"They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants"
"Game of Thrones" author George R.R. Martin took a break from the political intrigue in fictional Westeros to address what he sees as a ruthless power grab in the real world.
The author, whose novels inspired the HBO series, used his personal blog to rip Republicans for "ongoing attempts at voter suppression in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Iowa and other states where Republicans and their Teabagger allies control key seats of power." He said he was "depressed, disgusted and, yes, angry."
Also read: Is 'Game of Thrones' Political?
He shut down the comments on the post, titled "Show Us Your Papers," after it drew more than 400 responses.
Martin, a Democrat, rarely talks politics. But one real-world intrusion into his grisly fantasy world proved divisive.
In the DVD commentary for the first season of "Game of Thrones," show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss said a prop head of President George W. Bush was among many heads seen impaled on stakes. They said no political message was intended and that the prop head was one of the only ones available. HBO subsequently pulled the DVDs and the episode in question for re-editing.
In his post, Martin said attempts to deny people their chance to vote should outrage Democrats and Republicans alike.
"It would really be nice if there were still some Republicans of conscience out there who would stand up and loudly denounce these efforts, a few men of honor and integrity for whom 'win the election' does not 'win the election at any cost,'" he said, listing Everett Dirksen, Clifford Case, Henry Cabot Lodge, William Scranton and Barry Goldwater as conservatives he admired despite disagreeing with their beliefs.
"The people behind these efforts at disenfranchising large groups of voters (the young, the old, the black, the brown) are not Republicans, since clearly they have scant regard for our republic or its values. They are oligarchs and racists clad in the skins of dead elephants," he wrote.
"And don't tell me they are libertarians either," he added. "No true libertarians would ever support a culture where citizens must 'show their papers' to vote or travel. That's a hallmark of a police state, not a free country."