A terrifying Sunday shows rundown!
Republicans are so sure they're going to retake control of Congress in November, we can only assume they're already measuring for drapes in current Democratic lawmakers' offices. This overconfidence is the only way we can explain their total lack of subtlety in their villainy.
Let's take a look at the Sunday shows so you can see what we mean.
Ronna Romney McDaniel on 'Fox News Sunday'
The Republican National Committee (RNC) chair appeared with host Martha MacCallum:
MacCallum mentioned Donald Trump's brilliant advice for Dr. Mehmet Oz to declare victory in the Pennsylvania GOP primary despite not actually winning yet. McDaniel knew who was really to blame:
MCDANIEL: What I will say is the Republican legislature in Pennsylvania put forward an election integrity bill that Governor [Tom] Wolf vetoed earlier this year. If that bill had been passed, we would not be in this situation. President Trump is right, and others, that we should not have no excuse absentee voting. This influx of mail-in voting is clearly showing that systems are not ready for that and Pennsylvania is a case of that right now.
Of course! It must be the mail-in voting! Of course, the Democrats had their own primaries and everything was fine, and it's simply not possible the Republicans are just having a really close election.
MacCallum tried to nail down whether McDaniel was accusing any Republican candidates of doing anything untoward with mail-in votes, or what she was even talking about:
MACCALLUM: But -- so the former president is suggesting that another Republican who is supported by people who used to work in his administration is searching for votes or doing something that is -- that is untoward?
MCDANIEL: Well, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled this year, and the RNC very much supports, that ballots should not be counted without a date. I think that's the law in Pennsylvania. [...] And we certainly do not think that ballots without dates should be counted, because how do you know when they came in?
Postmarks: What are they?
MacCallum asked McDaniel about soon-to-be former GOP Rep. Madison Cawthorn's whole "Dark MAGA" manifesto, which spouted off about the "Rise of a New Right."
McDaniel played very dumb.
MCDANIEL: I don't know what "Dark MAGA" is.
MACCALLUM: It sounds scary.
MCDANIEL: It sounds like the Star Wars thing, like the dark side of the force. I don't know. I don't know what that is.
It does sound ridiculous, but so did Nazi and KKK terminology like "Grand Wizard" and "Eagle's Nest," when taken out of context. Maybe the congressman whose bucket list included going to Hitler's mountain home shouldn't be ignored, despite sounding like bad fanfiction.
Rick Scott on 'Face The Nation'
The senator from Florida and former (current?) Gentleman demon spoke to Margaret Brennan:
When Brennan pointed out polling showing a large number of Americans see the GOP as "extremists," Scott babbled about Joe Biden:
SCOTT: The president is slow to react, whether it's the border, whether it's inflation, whether it's gas prices, even Ukraine.
Those are big problems. There would be bipartisan support for solving them, if the GOP actually cared. But as we've seen with gas prices and baby formula, the GOP likes to use the pain of Americans for political purposes, with zero intent to actually fix things.
When asked about unproven claims of fraud during the 2020 election, Scott did a low-fat version of the Big Lie:
SCOTT: You know, what I have seen, Margaret, is people want to know that the election's going to be fair and their votes are not going to be diluted. [...] There's -- there is clearly people that are still concerned about what happened in 2020, and they would like the facts to come out. And they -- and they want to know what happened, why it happened.
"Diluted." By having more people vote against the white supremacists? We are curious about this word choice "diluted."
Brennan, surely tired of this same old bullshit, just plain asked a direct question:
BRENNAN: Just -- OK, just to be abundantly clear, you have recognized President Biden is the duly elected president of the United States, correct?
SCOTT: Absolutely. Absolutely.
BRENNAN: OK. So, let's just move on from there.
And so they moved on from there.
Finally, Scott had a whole lot of mealy-mouthed lip service about concerns of rising white supremacy:
SCOTT: Well, clearly, we ought to all condemn any hatred.
We ought to condemn any white supremacy. We -- I mean, we've got to figure out how to come together. I believe we got to stop all this racial politics.[...] We ought to judge people by their character, not the -- not their skin color.
So, we've got to figure out how to bring people together.
Yeah, Rick Scott tried to "All Lives Matter" white supremacy.
They don't want to admit it, but these people know what drives their base.
Have a week.
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Great Republican Idea: What If 2000 Rural CO Voters Got Twice As Many 'Votes' As 761,000 People In Denver?
The Electoral College so nice, they want to do it twice.
The state of Colorado has a problem, at least if you're a Republican seeking high office: In the past 50 years, the state has only elected one Republican as governor (Bill Owens, who served from 1999 to 2007). But one of the GOP candidates for governor this year, Greg Lopez, has a great idea that he thinks could fix that little difficulty, mostly by putting in place a kind of state electoral college, in which rural counties' voters would have far more power than voters in cities. Forget "one person, one vote," because it's far fairer if you don't count all votes equally.
