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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, January 08, 2019

 
Remember. They cheat.

by digby




I can see a certain complacency overtaking many Democrats going into 20/20, both on the apparent assumption that impeachment is a bad option because it would be "better" to win at the ballot baox, and among partisans  who believe that it doesn't matter who runs against Trump because we are assured of winning. Both cases assume that the Dems are a shoo-in.

No one can be faulted for believing they should be. The man's presidency is an unprecedented dumpster fire as anyone could have predicted the minute he rode down on the golden escalator in 2015.  But Trump and his party should not be underestimated no matter how unpopular they are in the polls. They have shown for decades that they will win by any means necessary.

Here's the latest news by Rick Hasen that should make you double your efforts to get out the vote in 2020. Democrats have to win by a very large percentage to overcome this handicap:
In a short unpublished opinion so far garnering only slight media attention, the United States Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit decided on Monday what may be one of the most consequential cases poised to affect the 2020 elections. The circuit upheld a district court decision ending a court order in effect since 1982 barring the Republican National Committee from engaging in “ballot security” measures designed to intimidate minority voters from voting at the polls. With Trump having taken over the RNC for the 2020 elections and with this consent decree no longer standing in his way, we should be concerned about a new wave of voter suppression coming from the Republican Party during the upcoming election.

At rallies, Trump made statements such as: “[G]o around and watch other polling places,” … “[It’s] so important that you watch other communities, because we don’t want this election stolen from us,” … and “You’ve got to get everybody to go out and watch. … And when I say ‘watch,’ you know what I’m talking about. Right?” … The Trump campaign website contained a form allowing supporters to register as “Trump Election Observers.”

But it said that the district court could reasonably have concluded Trump and his 2016 campaign did this in isolation from the RNC, the only one bound by the decree.

We can only guess what Trump and the RNC, now freed from this consent decree, will have planned for 2020. Trump has irresponsibly used allegations of voter fraud and stolen elections to delegitimize his opposition and rile up his base. During the 2018 election, he made unfounded allegations that Democrats were trying to steal the U.S. Senate seat in Florida from Rick Scott during state-required recounts of ballots in the close election.

He breaks down the issues of the case in detail and it's quite interesting. It goes back to 1981 --- when the Republicans were caught cheating of course. I recommend reading it just to remind yourself of how long they've been doing this stuff. He concludes with this from the court opinion:
It noted that:
At rallies, Trump made statements such as: “[G]o around and watch other polling places,” … “[It’s] so important that you watch other communities, because we don’t want this election stolen from us,” … and “You’ve got to get everybody to go out and watch. … And when I say ‘watch,’ you know what I’m talking about. Right?” … The Trump campaign website contained a form allowing supporters to register as “Trump Election Observers.”

But it said that the district court could reasonably have concluded Trump and his 2016 campaign did this in isolation from the RNC, the only one bound by the decree.

We can only guess what Trump and the RNC, now freed from this consent decree, will have planned for 2020. Trump has irresponsibly used allegations of voter fraud and stolen elections to delegitimize his opposition and rile up his base. During the 2018 election, he made unfounded allegations that Democrats were trying to steal the U.S. Senate seat in Florida from Rick Scott during state-required recounts of ballots in the close election.

Had Trump not taken over the RNC, I would not be so concerned about the demise of the decree. Thirty-five years is a long time, and many of the Republican lawyers I know would bristle at some of the tactics that the RNC had used in the past. But Trump likely has different plans in mind, and it would not surprise me to see Democrats and voting rights activists running back to court in 2020, trying to stop the renewal of odious tactics that should have by now been consigned to the history books.

The TNC will have no limits. After all, it certainly appears he was more than willing to conspire with a foreign country to sabotage the election. He said on the stump the last time that he would only accept the results of the election if he won. They will use whatever levers they have available to win. Don't underestimate them. They've been doing this for decades. Trump is just more crudely open about it.


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