Why Are Republicans So Afraid Of Voters
There is no both sides do it when it comes to intentionally keeping Americans away from the polls.
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As of Sunday afternoon, more than 93 million Americans had cast a ballot in the November elections. Thats about two-thirds of the total number of people who voted in 2016, and there are still two days until Election Day.
This is excellent news. In the middle of a global pandemic that has taken the lives of nearly a quarter of a million Americans, upended the national economy and thrown state election procedures into turmoil, there were reasonable concerns that many people would not vote at all. The numbers to date suggest that 2020 could see record turnout.
While celebrating this renewed citizen involvement in Americas political process, dont lose sight of the bigger, and darker, picture. For decades, Americans have voted at depressingly low rates for a modern democracy. Even in a good year, more than one-third of all eligible voters dont cast a ballot. In a bad year, that number can approach two-thirds.
Why are so many Americans consistently missing in action on Election Day?
For many, its a choice. They are disillusioned with government, or they feel their vote doesnt matter because politicians dont listen to them anyway.
Democratic Congressman Suggests Kevin Mccarthy Is ‘afraid Of Donald Trump’
Congressman Jim McGovern said House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy may be a coward who is afraid of former President Donald Trump after he voted against plans to create an independent commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol riot.
In an interview with MSNBC on Wednesday, Rep. McGovern said McCarthy had got “basically everything he wanted” in the proposals for the independent commission, noting that its members would be made up evenly of Republicans and Democrats.
The aim of the commission would be to review the events that led to the deadly attack on Congress, any intelligence failures and how the government responded. The House backed setting up a commission on Wednesday in a 252-175 vote that saw 35 Republican lawmakers break with their party to back the probe.
Speaking to All In With Chris Hayes, McGovern said: “Kevin McCarthy got basically everything he wanted. He sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi talking about his demands, including an equal representation of Democrats and Republicans on the commission. He got it, he got everything.
“And yet he walked away. So he’s either a worse negotiator than Donald Trump, getting everything he wants and then walking away, or he’s a coward. He’s afraid of Donald Trump. Donald Trump does not want the truth to be known, and does not want this commission to move forward.”
Republicans Have A Good Reason Not To Want To Investigate Jan 6: Theyre To Blame
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Our nations preeminent bipartisanship fetishistsJoe Manchin, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowskiare deeply disappointed that they cant get Republicans to back an investigation into the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill. Indeed, they seem outright baffled that their efforts at compromise have fallen short on plans for a bipartisan panel. There is no excuse for any Republican to vote against this commission since Democrats have agreed to everything they asked for, Manchin said in an angry statement on Twitter. It would be so much better if we had an independent outside commission, Collins, a moderate Republican, told reporters Thursday. Is that really what this is about, one election cycle after another? added Murkowski, blasting Mitch McConnells anticipated filibuster. Or are we going to acknowledge that as a country that is based on these principles of democracy that we hold so dear, and one of those is that we have free and fair elections.
I kind of want that to endure beyond just one election cycle, the Alaska moderate Republican told reporters.
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Trump Is Creating His Own American Republic Of Fear
This is a column about American cowards and an American hero, and what their behavior tells us about the future of democracy in this country and its reputation abroad.
First, let us look at the cowards, the congressional Republicans so fearful of President Donald Trump that they are unwilling to call out his rejection of a peaceful transfer of power, the bedrock of American democracy.
Just 27 of 247 congressional Republicans in the House and Senate were willing to acknowledge that Joe Biden was president-elect in a December poll by the Washington Post. They were too terrified of Trump to reject his lying rants about election fraud. Or to denounce the threats his fans are making against election officials of both parties around the country.
Unlike many of those fans, GOP legislators know Biden has won. Yet they are acting as if they live in Belarus, or Russia or China, where opposing an autocrat gets you jailed or poisoned, or in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, where it got you killed.
“Republic of Fear” is what they called Saddam’s Iraq, and despite the huge differences between his murderous tactics and Trump’s, the term seems apt for the bubble of fear in which GOP leaders live. Unless congressional Republicans bust that bubble soon, the American republic will face a grim next few years.
Dent echoes that thought, saying, “If 100 of them today said ‘game’s over’ it would have an enormous effect on the base.”
Opinion: Why Are Republicans So Afraid Of A Fair Fight At The Polls
THE CORONAVIRUS pandemic has left state leaders scrambling to run a fair election this November. Ramping up absentee voting is the most sensible response, but unfortunately it also is becoming a partisan choice. President Trump continues to spew disinformation about the supposed dangers of mail-in voting, some state Republican leaders are refusing to make voting easier, and party officials are fighting states that are trying to do the right thing.
