As if being confined to our homes–or worse, going to essential jobs and worrying whether we were inevitably going to contract the Coronavirus–wasn’t stressful enough, those of us who follow such things watch in frustration as the Trump Administration reverses environmental protections and amasses powers the Constitution previously denied to the Executive branch.
Not to mention increasing worries about the upcoming election.
It is beginning to look as if mandatory social distancing will extend right through what should be campaign season, and disrupt the ability of millions of Americans to vote in November. Republicans may have demonstrated their utter inability to govern in the public interest, but political observers are well aware of their consummate skills in vote suppression–their ability to use any disruption, any excuse, to keep people from the polls.
The one bright spot is the jaw-dropping idiocy of Trump himself. (As a friend frequently reminds me, just think how much more harm he could do if he had an IQ or was even minimally competent.) As the Guardian recently reported,
Donald Trump admitted on Monday that making it easier to vote in America would hurt the Republican party.
The president made the comments as he dismissed a Democratic-led push for reforms such as vote-by-mail, same-day registration and early voting as states seek to safely run elections amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Democrats had proposed the measures as part of the coronavirus stimulus. They ultimately were not included in the $2.2tn final package, which included only $400m to states to help them run elections.
“The things they had in there were crazy. They had things, levels of voting that if you’d ever agreed to it, you’d never have a Republican elected in this country again,” Trump said during an appearance on Fox & Friends.
Talking Points Memo also commented on the admission.
You’re not supposed to say the quiet parts out loud, Mr. President!
On Monday morning, President Donald Trump told the co-hosts of “Fox and Friends” that House Democrats had tried to include “crazy” proposals in the $2 trillion COVID-19 relief package that passed last week, including measures aimed at easing the voting process for Americans during the coronavirus outbreak.
It isn’t that We the People have been unaware that the country has millions more Democrats than Republicans. The Electoral College is fiercely defended by GOP operatives who know that it gives disproportionate influence to rural Republicans; thanks to GOP gerrymandering, Republicans dominated Congress after the 2016 election despite receiving a million and a half fewer votes than Democrats–in 2018, in order to overcome that advantage and retake control of the House, Democrats had to win by staggering percentages.
This isn’t new. The Guardian went back to 1980.
“I don’t want everybody to vote,” Paul Weyrich, an influential conservative activist, said in 1980. “As a matter of fact, our leverage in the elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down.”
In the wake of the Depression, Americans demanded changes to governance that shaped the America most of us grew up in. The GOP has fought most of those changes–especially those that strengthened the social safety net–and has relied heavily on voter apathy and the party’s ability to suppress the votes of minorities and poorer Americans to erase them.
There really is no debate about what sorts of policies the majority of Americans want–or about the tactics Republicans intend to employ to ensure that those policies never get implemented. Trump has admitted what every sentient person already knew.
The unanswered question is: will the current pandemic be as much of a wake-up call as the Depression?
20 thoughts on “Well–For Once, He’s Been Honest, Even If Accidentally”
What surprises me is that he is aware of the disproportionate edge Republicans have because of the Electoral College.
Sheila, “The unanswered question is: will the current pandemic be as much of a wake-up call as the Depression?”
It probably would be, if the deception at the sub-surface level could be unmasked within the next 30 days, before the mass chaos sets in.
Just read this morning that he has nominated someone he recently put on the Federal bench to a position on the DC Circuit Court. The ABA gave this guy an unqualified rating, but he’s a friend of Mitch, so naturally, there was no problem getting the votes needed. Now this unqualified newby is going to be on one of the most important Circuits in America. TURN THE SENATE BLUE!
From the Guardian:
How science finally caught up with Trump’s playbook – with millions of lives at stake
On 6 March, a group of epidemiologists at Imperial College London gave the White House coronavirus taskforce a heads-up about the terrifying projections for the disease they were about to publish relating to the US.
On the basis of their modelling, they calculated that if nothing was done to halt the spread of the disease, within weeks it would infect 81% of the US population. The virus would ravage the nation, eviscerate its health system and – here came the sting – put 2.2 million Americans into body bags.
From the first confirmed US case in Washington state on 20 January to Trump’s citing of Imperial’s 2.2 million projected deaths which he did for the first time just this week, he has kept up a relentlessly upbeat facade, downplaying the severity of the threat largely for the benefit of the New York stock exchange.
So it is one of the great paradoxes of Trump’s pandemic that he may have put many of his own loyal supporters in mortal peril. As Konyndyk put it: “Trump has endangered his own supporters by sending out a message in contradiction to the science, and they believed him.”
