Friday, May 03, 2019


I'll be slammed for saying this, but I agree with Nate Silver. I know that Republicans are horrible and Trump is worse than horrible and desperate times call for desperate measures, but ultimately I'm in favor of democracy, and knocking a candidate off the ballot who was legally eligible to run three years ago and is presumed by most Americans (as well as by federal law and the laws of other states) to be legally eligible to run again puts Democrats on record as being in favor of winning elections by undemocratic means. Democrats' brand should always be pro-democracy; we should always be able to isolate Brian Kemp, Kris Kobach, and other Republicans as the ones who don't want to allow citizens to vote for their preferred candidates.

Also, if a Democratic president is elected in 2020, I'd like that person's victory to have unquestionable legitimacy. I know -- Republicans will question it anyway. But they weren't able to get traction outside their own bubble for efforts to delegitimize Barack Obama. Part of the reason is that he won two clear victories, with solid margins in both the Electoral College and the popular vote. The next Democratic victor is also likely to win the popular vote, and that should appear to be a clean win. If Trump is on the ballot in fewer than fifty states, it won't be.

We know that Republicans would fight this in court. It also seems likely to me that they'd find a workaround, running a different candidate on the GOP ballot line (or on another ballot line), and spreading the word that this candidate's electors will vote for Trump if he or she wins trhe state.

And, of course, nothing prevents Republicans from retaliating in kind. Maybe in Texas or Georgia they'll say no candidate can appear on the ballot who doesn't support "traditional marriage" or who won't pledge support for Israel. Obviously they could do this regardless of what Democrats do in states they control, but so far they haven't done anything of the sort. If they try it, I'd like it to be impossible for the media to bothsides the issue.

I'm in favor a requirement that candidates release tax returns, but I think it should be imposed in future races, at the national level, through a law passed by Congress. In this election, let's beat Trump in a way no one can call illegitimate. (And let's beat him like a rented mule.)

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