There is NO WAY that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent, President Trump tweeted May 26, accusing California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, of proposing to send ballots to anyone living in the state, no matter who they are or how they got there. In fact, voter fraud of any kind is rare, and states that conduct all-mail-in elections, such as Oregon and Utah, have not seen widespread fraud. Mr. Trump may have been spurred by a lawsuit the Republican National Committee filed May 24 against Mr. Newsom, demanding that the courts stop the governor from distributing absentee ballots in California. That lawsuit, too, is built on fearmongering.
If Republicans fear that enabling more people to vote will hurt them, they should offer more attractive policies and candidates and stop trying to suppress the vote, in California and everywhere else.
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Republicans Now Bragging About Being Trump Big Lie Pushers
In taking a shot at CNNs Jake Tapper, Republicans are openly boasting that theyre responsible for spreading democracy-defying conspiracy theories about the 2020 presidential election.;
The CNN anchor recently took a stand against inviting election deniers on his programs, saying last week that lawmakers who support former President Donald Trumps Big Liereferring to the false claim that the election was stolenare not welcome on his weekday and weekend shows. Its not a policy but a philosophy, Tapper said, noting he hasnt booked such Republicans since the election. Pro-Trump Republicans have since come forward with emails from CNN bookers requesting their presence on Tappers shows. Rep. Elise Stefanik of New Yorkwhom the GOP last month voted to replace Liz Cheney as the partys conference chairtweeted screenshots, telling Tapper to read and weep:
Responding to these apparent gotcha attempts, Tapper said he cant account for every email from my excellent bookers whose job it is to present me with as many options as possible. He also pointed to the absurdity of Republicans rushing to prove they are, in fact, election deniers. Kind of stunning to see her proudly identify as a conspiracy theorist, he said of Stefanik.
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Todays Republicans Really Hate Democrats And Democracy
1) Trumps supporters have embraced anti-democratic ideas
This chart shows results from a two-part survey, conducted in late 2020 and early 2021, of hardcore Trump supporters. The political scientists behind the survey, Rachel Blum and Christian Parker, identified so-called MAGA voters by their activity on pro-Trump Facebook pages. Their subjects are engaged and committed Republican partisans, disproportionately likely to influence conflicts within the party like primary elections.
These voters, according to Blum and Parker, are hostile to bedrock democratic principles.
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How Americas Political System Creates Space For Republicans To Undermine Democracy
9) Republicans havean unpopular policy agenda
Let Them Eat Tweets
The Republican policy agenda is extremely unpopular. The chart here, taken from Jacob Hacker and Paul Piersons recent book Let Them Eat Tweets, compares the relative popularity of the two major legislative efforts of Trumps first term tax cuts and Obamacare repeal to similar high-priority bills in years past. The contrast is striking: The GOPs modern economic agenda is widely disliked even compared to unpopular bills of the past, a finding consistent with a lot of recent polling data.
Hacker and Pierson argue that this drives Republicans emphasis on culture war and anti-Democratic identity politics. This strategy, which they term plutocratic populism, allows the partys super-wealthy backers to get their tax cuts while the base gets the partisan street fight they crave.
The GOP can do this because Americas political system is profoundly unrepresentative. The coalition it can assemble overwhelmingly white Christian, heavily rural, and increasingly less educated is a shrinking minority that has lost the popular vote in seven of the past eight presidential contests. But its voters are ideally positioned to give Republicans advantages in the Electoral College and the Senate, allowing the party to remain viable despite representing significantly fewer voters than the Democrats do.
10) Some of the most consequential Republican attacks on democracy happen at the state level
Lock Him Up Heres The Real Reason Trump Is Afraid Of Leaving The White House
Despite having lost the 2020 presidential election, President Donald Trump is seemingly doing everything in his power to maintain control of the White House. Surrounded by Republican political leaders who are bolstering his lies about widespread voter fraud, the president has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden, and has kept himself busy by replacing senior Pentagon officials with loyalists.
While the presidents apparent attempt to shore up his influence with military leaders is certainly dangerous, few experts believe he is likely to stage an actual coup. Instead, consensus is that Trump will be leaving office one way or another and that even he knows that. What Trump also knows, though and why he is perhaps so desperately clinging to the fantasy that he won is that, when he does leave, he could face prison time. And its that risk of prosecution looming over him that is making Trump tighten his iron grip on the presidency.
