Thursday, October 27, 2016

Charlie Looks Inside

Charlie Pierce (the whole banana):
Thursday's required reading on the subject of Rats: How They Won't Fuck Themselves comes from Bloomberg News, courtesy of Josh Green and Sasha Issenberg, who were allowed inside the guts of the Trump campaign—"Only the best e.coli. Great e.coli!"—to see what's actually going on with it beyond rallies and baseball caps. What they found should scare the hell out of two groups that otherwise have little contact with each other—people who care about the health of our democracy, and Republicans.
As to the former, the big noisy takeaway is an admission from "a senior campaign official" that the primary goal of the actual Trump campaign is to suppress the votes of people who have demonstrated a deep immunity to the appeal of El Caudillo del Mar-A-Lago.
"We have three major voter suppression operations under way," says a senior official. They're aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans. Trump's invocation at the debate of Clinton's WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters. The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are "super predators" is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls—particularly in Florida.
OK, so this is nasty and distasteful and dangerous, and it's a wonder that John Lewis doesn't just show up for work some morning with an ax in his hand and murder in his eye. But it can't really be surprising. Suppressing minority voters—rather than, say, earning their support with something beyond "What have you got to lose?"—is now as conventional a piece of Republican electoral strategy as tax cuts and fetus-fondling are.
This is true at all levels, from the local polling place all the way up to the Supreme Court, and has been for quite some time. Hell, it was how William Rehnquist got his start in Republican politics and he went on to a sweet career, if I recall correctly. So having a senior official come clean on it is a nice detail to have, and it will make a lot of noise and, if American democracy continues its historic run of luck, the revelation will piss off enough people at whom the strategy is aimed to bury it under a landslide. I'm not betting heavy either way on that one.
Meanwhile, our buddies at Oath Keepers wish to remind their members to do the Voter Intimidation shit in a totally non-intimidating way.

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