Happy Hour News Briefs, and yes, we’re totally eff’ed-in-the-dark
…got me to look at this article in The Atlantic, where I read the full quote:
“We are accustomed to choosing electors by popular vote, but nothing in the Constitution says it has to be that way. Article II provides that each state shall appoint electors ‘in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct.’ Since the late 19th century, every state has ceded the decision to its voters. Even so, the Supreme Court affirmed in Bush v. Gore that a state ‘can take back the power to appoint electors.’ How and when a state might do so has not been tested for well over a century.”
“Trump may test this. According to sources in the Republican Party at the state and national levels, the Trump campaign is discussing contingency plans to bypass election results and appoint loyal electors in battleground states where Republicans hold the legislative majority. With a justification based on claims of rampant fraud, Trump would ask state legislators to set aside the popular vote and exercise their power to choose a slate of electors directly. The longer Trump succeeds in keeping the vote count in doubt, the more pressure legislators will feel to act before the safe-harbor deadline expires.”
…which sounds pretty alarming. [Picture Scissorhead Dennis Cole with his hair on fire-alarming.]
But when I sit back and think about red states with red legislators, well, those places were already going to be on Team Evil. I don’t know enough about the make-up of the so-called battleground states, but it seems to me that any legislators (and legislatures) who are willing to be co-conspirators in overthrowing the federal election, they might not be so willing to have the evidence of their treason be so bold.
I’m sure that tomorrow our pals at Electoral-Vote will probably be able to calm us down about this shakey strategem with logic and reason and facts, as is their wont.
Meanwhile, over at Slate:
“With less than six weeks to go before Election Day, and with over 250 COVID-related election lawsuits filed across 45 states, the litigation strategy of the Trump campaign and their allies has become clear: try to block the expansion of mail-in balloting whenever possible and, in a few key states, create enough chaos in the system and legal and political uncertainty in the results that the Supreme Court, Congress, or Republican legislatures can throw the election to Trump if the outcome is at all close or in doubt.”
“It’s a Hail Mary, but in a close enough election we cannot count the possibility out. I’ve never been more worried about American democracy than I am right now…”
“We should not think of the litigation and the wild claims of voter fraud as separate from one another. Instead, they are part of a play to grab power if the election is close enough. There are good legal arguments against a power grab, but if another body tries to overturn the will of the people in voting for president, there will be protests in the streets, with the potential for violence.”
“This is a five-alarm fire folks. It’s time to wake up.”
Over at No More Mister Nice Blog, Steve M ties it into a nice bow with the on-going eff’ery with RBG’s seat:
We know that Trump intends to challenge mail ballots, which are expected to be disproportionately Democratic. So when the Senate Judiciary Committee holds hearings on the president’s Supreme Court nominee — a nominee Mitch McConnell hopes to seat before the election, so she can vote in the GOP’s favor on election-related issues — Democratic senators, in addition to asking her about healthcare and abortion and the usual issues that come up in such hearings, should ask her a few questions about democracy in America. Question such as:
Do you believe that a mail ballot cast in a manner consistent with state and federal law is a legitimate ballot?
Do you agree with the president of the United States that an election in which there are a large number of mail ballots is inevitably fraudulent?
Do you agree with the president of the United States that sending mail ballots to all voters in a manner consistent with state and federal law and with proper safeguards in place inevitably leads to fraud?
Do you agree with the president of the United States that there is a time limit after which ballots cast in a manner consistent with state and federal law should not be counted?
Do you believe that the president of the United States has the right to impound ballots cast in a manner consistent with state and federal law, and if so, under what circumstances?
And that to me is the end-game. That’s not a Hail Mary Pass, that’s the play right there.
As if on queue, Bloomberg reminds us that Lord Damp Nut always projects AND confesses:
President Trump predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court will decide the outcome of the November election and argued the Senate should confirm his nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to break any tie.
Said Trump: “I think this will end up in the Supreme Court and I think it’s very important that we have nine justices, and I think the system’s going to go very quickly.”
He added: “I think this scam that the Democrats are pulling, it’s a scam, this scam will be before the United States Supreme Court and I think having a 4-4 situation is not a good situation. Just in case it would be more political than it should be, I think it’s very important to have a ninth judge.”
Back to Steve M, who continues:
Because remember who intends to vote by mail this year: older Americans in particular, many of them white suburbanites, who fear the health consequences of showing up at the polls. Democrats need to start saying now that the president’s position is that Grandma’s vote is illegitimate by definition. His Supreme Court nominee, who might not be expecting such questions, needs to be asked if she agrees.
So our jobs, Scissorheads, is to get everyone and their brother to vote. It cannot get close enough for any of these machinations to be carried out. And whenever someone talks about mail-in ballots as being illegitimate, throw Steve M’s quote back at them.
UPDATE 1: Karoli at Crooks and Liars tells us to quit getting our knickers in knots.
Here’s the thing: Articles like this, fear mongering like this already suppresses the Biden vote. When you tell people that Trump and his games are more powerful than the people, you’re telling them their vote doesn’t matter. And if their vote doesn’t matter, then why should they bother to vote at all? All the fear mongering about what Agent Orange and his gang of GOP thugs does is suppress the vote. It also creates an environment of fear, which is the soil upon which REPUBLICANS thrive.
I am not saying to ignore the experts. I am saying that the answer to the bullshit Trump spews is to ignore it and vote in numbers the likes of which no one has ever seen before. Even Gellman discounts the possibility of a landslide, despite the fact that all of the evidence points to huge turnout (see Virginia’s early voting turnout, or the soaring requests for absentee ballots in a number of states, for example):
Much more there. It’s a good rebuttal.
UPDATE 2 –