When you have a presidential candidate that blows so badly that George W. Bush is outpolling him in favorability ratings and who writes off 47% of the country, you’re a party that needs to win not on ideas or cult of personality, but stealing and suppressing the vote. Take what’s going on in Florida, an infamous hotbed of vote shenanigans.

 Florida elections officials said Friday that at least 10 counties have identified suspicious and possibly fraudulent voter registration forms turned in by a firm working for the Republican Party of Florida, which has filed an election fraud complaint with the state Division of Elections against its one-time consultant.

The controversy in Florida — which began with possibly fraudulent forms that first cropped up in Palm Beach County –  has engulfed the Republican National Committee, whichadmitted Thursday that it urged state parties in seven swing states to hire the firm, Strategic Allied Consulting.The RNC paid the company at least $3.1 million — routed through the state parties of Florida, Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia — to register voters and run get-out-the-vote operations. Wisconsin and Ohio had not yet paid the firm for get-out-the-vote operations it was contracted to do.

The outfit is not some rogue effort; Strategic Allied Consulting is run by long-time GOP operative Nathan Sproul, who has been accused of shredding Democratic voter registration forms in several states in the past.

Party leaders know full well that the Republican banner as it exists today cannot win in any other way nationwide except by straight-up screwing of the very democracy it pretends to love with its endless flag-waving and chest beating. And so far, the party’s standard bearing isn’t convincing people as he promises to return to the Bush economic glory days favoring the ultra-wealthy.

Rmuse at PoliticusUSA:

“There are very few Americans who do not appreciate good schools, clean air, police and fire protection, and security in their old age, and for the most part they are more than willing to pay for it through their payroll, sales, and income tax contributions. What they receive in return is a Republican Party, in Congress and the states, that supports slashing education, environmental protections, social safety nets, and even police and fire protection to fund tax cuts for the wealthy. Republicans even bartered natural disaster support and children’s programs for extending Bush-era tax cuts for the rich, and deliberately blocked jobs programs they claim are too expensive while protecting oil subsidies and corporate tax breaks to outsource Americans’ jobs. It is obvious to any reasonable human being, that when it comes to supporting the American people, Republicans have gone beyond falling short; they are actively working against 98% of the people.

However the rest of the voting population is still so traumatized by a person of color as POTUS that they are in a panic to vote for any clown on the GOP ticket, no matter what he utters, no matter how much it may be against their own economic interest. Mitt Romney proves this. We can’t count those people out. Demographically, the end is near for the angry Southern Christianist white man — practically the only demo Mitt has bent over backwards to try to keep in the pocket. It will take a lot more f-ups to make those guys sit out the election. Black Liberal Boomer:

The one discussion that has not, however, been receiving quite as much focused attention is the race – and racism – factor in this campaign. Not that race hasn’t been brought up or acknowledged, because it certainly has on various shows and by various pundits at various times. But as a consistent drumbeat, a consistent theme, there is still a fear even among the more liberal-leaning media outlets and pundits to focus too heavily on this issue because, well, it’s race, right? And in this country, we haven’t had a real decent, open and honest dialogue about race since Lyndon Johnson was President. Not on a national scale from the top down where all Americans were asked to examine the situation and acknowledge its potency. Ever since that time it seems like the country has worked hard to convince itself that the civil rights battle was a success (thus the term ‘civil rights era’, implying that this is a time that has passed), and therefore we need to move on. As if all the poison injected into our national veins throughout the several hundred years of legalized racism and oppression could actually be settled in a few decades.

And it won’t be discussed as this election looms. It will remain the irrational, toxic elephant in the room that does drive votes. I was surprised that in a piece by Matt Taibbi, “This Presidential Race Should Never Have Been This Close,” the GOP’s race-baiting and voter suppression efforts aren’t really in his equation.

Romney is an almost perfect amalgam of all the great out-of-touch douchebags of our national cinema: he’s Gregg Marmalaard from Animal House mixed with Billy Zane’s sneering, tux-wearing Cal character in Titanic to pussy-ass Prince Humperdinck to Roy Stalin to Gordon Gekko (he’s literally Gordon Gekko). He’s everything we’ve been trained to despise, the guy who had everything handed to him, doesn’t fight his own battles and insists there’s only room in the lifeboat for himself – and yet the Democrats, for some reason, have had terrible trouble beating him in a popularity contest.

For some reason. Um, yes. The race is close not because of rank incompetence by the Dems (though they have a lot to answer for on other fronts). It’s that elephant in the room and the sanctity of the vote. Florida Governor Rick Scott is front and center on the voter suppression front. Think Progress:

Florida has officially restarted it’s controversial purge of registered voters less than 6 weeks before election day. Governor Scott’s intention to resume the effort, detailed in a PowerPoint presentation, wasfirst reported by ThinkProgress.

Initially, Florida identified 180,000 potential non-citizens to be purged from the voter rolls. That list was subsequently narrowed down to 2600 “sure fire” non-citizens. When it became clear in early June that even the smaller list was riddled with errors, elections officials stopped the effort.

According to the Miami Herald, Florida has sent just 198 names to local election supervisors. (Of those, no more than 36 have ever cast a ballot.) But there is already evidence that the latest list still is not accurate.

How sad (and disgusting and frightening) that a major political party feels an essential part of its winning strategy is to monkey with the vote to win —  getting Voter ID laws passed and paying companies like Strategic Allied Consulting to affect who gets to vote on Nov. 6.