From the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency — which is to say, since the election — I’ve been appalled and puzzled by the tenacity of Republicans who’ve continued to press the case that votes were somehow stolen, blah blah blah.
This is because I am stupid, and also a fool.
It’s pretty obvious what the game is, now. They’re going to use “valid concerns about election integrity” to roll back reforms that have made voting easier for more people. This won’t be possible everywhere; in Michigan in 2018, voters approved, by a wide margin, election reform via constitutional amendment, and once something’s in the state constitution, it’s very difficult to remove it. But other states have GOP legislatures going after voting rights hammer and tongs. Georgia is talking about restricting early voting, favored by Black churches that do “souls to the polls” outreach. There are others.
Needless to say, this is all bolstered by “concerns” about “election irregularities,” i.e. Democrats finding it too easy to vote absentee in a pandemic. Many of these concerns are pure bullshit. Ballots were not mailed unsolicited, at least not in Michigan. (Ballot requests were; I spent a week in October processing them at the now-notorious TCF Center.) The late-night “ballot dump” there was the last batch of last-minute absentee ballots, legally submitted. And so on.
The Detroit News did a really good piece on how Antrim County, an overwhelmingly conservative county in northern Michigan, had a ballot glitch that was caught when the results came in, and had Biden decidedly beating Trump. It was caught, fixed, and double-checked with a hand recount of several thousand ballots. And yet, the county clerk is still opening her email and finding accusations of deep-state blah-blah election chicanery.
Most of you won’t be able to read that story, because it’s paywalled, but here’s a poignant passage:
At the center of the firestorm is a passionate and plainspoken 59-year-old Republican clerk who said she hasn’t taken a vacation since 2008. Guy has faced threats and name-calling. The fallout has left her afraid for the country’s future and altered politically.
“I voted Republican. I’ll never do it again, I don’t think,” Guy said last week. “I just think it’s a changed party.”
So this is why we can’t back down from pressing a case against the Capitol rioters, against every dimwitted or sharp-witted legislator who would repeal voting rights, who would try to poison the grassroots. We just can’t. It’s too important:
Last week, lawyers representing the state council of the Service Employees International Union sent a letter to Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm requesting a criminal investigation into whether laws were broken when 10 would-be Wisconsin electors sympathetic to Trump met behind closed doors at the state Capitol on Dec. 14 and tried to appoint themselves as the state’s representatives to the electoral college.
The group signed illegitimate certificates of election and sent the fake documents to federal and state officials proclaiming that Trump had won the state’s electoral votes.
…“Some of this is about trying to bring bad actors to account. But the bigger part is trying to make sure we never go through something like this again,” said Jeffrey A. Mandell, a lawyer representing the union. “We have seen an intensification from election to election of how far people are willing to push these issues. And we need it to stop.”
And since the right wing is basically calling for this to happen again, we have to keep pressing it. They’re a minority party now, but they think that entitles them to rule forever. Sorry, no.
Also, fuck Clarence Thomas.
And get well soon, Tiger Woods. But I fear your golf career is over.
Wednesday dead ahead.