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Pierce writes: "In its own way, this commission was as serious an attack on the electoral system as anything produced at the behest of the Volga Bagmen, and this was coming directly from the White House, at the direction of the president* and at a substantial cost to taxpayers, as wish-fulfillment as regards why the president* got beat in the popular vote count."

Kris Kobach and Mike Pence. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty)
Kris Kobach and Mike Pence. (photo: Mark Wilson/Getty)


This Was as Grave an Attack on Our Democracy as the Russian Meddling

By Charles Pierce, Esquire

08 August 18


Except it was waged by the vice president and Kris Kobach.

att Dunlap is the Secretary of State in Maine, which means he is a Democratic official working in the same state government as the country's worst governor, human bowling-jacket Paul LePage. He also was chosen to be one of four Democratic politicians on the president*'s blessedly forgotten commission on "voter fraud," the one that was chaired by Kansas Secretary of State and all-around grifting machine, Kris Kobach. (The latest news from Kobachland has him wondering why all these white supremacists keep joining his campaign.) I attended one of the commission's public hearings up in New Hampshire, and I was more than a little entertained watching Dunlap trying to come to grips with the basic absurdity of what he was hearing.

Last Friday, however, after the shebeen had been shuttered for the weekend, Matt Dunlap got dead serious about the farce that had gone on around him. In a letter dispatched both to Kobach and to Vice President Mike Pence, the nominal head of the commission, Dunlap laid out quite clearly the obvious fact that the commission's true purpose was to validate the president*'s horse-hockey about how three to five million illegal votes were cast. The wheel was rigged, Dunlap wrote, and there were 23 jokers in the deck, and at least three or four on the commission. From The Washington Post:

"After reading this...I see that it wasn't just a matter of investigating President Trump's claims that 3 to 5 million people voted illegally, but the goal of the commission seems to have been to validate those claims...We had more transparency on a deer task force than I had on a presidential commission."

Things got so bad that Dunlap sued the commission while it was still purportedly active, seeking access to documents he and the other Democrats on the commission had been denied. He got them, finally, in July. They were a revelation to him. One statistician was recommended by a commission member because she was sure "he is conservative (and Christian, too)."

In its own way, this commission was as serious an attack on the electoral system as anything produced at the behest of the Volga Bagmen, and this was coming directly from the White House, at the direction of the president* and at a substantial cost to taxpayers, as wish-fulfillment as regards why the president* got beat in the popular vote count. We'd have been better off handing the whole thing over to the deer commission.


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+66 # DongiC 2018-08-08 19:19
I think we are observing the dissolution of the Republican Party. It can no longer digest corruption nor its various attempts to suppress the vote. I wonder what will replace it. Perhaps, some combination of fascists and white supremists. No doubt they will have oodles of money. And, incredible devotion to the flag and to the military.
 
 
+22 # Bruce-Man-Do 2018-08-09 01:12
It's the dissolution of republican government, not the Republican Party, that's giving you your indigestion, my friend. The RP obviously has an iron stomach! Only people with a sense of decency wretch at the smell of the corruption it wallows in.
Only those who care about honesty and fairness experience heart-burn as it attacks our electoral process... and gets away with doing so.

And why would the Rethuglicans in control of the RP bother to dissolve such a successful enterprise? As the servants or members of the corporate oligarchy who are only too happy to get their hands dirty, the Rethuglicans in charge have already run the table. Taxes on the uber-rich have been slashed, Wall Street is on a roll, environmental regulation and public education are in shambles. Meanwhile, the leaders of the Democratic Party machine stand by and wring their not-so-clean hands.

And the Rethuglicans' ongoing success in maintaining a faithful base of support for the RP is the clearest indicator they ain't goin' nowhere! In fact, now that they've purged themselves of all the old-style Republicans who had some sense of smell, all that's left are the rubes and boobs and truly delusional True Believers and, of course, the monsters.
 
 
+22 # ericlipps 2018-08-09 04:41
I just hope we're not witnessing the dissolution of the Republic.
 
