Repub Venality Open Thread: Still Laboring to ‘Make America White Again’

The Washington Post, this morning:

There are two likely explanations for the Justice Department replacing its legal team in the census citizenship question case. Neither of them is good, and one could signal something much worse lying ahead.

The Justice Department announced the moves Sunday, as The Post’s Matt Zapotosky reported, and there is at least some indication that it was because the lawyers had qualms about the direction in which this was heading…

Another not-mutually-exclusive possibility is that the lawyers had seen their credibility shot by changing their minds about how to proceed. The old legal team told a judge last week that they were done, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross waved the white flag publicly too, before President Trump reversed the administration’s course in a tweet…

Or as Nancy Pelosi frames it, per Bloomberg:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused President Donald Trump’s administration Monday of wanting to “make America white again” with its plan to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

“You know his hat? ‘Make America white again.’ They want to make sure that people, certain people, are counted,” Pelosi said at a press conference on election security. “It’s really disgraceful and it’s not what our founders had in mind.”

Pelosi said the goal of the Trump administration is “self-evident” to have “a chilling effect” so certain populations will not respond to the census…

She added that Democrats were fighting for an accurate census count and are seeking enough funding for outreach to ensure everyone is counted.

Democrats are also seeking to enforce subpoenas for information on the census. The House Oversight and Reform Committee voted last month to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt for withholding documents.

Read more

Because of Course He Did

This is not even remotely surprising:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) pushed officials at the state’s Department of Public Safety to scour driver’s license records for noncitizens and forward that information to the Texas secretary of state, a fellow Republican, in advance of the state’s botched voter purge, according to emails made public Tuesday.

Texas officials would go on to falsely claim that they had found nearly 100,000 noncitizens registered to vote. They later admitted that number was based on deeply flawed data. But some Texas officials knew all along that they could access more information in order to determine whether the people whose driver’s licenses said they were noncitizens were actually noncitizens, the emails suggest — and pushed ahead regardless.

The emails, obtained by the Campaign Legal Center as part of litigation over the purge effort, provide the first look behind the scenes into a highly controversial state effort to identify noncitizens on Texas’ voter rolls. The state has refused to comply with a congressional request to turn over communications and documents related to the January incident.

It doesn’t matter if you are actually a citizen, Republicans don’t consider you a full citizen if your skin is a certain color or if your last name is harder to pronounce than Smith. And nothing will happen in John Roberts’ post-racial America.

Election Fraud, not Voter Fraud

The irregularities in North Carolina voting are being called “voter fraud” (here’s one example from a good media outlet), but as far as I can tell, they’re not. It sounds like some group of persons was collecting mail-in ballots, or sending mail-in ballots to people who had never requested them. In other words, someone between the voter and the ballot collected it and apparently voted it Republican. That’s election fraud – the voters didn’t perpetrate it.

It may seem like a small distinction, but it’s important because the way that the GOP markets “voter fraud” is some person or persons going to different precincts and voting multiple times. That doesn’t happen, and if it did, it would be incredibly expensive and inefficient. Fucking the system by faking ballots and sending them in, or tampering with election machines, is far more likely. Yet little or no effort is made to secure that part of the voting chain, because better ballot and machine security isn’t going to keep Democrats from voting.

In a few weeks when the dust has settled in North Carolina, look for Fox and the rest of the usual suspects justifying more bullshit ID legislation on the backs of this event.

(The only time I’ve ever seen an election irregularity was many years ago when a volunteer collecting absentee ballots from the elderly was overly suggestive about how they should vote. When another campaign worker found out, he was immediately reported and ejected from the campaign. I was doing the same job, and old and frail people often asked me how to vote when I gathered their ballot. It was a tight election and the temptation was there.)

Late Night Open Thread: And Tomorrow, We Fight On

Another good thing about this election: More people — more voters & would-be voters — have now been exposed to the rank fraud, gerrymandering, and similar tactics that have allowed the GOP so much political control even when they’re outnumbered by decent people. Sunlight, as they say, is the best disinfectant…

The ‘Privilege’ of Voting: High & Low

This NYMag article got a certain amount of twitter pushback (look below the fold, at the end of this post, for a sample) last week:

Roxanne Gay had a excellent rebuttal:

We are reaping what has been sown from voter disillusionment and we will continue doing so until enough people recognize what is truly at stake when they don’t vote. A representative democracy is flawed but it is the political system we must work within, at least for the time being. We have a responsibility to participate in this democracy, even when the politicians we vote for aren’t ideal or a perfect match. Voting isn’t dating. We are not promised perfect candidates. Voting requires pragmatism and critical thinking and empathy and now, more than ever, intelligent compromise…

Every single day there is a new, terrifying, preventable tragedy fomented by a president and an administration that uses hate and entitlement as political expedience. If you remain disillusioned or apathetic in this climate, you are complicit. You think your disillusionment is more important than the very real dangers marginalized people in this country live with.

Don’t delude yourself about this. Don’t shroud your political stance in disaffected righteousness. Open your eyes and see the direct line from the people in power to their emboldened acolytes. It is cynical to believe that when we vote we are making a choice between the lesser of two evils…

And then there’s *this* argument:

Read more