If Trump does end up in prison as a result of his various civil and criminal legal transgressions, he will join the ranks of several of his former associates who have been charged or imprisoned under his administration.
Then, too, former Trump campaign managers Steve Bannon and Corey Lewandowski were, respectively, indicted with defrauding donors of a We Build the Wall fundraiser, and charged with misdemeanor battery.
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An Effort To Investigate Was Blocked In The Senate
Its different with the Jan. 6 insurrection. After Republicans in the Senate blocked a bill to investigate, the House decided to investigate on its own.
This time around, however, all but two Republicans in the House Reps. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney of Wyoming voted against setting up a committee to find out what happened on;Jan. 6.
All of Arizonas Republican representatives voted no.;This would include Reps. Andy Biggs and Paul Gosar. You may recall that right-wing political activist Ali Alexander claimed that these two Arizona representatives worked with him to plan pro-Trump rallies, including the one that ended with an attack on the Capitol.
That kind of connection to the Capitol riot seems to be what Republicans are worried about. They;fear the exposure of possible;links between the rioters and Republicans, and the implications that may have for former President Donald Trump.
Gladys Sicknick, the mother of Brian Sicknick, said of the Republicans who voted not to investigate the event, I just dont believe anybody could vote no, it doesnt make sense.
Why Are Gop Lawmakers Afraid To Stand Up To Trump This Race Offers A Clue
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle had maintained a lead for the GOP nomination in the states gubernatorial race since May, when he fell short of getting the 50 percent of the vote needed to win the nomination outright. He was considered the front-runner in the race, the one who had the best chance of taking on rising progressive star Stacey Abrams in the fall.;
But it all fell apart when, in a surprise move, Trump endorsed Brian Kemp, Georgias secretary of state and Cagles GOP rival in the race. The announcement blindsided;Cagles campaign and other GOP officials, including the leaders of the Republican Governors Association.;;
A leaked internal tracking poll for Cagles campaign that was obtained by a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution showed how the lieutenant governors poll numbers nose-dived after Trump endorsed Kemp, who cruised to victory Tuesday.
The dramatic boost for Kemp is a testament to Trumps enduring sway on the Republican electorate, despite growing criticism from GOP officials about his trade policies and his disastrous summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The president did not change the outcome, but it significantly impacted the margin, which means he had a very positive effect, Sen. Jonny Isakson said Wednesday of Trumps endorsement.
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Did Trump Damage American Democracy
Did Trump permanently damage American democracy? This question has spawned a veritable cottage industry of hand wringing over the state of American democracyunderstandably so. Never before have we had a president who schemed to overturn legitimate election results, who attacked the press and the civil servants who worked for him, who admired dictators, who blatantly profited from his public office and who repeatedly lied to the public for his own selfish purposes. But while Trumps four years of rhetoric have been a shock to democratic norms, did they inflict permanent damage on our democracy? My answer is a qualified no. The guardrails of democracy held. The institutions designed to check autocracy are intact.
Successful democratic systems are not designed for governments composed of ethical men and women who are only interested in the public good. If leaders were always virtuous there would be no need for checks and balances. The Founding Fathers understood this. They designed a system to protect minority points of view and to protect us from leaders inclined to lie, cheat and steal. Fortunately, we havent had many of those in our 200-plus years of history, which is why the Trump presidency sent such shock waves through a large part of the body politic.
Did Trump weaken the powers of Congress? No.
Still In The Thrall Of Trump Party Continues On Toxic Turn Away From Truth
Even if you dont like or have never seen the 1992 film, or if you judge Jack Nicholsons acting technique as, shall we say, a bit much, you can probably recite his signature outburst from;A Few Good Men,;with appropriate volume: You cant handle the truth!
Why are so many in the GOP still insisting that the presidential election was rigged and that Donald Trump, the main attraction at the recent Conservative Political Action Conference, is the real president? Why would a 9/11-style commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol to avoid a repeat by the same forces who believed an election fraud lie be a bad idea? Why all the squawking and attempts in some states to censor a social studies curriculum that presents a nuanced and complete history of a United States that has not always acknowledged the accomplishments and sacrifice of all its citizens?
Say it louder, Jack. I dont think the Republicans present and represented at;CPAC;can hear you.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt tried to reassure a justifiably fearful country, in the midst of a crushing Depression, by being honest and positive about our common problems.
Let me assert my firm belief, he said, that the;only thing we have to fear;is fear itself nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.
Its a soulless transaction that views democracy as expendable.
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