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Has U.S. Democracy Been Trumped? Bernie Sanders wants to know who owns America?

#18041 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-April-01, 08:07

As I understand it, there was a cut back in the stimulus payments for the well-off.
As we go forward, trust will be important.
I am no expert on the stimulus bill and I am even less familiar with any details of the new infrastructure plan. And I really do not expect that three weeks from now I will be prepared to participate in a nationally televised debate. When I say trust, I don't mean that I think Biden is a crook. Not at all. The question will be: Do I think he knows what he is doing? Am I happy enough that he will be setting out the plans?
I was 17 when Eisenhower signed the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act. The word "Defense" was in the title as part of a sales pitch but all in all I think it was right. They might have thought a bit more about the effect of running interstates through the middle of cities but Eisenhower mostly got it right. Returning to a pet peeve, I think the people that designed the Student Loan Program mostly got it wrong. I was a beneficiary of the After-Sputnik push to support science education. I started grad school in 1960 as a teaching assistant teaching ten hours a week. Later, thanks to government money, I was on grants. So at least for me, and I think for the country, this was a good use of money! (No, I am not claiming that supporting me was a particularly good use of government money, but I think that, in general, the support worked well.)

Do I have confidence that Biden knows what he is doing? I'll hedge a bit. I hope he does, and I think the hope is reasonable. I do believe that his focus is on the good of the country rather than on his own ego. A very welcome change.
Ken
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#18042 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-April-01, 11:11

View Postkenberg, on 2021-April-01, 08:07, said:

As I understand it, there was a cut back in the stimulus payments for the well-off.
As we go forward, trust will be important.
I am no expert on the stimulus bill and I am even less familiar with any details of the new infrastructure plan. And I really do not expect that three weeks from now I will be prepared to participate in a nationally televised debate. When I say trust, I don't mean that I think Biden is a crook. Not at all. The question will be: Do I think he knows what he is doing? Am I happy enough that he will be setting out the plans?
I was 17 when Eisenhower signed the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act. The word "Defense" was in the title as part of a sales pitch but all in all I think it was right. They might have thought a bit more about the effect of running interstates through the middle of cities but Eisenhower mostly got it right. Returning to a pet peeve, I think the people that designed the Student Loan Program mostly got it wrong. I was a beneficiary of the After-Sputnik push to support science education. I started grad school in 1960 as a teaching assistant teaching ten hours a week. Later, thanks to government money, I was on grants. So at least for me, and I think for the country, this was a good use of money! (No, I am not claiming that supporting me was a particularly good use of government money, but I think that, in general, the support worked well.)

Do I have confidence that Biden knows what he is doing? I'll hedge a bit. I hope he does, and I think the hope is reasonable. I do believe that his focus is on the good of the country rather than on his own ego. A very welcome change.


For those of us who have been fortunate enough - one way or another - to be O.K. financially during this pandemic, I think it is difficult to understand the impact on those who are not so fortunate.

For that matter, it is difficult enough to put ourselves in another's shoes during the best of times.

All I'm certain of is that when large problems arise that affect the entire country, government (even if wasteful to a degree) is a better choice for solutions than private enterprise. Government is not concerned about ROI or profits. Only governments can afford massive deficit spending.

It's not perfect and never will be - it is democracy, which is messy by nature.


"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18043 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-01, 12:12

From NPR interview with Mayor Pete:

Quote

https://www.npr.org/...ly-but-worth-it

The Biden administration proposes paying for this by raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to 28%. That money would be spent over the next eight years, but it would take 15 years for the tax hikes to generate the revenue you need. How is that not a problem?

Well, this is common sense investment when you think about how to fund things that are going to improve America for a generation. Over the course of that eight-year vision, we are going to be enhancing the roads and bridges of this country. We're going to be improving our ports and our airports. We're going to be delivering better transit and better rail. Those are investments whose benefits will last a lifetime and then some, and that eight years of investment is fully paid for across the 15 years of the tax adjustment, which means by year 16, it's actually going to reduce the deficit.

The Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce say that raising corporate taxes will make it harder for U.S. companies to compete and thus make the U.S. less competitive in a global economy. That's a familiar argument from their camp. What's your response?

