Friday, September 09, 2022


Greg Sargent flags a CNN story about poll-worker training in Michigan:
The evening before Michigan's state primary, Wayne County GOP leaders held a Zoom training session for poll workers and partisan observers -- warning them about "bad stuff happening" during the election and encouraging them to ignore local election rules barring cell phones and pens from polling places and vote-counting centers.

"None of the constraints that they're putting on this are legal," former state senator Patrick Colbeck told trainees on the August 1 call.

As far as cell phones, "I would say maybe just hide it or something, and maybe hide a small pad and a small pen or something like that because you need to take accurate notes," Cheryl Costantino, the GOP county chairwoman and host of the call, told participants.

Some participants raised concerns about being tossed out if they broke the rules. "That's why you got to do it secretly," Costantino replied.
Sargent writes:
These Republicans aren’t just urging rule-breaking at the polls. They’re also justifying it by claiming in advance that Democrats are the real cheaters, per CNN, thus pre-fabricating a phony rationale for their own chicanery.

This self-justifying ruse — Democrats will inevitably cheat, so pretty much anything goes to set things right — is absolutely foundational to right-wing efforts to corrupt democracy across the board, including laying the groundwork to steal future elections.
Also see this detail from a recent New York Times story about the wide range of punishments meted out in recent cases of voter fraud (generally speaking, if you're middle-class and cheated deliberately, you get a slap on the wrist, but if you're poor and genuinely believed you were entitled to vote, you get the book thrown at you):
An Iowa woman, Terri Lynn Rote, said she cast two ballots for Mr. Trump in 2016 because she believed her first vote would be switched to favor Hillary Clinton. “I wasn’t planning on doing it twice — it was spur of the moment,” she later told The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. “The polls are rigged.”

A judge fined her $750 and sentenced her to two years’ probation.
This comes at a time when the new hotness on the right is the argument that Democrats want to criminalize being a Republican (or being a Trumpist, which to most Republicans is the same thing). Last week, right-wing commentator Matt Taibbi told readers of his Substack that President Biden, in his Philadelphia speech, "sure sounded like a man preparing to criminalize Trumpism." Today, FrontPage Magazine's Daniel Greenfield warns of "The Coming Outlawing of the Republican Party":
Republicans want to hold the majority and co-exist with Democrats, while Democrats, under the influence of the Left, want to eliminate Republicans.

This fundamental difference between the two sides was on display during Biden’s fascist rant in Philadelphia where he denounced half the country as a threat to democracy.
Greenfield's evidence is a court ruling affecting precisely one (1) Republican officeholder, a New Mexico county commissioner and convicted January 6 insurrectionist who has now been removed from office under a provision of the Fourteenth Amendment prescribing that penalty for those who have "engaged in insurrection or rebellion” against the United States government. Prior to his removal, the commissioner, Couy Griffin, showed his respect for democracy by refusing to certify the results of the county's primary election this year, even under a court order, citing no reason to doubt their accuracy except "my gut feeling and my own intuition."

The message being sent to Republicans is that they'll all be put in camps soon by the fascist supervillain Joe Biden (who apparently is no longer an addle-pated dementia sufferer). So how scrupulous do you think they're likely to be about following election laws? I assume that they'll regard double-voting, harassment of Democrats at the polls, and probably all the chicanery they claim Democrats engaged in two years ago -- voting-machine manipulation, dropbox-stuffing, boxes of fake ballots -- as necessary to save America and freedom.

I see that Virginia, under that nice Governor Fleecevest, is starting a copycat version of Ron DeSantis's "election integrity" unit.

Maybe it's time for some Democratic governors and attorneys general to do the same thing. They might actually find quite a bit of fraud, from the Republican side, especially this year.

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