Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Last Call For The Big Lie, Con't

The GOP local government of Maricopa County, Arizona is denouncing the state GOP's "audit" of the 2020 election results as a "grift" and the only question is how quickly the county's local Board of Supervisors is removed, replaced, and charged with election fraud by The Big Liars.

The Republican leaders of Arizona’s most populous county issued a blistering rebuke on Monday to a review of the November election that had been ordered by Republicans in the State Senate, calling it “a grift disguised as an audit” that had spun out of the legislators’ control.

The senior Republican in Maricopa County, Jack Sellers, the chairman of the board of supervisors, said flatly that the county would stop cooperating with the review and suggested that it would challenge in court any of its conclusions that pointed toward improprieties.

“This board is done explaining anything,” Mr. Sellers said at a special meeting of the five-member board, four of whose members are Republicans. “People’s ballots and money are not make-believe. It’s time to be done with this craziness, and get on with this county’s critical business.”

It was an extraordinary pushback to an election review that was supposed to placate voters who insisted that Donald J. Trump’s narrow loss in the state was a result of fraud, but which has mushroomed into a political spectacle with what experts call serious procedural lapses.

The Maricopa supervisors had resisted the audit since its inception in December, asking a court to decide whether the State Senate could legally take control of election records and equipment governed by strict security safeguards. They had insisted throughout that the county’s election — in which Joseph R. Biden Jr. earned a slim majority of 2.1 million total votes — had been among the most secure and smooth in the state’s history.

But they were pushed past the breaking point by a letter last week from State Senator Karen Fann, the Senate president, that implied that someone in the county had illegally removed critical election files from equipment and software that the Senate had subpoenaed for examination.

The supervisors learned of the claim when it was posted on a Twitter feed controlled by the review team. Ms. Fann’s letter asked the supervisors to address that and other concerns in a meeting with state senators and a liaison to the firms conducting the review — a meeting that was to be livestreamed by the far-right cable channel One America News.

“This board was going to be part of a political theater,” one Republican supervisor and former chairman of the board, Bill Gates, said. “The Arizona Senate is better than that. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is better than that. And I am not going to be a part of that.”

Mr. Trump had seized on the deleted-file claim over the weekend, calling it “devastating” evidence of irregularities in the vote. That led the county’s top election official, Stephen Richer, to call Mr. Trump’s online comment “unhinged.”
Of course the Maricopa County GOP government was going to be sacrificed on the altar of the Big Lie, and everyone knows it. It's just a matter of time before state lawmakers move against the county.  Arizona allows for both impeachment and recall ballots against any elected or appointed government official, and I fully expect one or both to happen to the County Board of Directors, County Recorder Steve Richter, and the state's only Democratic statewide officeholder, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs.
I will be shocked if that doesn't get underway by July 4th.  Republicans after all have to now justify the Big Lie between now and November 2022, and that means covering their asses.

Top House Republican Kevin McCarthy said Tuesday he opposes a bill to form a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, raising doubts about its passage in Congress.

The chamber plans to vote this week on legislation to set up a 10-member panel — appointed by Democratic and Republican leaders — which would study the events that led to a pro-Trump mob overrunning the Capitol while lawmakers confirmed President Joe Biden’s electoral win. Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and John Katko, R-N.Y., the chair and ranking members of the House Homeland Security Committee, brokered the agreement.

McCarthy, who voted to object to counting Arizona and Pennsylvania’s certified election results after rioters stormed the Capitol, criticized the process of setting up the commission as political. He contended the panel would duplicate efforts by congressional committees and federal authorities to investigate the insurrection, and argued its scope should extend beyond the events of Jan. 6.

“Given the political misdirections that have marred this process, given the now duplicative and potentially counterproductive nature of this effort, and given the Speaker’s shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America, I cannot support this legislation,” he said in a statement.
By "interrelated forms of political violence" McCarthy means rounding up Black Lives Matter as "insurrectionists" too.
Understand that the GOP will not allow any investigation of January 6th and the Big Lie move forward unless it does as much or more damage to the Democratic party. Meanwhile, they'll spend the whole time complaining that the "corrupt media and corrupt Democrats" won't let the Big Lie go.


The Road To Gilead, Con't

The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider a major rollback of abortion rights, saying it will decide whether states can ban abortions before a fetus can survive outside the womb.

The court’s order sets up a showdown over abortion, probably in the fall, with a more conservative court seemingly ready to dramatically alter nearly 50 years of rulings on abortion rights.

The court first announced a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and reaffirmed it 19 years later.

The case involves a Mississippi law that would prohibit abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy. The state’s ban had been blocked by lower courts as inconsistent with Supreme Court precedent that protects a woman’s right to obtain an abortion before the fetus can survive outside her womb.

