Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Tide of Voterfraudfraud Reverses

With the elevation of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, voterfraudfraud is back in fashion.  We had a period where the courts were ruling against voter suppression efforts, but that is over.  Yesterday's ruling that makes it harder for Native Americans to vote in North Dakota--the clearly suppressive law that requires street addresses in a state where a certain group relies on POB addresses was allowed to stand--is the beginning of the next wave of efforts by the Republicans to win by denying the vote to people who are unlikely to vote GOP.

As I have argued before, the voter fraud as a threat is itself a fraud--there is not much of a threat of people voting illegally.  What is a threat?  Voter suppression, which Republicans have clearly made as a key strategy.  They know they can't appeal well to large swaths of the country--students, African-Americans, Native Americans, the poor, etc.  So, how to win elections?  Make sure these people can't vote.  Georgia has kicked people off of voting rolls.  States have made it harder to vote by shortening early voting periods.

The effort is systematic and anti-democratic.  The electoral sin of the United States has been voter suppression.  It is why the Voting Rights Act was enacted.  The Roberts Court said that racism was over, and so the VRA could be diminished because.... Roberts is fricking blind.  Since that decision, the GOP has enthusiastically sought to make it harder for non-Republicans to vote.  The myths they spout about fraud seem to work... for those who want them to work--that Republicans believe this bullshit despite few recorded cases of voter fraud.  Yes, it is known to happen, but it is rare and it is a far less severe problem than disenfranchisement.  That they don't get this, but it is not that different than being willing to speed up death penalties despite the risk of killing innocent people.  Of course, they may hot have a problem with that.

While I think that the Dems will still do well in 2018, I fear that two more years of unfettered voterfraudfraud may make it very hard for the Dems to win in 2020.  People in my business disagree about how to code the US as a democracy: was it a democracy when people where enslaved? Was it a democracy when less than half of the population could vote (prior to women's suffrage)?  Was it a democracy when a large minority was essentially denied the right to vote prior to the VRA?  Well, we may start pondering at what point is voter suppression so intense that the US is no longer very democratic.  Maybe we can code the US as a full democracy from 1965 to 2018?

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