HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

 
Wait, voting is like shooting people? What? 

by digby




I wrote about the latest voter "fraud" nonsense for Salon this morning:

It’s pretty much beyond dispute at this point that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election in a number of different ways. The extent of the damage, and whether or not the Trump campaign and other Republicans who were clearly the beneficiaries helped them do it, is still unknown. In the past it would have been automatic for the government to establish a blue-ribbon commission to investigate and make recommendations about how to prevent such events in the future. The 9/11 Commission comes to mind. That obviously is not happening now. In fact, the president is doing everything he can to prevent any investigations at all.

Never let it be said that Donald Trump isn’t concerned about the integrity of our elections, however. He is convinced that he was the victim of an unprecedented tidal wave of election fraud amounting to millions of illegal votes, all cast for his opponent in 2016. Determined to prove that he was cheated out of the popular vote, he immediately convened his Election Integrity Commission to look into the matter. It’s led by vote suppression zealot, Kansas Secretary of State and paid Breitbart columnist Kris Kobach, the man who wrote the template for Arizona’s odious “show me your papers” law that was struck down by the courts.

I’ve written about Kobach here on Salon for years. He is one of the foremost GOP experts on vote suppression and anti-immigration law. Those issues have long been central to conservative political strategy but have achieved new salience with demographic challenges to the Republican coalition, since that relies more and more upon a large racist and xenophobic faction at its base. Kobach is determined to ensure that both legal and illegal immigration is stopped and that voting is made as difficult as possible for minority groups and young people who tend to vote Democratic.

As analyst Ron Brownstein said on CNN on Tuesday when asked about the commission and the issue of “voter fraud”:
This is not a neutral “good government” argument. As the court said about the North Carolina [voter fraud] law, they talked about surgical precision aimed at minority voters. You have a diversifying country, and you have in Trump a candidate who relied on whites for 90 percent of his votes in that rapidly diversifying country. He’s looking at approval ratings among nonwhite voters of under 20 percent. So there is a clear kind of direction in the way this might be going in terms of the recommendations . . . that is about resisting the implications of a changing America.

On the same program, Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander explained the specific strategy behind Kobach’s commission:
As the chief election official in the state of Missouri that has a Republican supermajority, I have seen the GOP voter suppression playbook up close . . . The commission is step one. Convince the American people that American democracy doesn’t work so they can then take laws that make it harder to vote and spread them all over the country. And that is the core of the Trump reelection strategy.
Kobach got off to a bad start when he demanded that all states turn over all the personal information on their voters to the commission. He had to back off when many states, even those run by Republicans, refused. This looks even worse today than it did at the time, with Tuesday’s report that the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation demanded that the commission be stacked with right-wing extremists. That didn’t happen, but the president did appoint the man the foundation confirmed was the one who made that demand to the commission, Hans von Spakovsky. As the Campaign Legal Center has said, von Spakovsky is “widely considered to be the architect of the voter fraud myth.” One can only imagine what he and Kobach had planned to do with that information.

On Tuesday, Kobach held the second meeting of the commission and was once again embarrassed by his sloppy extremism. In a Breitbart column last week, he declared that voter fraud had tipped the election in New Hampshire last fall, costing the Republicans a Senate seat. The reason? There were people who registered to vote on Election Day with out-of-state drivers’ licenses and didn’t get a New Hampshire license within 60 days. As usual, the governing assumption was that these were mostly Democrats because Republicans are all honest as the day is long.

Dave Weigel of The Washington Post debunked this story at the time. These people were mostly college students, and there is no law that says your vote doesn’t count if you don’t change your driver’s license within 60 days. Nonetheless, Kobach and the commission hightailed it up to New Hampshire to “investigate,” where Kobach was confronted with his misleading assertions. He now says his evidence was “anecdotal” and admits he shouldn’t have said it “appears” there was fraud. He looked foolish, but didn’t admit he was wrong.

But that was nothing compared to the master trolling presentation by the thoroughly discredited economist John Lott, whose usual field is the study of gun violence on behalf of the NRA. Evidently, Lott wrote an article on voter fraud a decade ago from which to hang his alleged expert testimony, but his proposal was clearly designed simply to provoke Democrats. He suggested that if the left is so adamant about background checks for gun owners, the government should use that system to determine whether someone is eligible to vote. Quoting Senator Chuck Schumer, Lott said:

Democrats have long been concerned about voter suppression but they’ve also long lauded the background check system on guns, saying it’s simple, accurate, in “complete harmony with the right of people to go and defend themselves.” If they don’t believe that it suppresses people’s ability to defend themselves, would we believe that using this system would suppress being able to go and vote?

The sophomoric Republican commission members could barely keep from snickering and high-fiving each other over how they’d totally pwned those libs. It’ll be a cold day in hell before they try to pass gun control legislation again!

Oh, wait: This was about voter fraud. And they want to stop people from voting, don’t they? What are they talking about?

To recap: our election campaign was clearly tampered with by a foreign country. The president of the United States may or may not have been in on it, but he’s certainly been active in trying to cover it up. Meanwhile, he’s convened a commission that’s completely lacking in credibility to investigate election fraud that doesn’t exist, and they’re spending their time trolling Democrats about gun control.

It’s Breitbart’s world. We just live in it.

.