The recent Republican blockage of the new Voting Rights Bill (along with infrastructure and every other need)... and the plausibly acceptable compromise offered by West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin... has raised some very important thoughts some of you have seen here, before. But that now seem more redolent and relevant than ever.
As I predicted in Polemical Judo, the Foxite-putinists who are ramming through new voter-suppression 'election reform laws' in many states are painting it as the responsible, accountable thing.
"Why shouldn't voters prove who they are at the polling station?" And we know that at some level there is merit to that raw question. Alas, Democrats are responding in exactly the wrong ways, giving an impression nursed on Fox that "you just want ways to cheat!"
In fact there is a judo answer that demolishes their entire argument. And it is one that not a single democrat pol or pundit has voiced (to my knowledge).
It would devastate. And no one says it.
"You claim that Voter ID would make elections more secure? Fine! Then help poor folks, minorities, divorced women, the homeless and others smoothly and easily get their ID problems cleared up. Lack of clear ID is one of the problems helping to keep many of them poor! Even those born here."
It's called COMPLIANCE ASSISTANCE and hammer the hypocrisy here! Republicans always demand government helps pay big companies to cover costs of complying with new regulations. So remind voters of that largesse for the rich and make clear this big test of GOPper sincerity:
"Did you accompany these onerous new Voter ID rules with appropriations for major efforts to reach out to your state's poorest citizens and HELP THEM GET ID? Expanding DMV offices and hours? Sending door-to-door outreach workers? Actually NOTIFYING voters purged from rolls for missing an election?
"If so, then maybe you are sincere about your motives."
In fact, all the GOP's aggressive political cheat-bills are accompanied with reductions in compliance aid! DMV office closures in minority communities. Disallowing motor-voter and so on.
Yeah, you are shrugging now and saying "Sure, we already knew that, Brin." But I am telling you that it matters how it is parsed! This isn't just blaring hypocrisy that can be attacked as such.
While it sounds dry and legalistic "compliance assistance" is also a powerful legal argument for court cases against these very bills. So powerful that it might corner John Roberts with the 14th Amendment.
Again, the "Manchin Compromise" is totally acceptable! And thus, McConnell and co. will fight it to the end, knowing that if people can vote, their mad-confederate cult will soon be toast. Just 3 provisions - auto-registration via DMV, 15 days early voting, and ending gerrymandering - would restore US democracy! And 'campaign money' is already less a factor in politics than it used to be, so give way on that one as a sop to "moderates."
But much depends on whether Joe B and Joe M are choreographing a way to end the filibuster (or conversion to the old talk-kind) when they can maximally make it it clearly McConnell's fault...
...or if it's all just a lot of posturing hooey. I won't take bets either way. I've had my hopes for dem cleverness dashed before. But you are just as wrong to assume the negative.
== Political miscellany ==
First an announcement-reminder! My general political essay in four parts - about the insipid/lobotomizing left-right "axis"- how history betrayed competitive creativity, and what libertarianism might look like, if it ever grew up, is now safely reposted here.
Re: The Republican Party's open war against every fact-using profession:
“One of the greatest advantages of the totalitarian elites of the twenties and thirties was to turn any statement of fact into a question of motive.”
― Hannah Arendt
Yay this! According to The Washington Post: “Rep. Pressley makes case for postal banking to raise revenue and advance ‘economic justice’.” (You’ll have to scroll down past the deJoy nonsense.) I lived in the UK and in France, where even the poorest citizens had simple accounts at the Post office, enabling them to save and build credit, customers who commercial banks not only have ignored but actively spurned and drove off, despite their promises in the 1960s, when ‘reforms’ ended postal banking in the US.
As AOC has said, also championing this reform: This would not only help millions of the poor to uplift themselves, but would decisively be a money maker for the struggling USPS. And yes. Restoring the US Post Office Bank was one of my 31 consensus goals that ALL democrats could agree on and that should be done together (with a few sane Republicans) ASAP.
== Favoring the Rich for much too long ==
One, simple chart shows the difference in percent income change between the Trump 2017 "Supply Side IV" tax cut for the rich and the expected effects of the new covid relief bill, both of which cost the Treasury roughly the same. The article goes on to show not percentages but in DOLLARS and shows the uber rich did even spectacularly better under SS-IV.... while sending the economy and main street into hell.
(Not one prediction ever made by "supply side theory" ever, ever came remotely close to coming true. Ever and bet me on it! Cash awaits.)
So how did Trump's tax cuts compare with the expected coronavirus relief bill? The change in after-tax incomes (including all provisions of the 2017 law) looks like this:
Every time something like this happens- say that another former 'great guy' 'betrays' Trump, or another gopper is caught molesting children, or committing felonies or yowling incoherently, the Foxite-Putinists spin that it's an individual/unfortunate case! And reliably, good-but-clunky democrats go 'duuuuh' and never, ever answer with statistical proof that stuff like this is actually typical of today's Republican Party. (And my offer of high stakes wagers on this still stands.)
And so... Here is the 20th installment in a running list of – now 500+! - Republican sexual predators, abusers, and enablers who contribute to rape culture. These are people who abused their power or defended abuse of power, not folks caught in consensual scandals such as being gay, having an affair, or soliciting adult prostitutes.
Again, there are ways to hammer this and a myriad other chinks in the Putinists’ armor. And here's one that could happen tomorrow, at a pen stroke!
Biden's AG Merrick Garland should announce that the Justice Department will defend anyone who violates an NDA, if it results in criminal charges.
Or else, some decent zillionaire could offer to pay NDA penalties, if revelations have that effect.
And yes, this would edge us toward the real thing America and the world needs. The one thing that would shatter the Oligarchist Cabal. Biden must declare a Truth Commission that will recommend clemency to the first 20 (or 200) highly placed blackmail victims who step up and turn the tables on their blackmailers.
Some dems will get caught up. But the RATIO will be clear and will make 2022 a cake walk. Nothing short of all of that will even begin to clean up (or 'drain') that swampy town.