 
+4 # Robbee 2018-08-09 08:03
Quoting DongiC 2018-08-08 19:19:
I think we are observing the dissolution of the Republican Party. It can no longer digest corruption nor its various attempts to suppress the vote. I wonder what will replace it. Perhaps, some combination of fascists and white supremists. No doubt they will have oodles of money. And, incredible devotion to the flag and to the military.

- on repukes, you missed the boat?

evangelical, white supremacists, at heart, given half a chance, are fascists!

scratch a white supremacist and who bleeds? a fascist!

don't underestimate? - don't imagine our donor class is stupid?

repukes believe that ends justify means - repukes will ride fascists and white supremists until they no longer win elections - and then repukes will calmly and parasitically latch onto the next bunch of suckers who, as desperately, want to win?

if dickhead ever leaves the white house - and, during his lifetime, don't count on it - and maybe a decade from then, if demographics hold, repukes will be romancing latinos!

dickhead is crafty - in michigan, dickhead championed the black man who won the repuke primary for governor - it will be interesting to see if dem senator stabenow can hold her seat against a black repuke?

my point? fascists and white supremists DON'T RUN THE REPUKE PARTY - IT IS RUN BY THE DONOR CLASS, REPUKES ONLY PICK THEIR VOTING BASE! currently fascists and white supremists

from any setback, repukes emerge stronger than before!
 
 
-1 # Robbee 2018-08-09 08:28
correction - in michigan, dickhead championed the black man who won the repuke primary for senator
 
 
+1 # Robbee 2018-08-09 15:10
Quoting DongiC:
I think we are observing the dissolution of the Republican Party. It can no longer digest corruption nor its various attempts to suppress the vote. I wonder what will replace it. Perhaps, some combination of fascists and white supremists. No doubt they will have oodles of money. And, incredible devotion to the flag and to the military.

- we don't deserve the dissolution of the Republican Party until we earn it!
 
 
-3 # Nom de Plume 2018-08-08 22:39
Rodion, are you there?

Rodion?

Hello?
 
 
+9 # jeffsyrop 2018-08-08 22:40
Thanks for this excellent article. This is an important piece of truth that would have been easy to miss.
 
 
+15 # Johnny Genlock 2018-08-08 23:11
This completely side-steps the very real issue of vote fraud. Read Bev Harris: Black Box Voting. And then let's talk about why some states are still refusing to disclose their voting records.
 
 
+10 # mikecohen 2018-08-09 00:07
THIS IS GOOD! FOR YEARS, THE REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN JUSTIFYING OUTRIGHT VOTER SUPPRESSION AS ANTI-VOTER FRAUD, & THE "PRESIDENT'S" COMMISSION JUST PROVED, CATEGORICALLY, THAT THERE'S NEVER BEEN ANY VOTER FRAUD (AT LEAST SINCE THE ORIGINAL MAYOR DALEY, AND/OR THE SOUTHERN SEGREGATIONIST GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS WHO OPENLY COUNTED DEAD PEOPLE.
 
 
+21 # lfeuille 2018-08-09 00:08
Pierce's sense of proportion is wrong. This is a much graver attack than than Russiagate. They managed to get millions of people removed from the voting rolls. Does he equate them just because the Russian's are foreign. I don't think it will make all that much difference to the people who lost their vote. Democrats have to get serious about fighting Republican voter suppression starting with admitting it exists and acknowledging that it has done way more damage than Russia could possibly do.
 
 
+6 # Bruce-Man-Do 2018-08-09 01:30
So what can we good Americans do to prevent history from seeing us as the Good Germans of our time? Work for an electoral remedy? Yes, of course that's still possible. But talk about an uphill battle!

Maybe we can get our Democratic voters off their asses for this critical mid-term. But can a Democratic House do much to undo the damage while facing a Rethuglican Senate and a fascist with veto power? And will the DNC and its party machine allow us a progressive candidate who can inspire voter turnout in 2020? I don't know.

But maybe the real question should be, how likely is it our nation of overfed sheeple will ever rebel, even when the wolves no longer bother to wear sheep's clothing?
 
 
-4 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-08-09 05:31
Let's see, voter fraud, vote suppression, cross checking, purges, confusing rules at polling places, and many other tactics for rigging the vote by the republican party mainly but also the democratic party are about 1,000,000,000 time more destructive of American democracy as the alleged Russian interference. Make that several million times. The Mueller Probe has said over and over that there is no evidence that Russian activities changed any votes or effected any outcome. The republican voting suppression has effected millions of votes and has determined the outcome of hundreds of elections.

