Yes, unlike the Maga true beliebers who genuinely think the election was stolen, GOP officials know they have a serious numbers problem that is only getting worse. That’s kinda what makes this whole thing even more concerning – that people educated and knowledgeable enough to understand and appreciate democracy are so willing to circumvent it in the pursuit of power.
Alas, poor Greg–Trump is NOT amused by the Guv’s wimpy effort to appease him.
Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to audit the 2020 election results in four of the state’s biggest counties apparently did not pass muster for former President Donald Trump.
“By allowing the Democrats to do what they do, it will make it much harder for the governor and other Republicans to win election in 2022 and into the future,” Trump said in a statement to the Texas Tribune. “Texas is a much redder state than anyone knows, but this is the way to make sure it turns blue.”
Last week, Trump in a public letter had pushed Abbott — whom the former president has endorsed ahead of the 2022 Republican primary — to add legislation to the Legislature’s special session agenda that would make it easier for counties to audit election results.
Later that day, the Texas secretary of state’s office announced it would audit Collin, Dallas, Harris and Tarrant counties’ election results, without providing much detail.
But Trump has been specific about his demand from the get-go: He wants House Bill 16, authored by Rep. Steve Toth, R-The Woodlands, to be added to the special session call and approved.
The bill would require county clerks to convene an “election review advisory committee” to review 2020 election results from randomly selected precincts if a state or county party chair requested it. Other provisions would make it easier for candidates and others to request audits from their county clerk or the secretary of state.
Local governments would bear the brunt of the costs; the Legislative Budget Board earlier this month estimated that the fiscal hit could be “significant” but did not provide dollar figures “due to not knowing the volume of potential future requests.”
The bill has garnered support in the Texas Senate.
Of course it has.
My bold. I love that part: *“By allowing Democrats to do what they do…” Yeah: VOTE. Can’t be havin’ any of that!
The Republicans are redrawing the map, too.
The Texas House of Representatives on Thursday released its first draft for the chamber’s new district lines, rearranging boundaries to shore up support for the GOP majority.
It’s the same strategy that has been evident in other political maps the Republican-controlled Legislature has drawn this year, calculated to maintain a red majority in a state that has slowly trended more Democratic for years. In 2018, Democrats picked up 12 seats in the House, putting them within nine seats of the chamber’s majority.
The Democrats had hoped to make up that difference in the 2020 elections but ended up with no net gain — giving the GOP total control over the redistricting process.
Texas grew by roughly 4 million people over the past decade, a surge driven almost entirely by people of color, especially Latinos. Updating the political maps is required every 10 years, to account for such shifts.
Still, the proposed House map reduces the number of majority-minority districts by voting age population. Previously, 67 districts were majority-white; the new map proposes 72 districts that have mostly white voters.
Those numbers change dramatically when evaluating estimates for adult citizens. Using those figures, the House currently has 83 majority-white districts, compared with 89 under the new map. And while the current districts include 33 with Hispanic majorities and seven with Black majorities, those numbers would fall to 30 and four, respectively.
“These maps do nothing but preserve the status quo at the expense of Black and brown Texans,” said Anthony Gutierrez, the executive director of the good-government group Common Cause Texas.
He’s also insisting that the legislature reverse a change that would lower the penalty for illegal voting from a felony to a misdemeanor – a change that was made in legislation he signed less than a month ago.
The thing to know about Abbott’s political situation is that he has two challengers on his right in the Republican primary, including former Florida Congressman/fundraising machine/insane person Allen West. Abbott’s nightmare is that he doesn’t clear 50% in the first round, and is forced into a runoff with West on a random Tuesday in May when only the craziest of base voters will turn out. And so he’s throwing as much red meat at them as he can.
Trump’s turning up the pressure on Abbott, calling his plan for an audit in some counties “a weak risk-limiting audit that is being slow-walked” and in the same breath praising Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. You’d think by now Abbott and his ilk would have figured out that Trump will never be satisfied by half-measures. Nothing short of complete, obsequious submission will suffice.
Trump is actually weaker than they realize, but they don’t want to risk gambling and losing. Nobody really knows what the final blow will be that finally knocks Trump down once and for all.
On other boards and social media I’ve noticed the reluctance of Trump supporters to weigh in on the possibilities of red state legislatures overturning popular vote results in their urban areas (to be fair, only a small minority of Dems are really concerned as well).
But I imagine that if it happens, Trumpists will leap to defend it.
- It’s perfectly legal under state law
- The Supreme Court says it’s constitutional
It’s only hard to defend from a democratic and moral point of view and I don’t think they’re worried about either of those.
