More journalists and Democratic politicians are focusing on the Republican attack on democracy, i.e. their efforts to insure that they win future elections, no matter how many votes they get. CNN quoted Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington:
We have to be Paul Revere every chance we get to let people know what is at risk and why it is at risk. . . . I don’t think you can be overly concerned about this. The American psyche has not recognized we were one vice president away from a coup.
The New York Times published an article about it on Saturday and another today:
From the second article:
American politics today is not really normal. It may instead be in the midst of a radical shift away from the democratic rules and traditions that have guided the country for a very long time.
An anti-democratic movement, inspired by D____ T____ but much larger than him, is making significant progress . . . . In the states that decide modern presidential elections, this movement has already changed some laws and ousted election officials, with the aim of overturning future results. It has justified the changes with blatantly false statements claiming that Biden did not really win the 2020 election.
The movement has encountered surprisingly little opposition. Most leading Republican politicians have either looked the other way or supported the anti-democratic movement. In the House, Republicans ousted Liz Cheney from a leadership position because she called out T____’s lies.
The pushback within the Republican Party has been so weak that about 60 percent of Republican adults now tell pollsters that they believe the 2020 election was stolen — a view that’s simply wrong.
Most Democratic officials, for their part, have been focused on issues other than election security, like Covid-19 and the economy. It’s true that congressional Democrats have tried to pass a new voting rights bill, only to be stymied by Republican opposition and the filibuster. But these Democratic efforts have been sprawling and unfocused. They have included proposals — on voter-ID rules and mail-in ballots, for example — that are almost certainly less important than a federal law to block the overturning of elections, as The Times’s Nate Cohn has explained.
All of which has created a remarkable possibility: In the 2024 presidential election, Republican officials in at least one state may overturn a legitimate election result, citing fraud that does not exist, and award the state’s electoral votes to the Republican nominee. T____ tried to use this tactic in 2020, but local officials rebuffed him.
Since then, his supporters have launched a campaign — with the Orwellian name “Stop the Steal” — to ensure success next time. Steve Bannon has played a central role, using his podcast to encourage T____ supporters to take over positions in election administration, ProPublica has explained. . . .
In plain sight
The main battlegrounds are swing states where Republicans control the state legislature, like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Republicans control these legislatures because of both gerrymandered districts and Democratic weakness outside of major metro areas . . . The Constitution lets state legislatures set the rules for choosing presidential electors.
“None of this is happening behind closed doors,” Jamelle Bouie, a Times columnist, recently wrote. “We are headed for a crisis of some sort. When it comes, we can be shocked that it is actually happening, but we shouldn’t be surprised.”
Here is an overview of recent developments:
Arizona. Republican legislators have passed a law taking away authority over election lawsuits from the secretary of state, who’s now a Democrat, and giving it to the attorney general, a Republican. Legislators are debating another bill that would allow them to revoke election certification “by majority vote at any time before the presidential inauguration.”
Georgia. Last year, Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s Republican secretary of state, helped stop T____’s attempts to reverse the result. State legislators in Georgia have since weakened his powers, and a T____-backed candidate is running to replace Raffensperger next year. Republicans have also passed a law that gives a commission they control the power to remove local election officials.
Michigan. Kristina Karamo, a T____-endorsed candidate who has repeated the lie that the 2020 elections were fraudulent, is running for secretary of state, the office that oversees elections. (Republican candidates are running on similar messages in Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and elsewhere, according to ABC News.)
Pennsylvania. Republicans are trying to amend the state’s Constitution to make the secretary of state an elected position, rather than one that the governor appoints. Pennsylvania is also one of the states where T____ allies — like Stephen Lindemuth, who attended the Jan. 6 rally that turned into an attack on Congress — have won local races to oversee elections.
Wisconsin. Senator Ron Johnson is urging the Republican-controlled Legislature to take full control of federal elections. Doing so could remove the governor, currently a Democrat, from the process, and weaken the bipartisan state elections commission.
The new anti-democratic movement may still fail. This year, for example, Republican legislators in seven states proposed bills that would have given partisan officials a direct ability to change election results. None of the bills passed.
Arguably the most important figures on this issue are Republican officials and voters who believe in democracy and are uncomfortable with using raw political power to overturn an election result. . . .
Meanwhile, Sen. Manchin of West Virginia, who claims to be a Democrat, is meeting tomorrow with a group of Democratic senators trying to reform the filibuster in order to protect voting rights:
Voting-rights advocates want to see if Manchin would be open to a “carve-out” to the Senate’s filibuster rule for voting rights legislation. The idea gained more urgency for voting rights advocates after the chamber approved a “one-time exception” to its rules to approve a debt-limit increase by a simple majority vote.