A third of states have enacted new voter suppression laws since the Republican insurrection

Last November, a Republican president who oversaw 500,000 unnecessary American deaths and a resulting economic collapse lost his reelection bid. Rather than a begrudging admission that a seemingly delusional compulsive liar with no skills for the job and a record of scandal and chaos was a piss-poor candidate who lost because Americans had lost patience for his bellowing performance art, countless top members of the Republican Party immediately, and at Donald Trump's behest, declared that actually the only reason Republicanism lost at the polls was because the entire world conspired against them to secretly rig the election against Burping Authoritarianism.

As an excuse for a poor performance by a singularly unimpressive buffoon, it would have been merely pathetic. The moment the Republican Party began to act on their own false propaganda, crafting law after law predicated on false "fraud" that all aimed squarely at throwing up new obstacles to voting in communities that voted against them the last time around, it became an attack on democracy itself.

The Brennan Center for Justice now identifies one third of all American states as having passed new laws blocking access to the polls in the months since the last election. That's not laws proposed. That's laws already passed in Republican Party attempts to win future elections by specifically targeting working class, poor, communities of color, and other groups with new restrictions that make voting slightly harder or slightly more complicated.

Because mail-in voting during a deadly pandemic swung sharply against the Republican presidential candidate, mail-in voting is being sharply curtailed by Republican state legislatures. Because early voting and expanded poll hours both have allowed voters a chance to evade hours-long lines on election days—lines which continue to be conspicuously commonplace in neighborhoods of color even as polling places in nearby Republican-leaning communities enjoy more resources and few such delays—Republican legislatures are slashing early voting locations and times so as to force non-Republican leaning voters back into the long lines racist governments had previously engineered.

Other laws have placed new restrictions on providing any help to voters, whether it be help seeking ballots, help returning ballots, or even providing food or water to voters stuck in the hours-long lines that Republican lawmakers have insisted on preserving. New paperwork requirements present new hurdles for working class voters to overcome, hurdles of time, money, or both.

All of it is based on the Big Lie: A Republican Party-backed declaration that the last election was "stolen" from the incompetent Republican candidate, therefore justifying drastic nationwide action to do ... the same sort of vote-suppressing activities that the party has relied on for the last half century.

Federal action is currently being stymied by, of course, the same Republican lawmakers who united to save Trump from impeachment after he goaded violent insurrection with the exact propaganda being used by Republican state legislatures to justify new voter suppression laws now. The conventions of the Senate allow a minority—currently set at 40 senators, after multiple past changes to the number that were each themselves a response to a rump of racist lawmakers blocking past federal action to enforce basic civil rights protections—to block new federal protections giving all communities uniform minimum voting standards.

What's still not getting through the heads of some lawmakers, however, is just how extensive current Republican Party moves to reshape our elections truly are. A third of U.S. states have already seen voters placed under new, suppressive restrictions. Republican Party leaders are continuing to push completely false propaganda asserting that they "won" a presidential election they did not win. House and Senate Republicans continue their attempts to sabotage a probe of the resulting violent insurrection, in large part because any such probe of necessity must document how the party's provably false claims were spread to insurrectionist ears.

Civil rights activists are warning that attempts to "out-organize" new suppressive laws will not necessarily succeed. The point of widespread Republican voter suppression is to knock even the smallest possible fraction of Americans off the voting roles; not every one of the voters affected can be made whole again. Activists are thus beginning to express their frustration with this Democratic dawdling.

There may be a tradition, in the Senate, of using the filibuster to block new civil rights protections so as to allow the efforts of racist state lawmakers to continue unimpeded. There's also a tradition of altering the rules of the filibuster when it is being abused for that purpose.

There may be no more urgent time to protect voting rights than in the aftermath of a violent insurrection premised squarely on overturning an election rather than abide by voters' will. The anti-democratic party that goaded an attempted toppling of government by promoting false claims is using those same false claims to justify new roadblocks between voters and future ballot boxes. Both acts must be rebuffed.

When Anti-Trump Neil Cavuto Tried To Use Democrat Talking Points Jim Jordan Wasn’t Having It

Fox News host Neil Cavuto and Republican Congressman Jim Jordan had an exchange on Friday that revealed how some members of the media seem to take Democrat talking points to heart more than they should.

And that member of the media in this case would be the anti-Trump Cavuto.

Cavuto Asks Jordan About Trump And USPS

Cavuto asked Jordan, “What did you make of what the Postmaster General was saying on the whole mail-in ballot issue. He says ‘Because I think the American public should be able to vote by mail.’ He says ‘we’ll deploy processes and procedures that advance any election mail, in some cases first class mail.”

“Do you think that adequately addresses the concerns some Democrats had and many in your own party, that he was sent there by the president to make that next to impossible?” Cavuto questioned.

RELATED: Al Gore: Trump’s Overhaul Of USPS Is The President “Putting His Knee On The Neck Of American Democracy”

Jordan replied, “Well the real concern is when you go with live ballots sent out to everyone as some states are doing that haven’t done this before. You need no better example than the sponsor of today’s legislation. The Chairwoman of the Oversight Committee, Carolyn Maloney, her election was on June 23rd but it took six weeks to determine who the winner was.”

“So that’s the concern the president has,” Jordan continued. “That’s the concern I have. That’s the concern I think lots of Americans have.”

“This is not about the postal service,” Jordan added. “This is about politics.”

 

Cavuto and Jordan further discussed the mail-in ballot issue, but Cavuto kept circling around and pressing the GOP congressman on the same Democratic talking point – that President Trump was somehow trying to sabotage the election by manipulating the postal service.