If you want to understand the thinking of the far right, I think this piece in the Atlantic gives us some pretty accurate insights. Although the Claremont Institute is often labeled as a ‘far right’ group, you wouldn’t necessarily think that they are far right if you encountered any of these individuals on the street or at a conference. They look like regular working professionals. They’re educated – we can debate what that term really means, but these are not people dressing up in paramilitary gear. Nevertheless, they are mainstreaming an intellectual framework which countenances violence, despite its claims to the contrary.
They can say “We don’t want war” all they want - when they postulate that because they’re outnumbered by progressives they’re (we’re) living in two separate countries, they are laying making their jus ad bellum case for the cause of political obstruction and even violent insurrection…“if it’s necessary.”
This ought to be familiar:
“The Founders were pretty unanimous, with Washington leading the way, that the Constitution is really only fit for a Christian people,” Williams told me.
Right, just foreshadowing, eh?
It’s possible that violence lies ahead.
“I worry about such a conflict,” Williams told me. “The Civil War was terrible. It should be the thing we try to avoid almost at all costs.”
But let me guess: “If we don’t get the power we want, we will have no choice but to suspend the modern democratic process and take power by any means necessary.”
This is something we’ve talked about here on threads like these over and over again. They believe their country has been taken from them, and they are entitled to take it back. They are entitled to do whatever it takes to keep that power once they have it. The reason most people aren’t panicking right now is that they don’t understand how serious these people are – they’re deadly serious. They’re armed. They have support in corporate America. They have support in local, national, and even international political establishments of the modern conservative movement. They have support in local law enforcement, in the courts, in the legislatures, in federal and state civil service, and in the military.
The insurrection on January 6th failed because it advocated violently wresting power away from the democrats (not the party but those committed to democracy) before they had the political means to effectuate their hostile takeover. The far right learned a valuable lesson on that day, much the same way that the Nazis learned their lessons from the failed Beer Hall Putsch in 1923.
The lessons they learned were:
- focus on the mechanisms of power at all levels
- take control of those mechanisms
- obstruct, disrupt, obstruct, disrupt - make sure democrats cannot effectively govern
- do all that you can to create a crisis
- wait for the crisis
- crush the enemy
There are at least two “audits” in Wisconsin – one by the Legislative Audit Bureau, and another partisan one by former Supreme Court justice Michael Gableman.
Gableman doesn’t know how elections work (probably a feature and not a bug in the view of the appointers)
We already have “brilliant” move like
Trump won Hood County in a landslide. His supporters still hounded the elections administrator until she resigned.
An elections administrator in North Texas submitted her resignation Friday, following a monthslong effort by residents and officials loyal to former President Donald Trump to force her out of office.
Michele Carew, who had overseen scores of elections during her 14-year career, had found herself transformed into the public face of an electoral system that many in the heavily Republican Hood County had come to mistrust, which ProPublica and The Texas Tribune covered earlier this month.
Her critics sought to abolish her position and give her duties to an elected county clerk who has used social media to promote baseless allegations of widespread election fraud.
Carew, who was hired to run elections in Hood County two-and-a-half months before the contested presidential race, said in an interview that she worried that the forces that tried to drive her out will spread to other counties in the state.
“When I started out, election administrators were appreciated and highly respected,” she said. “Now we are made out to be the bad guys.”
Over the last year, Carew has come under fire for everything from her connection with the League of Women Voters, which critics say is anti-Trump, to her interest in a $29,000 grant, funded in part by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, that would have been used to pay for costs related to the pandemic.
She was also accused of harboring a hidden agenda after refusing to allow a reporter with the fervently pro-Trump One America News Network into a private training for election professionals in March when she headed the Texas Association of Elections Administrators.
The most sustained criticism of Carew came from critics who accused her of violating the law by not adhering to an obscure election law that requires ballots to be consecutively numbered.
But seven election experts and administrators told ProPublica and the Tribune that consecutively numbering ballots is out of step with best practices in election security and voter privacy, and that consecutive numbering is not required to conduct effective election audits.
New slogan: Stop the Stupid!
To be honest I never had much respect for our elections administrator. He’s a very Republican ex-legislator (known for being against Hispanic people voting) elected on the Trump wave in 2016 whose first acts in office included stopping the “don’t forget to vote” letters and removing archives of election results from the internet. I’m not sure if he’s the reason the state doesn’t go to high schools to register seniors any more, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s his fault.
For some reason, many people are okay with morphing that “never had too much respect for” into “feel a righteous and murderous rage for”.
Wait, what state was registering high school students? How many states do this? Why isn’t it universal?
I’m in Florida, and what happened was my high school (2014) pulled all the seniors out of class one morning and put us in the auditorium, where some guys from the state handed out voter registration forms. We filled them out right then and there. Cards came in the mail. Students that didn’t know their SSN or wanted to take the form home / not register were told they could drop it off at the administration office or some local government office.