The Trumpter’s on Face Book totally reflected in their comments the latest spin of Fox News and the Trumpet since January. A hoax, an plot by the deep state to smear The Trumpet. Now it’s all Obama’s fault.
Trump’s slip of the tongue and/or terminal ignorance merely tells us what we already know, to wit: That the Republican Party is greatly outnumbered by Democrats and their only hope in retaining minority rule is via voter suppression. We Democrats greatly outnumber our opponents, and with the turnout we can expect via voting by mail we would finally expect to return to control by the majority (as the ancient Athenians, Madison and Jefferson contemplated when they came up with this idea of democracy (both before and after the Enlightenment).
Madison, in addition to the Tenth Amendment, threw another bone to the states righters of his time with the constitutional power to control the mechanics of elections, including federal ones (see contra: Bush v. Gore), and Trump in a perfect world thus has no power to enlist federal oversight in such matters. However, with red states likely to follow his dictates, he can in reality dance around the constitutional intent of our founders.
As to where we are headed from the currently unfolding catastrophe, I have read guesses that range from a new sense of Norman Rockwell community and help thy neighbor to a breeding ground for chaos and the rise of authoritarianism. My guess is that it will be a new world which partakes of both though not in such sharp relief as now (all while we await the next pandemic or world shattering event). I expect a certain equilibrium to set in when this fearsome pandemic is in our wake, but that where we settle in as a society thereafter is anybody’s guess.
It is incriminating–not just interesting, or telling–that republicans love to admit to vote suppression and that suppression favors them when they feel it safe and satisfying to brag of their powers of flimflam and influence, yet are quick to deny vote suppression exists and/or favors their party when the facts of suppression are used to support the argument that for the sake of a more perfect democracy vote suppression must be stopped.
I say that that behavior disqualifies/nullifies republicans from United States citizenship and meets fully the criteria for SUPPRESSING THEIR VOTE.
I claim this idea as my own; first dibs, copyright applied for, etc., etc…:
To wit: I advocate REVERSE CALIBRATING an individual’s vote according to how much (say, net worth or income or inheritance) they have ALREADY benefited from the system.
A billionaire, for instance, would cast a vote worth 1/4 of a vote.
A millionaire would cast a vote worth 1/2 of a vote.
An individual with an income above $250,000 would cast a vote worth 3/4 of a vote.
An individual with an income between $250,000 and $50,000 would cast a vote worth 1 full vote.
A person with an income under $50,000 would cast a vote worth 1 1/4 vote.
A person caught uttering any statement supporting trickle-down economy would lose the right to vote for 4 years.
A person caught denying science would lose their vote for 8 years.
A person caught spreading false news or sharing robo-posts would lose their vote for 12 years.
A person caught badmouthing education would lose their vote for 16 years, or until they earn a minimum of a BA degree, whichever comes first.
Yes, oh yes, I’m having fun. The possibilities for equitable good are endless when a liberal government is installed. Let the imagination run wild…
The Republican Governors ever fearful of the wrath of The Trumpet, Fox News or Science over faith refuse to institute state lock downs. Some of the Mega Churches want to have regular services in person, Liberty U. is open.
Corona Virus will effect voter turn out, I am thinking it will be down as people struggle with their lives, voting maybe one of the last things on their list of to do’s. I am sure the Republican States will make as complex as possible to vote.
Peggy – The DC Circuit Court IS the most important circuit of all circuits because it is in charge of all appeals from district courts within its reach which hear matters that originate from within the federal government – and they are legion. I was once a member of the bars of the 7th and 9th Circuit bars and the Supreme Court, resigning from the bar of the latter following that court’s finding in Bush v. Gore (which I continue to believe was wrongly decided).
Trump’s nomination of a non ABA-approved judge to this very active and important appellate court is particularly egregious since, of all the circuits, this is the one that should have scholarly and apolitical members. It’s as though Trump is continuing in every way possible to continue the vision of Bannon in the latter’s admittedly Leninist plan for “deconstruction of the administrative state” inasmuch as appellate judges are uniquely positioned with their vote and lifetime appointment to do just that.
“I am sure the Republican States will make as complex as possible to vote.”
What good is The Guardian when it comes to the above? None. They aren’t going to get involved in that reality. That’s for sure. They don’t get in front of the news.
“…disqualifies/nullifies republicans from United States citizenship…” is the sufficient comment for these times. I know I took it out of context, but…. Suppressing voter rights to ensure the win for power by a ruling class is EXACTLY what our founders feared.
