Cognitive Psychology

The GQP can haz all the Threats to Democracy, Please


With Molly Ivins passing, reminded me just how long their lust for authoritarianism has been with us. What is it that they say? If your Viagra-induced hardon for authoritarianism lasts longer than four decades, call your doctor? I think it is well past time we started the Republicans on vasoconstrictors and tried to dial that bad boy back a bit. Let’s break out the frozen peas and have a drink and see if we can come to some kind of understanding of just how bad the problem is.

It seems like every time I open a media website, I see another way that the Republicans are threatening our democracy. Okay, everytime I read Vox they’ve got some new article convincing us all that it’s too late and we’re all going to die. Seriously, they’ve got us painted so tightly into a corner, mussing up the paint on the floor might not save us.

Let’s do a little annotation of a few of their recent articles:

4 threats to US democracy: Election theft, minority rule, voter suppression, and an unfit GOP

I liked this article because it neatly organized and categorized the threats that the Republicans are posing to our democracy. While social media-wisdom would have us believe that our democracy is deeply imperiled (Spoiler: it is), that exact same social media wisdom struggles to succinctly identify exactly what the threats to our democracy are. It could be because our MSM is too busy bothsideisming everything that they can’t be bothered to accurately report on it. But liberal Twitter is just as sure that the Republicans are coming for our democracy as conservative Twitter is that it is Democrats.

We all know that I think a good diagnosis leads to a good treatment, so I like this article for that reason. I also like it because each of these threats has been identified and discussed on Ye Olde Blogge many times, so here they are:

Election Theft

As the Ol’ Pussy Grabber has made very clear over the past couple of days, he meant to steal the election by having VP Mother Pence — the highest-breasted queen to ever occupy The Naval Observatory — decline to count all of Biden’s electors or just the ones from select states it depends on which cray-cray plan they thought they could get Mother to follow. Lucky for us, Mother wasn’t going to follow any of them on the advice of Dan Quayle. Luckily, the whole thing didn’t reside on Quayle’s ability to spell treason or insurrection or potato.

The idea of election theft differs from voter nullification because theft means we know the outcome of the election and we just go ahead and change it. You know, just declare someone else the actual winner like Trump wanted Pence to do on 6 January after we all knew Biden had one. Now, we are treated the Ol’ Pussy Grabber just blurting it out there in writing.

The danger is less in the mob than it is the legal overturning of the election. In 2020, Trump tried to convince state officials to just throw out the certified election results and declare him the winner. The 2020 Raffensberger and Kemp wouldn’t do it, but the 2022 Raffensberger and Kemp might. They both are toeing the Big Lie line now. WTF fellas, the damage is already done. You might as well retire from politics and the Republican party and open Krispy Kreme franchises or something because you ain’t ever working in conservative politics again.

Minority Rule

We already live under some degree of minority rule because a minority of the population elects a majority of our senators and Democrats have to win the popular presidential vote by four to six percentage points to win the electoral college. Anything less and the candidate with the fewest votes wins! Also, in many of the states Republicans can win 40% or less of the vote count and still control the state legislatures and their state’s House delegation.

The biases that the Constitution contains and our election laws already allows this to happen.

The fear is that Republican voter suppression and nullification laws will allow them to consistently win elections in local, state, and national races without winning a majority of the votes. While there are numerous court challenges to these pernicious state laws, SCOTUS is signaling that it favors the view that the states determine how its elections are run and that it is the limit of federal jurisdiction in elections.

Because many of these advantages are baked into our current system, we need huge systemic change — constitutional convention or new voting rights act — to change them. Don’t bet on it.

Voter Suppression

Winning is elections is like winning a football game: you need higher total at end than your opponent. Some teams play with a strong defense arguing that limiting their opponents score means that their offense has a better chance of scoring more points. Others prefer a shoot out believing that their high octane offense will put more votes on the board than their opponents can.

Voter suppression is the strong defense version of this argument. Don’t let the other side vote as easily, and the minority of voters that support you will be able to win the election with a majority. The Republicans have been perfecting this approach ever since SCOTUS gutted the Voting Rights Act.