Well, I think that argument flies in the face of U.S. history. Remember, we're proposing a corporate tax rate that is lower than it was under Clinton, Obama, Bush, much lower than it was in the early Reagan years and many other times when America was very competitive. But part of what made America so competitive was that we had some of the best infrastructure in the world. Today, we are still coasting off infrastructure investments that were made more than a lifetime ago and are beginning to fall apart. The biggest threat to American competitiveness is continuing to believe that we can have a world-leading economy with third-rate infrastructure. And I think that's something most Americans get.

This proposal addresses things like roads, bridges, the electrical grid, broadband Internet. It would also expand home medical care. There's money for community-based violence prevention programs. There's money to create jobs to prevent future pandemics. How do you respond to the criticism that these things are just not infrastructure?

These things are good policy, and they are part of the broad infrastructure that is needed in order to make America not just competitive, but a good place to live. We know that we've got to do more for our care workers, our care economy. That's another common sense move. And one of the things I really admire about this plan and the president's vision is understanding how a lot of different things are closely connected. You know, some people are saying, "well, you know, these aren't roads and bridges" and I'm the transportation guy, so I'm all about roads and bridges. But something like broadband infrastructure is absolutely part of the future of American infrastructure. I guess trains probably weren't considered infrastructure until we really started building railroads. Now they're an indispensable part of it. And we have to keep up with, not always be playing catch-up to, that kind of expansion about what infrastructure needs really look like.

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#18044 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-02, 07:10

Nick Corasaniti and Reid J. Epstein at NYT said:

https://www.nytimes....ection=Politics

Go page by page through Georgia’s new voting law, and one takeaway stands above all others: The Republican legislature and governor have made a breathtaking assertion of partisan power in elections, making absentee voting harder and creating restrictions and complications in the wake of narrow losses to Democrats.

The New York Times has examined and annotated the law, identifying 16 provisions that hamper the right to vote for some Georgians or strip power from state and local elections officials and give it to legislators.

Republicans passed and signed the 98-page voting law last week following the first Democratic victories in presidential and Senate elections in Georgia in a generation. President Biden won the state by just 11,779 votes out of nearly five million cast. The new law will, in particular, curtail ballot access for voters in booming urban and suburban counties, home to many Democrats. Another provision makes it a crime to offer water to voters waiting in lines, which tend to be longer in densely populated communities.

Below is The Times’s analysis of the law, including the specific provisions and some struck-through language from the state’s previous voting legislation.

Here are the most significant changes to voting in the state, as written into the new law:
  • Voters will now have less time to request absentee ballots.
  • There are strict new ID requirements for absentee ballots.
  • It’s now illegal for election officials to mail out absentee ballot applications to all voters.
  • Drop boxes still exist … but barely.
  • Mobile voting centers (think an R.V. where you can vote) are essentially banned.
  • Early voting is expanded in a lot of small counties, but probably not in more populous ones.
  • Offering food or water to voters waiting in line now risks misdemeanor charges.
  • If you go to the wrong polling place, it will be (even) harder to vote.
  • If election problems arise, a common occurrence, it is now more difficult to extend voting hours.
  • With a mix of changes to vote-counting, high-turnout elections will probably mean a long wait for results.
  • Election officials can no longer accept third-party funding (a measure that nods to right-wing conspiracy theories).
  • With an eye toward voter fraud, the state attorney general will manage an election hotline.
  • The Republican-controlled legislature has more control over the State Election Board.
  • The secretary of state is removed as a voting member of the State Election Board.
  • The G.O.P.-led legislature is empowered to suspend county election officials.
  • Runoff elections will happen faster — and could become harder to manage.

Perry Bacon Jr at 538 said:

Georgia Republicans didn’t come out of the 2020 elections with a goal of finding new messages or policies to appeal to Georgia’s growing population of people of color. They instead opted to imply that these voters participated in the Georgia elections in improper ways that should be prevented in the future. The Washington Post suggests in its motto that “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” But based on the actions of much of today’s Republican Party, it might be more accurate to say it’s dying right out in the open daylight.

The crazed mountain men in "Deliverance" have nothing on Georgia Republicans.
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#18045 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-April-02, 07:31

I was just looking at
https://www.whitehou...ican-jobs-plan/

It's long. Of course, it's long and has to be long, considering the extent of what Biden has in mind. But still, my first thought was It's long.