The justices had put off action on the case for several months. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an abortion-rights proponent, died just before the court’s new term began in October. Her replacement, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, is the most open opponent of abortion rights to join the court in decades.

Barrett is one of three appointees of former President Donald Trump on the Supreme Court. The other two, Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, voted in dissent last year to allow Louisiana to enforce restrictions on doctors that could have closed two of the state’s three abortion clinics.

Chief Justice John Roberts, joined by Ginsburg and the other three liberal justices, said the restrictions were virtually identical to a Texas law the court struck down in 2016.

But that majority no longer exists, even if Roberts, hardly an abortion-rights supporter in his more than 15 years on the court, sides with the more liberal justices.

The Mississippi law was enacted in 2018, but was blocked after a federal court challenge. The state’s only abortion clinic remains open. The owner has said the clinic does abortions up to 16 weeks.
If the Gilead bloc on the court (Alito, Thomas, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and now Barrett) bands together, they could completely end safe and legal abortion in not just a state-by-state basis, but in all states in a broad enough ruling. I'm not sure how far they'd be willing to go, but the question they are considering, whether the Roe 24-week ban is constitutional or not, is a direct challenge to more than four decades of precedent allowing abortions.

That is now in peril.

At the very least I expect a ruling that allows states to ban abortion on an individual basis, and to allow laws criminalizing crossing state lines to get an abortion procedure, effectively setting up women for a two-tiered reproductive rights citizenship depending on which state they get impregnated in.

I also expect the ruling to be used against trans folks too, because everything eventually is used against trans folks.

This is why Barrett was put on the court by Trump, this is what we've been warning about for years, and the bill comes due most likely in about 12-13 months.

Retribution Execution, Con't

I'm not sure what Republican party Washington Post contributor Katherine Clayton is observing, but the fact she's a Ph.D. Poly Sci student at Stanford shows in this depressingly naive analysis of the Liz Cheney ousting.
In new research, I find that this internal battle may push away Republicans who aren’t particularly committed to their party — those who call themselves “not very strong Republicans” or who consider themselves political independents who lean toward the GOP.

From March 14 to 25, I administered a survey experiment to a nationally representative sample of 1,876 Americans, using the Lucid platform. I randomly divided participants into three groups. Before answering questions, I had the first group read a news article excerpt that described prominent Republican and Democratic lawmakers clashing over whether Joe Biden legitimately won in the 2020 presidential election. The second group read about internal conflict among Republican lawmakers over the issue. The third group read no information at all, and simply took the survey.

All three groups then answered questions about their attitudes toward each party; whether they believed the opposing party posed a threat to democracy, and if so, how much; and whether they believed that the U.S. political system needs a major third party.

Does conflict within the party push Republicans away? It depends on their convictions.

When Democrats or strongly committed Republicans read about clashing GOP lawmakers, it had little or no effect on their attitudes. They were no more or less committed to the party, and they felt no more or less strongly about the opposing party’s threat to democracy, than those in a control group.

But Republicans with weaker commitments to the party did lose faith in the party after reading about GOP conflict. I used a measure of overall party opinion that takes into account favorable or unfavorable attitudes toward the party as well as trust in the party to handle U.S. problems. After reading about the GOP’s internal clashes, weak Republicans’ overall opinion of the party dropped by about six percentage points, compared with the control group or the group who read about clashes between the parties.

However, less committed Republicans did not become more interested in a potential third party. That’s bad news for any possible Republican Party offshoot, which probably wouldn’t gain traction among elected officials or voters.

Instead, weaker Republicans who read about GOP conflict over the election started thinking more highly of the Democratic Party, and became less likely to view it as a threat. Their opinion toward the Democratic Party grew six percentage points more favorable, and belief that the Democratic Party threatens democracy dropped by eight percentage points.

In other words, the Republican Party’s internal civil war could push some less committed Republican voters to the Democrats.
How do I put this gently?


What she's describing is the ghostly uncommitted voter, the political independent, the voter that we proved didn't exist in the era of Trump. People like that just don't bother to vote at all. They're turned off by "both sides" and skip the hassle.
We know that 80% of Republicans approved of the purge of Liz Cheney, and the majority of Republicans still think the election was stolen by the Democrats.  They're not going to view the Democratic party "more favorably".  This is wrong just like the 2020 polling was wrong in several aspects: Republicans lie to pollsters.

I can tell you now though that anyone who still identifies as a Republican is never, never going to actually vote for the Democrats. That instinct will be brutally purged from them just as easily as Liz Cheney was purged from the GOP by 2022.

The rest will stay home.

That's the best we can hope for.


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