So, after Lincoln was killed, off went the Republicans to nurture their generational relationship with money and power. Donald Trump is the culmination of that operating philosophy. He is the gangster and mob boss they’ve always wanted to lead their self-ordained and administered cult.
The cracker governor in Georgia, Brian Kemp, also epitomizes the abject cravenness and corruption in that political party. Then, what does it say about the many who keep voting for Republicans?
Larry, that’s a panacea! But, it’s been done in this country before, at least concerning the poll tax, and individuals of African descent were only considered 3/5 human for census purposes! we all know that that wasn’t just for census purposes though, it alleviated the conscience of those owners making someone subhuman and submitting them to cruel and unusual life. And lest we forget Jim Crow, honorable mention to the night rider’s
Go back and take a look at George Washington’s compassionate letter to the Jewish congregation in the colonies, and also later on, his comments about the Abrahamists IE Muslims. There was compassion for some of these individuals at that time, a time of slavery! More compassion then there is today! Pathetic!
By the way Marv I’ve gotten your information, I will be talking to you soon!
If some of us wanted to found an organization that would be the perfect framework and supportive network for crooks, gangsters, bullies, assholes, penis-envy addicts, me-firsters, incompetents, money-grubbers, and deplorables of all stripes, what would we come up with?
Hint: It already exists.
It’s been done before…poll tax, etc….So, there’s precedent. And I’m only half-joking.
Perhaps the Indiana Democratin Party might want to advertise and provide homemade face masks and gloves at all the voting sites if we still want people to get out and safely vote. You would not have to be a Democrat to get supplies, just be A Voter.
Perhaps that is an even better idea to force moderation of absentee voting in this time of uncertainty and change from our previous known normal…… even if the Democrats talked about it, the opposes to a democratic citizenry might just be worried enough to make changes.
the time lines written so far seems to say trumps henchmen decided to confer with wall streets suits before making a move to stutter a word about a pandemic,(and dump stock and advise the brokers) which was in full swing in europe. our fail state didnt even move when we were getting reliable information from the euro..wall streets greed comprimised any and all info at the onset.. euro news sources are now writing about our failure,s. people before profits doesnt even make a dent in the issues here in America.,,and guess whos paying for this new bailout?( lets see, three trillion,in a wall streets continued mob rules,in three years, trump should enjoy this, screwing the taxpayer,again) until we override the current propaganda and make this pandemic a forefront issue,we have to clear away the present garbage,and then slap some people into reality. all because the issues that relate to the citizen in need,is mired in other ongoing,constant garbage from every on air news media and many on line news media in America. hard to scream about something when theres a wall of hate and ignorance in the way..if anyone wants to start a conspircay issue about the next election, feel free, im sure theres paid think tanks taking stock on every piece of disinformation,,information,and analyticals..(cambridge still operates) to sell and influence some asswipe who sees our democracy in dollar signs. whos shocked by the voter denials weve been handed? the ones who dont give democracy a second thought… its been a 40 year plan,and we are blind to it. did we wake up? ive been seeing this as a whole program to give this nation to,those who disrespect it most.. if my comment in words as “wall street,”may i define, where money and greed override the vote,us… most of todays elected are nothing more than a bunch of cons,stealing from us. they enter office now,under supervision from ALEC,DNC,and such, if you dont align your gone..if we are to change it, we go back to face to face town halls,and enact a recall proceedure,so your term stops, it ends immediately. the govenors in America need a house cleaning also,,they to purvey the issues,and send influence to DC.. if we allow a constitutional comgress or change now, it will only turn our democracy into a plutocracy.. we need to make a voice to see this november is on time,and very regulated. every poll should have lawyers present,and in view. every American that can vote,needs to come out in mass. no excuses, help a neigbor,help get them a ID.give a ride, make sure they are not conned,and have a address that you vote at from the people who designate each poll…if your boss and time dont allow it, then become the economic slaves wall street demands now…many suits dont care about your health, and since they have devised the profit margins to keep most Americans near a poverty line and failure. ( are you listening small buisness,gigs,self employed?) literally throwing trump and mcconnel to the street is the only voice that will make any show of force.. make the vote count,and with a paper trail. otherwise, the Roberts court will stand and see to our failure..
thanks for the courts proceedure.. and thanks for the views,and your work..
i would like to make a comment,
trump as in his person is completely unable to decide such issues as whos who,and who
gets what, on a bench..as we read,and look back his moves are because hes advised. at least in his daily
squatting at the White,house.. im sure we should put context to use here. who are the people who advise him,in any bench decision?.as we get closer to november, we all need to be advised on who,is making these real time decisions..bannon is a scapegoat to mcconnels ongoing moves,but not out of the picture…,as i would not guess here, seems more names and places are in dire need to give the voter some teeth in november.. thanks..
