Hey, so remember earlier this week when the Republican health care bill seemed to have died for good? That was pretty awesome. The prospect of 23 million people losing their access to health care was terrifying, and the bill’s eventual collapse felt like a blow against a seemingly unaccountable President and Congress. It felt good.
And now we’ve got to do that again, almost constantly for the next four goddamn years.
That’s not an attempt at scare-mongering as much as a recognition of the fact that we’ve been neglecting our democracy for far too long, and now we’ll have to work our asses off to get it back into shape. To wit, people actually believe that in-person voter fraud is a widespread problem, and that actions need to be taken to prevent it. And it’s bullshit. In-person voter fraud just isn’t happening. And there’s definitely no chance that it’s happening at a rate of 5 million voters in California alone. Yet states are putting into place voter registration laws to curb voter fraud. Or to fuck over poor people and people of color. Whichever is more convenient for the Republican Party.
Enter Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. You’ll notice from the title of the committee, and the video that the Commission is only advisory. And given the reaction of Secretaries of States to the committee’s requests for information (spoiler: the States were not into it), you could argue that the committee is toothless. So what’s the problem with an advisory committee investigation of voter roles in all of the states to ensure that everything is working as it should be?
Fucking everything. For starters, people don’t investigate problems that don’t exist. Internal controls and standard audits are important and necessary steps for any public acts, but separate investigative bodies, looking into the non-existent wrong doings of functioning portions of the government aren’t a good thing for the general public. This is the same shit as Trump sowing the seeds of doubt in the election results before the election actually happened. (Yeah, that’s a fun fact, too. Remember when Donnie kept insisting how the whole election was rigged? I didn’t see that in the legend of those electoral maps he kept handing out.) Functioning governments need a certain degree of faith in the election system to ensure stability, and a peaceful transfer of power. Meaning that, insisting a well run voting system is corrupt is as detrimental as actual voter fraud.
But degrading the integrity of the voting system is actually the lesser of the two evils. Significantly worse is that the results of the commission could be used to further restrict voting rights of people who don’t have the proper governmental ID. People who are usually poorer, browner, and more disenfranchised. And people who, just totally coincidentally and definitely not on purpose, tend to vote Democratic. Is there any reason to believe that’s the overall aim of the commission? Or better phrased, is there any fucking reason to believe that’s not the overall aim?
Which is where you beautiful people come in. The terrible health care bill has, for now, been defeated. So you can use all the time you were putting toward calling your Congresspeople about that to contacting your Governor and Secretary of State to ask them to resist that Commission as much as possible. And maybe call your State representatives while you’re at it. It’s not as much fun as watching the Russian investigation or Don Jr’s collapse, but it’s significantly more productive than whatever the hell is happening here.