It's also very optimistic. It will be transformative if we can bring it about. Sometimes ambitious plans work out pretty well. I hope that this is one of those times.
Ken
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#18046 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-02, 09:43

Matt Yglesias is pessimistic about prospects for passing the "jobs" bill which he describes as having hundreds of billions of genuinely really good ideas, but also hundreds of billions of kind of meh stuff.

The good:
  • There’s a proposal to create a competitive grant program to incentivize states to adopt anti-NIMBY land-use reforms.
  • It includes the CHIP Act plan for a $50 billion investment in semiconductor production capacity, plus a new $50 billion program to try to get ahead of future production bottlenecks in other aspects of the supply chain.
  • There’s money for electric school buses, which has surprisingly high cost-benefit.
  • I’ve been convinced by the pandemic that throwing a lot of money at broadband expansion makes sense, and there’s $100 billion for that.
  • There’s also $100 billion for clean water stuff which is great, including replacing 100% of lead water pipes which is amazing.
  • The housing section also includes money for lead paint cleanup.
  • There’s $100 billion for the grid, which is important for decarbonizing — see my uncle Paul’s article about this.
  • There’s climate-focused R&D money, which in my opinion we can’t possibly spend too much on.

Obstacles to passage include: no sense of urgency; no margin for error in Congress where infrastructure theoretically has some bipartisan appeal but tax increases ensure no R's will support it; and infighting among Dems over rescinding SALT ($10,000 cap on state and local tax deduction that R's used to finance their tax cut) and progressives for whom $2 trillion is not enough.
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#18047 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-02, 09:46

Posted Image
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#18048 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-02, 12:10

The coolest parts of Biden's expansive infrastructure plan by David Roberts
If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#18049 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-April-02, 13:54

Every citizen is required to vote in Australia at every election, or you get fined (~$20).
It is also a legal requirement that you register.
This includes every State, Council and Federal election.


Nobody in Australia can complain that the outcome was not their fault because they didn't vote.


We also have a preferential voting system so that there is no need for "run-off" elections.


Fraud is unheard of.


An independent Federal election Commission arranges elections.


If there is a dispute about a Federal election, it goes to the Court of disputed returns - If it is a Federal Election, it goes to the High Court.


The Australian system is completely intolerant of the shenanigans that we have just been witnessing in the USA.


In America, this would be called "Socialist politics" along with our "Socialist Medicine" and "Socialist Education", where everyone is entitled to free health care and free education.
I don't know how we cope. The suffering is immense.


non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18050 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-April-02, 13:58

Worthwhile read from excerpt of John Boehner's book:

Quote

Under the new rules of Crazytown, I may have been Speaker, but I didn’t hold all the power. By 2013 the chaos caucus in the House had built up their own power base thanks to fawning right-wing media and outrage-driven fundraising cash. And now they had a new head lunatic leading the way, who wasn’t even a House member. There is nothing more dangerous than a reckless asshole who thinks he is smarter than everyone else. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Senator Ted Cruz. He enlisted the crazy caucus of the GOP in what was a truly dumbass idea. Not that anybody asked me.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18051 User is offline   johnu 

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Posted 2021-April-02, 15:44

View Posty66, on 2021-April-02, 12:10, said:


I am in favor of an infrastructure bill after dozens of "FAKE" infrastructure months announced by the Manchurian President following major scandals that erupted in the press. And I'm not saying that just because the bridge connecting my neighborhood to the rest of Seattle has been broken for a year and won't be open for another year or two. :lol:

However, that $2 trillion bill is spread over 8 years, so basically $250 billion/year, around 5% of the Federal budget. When you look at the cost of the bill as an annual percentage of the Federal budget, it doesn't seem like such a big deal. Of course, compared to the nonexistent Seditionist in Chief's infrastructure bill which was never written up nor introduced as an actual bill, 5% is a hell of a lot more than 0%.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among others, has suggested a $10 trillion bill. Others have suggested at least a doubling of scope, so $4 trillion. Administration spokespeople for the bill avoid answering questions when asked whether the $2 trillion price tag is very inadequate considering the amount of work required for the entire USA.
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#18052 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-April-02, 15:50

View Postjohnu, on 2021-April-02, 15:44, said:

