Most Read: Opinions

direct signup

Today’s Opinions poll

Would you use an app that tells you the partisan affiliation of products you're considering buying?

Submit
Next
Review your answers and share

Join a Discussion

12:00 PM The Fix Live   LIVE NOW
12:00 PM Carolyn Hax Live (Friday, Sept. 19)   LIVE NOW

Weekly schedule, past shows

Post Partisan
Posted at 03:38 PM ET, 11/01/2012

PostScript: Texas and those durn foreigners

We in the lamestream media get tired of obsessing over polls predicting who is going to vote how, but it is our duty to do so. Under the PostScript Bunker’s charter with the U.N., we are obligated to have a sustained, permanent state of obsession, which means wild-eyed paranoia about X, where X can be anything really we need it to be. So we’re going to slide seamlessly from full-on poll obsessive paranoia to full-on election-process obsession. Ready? Hold your noses, please.

WHOOOOF

Thanks for coming with us! Okay, here we are in the comments about today’s editorial on a dust-up in Texas: specifically, how state officials are resisting efforts of an international election-monitoring squad (not the U.N., incidentally) to, um, monitor Texas’s elections in a particularly international way. The state’s attorney general has written a letter to the State Department, asserting Texas’s right to prevent any loiterers/observers from getting too close. The Post finds this uncomfortably similar to how emergent democracies still in their dictatorship phase have objected to international election-monitoring, thereby reinforcing the need for international election-monitoring.

All this is loading up everyone’s plate with delicious, hot paranoia. Does Texas have something to HIDE? Why do we trust FOREIGNERS to be fair, and what does “monitoring” actually entail?

Who exactly has authority here? Does diplomatic immunity/the State Department trump a state government running the election? The Post says so, but that the real power here is not in actually interfering in elections or arresting the monitors but in who’s going to embarrass whom the most. The State Department having to bail international election monitors out of jail would provoke a lot of snickering, but so would feds coming in and messing with Texas. It’s a humilation/reputation-ruining standoff. Swagger.

Well, more than 900 of us have furrowed our brows about it. We’ve come up with this:

Bosoxfan

Diplomatic immunity does not prevent the US or the states from enforcing their laws but detain any violators. Who prosecutes them is a matter of discussion after people have been arrested.

ozma1

“Who prosecutes them is a matter of discussion after people have been arrested.”
The specific violation in Texas is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by fine only. While an officer (as I was for 30-plus years) could theoretically make a full-custodial arrest, it would normally be enforced via a citation.
As an officer, if an election judge called me to their polling place and someone they pointed out as “loitering” identified themselves as an OSCE observer with a diplomatic passport, the general orders of the agency I worked for would have prevented me from even issuing a citation. I would have had to write a report and leave it at that as long as they were only observing.

Other commenters argue rhetorically that Texas need not be subject to international authorities:

socialismneverworks

Texas has no problem with the observers as long as they obey Texas law. A law in place long before the left dared to invite foreign America hating brethren in to America.

PostScript notes: The left in this case is renowned Communist George W. Bush.

jfv123

When did stating the intention to enforce the law become a problem?
Better to remind foreigners of the rules and the need to obey American law than to surprise them after they violate the law.

While some argue rhetorically that Texas is subject to international authorities:

imsospiraleyes

If we want to lead by example, that’s why we let them in. What do Texans think these people are going to do? We used this exact same organization to observe elections in Afghanistan, something we imposed upon them. Why is it good enough for them, but not good enough for us?

bvoves1

We are part of an international community. We demand inspections of nuclear energy development from all counties that signed a treaty. We are threatening military action with Iran if they don’t allow us to verify. Of course this also means that international inspectors will visit the U.S.

And some embrace paranoia so completely that PostScript herself marvels jealously:

mertens266

Simple solution: if Texas violates federal law regarding these observers who have diplomatic immunity and we cannot be assured that Texas voting was legal, we discount the Texas vote.

LiberalsAreParasites

Let’s see what the Obama Administration says when the “new Black Panthers” are caught by these international monitors terrorizing white voters?

PostScript would like to note that the two seemingly opposite streams of paranoia appear to intersect here: Democracy is best served if we do let these monitors in, because both seem to trust the international authority more than their opposite American political party. Don’t tell any other countries, though. Just like we’re amazing at everything, the U..S is second to none at inspiring paranoia in ourselves.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  03:38 PM ET, 11/01/2012

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company