Monday, October 22, 2018

Trump's Plan

Donald Trump is warning people who plan to vote Democratic. But he also is warning all of us when he tweets
Eleven hours later, Paul Krugman responded  "If Democrats don't at least take the House, God help us. But even if they do, we'll be facing a nightmarish political scene. Republicans will claim that the election was stolen, and deny the majority's legitimacy."

Journalist Carl Bernstein said Sunday that President Trump has discussed ways to challenge the results of the midterm elections if the GOP's grasp on power slips.

During an appearance on CNN, Bernstein said his sources relayed this information to him on Friday, warning that Trump has talked about a disruption campaign if the results are close but have the Democrats taking control of the House or Senate.

"I talked to people ... in touch with the White House on Friday who believe that, if the congressional midterms are very close and the Democrats were to win by five or seven seats, that Trump is already talking about how to throw legal challenges into the courts, sow confusion, declare a victory actually, and say that the election's been illegitimate," Bernstein said after being asked if Trump's challenge to fraudulent voters was a form of voter suppression.

"That is really under discussion in the White House," he added.

Really, this is the least President Trump can do to support his party's state-by-state efforts to suppress the vote of individuals likely to pull the Democratic lever(s) though, as Krugman  recognizes, it will go beyond mere claims of fraud.

In Ohio, voters are disenfranchised if after not voting in two consecutive elections, they fail to return a notice warning them they will be purged from the rolls.

In Florida, Governor Rick Scott has virtually eliminated the right to vote of felons who have served their sentence.  

Mindful that many residents of Native American Indian tribe reservations have only a P.O. box, North Dakota has implemented a law requiring voters to present identification with a current street address. 

Georgia Secretary of State and gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp has purged voter rolls of nearly three-quarters of a million people, and absentee ballots are being rejected on the flimsiest of grounds, including a trivial difference between the voter registration form and government documents- or the signature on the absentee ballot.   

Dodge City, Kansas, most of whose residents are Latino, has moved its one polling site outside of town, more than a mile from the nearest bus stop.

These are on top of voting restrictions in numerous states, nearly all of them Republican-controlled, implemented before 2018. (Note inclusion of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. That didn't work out so well for Hillary Clinton.)

In an obscene display of bothsiderism, the mainstream media dutifully reported GOP claims of "mob rule" when Eric Holder said "when they go low, we kick them."   But he was speaking especially of voter suppression and gerrymandering, both reducing the impact of minority voters. Donald Trump has now told us what he and his minions have in mind if the GOP doesn't retain control of both chambers.  Democrats need to be ready, kick back, and not aim for the shin.

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