I am in favor of an infrastructure bill after dozens of "FAKE" infrastructure months announced by the Manchurian President following major scandals that erupted in the press. And I'm not saying that just because the bridge connecting my neighborhood to the rest of Seattle has been broken for a year and won't be open for another year or two. :lol:

However, that $2 trillion bill is spread over 8 years, so basically $250 billion/year, around 5% of the Federal budget. When you look at the cost of the bill as an annual percentage of the Federal budget, it doesn't seem like such a big deal. Of course, compared to the nonexistent Seditionist in Chief's infrastructure bill which was never written up nor introduced as an actual bill, 5% is a hell of a lot more than 0%.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, among others, has suggested a $10 trillion bill. Others have suggested at least a doubling of scope, so $4 trillion. Administration spokespeople for the bill avoid answering questions when asked whether the $2 trillion price tag is very inadequate considering the amount of work required for the entire USA.


I think the best way to get Republican evangelical support is to make the bill 10% of the federal budget and frame it as "tithing". Posted Image
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18053 User is offline   kenberg 

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Posted 2021-April-03, 13:33

I have long held the view that people are different from physical objects such as bridges. For example, it should be easier to get a person to wear a mask than it is to build a bridge over a river, but apparently, that's not the case.

This came to mind while browsing info about the infrastructure plan. Biden proposes to build some better schools, meaning that things like ventilation will be better. Yes, we should be able to do that. Much easier than it is to get the students to actually pay attention and to learn the material.

Very realistic plans.
Ken
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#18054 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-April-03, 14:07

View Postkenberg, on 2021-April-03, 13:33, said:

I have long held the view that people are different from physical objects such as bridges. For example, it should be easier to get a person to wear a mask than it is to build a bridge over a river, but apparently, that's not the case.

This came to mind while browsing info about the infrastructure plan. Biden proposes to build some better schools, meaning that things like ventilation will be better. Yes, we should be able to do that. Much easier than it is to get the students to actually pay attention and to learn the material.

Very realistic plans.


Sad, hopeful and funny all at the same time.


You would also think that it would be easy to convince people not to smoke, not eat bad food, not buy automatic weapons, wear sunblock and a hat, look both ways before crossing the road, and on and on.


But then, 1/3 of the eligible population voted for Trump - twice. Even more unnerving, 1/3 of the eligible population decided that it was in their best interests not to participate in the democratic process at all.


I believe that there is a concept called the "reasonable person" - My ideas about what such a person might look like are being sorely tested.


Looks like the "absurdists" were right all along.


"And as for seeking help from any other – no, that he will not do for all the world; rather than seek help he would prefer to be himself – with all the tortures of hell, if so it must be." Kierkegaard S.
non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18055 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-05, 07:14

Fun read: Panic Rooms, Birth Certificates and the Birth of GOP Paranoia by John Boehner. Adapted from his book ON THE HOUSE.
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#18056 User is offline   pilowsky 

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Posted 2021-April-06, 00:07

One of the reasons that Putin - and other enemies - are so easily able to destroy the system of government is that in the USA all "Speech is free".
Below is a piece I just found in Newsweek.


Everything about it is alarming, but the part that concerns me the most is the comment by the Police that this is a "Free speech 'demonstration'" and therefore is OK by them.

What sort of civilised country allows people to threaten the lives of others and promote the superiority of one group of people over another based on skin pigmentation?




Quote



Police Prepare for Weekend 'White Lives Matter' KKK Rally in Orange County
BY DANIEL VILLARREAL ON 4/6/21 AT 12:17 AM EDT

The Huntington Beach Police Department is preparing to monitor and respond possible (sic) unrest at a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) "White Lives Matter" rally in Orange County, California this Sunday.

Fliers announcing the rally appeared in plastic sandwich bags weighted with rocks on the streets of Huntington Beach on Easter morning, according to The Los Angeles Times.

A group calling itself the Loyal White Knights of the KKK emblazoned its name on the fliers.

"White Lives Do Matter: Say NO to cultural geNOcide," one flier with a KKK insignia stated. The flier accused white people of too cowardly to "stand up" for their culture over the fear of being called "racist."

"White civil rights! Our ancestors settled the land, established the country, made the laws—we're the majority. Why shouldn't we control our own destiny???" the fliers said. "If you hate American history we would like to kindly ask you to get out of America!"

