Times, Jon Chait gets shrill on the subject:

It would be very easy to overreact to all these things and conclude that our democracy is imperiled or that Republicans are wannabe Putins. But almost nobody seems to be overreacting.

Most people are under-reacting. Allowing the security apparatus of the state to help tilt elections is an extremely grave precedent. When the line of acceptable behavior can be moved without much protest, it often can be moved further the next time.

No, we’re not becoming Russia. But becoming just a little bit like Russia still ought to be considered a major scandal.

Well, you’d think so. But let’s not overreact.