Should felons vote?

If you find it hard to regard people who have raped a woman or murdered a child as worthy citizens, then you might well wonder: Why are we even having this discussion?

On the other hand, if you are a blue-state sophisticate, wondering why hicks in the red states refuse to vote for your candidate, chances are you are more than ready to embrace felons as an attractive new voting block.

Though the drive to let felons vote is cloaked in the lofty language of rights, City Journal notes, ‘It hasn’t escaped notice that the felon vote would prove a windfall for the Democrats; when they do get to vote, convicts and ex-cons tend to pull the lever for the Left. Had ex-felons been able to vote in Florida in 2000–the state permanently strips all felons of voting rights–Al Gore almost certainly would have won the presidential election.”

City Journal’s Edward Feser knocks down the shaky arguments being advanced on behalf of felon voting (not allowing felons to vote is racist; it punishes them twice for their crime; having the right to vote inspires felons to behave better, etc.) and gets to the heart of the matter: Democrats may need them in 2008.

“Murderers, rapists, and thieves might seem to be an odd constituency for a party that prides itself on its touchy-feely concern for women and victims,”Feser writes. “But desperate times call for desperate measures.”