Lieutenant Brian Smith told the Times that a Huntington Beach resident notified police of the fliers on Sunday morning. Smith said that free speech demonstrations, such as this one, don't require a city permit as long as organizers don't erect structures or interfere with traffic and access to public spaces.

"Hopefully it is a peaceful, 1st Amendment-protected type of event that doesn't get to the point where it's affecting public safety," Smith said. "We'll staff it accordingly and have contingency plans in place in case there are issues that arise."

Huntington Beach city officials planned a community meeting on Monday to discuss the rally along with racism and hate crimes in general, according to KTLA.



non est deus ex machina; även maskiner behöver lite kärlek, J'ai toujours misé sur l'étrange gentillesse des robots.
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#18057 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-06, 07:47

Jonathan Bernstein at Bloomberg said:

https://www.bloomber...s?sref=UHfKDqx7

Senate Democrats now have a green light from the chamber’s parliamentarian to extend their use of the reconciliation procedure, which allows them to avoid filibusters on some bills. Previously, majorities have used reconciliation no more than once per budget year, but the plain language of the law has always allowed additional uses. Now the parliamentarian has confirmed that she would rule such use kosher.

In practical terms, this may not mean that much. Democrats had the ability to pass three reconciliation bills during the current Congress anyway, and it’s far from certain they’ll use all three, let alone the additional ones that they’re now talking about. But more important, we’re continuing to see the erosion of the filibuster. Historically, the filibuster was only used occasionally, and usually as a means of negotiation rather than as a method of simply obstructing whatever the majority party wanted. Over the past 40 years or so, both parties have resorted to it more, with 1993 and 2009 — both years of unified Democratic government — key markers where the procedure’s increased use was most notable.

Each action by the minority to exploit the rules in its favor, however, sparks a reaction by the majority. The bottom line is that any strict supermajority legislative body is inherently unstable, at least if the chamber sets its own rules, as both the House and Senate do. The only reason the 60-vote Senate has lasted this long is that Democrats had 60 senators or came close in 2009-2010, and therefore could beat the filibuster; then divided government made the procedure less important; then Republicans had two years of unified government with a slim majority and a narrow agenda, followed by two more years of divided government; and now Democrats have an extremely narrow majority.

That’s for legislation; for nominations, the end came much quicker, largely because there have been more years where the president and the Senate majority have been from the same party than years of fully unified government.

But even without the votes to eliminate the filibuster, majority parties are fighting back, as Republicans did in 2017 and Democrats plan to do now by using reconciliation. Democrats may also decide to force Republicans to stay on the Senate floor for a “talking” filibuster, at least if they can find a way to do so that is acceptable to West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin and other Democrats who are reluctant to impose new rules. We’ll also hear talk of carving out new exceptions to which legislation can be filibustered. Eventually — maybe in this Congress, maybe the next time there’s unified government, but before long — the whole house of cards will come down. The current situation just isn’t stable.

And I’ll say it again: That’s what senators seem to want. Republican leader Mitch McConnell could keep the filibuster safe if he agreed to use it only for some bills, not all of them. But he clearly isn’t looking for such a deal and there appears to be no interest among other Republican senators — just as there was no interest among Democratic senators for cutting deals with the Republican majority in 2017 and 2018. Yes, a lot of lawmakers, usually those in the minority, talk about preserving Senate traditions and so forth. But it’s been years since any of them acted as if that’s what they really wanted.

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#18058 User is offline   y66 

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Posted 2021-April-07, 06:56

David Leonhardt at NYT said:

https://messaging-cu...896ed87b2d9c72a

The fight over Georgia

Georgia’s new voting law has inspired a heated national debate, involving President Biden, top Republicans and major companies. It has led to a furious exchange of charges and countercharges, sometimes about basic facts.

This morning, I want to try to clarify the fight, by focusing on a few overarching points.

Make voting harder

The Georgia law is part of an ongoing effort by the Republican Party to make voting more difficult, mostly because Republicans believe they win when turnout is low.

There is no accurate way to describe this effort other than anti-democratic.

The Republican Party’s justification is “election integrity” — that is, stopping voter fraud. But voter fraud is exceedingly rare. There is no reason to believe it has determined the outcome of a single U.S. election in decades. If anything, the most high-profile recent examples of fraud have tended to involve Republican voters. Yet former President Donald Trump and other Republicans have repeatedly and falsely claimed otherwise.

