It was heady times for The Don in Europe during the G-20. He stayed on prompter and delivered a Bannonesque oratory decrying the defense of the White Christian Western World against, well, everyone else.
This took place in front of a bussed in group of thousands of acolytes of Polish president, Andrzel Duda, an autocrat who has tried to gag the press, which created great sympatico between the two men.
The Don used an international platform to cry fake news and whine about NBC’s unfair treatment and betrayal of him, sighting how much money he made for them during his run on the Apprentice. All I can say to that is: “Baby, baby, stick your head in gravy…”
Then we had the appearance of a confrontation with Putin over Russia’s interference in our election, which was like someone standing next to someone holding a bloody knife looking down at a dead body and asking him:
“Did you do it?”
“Well, ok. So where do you want to have lunch?”
“How about the Russian Tea Room and there we can talk about forming a working group for the cyber thing and the issue of non-interference. And by the way, what’s the password?”
“You have to guess.”
We also now have emails confirming that Don Jr., along with his buddies Jared and Paul Manafort, met with a Russian lawyer to get some dirt on Clinton.
Jr. at first said it was to negotiate the Russian adoption sanctions placed on the U.S.; Jared’s stance is he was looking into making a contact for his Russian Cooking Show for The Food Channel; Manafort was just happy to be hanging out with a Russian. The stench at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue just get a little funkier.
And all this hoopla just to preserve the sanctity of our elections?
The Russia connection is being exposed more and more, but we don’t have to look as far as Russia to find nefarious influences in our elections. We just have to look at ourselves., as our backyard is filled with the offal of disgraceful artifacts and shenanigans.
Remember the 2000 presidential election? Remember the hanging chad? The nightmare of Katherine Harris, State Attorney General of Florida, on order of Jeb Bush, hiring the company with tight Republican ties, Choice Point, falsely claiming blacks were felons when they weren’t? (In Florida, individuals convicted of a felony can never vote.) As a result, thousands of blacks were disenfranchised from voting. 93% of blacks voted for Al Gore. You do the math.
In 2013, after the Supreme Court ruling to water down the Voting Rights Act*, Kris Kobach, Kansas Secretary of State, created a system to purge 1.1 million Americans of Color from voter rolls in republican controlled states*.
2016 Presidential Election Results:
Trump won by 13,000
Purge list 449,922
Trump won by 85,000
Purge list 270,000
Trump won by 177,000
Purge list 589,000
Then there is gerrymandering of congressional districts, where one party manipulates the boundaries of an electoral constituency to their advantage. As Republicans have gained control over state governing bodies, they have systemically engaged in this process with the effect of guaranteeing Republican candidates win every election in these districts.
Our country has an embarrassing history on voting rights. The disenfranchising of voters of color has been well documented. Creation of poll taxes, literacy tests, voter I.D. laws, voter intimidation and other tactics have been a great stain on our nation.
For instance, in 1922 The Topeka Journal reported that members of the Ku Klux Klan flew airplanes over Oklahoma City, dropping cards in to black neighborhoods, warning people to be cautious before heading to the polls. This happened 50 years after congress passed The Klu Klux Klan Act in order to curtail efforts to prevent blacks from voting. The fact that we had to create a Klu Klux Klan Act says it all.
Despite debunking the existence of voter fraud, voices on the right continue to scream foul. This insistence on voter fraud is a thinly veiled statement about immigrants and minorities. The Trump administration has created a commission to prove that millions of people voted illegally simply because he can’t get over the fact that he lost the popular vote by millions.
And now, with very little notice, we have a letter from Jeff Session’s Justice Department asking for a review of voter registration maintenance procedures, which appears to be a an attempt at a nationwide voter purge. This letter coming from the federal government is unprecedented and is accompanied by threat of a lawsuit if states refuse. Sadly, this edict isn’t surprising given Attorney General Sessions racist past. Perhaps he and his cronies can be prosecuted for violating The KKK Act!
Yes, we should be outraged about Russia’s meddling in our election. We should be deeply troubled by the administrations lack of concern and the newly discovered evidence of its collusion with the Russians, but we should be morally outraged and as concerned about the goings on in our own backyard.
*See Greg Palest’s Rolling Stone article on 8/24/16 entitled “The GOP’s Stealth War On Voters.”