Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Last Call For Can't Win For Losing

A gentle reminder that even when they have a big night in primaries and in Kansas's defense of abortion rights, while Republicans can lose, Democrats can never, ever win in the Village press.

On the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 attacks at the U.S. Capitol, Roy Cooper, the governor of North Carolina, took to Twitter not just to condemn that day’s violence but also to warn that the dark forces behind it were still very much alive and still a threat to the future of American democracy.

“We know that those who wanted to topple our democracy haven’t given up and they have moved their assault to state capitols and legislatures across the country,” Mr. Cooper wrote. “Governors must help lead the way in standing up for the truth, protecting our democracy and making sure that it’s the vote of the people that decides elections.”

The governor was right to sound the alarm. So it is deeply troubling to see Mr. Cooper and the organization he chairs — the Democratic Governors Association — support and finance a cynical political strategy to support pro-Trump candidates in Republican primaries, on the theory that they would be easier for Democrats to beat in the fall general election.

Anyone who proclaims concern about the future of democracy shouldn’t come within a whiff of these democracy-denying candidates, let alone help them win votes. But Mr. Cooper and other Democratic Party groups have been elevating Big Lie proponents over their moderate Republican opponents all year, making a mockery of the American political system.

It is a terrible approach on two counts. First, it’s profoundly irresponsible: What if these election deniers actually win? And second, if Democrats believe that democracy is in danger and they need Republican support to save it — or at least a reality-based G.O.P. in our two-party system — then they have weakened their standing as defenders of democracy by aligning with those who would thwart it.

Maryland provides a vivid example of this foolishness. There, Mr. Cooper’s group threw its money, an estimated $2 million, toward ads boosting the candidacy of Dan Cox, a pro-Trumper who attended the rally leading up to the Jan. 6 riot and still preaches that Mr. Trump was cheated out of the presidency. The association reasoned that Democrats would stand a better chance of beating Mr. Cox in the general election than a moderate Republican like Kelly Shultz, the candidate backed by the popular outgoing governor, Larry Hogan. So far, this bizarre strategy has paid off. Mr. Cox won the primary.

The Democratic governors are not alone in their cynicism. In Michigan, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee bought a television ad highlighting the close relationship between Mr. Trump and a pro-Trumper named John Gibbs who was seeking to oust a popular moderate, Representative Peter Meijer. Mr. Meijer was among the handful of Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump following the Capitol insurrection.

The basic playbook goes like this: On their face, the ads and mailers — the ad in Michigan reminds voters that Mr. Gibbs was “handpicked” by Mr. Trump — are framed as an attack and a warning. But its messaging, the Meijer camp believes, raised Mr. Gibbs’s appeal among the district’s conservative voters and gave him name recognition he could not otherwise afford. Mr. Meijer lost by roughly fewer than 4,000 votes on Tuesday to Mr. Gibbs.

Democrats have made similar moves in Colorado, Pennsylvania and California, where a Democratic super PAC funded an ad criticizing the bona fides of David Valadao, another of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach. Mr. Valadao narrowly defeated a right-wing candidate in June’s primary. Overall, the results have been mixed. The most extreme candidates in Colorado’s Republican primaries for Senate, governor and in the hotly contested 8th Congressional District did not win in June, despite millions of dollars spent by Democrats earlier this summer on TV ads, mailers and text messages seeking that outcome. In Illinois, however, Democrats were able to help a far-right Republican candidate for governor win his primary over a more moderate opponent backed by the G.O.P. establishment.
Democrats get ravaged in the press if they play hardball in defense of keeping the country out of the hands of the people who want to reduce people who look like me to chattel, and the people who have vaginas to mere brood mares.
What the Village wants are good Republicans, and barring the non-existence of good Republicans because what Republican primary voters want are Nazis, they thing the Village wants even more are Democrats who let Republicans win. 

I said weeks ago that it was risky, but now I know these monsters would have won their primaries anyway.

Dems however can never, ever win.

