Monday, December 05, 2016

Obvious Strategy

Two weeks ago, The Nation's Ari Berman- who has been on top of GOP voter suppression like no one's business- wrote (in reverse order)

North Carolina is a case study for how Republicans have institutionalized voter suppression at every level of government and made it the new normal within the GOP. The same thing could soon happen in Washington when Trump takes power....

His conspiracy theories about rigged elections during the presidential race were meant to delegitimize the possibility of Hillary Clinton’s election. But now that he’s won the election we have to take his words far more seriously. He will appoint the next attorney general, at least one Supreme Court justice and thousands of positions in the federal government. His lies about the prevalence of voter fraud are a prelude to the massive voter suppression Trump and his allies in the GOP are about to unleash.

The battle has been joined- on Trump's side, unfortunately. Yesterday we learned from Politico that (President-in-waiting)

Paul Ryan says he doesn’t know if millions of Americans voted illegally for Hillary Clinton, and he refused to repudiate Donald Trump’s groundless claims of a vast voter-fraud conspiracy.

In an interview on CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” the speaker was asked about Trump's tweet that said he would have won the popular vote “if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

In a nod to the GOP claims of "I am not a scientist" when asked about climate change, Ryan added "I don't know. I'm not really focused on these things."

Admittedly, his focus is on making health care a whole lot harder for elderly people and poor people to find.. Still, Ryan is intimately interested in voter suppression, without which few Republicans (including Trump) would get elected at the national level, which would leave Ryan's plans in the dust. Last week (prior to Ryan's claims of ignorance and unconcern), Brian Schaffner gave a detailed, thorough takedown of Trump's remarks alleging voter fraud.  The President-elect

and his staff are pointing to a study by Jesse Richman and his co-authors that was published in the journal Electoral Studies and advertised on the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage blog. As a member of the team that produces the datasets upon which that study was based and as the co-author of an article published in the same journal that provides a clear “take down” of the study in question, I can say unequivocally that this research is not only wrong, it is irresponsible social science and should never have been published in the first place. There is no evidence that non-citizens have voted in recent U.S. elections.

That won't stop the Administration and its allies, including virtually all Republicans, and most significantly the Speaker of the House. "Today," Ari Berman tweeted in what is a safe bet, "Ryan, Preibus & Pence refused to condemn Trump lie that millions voted illegally. Tells you massive voter suppression is coming."

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