Letting Violent Felons vote and Obama's "war on women"

Shortly after Obama's 2010 State of the Union Address, Heather Higgenbottom, then deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council, had this statement (17:44 to 17:58 in video): 

The president's position, and many other legislators' position, is that for felons once you have served your sentence and you have done your time and you have completed that you should have your voting rights restored. 
At about 17:22 into the video she notes how this has been Obama's position on Federal legislation from the time that he has been a US Senator.  The comment makes it quite clear that Obama supports letting all felons vote, even all violent felons, even felons who have committed multiple violent crimes.  Someone can commit murder and be released from prison after 8 years.  The question is: why do people want murderers and rapists deciding who will win elections or what initiatives will be adopted?

As far as Obama's claims about a war on women goes, can someone explain why it is the interest of women that rapists (even people who have committed multiple rapes) should have a say in deciding who will win elections.  Do women really want rapists who have raped multiple women determining social policy for women?

The point is we presumably learn something from a rapist's behavior.  We learn something about how they value other people.

Having felons vote, even when a limited number of them vote illegally, can make a difference in elections ("When 1,099 felons vote in race won by 312 ballots").  Using polling data from Washington State, I found that virtually all the felons voted for Democrats (see the discussion in my book Freedomnomics here).  All minority felons voted for Democrats and almost all the white felons did also.

If you don't mind supporting advertising on this left wing website, here is an interview that I did with the HuffPost Live on Thursday about letting felons vote.

UPDATE:  Democrats are using their convention to continue to push the "war on women" theme.

UPDATE 2: "Obama fights erosion of female voters with attacks on abortion" October 10, 2012.

Faced with a sudden erosion of female support in recent opinion polls, President Obama sought Wednesday to bolster his standing by blasting Mitt Romney on abortion rights. 
In an interview with ABC News, Obama accused Romney of trying to “cloud” his views. 
The president's attack on his rival over the issue of abortion was the culmination of a battery of criticisms on the issue that Team Obama kept up throughout Wednesday. 
The apparent purpose is to claw back the support of female voters, which plunged in the wake of Obama's weak performance in last week's first presidential debate. 
“This is another example of Governor Romney hiding positions he's been campaigning on for a year and half,” Obama told host Diane Sawyer. . . .
The new Pew Poll showed some dramatic changes that have alarmed Obama's campaign.
A new Pew Research Center poll shows Mitt Romney leading by four percentage points, 49 to 45 percent, over President Barack Obama among likely voters. The previous Pew poll, conducted last month, showed Obama with an eight percentage point advantage (51 to 43 percent). The polls demographic variables show that Romney's 12 percentage point swing in the polls was due, in part, to shifting allegiances among women and young voters. 
Romney gained among almost every demographic group, based upon registered voters. His strongest gains were among those aged 30 to 49, 18- to 29-year-olds, those with some college education, whites and women. 
UPDATE: "Election could come down to what women want"
Martha Raddatz, the moderator in the vice presidential debate, did her best to argue about abortion with Paul Ryan.  Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times has this:
Until Romney bested Obama in their first debate in Denver, Obama held a consistent lead among female voters in all polls as Democrats portrayed Romney and Republicans as waging a war on women.
A Pew Research Center poll conducted after the Oct. 3 debate from Oct. 4-7 showed women split between Romney and Obama. That was Romney’s best showing with women all year in a Pew survey. A Fox News poll taken Oct. 7-9 gave Obama an eight-point lead over Romney with female voters.
Michael Dimrock, Pew’s associate research director, said Romney may have gained “more traction” among women because of the debate where “Romney had a lot more ground to make up among women than among men — his personal image, and the Republican Party’s image, was far worse among women, meaning there was more damage to be repaired.”
And unlike the Thursday vice presidential debate — where Joe Biden and Paul Ryan talked about their opposing views on abortion — Biden supports, Ryan opposes abortion rights — social issues were absent from the Denver debate. . . .
UPDATE: October 15, 2012 "Swing States poll: Women push Romney into lead"
An analysis of that USA Today/Gallup poll is provided here in The Hill Newspaper:
President Obama's contraception mandate is helping him enormously with female voters, a new USA Today/Gallup poll says. 
The survey found that Mitt Romney has made enormous gains with female voters — the candidates were tied among women who are likely to vote, and Obama had a nine-point lead among registered female voters. Concern over the economy has helped Romney erode what was once a sizable gender gap. 
But the results suggest that Obama has found two winning issues in birth control and abortion.  
Romney and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) have attacked the administration's contraception mandate as an assault on religious liberty. But the USA Today poll indicates that emphasizing the policy could help Obama more than Romney. 
A greater emphasis on abortion rights could also help bolster Obama's standing with female voters, according to the USA Today poll. Nearly 40 percent of women cited abortion as the most important election issue for women. And respondents who cited abortion preferred Obama by a 3-1 margin. 
"That could signal an opening for Obama among women in the second debate and the final 21 days of the campaign," USA Today said in its write-up of the poll results. . . .
UPDATE: New York Times tries to gin up issue in editorial.  Take this bogus claim that the change of one Supreme Court Justice could over turn Roe.  When have their been any 5-4 decisions on the central issue of Roe or even a side issue?  Roe has been making it by 7-2 votes.
It would not take much to overturn the Roe decision. With four of the nine members of the Supreme Court over 70 years old, the next occupant of the White House could have the opportunity to appoint one or more new justices. If say, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the oldest member, retired and Mr. Romney named a replacement hostile to abortion rights, the basic right to abortion might well not survive. . . .
UPDATE: It is interesting to note that issues of importance to liberal women also were highlighted in he second debate.
Women watching the debate last night let out a collective “hallelujah”: issues of direct importance to our lives finally merited a mention. We got equal pay, contraception, Planned Parenthood, poverty and bizarre discussions of single mothers. . . .
UPDATE: A New York Times title on October 19, 2012 summarizes what is happening pretty well "Campaigning in Virginia, Obama Presses Fight for Women’s Vote."