Like A Kansas Tornado, Con't

As part of several state primary contests, Kansans went to the polls yesterday for the country's first post-Dobbs abortion vote on whether or not protections in the state's constitution for abortion rights should be removed. Overwhelmingly turning out to vote, Kansas voted no by a double-digit landslide.

The right to an abortion will remain in the Kansas Constitution. 
In the first ballot test of abortion rights in a post-Roe America, Kansas voters turned out in historic numbers to overwhelmingly reject a constitutional amendment that would have opened the door for state lawmakers to further restrict or ban abortions across the state. 
The Associated Press called the race at 9:40 p.m central. The vote “no” campaign led 59 % to 41 % after all precincts in the state had reported.

The vote stands as a major win for abortion rights advocates, preserving access in a red state as the procedure is banned or severely restricted in much of the region. It wasn’t just urban counties, like Democratic-leaning Wyandotte County, that turned out to protect abortion rights. Rural counties like Osage, Franklin and Lyon also favored vote “no” by significant margins.

Shortly after 10 p.m., Iman Alsaden, chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said she was still processing the vote. 
“I am sort of speechless. I’m so proud to be a provider in this community. I’m so proud that I get to serve this community. I moved here two years ago from Chicago with the intention of providing abortion care in a place where there were not a lot of providers,” Alsaden said. “It’s sort of unbelievable. I’m so proud to be able go to work tomorrow and talk to my staff and give everyone a hug.” 
The vote upholds a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court ruling that, in response to an attempt to ban a common second trimester abortion procedure, said Kansans had a right to bodily autonomy and therefore the right to terminate a pregnancy.

The movement against the amendment succeeded in turning a wide swath of no voters out, despite the amendment’s placement on a primary ballot many assumed would favor conservatives because of the greater number of GOP primaries. They were able to keep margins to stay competitive in rural counties, keeping the loss margin in western Kansas smaller than anticipated. 
Secretary of State Scott Schwab said early in the evening that anecdotal evidence indicated the turnout could match the 2008 presidential race— 63.3%.

The first real test of whether or not protecting the right to an abortion matters, and doing so won, motivating presidential election year levels of turnout in a midterm year August vote.

"Astonishing" doesn't begin to describe it.

Three things:

One, voters clearly want to keep rights enshrined to them. Having the Supreme Court try to remove them isn't going to go over well in states where voters are actually given a choice.

Two, Democrats need to be running on abortion in every state, even red ones.  You know, like Kansas. Voters care about it and will vote to defend it.

In the wake of the Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center to overturn Roe, abortion access has become salient among key voting groups, including the population most impacted by abortion restrictions – women between the ages of 18 and 49. Among this population, there has been a fourteen percentage point increase in the share who say abortion will be “very important” to their 2022 midterm vote (59% in February to 73% in July). In addition, six in ten women voters between 18 and 49 now say they are “more motivated” to vote because of the Supreme Court’s decision (up 19 percentage points from May when the question was asked about a scenario in which Roe was overturned based on a leaked draft opinion). The vast majority (88%) of the more motivated group of women voters between 18 and 49 say they plan on voting for candidates who will protect access to abortions. 
While abortion is a motivating issue for some groups of voters, the issue still trails inflation and gas prices (74%) as the top voting issue overall. Abortion ranks alongside other top tier issues include gun control (57%), an issue on which Congress just recently passed legislation, and health care and prescription drug costs (55%), an issue that has been debated for the past several months and has gotten recent attention by Democratic lawmakers. With inflation and gas prices as the top issue overall, and for most voting groups, it is perhaps unsurprising that the share of adults who are worried about affording household expenses has increased since the beginning of the pandemic and over the past four months in particular, with the largest increases in affording basic living expenses like food (up 14 percentage points), utilities (up 12 percentage points), and mortgage or rent (up 8 percentage points). In the past two years, the share who are worried about being able to afford gas or other transportation costs has nearly doubled, growing from 40% in February 2020 to 76% in July 2022. 
Two-thirds of the public (65%) disapprove of the Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Center that overturned Roe and allows individual states to decide the legality of abortion access within each state. In addition, most adults (61%) – including majorities of Democrats, independents, women between the ages of 18 and 49, and about half of those living in states with pre-Roe abortion bans or trigger laws – say want the laws in their state to guarantee access to abortion. About a quarter of the public, including more than half of Republicans (54%) say they want the laws in their states to ban abortions.
Yes, voters care about inflation, but a majority of voters, especially women under 50, will vote for it. Run on it, Dems.