Cavuto Asks Again

Cavuto said, “Nevertheless Congressman, the president did say earlier this week that he opposed election aid for states and an emergency bailout for the postal service, citing among other things that it might restrict many Americans of their ability to vote by mail. but he also said that voting by mail, has repeatedly made the claim that mail-in ballots can lead to widespread fraud.”

“So do you believe this is as much about his trying to stymie the process than enhance it?”

“No, I think this is the Democrats playing politics,” Jordan replied, repeating himself, since apparently Cavuto didn’t take the hint the first time.

Jordan continued, “Neil, ask yourself this question and your viewers: Why are we voting on the bill today but not having the hearing on the legislation and hearing from the postmaster general until Monday? Normally it’s the other way around. Normally you want to get all the information from the person in charge, the Postmaster General.”

Jordan then went down the list of empty Democratic attacks on President Trump.

“First it was the Russia investigation,” Jordan said. “The first big committee hearing, this Congress? Michael Cohen, then he came in and lied seven times. Then it was the fake Ukraine impeachment.”

“Now this is just the latest effort of the Democrats to go after the president,” Jordan finished.

Cavuto Asks A Third Time

But Cavuto wasn’t finished.

The Fox news anchor pressed forward, “I understand where you’re coming from Congressman, but if you’re the President of the United States and you’ve long expressed reservations about an overwhelmed system dealing with what could be 100 million mail-in ballots. Do you think he would welcome cutting financing for the post office to make that next to impossible?”

“Of course not,” Jordan replied.

Cavuto added, “That’s what Democrats are charging. Is that not odd to you? Is it not odd?”

“It’s not true,” Jordan shot back. “No, it’s like so many things the Democrats have said. It’s not true.”

“I’ll tell you what is a concern,” Jordan said. “Do you really think if you mailed a ballot to every single voter 150 million ballots, do you really think we’d know the outcome and have all those ballots counted on election night? ”

And A Fourth Time…

But Cavuto STILL wasn’t done. So he rephrased the question.

To ask it a fourth time.

“No, I understand and maybe I wasn’t clear on my question, Congressman,” Cavuto said. “But the timing of cutting aid would actually fit in with that notion that it’s going to overwhelm the system, that we will, ahead of time, make things more difficult. That’s what Democrats are going to argue because of the coincidental timing.”

RELATED: Chris Wallace Suggests Trump May Have A Point About Mail-In Voting Fraud

Jordan was having none of it.

“But we aren’t cutting aid,” Jordan said. “The CARES Act that we passed clearly back in March, the first big stimulus to deal with the coronavirus situation had a $10 billion line of credit. They got $14 billion they’re sitting on and they are, as I said earlier, actually bringing in more money now than they were at this point last year.”

“So it’s just not based in reality, the Democrats’ claims,” Jordan finished.

Why Was Cavuto So Hung Up On This?

Cavuto’s question to Jordan was a fair one, even if the charge isn’t true, because it is in the news and part of our current national discussion.

But to ask the same question four times? Because maybe Cavuto didn’t like the answers he was getting?

And is it a journalist’s job to get the right answers – the truth – or only the kind of answers he or she likes?

Neil Cavuto should strive to be more fair and balanced.

The post When Anti-Trump Neil Cavuto Tried To Use Democrat Talking Points Jim Jordan Wasn’t Having It appeared first on The Political Insider.

As we near November’s election, Facebook, Instagram to let users turn off political ads in the U.S.

Facebook and Instagram will allow users in the United States to turn off political ads paid for by a politician or political entity, like a political action committee (PAC), as reported by CNN. The ads may be about political and social issues and display a “paid for by” tag. The onus is then on the users to block ads they don’t want to see. The bigger matter, of course, is that Facebook continues to stick by its allowance of misinformation from politicians in paid ads on its platform.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg shared the news in an op-ed published on Tuesday. "For those of you who've already made up your minds and just want the election to be over, we hear you,” he wrote. But when it comes to transparency, accountability, and making sure users get a fair shot at receiving accurate information, being heard remains to be seen.

Twitter recently began using labels to fact-check tweets. Of course some of Trump’s tweets were flagged, including as “glorifying violence.” And on that subject, Zuckerberg argued that Facebook shouldn’t be the “arbiter of truth” for what people say online. If anything reinforces that sentiment, it’s probably the incident from last October in which Facebook refused to pull a Trump ad filled with lies about Joe Biden and Ukraine, even though the information was blatantly false. In terms of Trump posts, he spread misinformation about voting by mail on the platform in early June. 

You might remember last October, for example, when Sen. Elizabeth Warren played by Facebook’s rules and bought a Facebook ad claiming that Zuckerberg endorsed Trump for president. This move hit especially heavily as we know that the Trump campaign historically spends a load of money on Facebook advertising. Overall, Warren wanted more accountability and transparency and used this loophole in Facebook’s regulations to make her point.

You also may remember that in February, when then-presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg was still in the race, the Bloomberg campaign “contracted” influencers to post wry memes about the Democrat to Instagram. These sorts of posts used to be banned from Facebook and Instagram as a rule, but the platform changed its policy to allow “branded content” from politicians as long as it’s explicitly marked as such. Posts will appear with the tag “Paid Partnership with” as a disclosure. 

Former vice president and presumptive Democratic nominee for president Joe Biden launched a campaign asking Facebook to implement a two-week period prior to the election in which all political ads could be fact-checked before appearing on the site. The campaign also asks Facebook to add rules that ban lies about voting.

As a response to Biden’s open letter, Facebook wrote that it would “protect political speech, even when we strongly disagree with it.”