Earlier today I received a notice that Trump’s “rally round the flag’ numbers were headed for the tank (again) and that he is falling behind in the polling, even among his own who are not pleased with the way he is handling this rapidly worsening coronavirus catastrophe, which is good news (the handling, not the catastrophe). I am here passing this news bit along, and while I have the floor on Sheila’s topic today (Trump’s admission that he doesn’t want people to vote unless Republican), I want to note in passing that when Trump sees his opportunity to become a dictator he will also include Republicans in that non-voting group since voting is political anathema to dictators. Big Brothers need no advice from us proles; only praise and abject conformity since, after all, we must always rally round the flag because, as noted in 1984, we have always been at war with Oceania.
I find it interesting, and talking with my wife about it, it seems there is a lot of clandestine apartheid going on. It is masquerading as aid packages, but assistance is being doled out by ZIP code but not a uniform national level.
Things that I wouldn’t have initially thought about, but my wife thinks in a much different way than I do, LOL. Folks that are stuck home, some of them, probably a majority of them, don’t have a job anymore, or are on assistance already. Kids that are not in school are going to spend a lot of time eating! And having raised sons, or rather my wife did most of the raising, she knows how much those boys eat when they’re home and there’s not much else to do especially being confined to the house.
There should be a relaxation on food assistance, because after our current POTUS came into office, they started kicking people off of Medicare, Medicaid, ACA, snap, and wick! Right now, they should put the brakes on all of these inhumane activities and allow people who are the most vulnerable, free rein at supermarkets, and doctor’s visits. Those that are on housing assistance, should be given a pass on whatever they have to pay out-of-pocket. This includes senior citizens whose only income is 700 or $800 a month in social security.
If those folks don’t already have a snap card, they should be given one immediately! That card would be continuously recharged, within reason, based on the circumstances and the confinement to one’s home.
I do know that the politicians will be whining about a windfall for those that don’t deserve it, SMH, but then again, they don’t complain about a windfall to corporations, small businesses, and the wealthy! We can see the windfall from the corporations tax cuts a couple of years ago, they took all of that money and went back to the market and bought their stock back. Now they’re complaining that they have no rainy day fund? because their stock has taken a huge hit that they bought back! And then they complain about the poorest and most vulnerable of our society getting a windfall? These corporations didn’t put that money back into the system, they didn’t spend it on upgrades to their production facilities or infrastructure, they used it on themselves and enriched the upper echelon, management and ownership. Those that are considered poor or living by the scruff of their neck, will take any assistance and put it back into the economy, because they know the opportunity might not come again.
This apartheid is not Democratic, it’s not Christian, it’s not morally correct, it’s not compassionate, it’s not ethical! And yet, they’ve sat up there and talked about having to cut social programs and destroy the social safety net because they gave so much to the corporations on their corporate welfare plan ie new tax law, and now it needs to be paid for!
So not only have these ignorant politicians and federal leadership, been giving away trillions of dollars to the highest caste in this country, they’ve thrown the burden and misery directly on those in the middle class and below. I remember them moaning about a transfer of wealth? Demonizing Obama and the ACA? Yelling about death squads killing old people, and they’re doing the very thing they screamed about! And now they just keep sucking the American taxpayer dry! Taking the money directly out of your pockets and giving it to the corporations.
During this particular crisis and maybe even beyond, and I am looking at beyond, those Medicaid cards, those snap cards, those WIC cards, should be carte blanche cards!!!!! Then afterwards, the inequity that is flooding through this country like a cancer will be put on chemo therapy. If you look at the levels of taxes that were paid in the twenties and thirties, it was 50% and above in some cases. And these tax levels were paid by corporations and the wealthy! everyone has to tow the line and pull their weight during a crisis, and all lives are valuable, and if someone says they are not, look no farther than Nazi Germany, they said the same thing!
I knew you were joking, but I meant it would’ve been a panacea if it would work out that way, LOL, I was going to respond earlier, but I was getting stir crazy and I took the dog down to the beach. Very peaceful! Even though it’s a bit nippy out there, still enjoyable, that freshwater sea never gets old. Times like this I regret getting rid of my boat, SMH.
Anyway, even though you were half joking, it makes sense.
Good points! Remember, to the government and corporations, we are only commodities! If it wasn’t for us, they would not exist!
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