Only off by 18 points, guys.  Good job!

Voting Running The Gauntlet

Understand that Republicans are massing armies of "poll watchers" in multiple swing states in order to intimidate, challenge, and disenfranchise thousands and thousands of young, Black and brown voters in key precincts, with the aim of "stopping the steal" in November.
The Republican National Committee has been relying on a stable of the party’s most prolific spreaders of false stolen-election theories to pilot a sweeping “election integrity” operation to recruit and coach thousands of poll workers in eight battleground states, according to new recordings of organizing summits held this spring in Florida and Pennsylvania obtained by POLITICO.

On the tapes, RNC National Election Integrity Director Josh Findlay repeatedly characterizes the committee’s role as supporting in-state coalitions — delivering staff, organization and “muscle” in key states to the person they identify as the quarterback of the effort to create a permanent workforce: Conservative elections attorney Cleta Mitchell, who was a central figure in former President Donald Trump’s legal strategy to overturn the 2020 election.

“Cleta Mitchell, she’s like the best election and election law expert out there. We’re not going to tell her what to do,” Findlay told a March 31 Pennsylvania session organized by Mitchell.

Publicly, the RNC has insisted its goal is to ensure there are enough trained poll workers to protect the electoral process and ensure partisan parity at polling centers. The recordings, however, indicated that the RNC is relying heavily on people who have spread false or unproven claims of irregularities and conspiracies. The recordings feature Findlay speaking at a number of Mitchell’s “Election Integrity Network” summits, which her group has hosted in battleground states including Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. The RNC is just “part of the team,” he told a Florida summit the same month.

While Republicans have said the aim of their “election integrity” effort is to ensure there are well-trained poll workers during the next election, the recordings also feature Mitchell speaking openly about the need to challenge efforts by nonprofit groups aligned with Democrats to create a “new American majority” of young voters, people of color and unmarried women.

“It’s a place the left sees as a great target of opportunity, and we have to make sure that doesn’t happen,” she said, referring to Democratic efforts to register voters from traditionally underrepresented voting blocs.

Mitchell was on Trump’s post-election phone call directing a Georgia elections official to “find” him 11,700 votes after losing the state, and is she among those currently under subpoena in a criminal investigation by the Fulton County district attorney. Days after the 2020 election, she was exploring ways to keep Trump in power via a slate of fake electors from several battleground states. White House call logs show she is also among a handful of individuals with whom Trump spoke on Jan. 6, 2021, the day the Capitol was attacked, and she is suing to block the House Jan. 6 committee from obtaining her full phone records.

Mitchell, in a response to POLITICO, said her comments about the “new American majority” were referring to an executive order by the Biden administration directing federal agencies to help citizens register to vote and to educate them on how to do so. The effort amounts to turning “every federal agency into a Democratic turnout machine — using our tax dollars in the process,” said Mitchell.
This is why they want to eliminate early voting, eliminate voting places, eliminate mail voting, and eliminate voting drop boxes: to force anyone who does want to vote in urban areas to run the gauntlet of screaming assholes demanding identification, again and again, bogging down lines of voters, already slowed down by Republicans strategically eliminating voting machines in Black precincts. 
They want local news stories of "voter fraud" and "urban violence at polling places" to scare off other voters too. They sure won't touch my polling place, a senior citizens' center in Kentucky. It never takes me more than 20 minutes to vote, and when I was able to vote by mail in 2020, it was the easiest thing in the world. 

In 2022 they want people to spend an entire day waiting in line, and then accuse them of cheating.

If you can vote early in your state, do it.

All this is planned disenfranchisement and harassment, and it's going to be on a scale unheard of in November. The Roberts Court certainly isn't going to help. Democratic candidates are going to lose millions of votes in November as a result.

We have to vote in numbers they can't stop.
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