Monday, September 20, 2021


Politico disappears the GOP's long history of crying "Voter fraud!"
It started as one big, false claim — that the election was stolen from Donald Trump.

But nearly a year later, the Big Lie is metastasizing, with Republicans throughout the country raising the specter of rigged elections in their own campaigns ahead of the midterms....

Trump may have started the election-truther movement. But what was once the province of an aggrieved former president has spread far beyond him, infecting elections at every level with vague, unspecified claims that future races are already rigged.
The Politico story cites Larry Elder in California, Nevada Senate challenger Adam Laxalt, and others. They never would have done talked about voter fraud if Trump hadn't "started the election-truther movement"!
“That is a simply terrible development for our democracy,” said Trevor Potter, a former chair of the Federal Election Commission who served as general counsel to Republican John McCain’s two presidential campaigns.
John McCain? You mean this John McCain?
According to the Republican nominee for president, his opponents were “on the verge of maybe perpetrating one of the greatest frauds in voter history.” In an ad, his campaign warned of “nationwide voter fraud” that could swing the election. His running mate worried, in a fundraising letter, that “leftist groups” were trying to “steal the election.”

The candidate was not Donald Trump. It was Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who in the final weeks of the 2008 presidential election embraced the theory that ACORN, a community organizing group previously embraced by Democrats and Republicans, was helping to rig the election for Barack Obama by filing fake voter registration forms.
I'm quoting from a Washington Post article by Dave Weigel that ran in mid-October 2016. Here's the ad Weigel cites (the allegations of voter fraud are at the end):

In this October 2016 piece, Weigel wrote:
According to a new Politico/Morning Consult poll, conducted among 1,999 registered voters in the week after the second presidential debate, 73 percent of Republican voters now worry that their votes will not be counted.
And where did that belief come from? In part from Trump, who was predicting fraud even before the 2016 votes were counted, but also from years of Republican scaremongering.
The idea that Democrats and their allies are rigging elections, either through control of machines in Democratic cities or through mass voter impersonation, is a mainstay of conservative politics — one that has powered legislation that is making it harder for some voters in Republican-controlled states such as Wisconsin to register this year.

... some of the most wild charges thrown at Democrats by Trump surrogates have been made for years. “Dead people generally vote for Democrats rather than Republicans,” former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani said on CNN's “State of the Union” Sunday. “You want me to [say] that I think the election in Philadelphia and Chicago is going to be fair? I would have to be a moron to say that.”

That was not much different from what Giuliani claimed in the days before the 2004 election, telling Newsmax that his experience in the 1989 mayoral election, which he narrowly lost to Democrat David Dinkins, showed that voter fraud could swing elections.

“There were machines that already had hundreds of votes on them,” Giuliani said. “When they open that machine — if you don't have your poll watcher there to look at the back of it, you could start off the election in that district down 100 votes, down 200 votes, down 300 votes.”

Giuliani was not telling the truth, then or now.
I write about this repeatedly. I write about the George W. Bush administration's decision to fire seven U.S. attorneys who wouldn't pursue fake allegations of election fraud; that was in 2006. But the press still tells us that Republicans didn't talk this way until Donald Trump taught them how. I've stopped believing that Beltway reporters are gaslighting us -- I think they've gaslighted themselves.

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