As the McCain campaign and allied Republicans protest loudly over voter registration efforts by groups like ACORN, it is important to note the subtext of their remonstration.
The allegation of widespread "voter fraud" is a fraud itself -- such activity is "actually less likely to occur than lightning striking a person, according to data compiled by New York University's Brennan Center for Justice."
Indeed, the current Fox News/talk radio hysterics are as much about distracting voters and enraging the conservative base as anything.
Sometimes those intentions aren't even that well disguised. During an event at the National Press Club just last week, Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia was asked whether the Republican Party had any strategy for trying "to keep those new voters who might be voting for Obama from in fact continuing on down the ballot." His seemingly tongue-in-cheek answer - "Well you're talking about voter suppression and we would never do anything along that line" - actually engendered hearty laughs.
It is, to some extent, difficult to determine how much Davis was trying to make light of the question as opposed to sarcastically riffing on GOP strategy. But his follow up line seems equally telling: "I think it's fair to say we're not going to spend any money educating them on what they need to do, but that's what you do in these kind of elections."
It is a perfectly fair take but one that seems at odds with the McCain's stated position on the need to protect and help people vote.