In truth, the spate of “election integrity” laws over the past decade are mostly a response to Barack Obama’s presidential victories. They created a consensus, among both parties, that Democrats benefited from high turnout (which may not be true). Republicans in many states have responded by trying to make voting harder, especially in cities and heavily Black areas — through onerous identification requirements, reduced voting hours, reduced access to early voting and more.

The new Georgia law largely fits this pattern. It is a response by Republican legislators and Gov. Brian Kemp to their party’s close losses there in the 2020 elections. The law reduces hours for absentee voting, increases ID requirements, and limits the distribution of water and food to voters waiting in line.

One provision seems obviously targeted at Atlanta, the Democrats’ most important source of votes: a new limit on absentee-ballot drop boxes. It is likely to reduce the number of drop boxes in metropolitan Atlanta to fewer than 25, from 94 last year. (My colleagues Nick Corasaniti and Reid Epstein have written a helpful summary of the law.)

“There is no rational motivation for the passage of its new election law other than demonstrating fealty to the false claims elevated by Trump,” The Washington Post’s Philip Bump wrote. Perry Bacon Jr. of FiveThirtyEight put it this way: “The enactment of this law in that state is a particularly alarming sign that the Republican Party’s attacks on democratic norms and values are continuing and in some ways accelerating.”

A voter placed a ballot in a drop box in Athens, Ga., shortly before Election Day last November.John Bazemore/Associated Press
What will the impact be?

But some Democrats have misrepresented parts of the law — and may be exaggerating its likely effects.

Biden, for example, suggested that the law would close polling places at 5 p.m. It won’t. As is already the law, local governments must keep polling places open until 5 p.m. and can keep them open until 7 p.m. (CNN’s Daniel Dale and The Post’s Glenn Kessler have both laid out Biden’s incorrect assertions.)

“The entire existence of the legislation in question is premised on a pernicious lie,” The Bulwark’s Tim Miller wrote. “But for some reason Biden & many other Dems are grossly exaggerating the specifics of what it actually does.” In some cases, Democrats appear to be talking about provisions that the Georgia legislature considered but did not include.

What about the impact of the provisions that really are in the law? That’s inherently uncertain. But The Times’s Nate Cohn has argued that the effects will be smaller than many critics suggest. He thinks it will have little effect on overall turnout or on election outcomes.

He points out that the law mostly restricts early voting, not Election Day voting. Early voters tend to be more highly educated and more engaged with politics. They often vote no matter what, be it early or on Election Day. More broadly, Nate argues that modest changes to voting convenience — like those in the Georgia law — have had little to no effect when other states have adopted them.

Of course, Georgia is so closely divided that even a small effect — on, say, turnout in Atlanta — could decide an election. And the law has one other alarming aspect, as both Nate and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Patricia Murphy have noted: It could make it easier for state legislators to overturn a future election result after votes have been counted.


The bottom line

The new Georgia law is intended to be a partisan power grab. It is an attempt to win elections by changing the rules rather than persuading more voters. It’s inconsistent with the basic ideals of democracy. But if it’s intent is clear, its impact is less so. It may not have the profound effect that its designers hope and its critics fear.

Substack’s Matthew Yglesias offers a helpful bit of context: Georgia’s law is based on “a big lie,” he writes, which certainly is worrisome. But the impact is likely to be modest, he predicts. And for people worried about the state of American democracy, laws like Georgia’s are not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that the Electoral College, the structure of the Senate and the gerrymandering of House districts all mean that winning public opinion often isn’t enough to win elections and govern the country.

“These big skews,” Yglesias writes, “matter much more than the marginal impact of tinkering with voter ID or absentee ballot rules.”

If you lose all hope, you can always find it again -- Richard Ford in The Sportswriter
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#18059 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-April-08, 07:58

Words matter. https://itstartedwithwords.org/
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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#18060 User is offline   Winstonm 

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Posted 2021-April-08, 13:22

I see that the RNC has now adopted the same opt-in prechecked box to make contributions monthly - with a threat attached. I'm surprised the threat isn't like this:

It would be a shame if something happened to you and your wife and kids after you unchecked this box, you know, like an accident or something. Capisce?
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Black Lives Matter.
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