Should convicted terrorists, such as the Boston Marathon bomber, be allowed to vote in American elections from prison? If you think that’s a tough question, you might be seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for president.
Bernie Sanders was asked that question during last night’s televised town hall, the first one featuring anybody who has a realistic shot at the nomination in 2020. His answer was very, very bad:
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 23, 2019
“What our campaign is about, and what I believe, is creating a vibrant democracy. Today, as you may know, we have one of the lowest voter turnouts of any major country on Earth. I want to see us have one of the highest voter turnouts. And by the way, what we are seeing is more young people getting involved in the political process. But not enough. And in my view, if young people voted at the same percentage that older people voted in this country, we would transform this nation. But to get to your point: We live in a moment where cowardly Republican governors are trying to suppress the vote. And in fact, right here, as you may know, in New Hampshire the legislature and the governor are working hard to make it more difficult for young people to vote. And to me, that is (sic) incredibly undemocratic, un-American process. And I say to those people, by the way, if you don’t have the guts to participate in free and fair elections, you should get another job and get out of politics. [APPLAUSE] And to answer your question: As it happens, in my own state of Vermont, from the very first days of our state’s history, what our constitution says is that everybody can vote. That is true. So people in jail can vote. Now, here is my view: If somebody commits a serious crime, sexual assault, murder, they’re gonna be punished. They may be jailed for 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, their whole lives. That’s what happens when you commit a serious crime. But I think the right to vote is inherent to our democracy. Yes, even for terrible people. Because once you start chipping away, and you say, ‘Well, that guy committed a terrible crime. Not gonna let him vote,’ or, ‘That person did that, not gonna let that person vote.’ You’re running down a slippery slope. So I believe that people commit crimes, they pay the price. When they get out of jail, I believe they certainly should have the right to vote. But I do believe that even if they are in jail, they’re paying their price to society, but that should not take away their inherent American right to participate in our democracy.”
In summary: Voter turnout is low, not enough young people vote, and Republicans are cowards, so the Boston Marathon bomber should get to vote from prison.
When Chris Cuomo tried to throw Bernie a lifeline, he just slapped it away:
“Do you believe in democracy? Do you believe that every single American, 18 years of age or older who’s an American citizen, has the right to vote? Once you start chipping away at that… Believe me, that’s what our Republican governors all over this country are doing. They come up with all kinds of excuses why people of color, young people, poor people can’t vote. And I will do everything I can to resist it. This is a democracy, we’ve got to expand that democracy, and I believe that every single person does have the right to vote.”
You know who will never get to vote? Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy who was murdered by those savages. I understand that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a young person of color and therefore a victim in the eyes of many Democrats, and they would love to have his vote, but I’m okay with that right being “chipped away.” If you murder a child, you don’t get to help decide the next president.
Kamala Harris was then asked for her opinion:
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 23, 2019
“I agree that the right to vote is one of the very important components of citizenship, and it is something that people should not be stripped of needlessly, which is why I have been long an advocate of making sure that the formerly incarcerated are not denied a right to vote, which is the case in so many states in our country. In some states, permanently deprived of the right to vote. And these are policies that go back to Jim Crow, these are policies that go back to the heart of policies that have been about disenfranchisement, policies that continue until today, and we need to take it seriously.”
So, keeping Jahar Tsarnaev from voting in prison is like… Jim Crow? Okay.
Again, CNN’s Don Lemon tried to rescue the flailing Democrat, but she just said:
“I think we should have that conversation.”
Poor Don. He just wants to put a Democrat in the White House, but he can’t save her from herself. All he can do is shake his head and try, try again.
I’ve been very critical of Indiana’s own Pete Buttigieg, but he gave the only correct answer to this question:
“No… Enfranchisement upon release is important, but part of the punishment… is you lose certain rights. You lose your freedom.”
Exactly. Score one for Mayor Pete. It doesn’t make up for all the other ridiculous nonsense he’s been spewing, but it’s not nothing.
If you’re asked a direct question about the Boston Marathon bomber and your harshest rhetoric is reserved for Republicans, why should any of them vote for you? I didn’t vote for Trump and I’ve had a lot of problems with him, but none of these creeps are convincing me they’re any better.
#Resistance is not a plan.