Talking about Russian interference in US elections is the problem.
 
 
+10 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2018-08-10 10:45
It's curious that lfeuille says pretty much exactly the same thing as Rodion, yet Rodion gets thumbs down and lfeuille gets thumbs up.

Too many people here reacting automatically on personality rather than content.

Stop being so reactionary. We like to think of our side of the political spectrum as the informed and thoughtful side. Let's try to aspire to our reputation for ourselves: open-minded, thoughtful and NOT reactionary.
 
 
+9 # economagic 2018-08-10 16:08
Yep, and they dinged you for saying it! There are some very astute and knowledgeable people commenting here, also some ardent ideologues, and some who are just confused. And then there is Lee Nason.
 
 
0 # librarian1984 2018-08-12 10:48
That's what makes me think these are either Democrap operatives or GOP, more interested in squelching nondogmatic thinking than evaluating comment substance, and trying to start arguments among liberals. Fluffy, for instance, rarely says anything remotely liberal, and talks a lot about censoring and banning posters.

When RR does NOT comment they insult him too, sometimes conjecturing about what he'd say, and then refuting that. So principled, so honest.

It seems very much like the conservative tactics we've seen, so it could be coming from Rs or neoliberal-flav ored Ds.
 
 
-4 # Caliban 2018-08-10 11:58
#RR -- it's sad that your posts are getting so predictably boring and absurd.

Honesty might help. You clearly love the Russian-bought DT profoundly. Why not just come out, declare your passion, and start openly campaigning for your hero Trumputin & his meddling buddy Vlad.
 
 
-1 # librarian1984 2018-08-12 10:50
yep, as if on cue, here's one now ...
 
 
+8 # economagic 2018-08-09 05:50
This piece seems like a rerun, as I read one several days ago using at least some of the same wording. A good many people have been pointing out for some time that as serious as the threat of Russian hacking of USian election systems is, the threat of election meddling by domestic agents is far greater, and has been documented at least circumstantiall y (i.e., by elimination) for well over a decade. Of course a good many of the people pointing out the domestic problem also deny the threat from abroad.
 
 
+6 # Jim at Dr.Democracy on Facebook 2018-08-10 11:01
The Russian "vote hacking" probe is NOT YET a vote hacking probe that any of our agencies have found.

And let's not be so blind as to miss the fact that our government is outright invading, bombing, assassinating, and stealing in countries all around the globe even as our attention is held in grip by the Great American Kabuki: Red V Blue!

Stop being sucked in by the Kabuki.

Please note that even the most recent statements by the investigating team specifically say that there is not any evidence of vote tampering by "the Russians." And when they endlessly repeat "the Russians" what they actually refer to are private capitalist organizations based in Russia that are doing evil shit just like all the domestic PCOs busily messing up this place.

Putin? Who knows? I wouldn't be very surprised. But Zero evidence of this has been presented to us.

Private companies based in Russia (and all around the world) make click-bots for money...some of which had political content.... That is still ALL that has been positively affirmed to date by our officials.

And, incidentally, the meme that "all of our intelligence agencies" affirm a hacking is completely false. That's just regular lazy people using the phrase "all of" because it's a LOT simpler than keeping a scorecard on which of our 17 or so security agencies affirmed what. The only rational count I have encountered is 3, staff in 3 agencies provided statements to get this investigation rolling.
 
 
+14 # Blackjack 2018-08-09 05:57
It is really disheartening and sad to come to grips with the fact that 40% of the electorate and most of the Repuke party believe this crap. . .and worse. They have rallied around the worst of the worst, spurred on by Fixed News and its bombastic Liar-in-Chief. After all the hard-fought struggles over decades to ensure less discrimination and more equity didn't we think that our country is better than this? I know a few good people who are Republicans, but where are their brains? How can an entire party walk in lock step behind the scum of the world? Is thumbing their noses at the "elites" and "intellectuals" really worth leading the entire country down the road to self-implosion? It seems that Frump's entire reason for being is retaliation against those who have "not been nice" to him. And so far, he's getting by with it, at least within his own party.
 
