Wednesday, September 02, 2020


The Washington Post's Philip Bump reports:
Research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences articulates the link between what author Larry Bartels of Vanderbilt University describes as “ethnic antagonism” and views that run contrary to core democratic principles.

Bartels’s research involved asking respondents whether they agreed with each of four statements:

* “The traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast that we may have to use force to save it."

* “A time will come when patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands.”

* “Strong leaders sometimes have to bend the rules in order to get things done."

* “It is hard to trust the results of elections when so many people will vote for anyone who offers a handout.”

Most Republicans and Republican-leaning independents agreed with the first statement, that it might be necessary to use force to save the “traditional American way of life.” Nearly three-quarters agreed that election results should be treated with skepticism, given the numbed of “handouts” people receive. Respondents were significantly more likely to say they agreed with the other two statements than that they disagreed.
As Bartels notes, this is about racism.
In an email to The Washington Post, Bartels described anti-democratic sentiment in the Republican Party as “grounded” in this sort of skepticism about or hostility to non-White Americans.

“Even in analyses including elaborate measures of partisan attitudes, views of President Trump, economic conservatism, cultural conservatism, and political cynicism," he wrote, “ethnic antagonism stands out remarkably clearly as the most powerful factor associated with willingness to resort to force in pursuit of political ends and support for ‘patriotic Americans’ taking the law into their own hands and ‘strong leaders’ bending rules.”
But this is also about democracy. Of the four statements, the one endorsed by the most Republican-leaning respondents is the one arguing that elections can't be trusted.

And now we're about to have an election in which a large number of votes will be cast by mail, with Democrats far more likely to choose the mail option than Republicans. Yesterday, Axios reported:
A top Democratic data and analytics firm told "Axios on HBO" it's highly likely that President Trump will appear to have won — potentially in a landslide — on election night, even if he ultimately loses when all the votes are counted....

That is what this group, Hawkfish, which is funded by Michael Bloomberg and also does work for the Democratic National Committee and pro-Biden Super PACs, is warning is a very real, if not foreordained, outcome....

Under one of the group's modeling scenarios, Trump could hold a projected lead of 408-130 electoral votes on election night, if only 15% of the vote by mail (VBM) ballots had been counted.

Once 75% of mail ballots were counted, perhaps four days later, the lead could flip to Biden's favor.

This particular modeling scenario portrays Biden as ultimately winning a massive victory, 334-204.
To which John Hinderaker of Power Line responds:

I expect that President Trump will be re-elected in November. The Democrats apparently expect that as well. At least, the Democratic Party web site Axios does. Thus, Axios is warning the party’s faithful that President Trump is likely to win–apparently–on November 3. But never fear: weeks remain in which the Democrats can harvest fake ballots!

... Democrats are not that much more afraid of the mild COVID virus than Republicans. Rather, fake Democratic ballots are far more likely to come in by mail, mysteriously mailed in by persons to whom they may or may not have been addressed–millions of those people being dead, moved away, or ineligible to vote. The “vote by junk mail” regime established in a number of states by the Democrats opens the door to voter fraud to an unprecedented degree. Which was, of course, the idea.

... Most people would say the salient point is that on election night, the Democrats know exactly how many ballots they need to fabricate to “win” a particular state–much like the “ballot harvesting” campaign that they carried out in California in 2018.
Maybe this is about race, but it's not just about race. Hinderaker is based in Minnesota, which has a Democratic governor and two Democratic senators, and has voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every election since 1976. Minnesota is 68% white, 12% black, 7% Hispanic.

When Hinderaker's own neighbors -- many of them white -- vote Democratic again, this time by mail, he'll declare the votes fraudulent, as will Donald Trump and much of the Republican Party and right-wing commentariat. This time they'll say the votes are fraudulent because they were sent by mail. But when they lack that excuse, they say there's massive in-person voter fraud, or they say, like the respondents in the Vanderbilt survey, that if you give "free stuff" to voters, their votes aren't legitimate.

The fact is, Republicans don't believe Democrats are Americans, and as a result they don't believe our votes are ever legitimate. Maybe it's because they see the Democratic Party as the party of black and Hispanic people. I think it's because they regard the Democratic Party as the home of many groups they hate -- not just blacks and Hispanics but Hollywood celebrities, college professors, mainstream media journalists, and dirty-fucking-hippie white people who riot and don't work for a living.

I don't know how we're the party of both elitists and layabouts, although the time-honored populist worlview is that rich (((rootless cosmopolitans))) are using jazz-loving Negroes to dilute the pure blood of the white race. I guess this is the modern, semi-polite version of that.

As a result, the vast majority of Republicans regard all our votes as illegitimate, even the ones cast by those of us who look just like them. Democracy can't survive when one party's voters don't think the other party's supporters deserve the right to vote.



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