Fortunately for us folks like Stacey Abrams have been able to check their advantages by out organizing them. 2022 may see the limit of out organizing voter suppression.

Republican Irresponsibility

The fundamental bedrock principles of democracy:

  • One person, one vote
  • Fair elections in which everyone has an equal opportunity to vote and all votes are counted
  • The peaceful transition of power in which the loser concedes the election and leaves office if necessary
  • Compromise between the party to pass major legislation and enact major policies

Right now, the Republican party doesn’t stand for any of these things. If both parties don’t do all four, then we don’t have a democracy. While the first two are clear that without them we do not have a democracy, the last two are just as important.

Republicans are not willing to concede elections. They will maintain that any election they lose is because it is corrupt. Without faith in our elections, we cannot have a democracy.

Republicans have become the party of no and because of the filibuster, they can block all legislation with certain exceptions due to various carve outs. Even worse, Republicans refuse to govern. McConnell has declared that they will not run on any policy agenda in the 2022 elections. Trump mandated that the Republican party platform was whatever he wanted in 2020. There was no party platform.

Essentially, they are refusing to govern. Even when the Republicans had the presidency and both Houses of Congress, they didn’t pass much legislation. Other than needless ruinous tax cuts for the wealthy, they didn’t pass any major legislation.

In essence, our democracy is already gone because they won’t play. It’s like a baseball game where the pitcher won’t actually throw the ball. They go through a lot of the motions and promise to do something in about two weeks, but nothing ever seems to happen.

Of course Republicans aren’t relying on just one measure to destroy our democracy. They’ll use all four in the 2022 elections.

Political Violence and Voter Intimidation

The one thing the Vox article leaves out is the effect of political violence and voter intimidation. It does more than just suppress the vote. It encourages anarchy and further development of a police state. Ron Desantis is creating a state elections integrity enforcement unit to investigate allegations of irregularities in the 2022 election. Michiganders are being encouraged to unplug voting machines and to lock and load to stop suspicious election activity at polling places in 2022.

The ultimate way to stop a democracy is to stop people from voting. One way to do that is to make it too dangerous to go to the polls because of violence. It is clear that MAGA Nation is radicalizing so that they are willing to commit political violence.

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Image Attribution

“I Can Has Cheezburger book” by bgolub is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

14 replies »

    • Howdy Ten Bears!

      I’ve always loved the lines, “I can haz…” and “All your bases are belong to us.” I try to use them as often as I can, which isn’t often enough.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

    • Howdy Gia!

      Thank you for letting me know. It really means a lot ot me. I appreciate it.

      I hope to see you around on the site again, soon.

      Have a GREAT weekend!

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Like

    • Howdy Bob!

      As much as I worry about the 22 elections, there are signs that both bases are engaged and enthusiastic in spite of what the MSM is saying. The two biggest indicators are the generic congressional candidate survey question, Republicans are ahead by only a few percentage points and fundraising. The DNC has outraised the RNC and many candidates are raising lots of money. Unfortunately, Dems are focused on the big name races and ignoring the secretaries of state and other lesser known but influential state offices.

      So, we shall see.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • The DNC has a long history of not focusing on the down ballot positions, and it has cost them dearly. We can expect that at the end of its current session, SCOTUS will hand down a raft of horrendous decisions. That will be a wild card for both parties’ base enthusiasm.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Bob!

          Those decisions coupled with some good economic and #COVID19 news — I don’t think GQP obstruction can stop the continued gradual improvement in the pandemic — may be enough to push some hesitant white independent voters to vote for Dems.

          Hope springs eternal, don’t it?

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              I can’t imagine that abortion doesn’t bring people out, but then again, I didn’t think Trump was electable in 2016, so my judgment is suspect. It probably will get down to some kind of October surprise.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Liked by 1 person

              • Hmmm – A lot does depend on what gets real in voters’ lives when. I suspect that the people who appear to make their living making political predictions would be many fewer and quieter if they lost 50% of their life savings every time they were wrong.

                Liked by 1 person

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