President Obama reached out to female voters in this battleground state on Friday, saying that Mitt Romney would “turn back the clock” on women’s rights and accusing him of developing “Romnesia” by conveniently forgetting his most conservative positions. . . .

The fight for female voters intensified this week after the town-hall-style debate in Hempstead, N.Y., which included a question about equal pay for women that prompted a clash between the candidates over who would better serve women’s needs.
That debate spilled onto the airwaves, with Mr. Romney’s campaign quickly releasing an ad contending that he does not oppose contraception and believes that abortion should be legal in cases of rape and incest, and to save the life of the mother. . . .
“Women haven’t forgotten how we’ve suffered over the last four years in the Obama economy with higher taxes, higher unemployment and record levels of poverty,” Ms. Comstock said. “What is really frightening is that we know a second term for President Obama will bring devastating defense cuts that will cost Virginia over 130,000 jobs, more burdensome regulations and the biggest tax increase in history on our small businesses and families.”
I wonder if this approach by Romney will be appealing to women.

UPDATE: From Harold Meyerson's piece in the Washington Post on October 23rd:
The Romney who showed up for the third presidential debate Monday night was, by design, the challenger as milquetoast. With both candidates fighting hard for women’s votes, Romney was determined to avoid anything remotely bellicose in his approach to foreign affairs and his interactions with President Obama. . . .
UPDATE: The media giving extensive coverage to abortion issue may be having an impact on vote?
A flurry of new polls shows Mitt Romney eliminating a likeability gap with President Obama, but the incumbent rebuilding an advantage with female voters. 
The polls suggest Romney, who has had the momentum in the race since the first presidential debate, has completely repaired the damaged image that plagued him throughout the Republican primaries. 
Yet the polls also show Obama with a sizeable lead among women — who had trended toward Romney after the first debate — that could help him win a second term. . . .  
In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, Obama scored his largest margin of the cycle over Romney among women, 56 to 42. Romney had closed to within 6 points of Obama in the same poll a month earlier. The president also enjoys a 13-point advantage over Romney on “women’s issues” in that poll.
Gallup pollster Frank Newport told The Hill he doesn’t think female voters ever actually left Obama, pointing to Gallup’s likely voter survey, which, while showing Romney with his biggest lead of the cycle this week, showed Obama maintaining an 8 point lead among women. . . .

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Blogger Joshua Tolley said...

I'll agree with Obama on this one: let them serve their time, and then restore their rights. I suspect I'll go farther than our president when I suggest that these restored rights should include the right to own weapons. Either convicted criminals can be rehabilitated, can serve their debt to society, and be restored to normal existence, or they can't. Let's choose one or the other. For my part, I'll vote for restoration of normality. Even when that means potentially violent people are armed, or voting. There are some sharp edges to a free society, and that's one of them.

8/24/2012 10:59 AM  

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