Stealing Georgia

More on that being-stolen right in front of us election in Georgia:

It isn’t often you get to watch an election being stolen in real time, but that might be what is happening right now in Georgia.

When it comes to the nationwide, comprehensive, carefully planned Republican effort to suppress the votes of people who are likely to vote Democratic, particularly racial minorities, there is a menu of techniques Republicans employ — voter ID laws, voter purges, limiting early voting, closing polling places in heavily minority neighborhoods, and racial and partisan gerrymandering.

But Brian Kemp’s blatant theft is in a class by itself.

Paul Waldman recaps Ben Nadler’s reporting from yesterday then asks sarcastically who could have foreseen this.

We know who: the Republicans in the state legislature who passed the law and the Republican who’s implementing it. In fact, they passed their “exact match” law in 2017 after Kemp settled a lawsuit charging that a previous version of “exact match” was racially discriminatory. Kemp agreed to stop using it, but then the Republican-led legislature stepped in and wrote a new version of it into law so that the suppression could continue.

It’s a simple formula: the more difficult you make it to vote, the more you filter out people who lack time, resources, money, influence, social capital – in other words poor people, people of color, recent immigrants, single parents – people who don’t benefit from this system that tilts so strongly toward the prosperous and powerful, and thus vote for the party that does a little (a very little) more to try to make life less awful for those people.

We have to keep saying this: Suppressing the votes of Democrats is the whole point of these laws and procedures. Republicans claim to worry about “voter fraud,” and journalists dutifully repeat those claims because when one party says something over and over, you’re supposed to treat it as though it is serious. But everyone knows it’s nonsense. Voter fraud is almost nonexistent, and Republicans aren’t motivated by some deeply held abstract principle about the integrity of elections that they apply whether it helps them or not. It’s just a lie.

It’s also an example of how Republicans, who complain all the time about the stifling hand of big government, use their power to weaponize bureaucracy against people they don’t like. They impose “work requirements” on programs such as Medicaid, forcing recipients to navigate a bureaucratic maze in order to maintain their benefits — and if you make a mistake on a form, you can lose your health insurance. Did someone input an “i” in your name when it’s actually an “l”? Sorry, we’re suspending your registration. Haven’t voted in a couple of elections? We’re purging you from the rolls.

The final and perhaps cruelest piece of this puzzle is that Republicans have closed off the legal avenues for voters to challenge these discriminatory policies. In 2013, the Republican majority on the Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, in a case involving Shelby County, Ga. In a bit of head-spinning illogic, Chief Justice G. Roberts Jr. wrote that “largely because of the Voting Rights Act,” racial discrimination in voting had been greatly reduced, and therefore it was time to gut the Voting Rights Act. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg noted in her dissent, destroying the Voting Rights Act because it had succeeded in limiting discrimination was “like throwing away your umbrella in a rainstorm because you are not getting wet.” Because of the Shelby County v. Holder decision, legal challenges to Kemp’s actions are unlikely to succeed.

Which probably explains why Kemp feels so comfortable doing all this in plain sight.

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