 
+21 # Working Class 2018-08-09 07:30
The Russians efforts to interfere in the 2016 election can't hold a candle to the GOP's efforts over the last few decades. Paul Weyrich, the late GOP/conservativ e guru, laid out a clear roadmap to the GOP winning elections. The goal is to control who gets to vote. Weyrich said that large voter turn-out is not the GOP's friend. The result has been voter suppression, dropping names from the rolls if their name is similar to someone's who is ineligible, voter ID requirements that make it hard for poor people, the list goes on. GOP controlled states have eliminated millions of eligible voters from the registration lists. No wonder they seem mum about Russian attempts to subvert our democracy.
 
 
+9 # Rodion Raskolnikov 2018-08-09 10:56
Working -- yes, Weyrich is a kingpin of anti-democratic government. Mostly not known is that Weyrich cultivated Boris Yeltsin as a future leader of Russia. After Yeltsin was installed by a coup, Weyrich went to Russia as Yeltsin's advisor on setting up voting rules in Russia.

GOP election tampering is global through the Intenrational Republian Institute, whose main goal is to replicate the republican party all over the earth. It was successful in Yeltsin's Russia. It is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy, tax payer money.

It just does not get any worse than this. Idiots like establishment democrats and Antifa worry about the fascists in shit holes like Charlottesville and they never see the real fascists at the top of the globalized and growing republican party.
 
 
-4 # Robbee 2018-08-09 15:06
This Was as Grave an Attack on Our Democracy as the Russian Meddling? Charles Pierce, Esquire, 08 August 18

- the commission dud

meanwhile, about russian meddling, we have no idea how many progressives, targeted by russians on facebook, or right here on rns, threw a hillary vote away on dead horse jillie

and meanwhile, crossCheck lets 29 or so repuke secretaries of state trash latino votes in a waste basket - each of 29 or so states disqualifies the vote OF EVERY CITIZEN WHO SHARES A SIMILAR LATINO NAME - SHARED LATINO NAMES DON'T COUNT! EVEN ONCE! - presumably, unless they vote repuke? when maybe they get counted? who, but repukes, know? - hundreds and hundreds of thousands of destroyed votes?

APPARENTLY TO NO AVAIL, HARVEY AND BOB HAVE BEEN TRYING TO DO SOMETHING, ABOUT WASTE-BASKETING VOTES, IN COURT?

crossCheck is a far worse attack on voting rights than both the dud commission and russian meddling put together? - AND, ON crossCheck, THERE IS NO JUSTICE!- AND NONE IN SIGHT!

our last, maybe only, good chance to end the decades-long repuke domination of scotus, we whiffed in 2016! - anywhere that most matters, for the rest o1f our lives we are unlikely to see justice!

like hardy weeds, we resist in the cracks?

we can still aim for local victories here and there - in my state, for example, gerrymandering rigs elections - in my state, for example, now by ballot referendum we are trying to end gerrymandering, so that all votes count equal weight!
 
 
-2 # Robbee 2018-08-09 15:08
like hardy weeds, we resist in the cracks?

we can still aim for local victories here and there - in my state, for example, gerrymandering rigs elections - in my state, for example, now by ballot referendum we are trying to end gerrymandering, so that all votes count equal weight! - that is, in a 50/50 state, repukes get the vast majority of u s reps and state legislators! - only in america? only with this, or any, repuke scotus?
 
 
+11 # hkatzman 2018-08-10 05:44
Republicans claim voter fraud as voting multiple times or non-eligible voting -- all by illegal action of voters.

How difficult would it be to coordinate multiple-times voters enough to effect an election? It just isn't possible.

The same for non-eligible voters. How many immigrant residents and prisoners would have to vote to swing an election? Not possible, unless the voting structure were compromised.

The only way to rig an election is by corrupting the structure, not by voters, but by officials who have access to the system.

How many voters were illegally removed from the voter rolls? Many many more than double votes or ineligible votes. Who controls the tallying system to enable ballot-box stuffing, or its digital equivalent?

Blaming the voter is the criminal blaming the victim. Sheer utter nonsense.
 

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