Sunday, August 13, 2017

Can what half the GOP believes hurt our democracy?

Probably not, but it sure scares the crap out of me.

what a fool believes he sees
No wise man has the power to reason away
- Michael McDonald.

Among other sources, alternet.org reports that We’re Supposed to Be a Democracy, But Half the GOP Is OK with Postponing 2020’s Election. A party full of delusions exposes the dark underbelly of America.

The Washington Post’s latest poll is enough to make the Statue of Liberty cringe.

“In a new poll, half of Republicans say they would support postponing the 2020 election if Trump proposed it,” read the headline of the paper’s Monkey Cage blog (for election geeks) on Thursday, which quickly reverberated around the internet.

“According to a poll conducted by two academic authors and published by the Washington Post, 52 percent of Republicans said they would back a postponement of the next election if Trump called for it,” TheHill.com quickly reported. “If Trump and congressional Republicans proposed postponing the election to ensure only eligible citizens could vote, support from Republicans rises to 56 percent.”

The Hill’s summation didn’t stop there, but affirmed that nearly equal numbers of Republicans—47 percent—think Trump won the popular vote. And a big majority, 68 percent, “also thinks millions of illegal immigrants voted in the presidential election and 73 percent think voter fraud happens somewhat or very often.”

Republicans who believe every one of these assertions are dead wrong. But this sizeable slice of America doesn’t know how uninformed it is and apparently doesn’t care. What don’t they know?

Let’s start with postponing the 2020 election. Not having a vote for Congress and the presidency presumably would allow the current regime to remain in power. Right?

No, wrong. The Republican super patriots favoring a possible delay in 2020 are completely unaware of the U.S. Constitution’s 20th Amendment.

The U.S. Constitution, which both the Congress and the president swear to uphold, states that Congress and the president have fixed terms of office with expiration dates. It’s over on January 20 for the president, and on January 3 for Congress. There’s no postponing, unless somehow, there’s a 21st-century civil war—or a similar coup.

The other GOP fantasies, voter fraud and voting by non-citizens, fare no better. The evidence is squarely against those beliefs.

… claims of small-scale voter fraud are also not true. It happens less than once in a million voters—whether those keeping score are liberal civil rights lawyers or right-wingers like the Heritage Foundation that issue fancy reports they file in lawsuits, like this one that cites 492 cases and 733 voting malfeasance-related convictions from 1982 through 2016. That’s one case for every 2 million presidential election voters from 1984 to 2016 (roughly 980,000,000 votes). Millions more voted in other elections in this period.

That means that Trump’s own personal favorite fantasy, that Hillary Clinton’s 2.9 million popular vote advantage was fraudulent, is also bogus. Under the best case for Trump’s fantasy, Clinton’s win was only 2.9 million minus 3.

But what about all those millions of undocumented immigrants repeatedly voting for Democrats using fake identities? That’s another of Trump’s fantasy claims. The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law went looking. Its survey included the 10 counties with the highest non-citizen populations in America, and found “fewer than 10 [non-citizen] votes” cited by local election official.

Check out the alternet.org post for more evidence counter to GOP beliefs.

The author, Steven Rosenfeld, “covers national political issues for AlterNet, including America’s democracy and voting rights. He is the author of several books on elections and the co-author of Who Controls Our Schools: How Billionaire-Sponsored Privatization Is Destroying Democracy and the Charter School Industry (AlterNet eBook, 2016).”

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