Don't stare at us like that. It's not our idea, it's Lopez's.
You might also be unsurprised to know that Lopez, the former mayor of Parker, Colorado, thinks Donald Trump really won the 2020 election but had it stolen from him. Just because Democrats far outnumber Republicans statewide shouldn't mean they really represent Coloradans.
Yeah, You've Seen This Weirdo Before. And The Reporter Who Destroyed Him
You may remember Lopez from his insane evasions in an interview earlier this month with Denver TV journo Kyle Clark, in which Lopez refused to own up to his very funny homophobic joke about Gov. Jared Polis (D), who is gay. Lopez had said to a Republican crowd, “I think it’s time we had a real first lady, don’t you?” The crowd ate that up, because Polis is married to a dude, and isn't that just hilarious? Pressed to explain exactly what he'd meant by a "real first lady," Lopez told Clark he simply was talking about what a wonderful gal his wife is, you see? They've been married 34 years!
Clark wasn't having it, no thank you, and drily replied, "I think that there’s a chance that you think I and the folks watching are dumber than we are."
Who Needs Tyranny Of The Majority When Tyranny Of The Minority Is More Fun?
Now Clark is back with the lowdown on Lopez's state electoral college idea, which a "political tracker" recorded when Lopez outlined it during a May 15 campaign appearance. It's really the bestest idea, as long as you're willing to throw out the idea that every citizen's vote should count equally — and it should not, since that hasn't helped Republicans. We like the part where he openly says he supports "doing away with the popular vote" just right there in plain English. We've bolded it below so you won't miss it.
“One of the things that I’m going to do, and I’ve already put this plan together, is, as governor, I’m going to introduce a conversation about doing away with the popular vote for statewide elected officials and doing an electoral college vote for statewide elected officials,” Lopez said.
Lopez said his electoral college plan would weight counties’ votes based on their voter turnout percentage to encourage turnout.
“I’ve already got the plan in place,” Lopez said. “The most that any county can get is 11 electoral college votes. The least that a county can get is three.”
You can see the logic: Republicans keep losing the popular vote for president, but they sometimes win the Electoral College anyway, so clearly the electoral vote is fair and the popular vote has to be suspect.
Here's video from KUSA/KTVD, which explains exactly how extremely the scheme would skew voting in Colorado. "Cockamamie " doesn't even begin to describe it.
Lopez's campaign wouldn't agree to talk to the TV station about the plan unless Clark would agree to another sit-down interview with Lopez at his campaign headquarters. Gosh, considering the fact that Lopez became a national laughingstock after that earlier interview, we can only assume he and his campaign are masochists. (We kid. The homophobia and misogyny no doubt brought in all sorts of attention and money from rich GOP donors.)
Oh No, Not Math!
So instead, Clark and his team decided to approximate how the scheme might have worked in the 2018 election that put Polis in office. Using the rough criteria Lopez outlined, they distributed between three and 11 electoral votes per county based on county turnout in the governor's race. The rubric completely disregarded the population size of each county since Lopez said he's getting rid of undemocratic ideas like the "popular vote."
The results were pretty impressive. Instead of winning the 2018 election for governor by 10 points — the actual results — Polis would have been blown out of the water by Republican Walker Stapleton. In mere reality, Polis won 53.4 percent to Stapleton's 42.8 percent. But an electoral system like Lopez wants would have "swung that race for Republicans by nearly 30 percentage points, resulting in the equivalent of an 18 percentage point victory for Stapleton over Polis." Some details:
Colorado’s rural, conservative counties had seven of the 10 highest voter turnout percentages in the 2018 race for governor. Those counties had an average of 1,077 ballots cast in the election.
A 9NEWS analysis estimated that, under Lopez’s plan, Polis would have received 181 electoral votes to Stapleton’s 263.
And because Lopez's system would apparently include no weighting for population size, his electoral college would be even more lopsided than the federal one, which at least includes some consideration of state population by including states' House seats. The federal system still gives small states disproportionate power, but wowie, look at this hypothetical outcome in Colorado. We've added boldface to emphasize the population disparities:
Lopez’s weighting system would have given the 2,013 combined voters in Hinsdale, Kiowa and Mineral counties a total of 33 electoral votes, more than double the 14 electoral votes of Denver, Arapahoe and Adams counties’ combined 761,873 voters.
Well that seems fair. You want a little more representation, Denver, you'll have to improve your voter turnout so maybe someday you'll have equal political power to a county with 3,000 voters.
'One Person, One Vote' Is Not Even In The Bible
At that May 15 campaign appearance, Lopez explains why this scheme would be waaaaay better than merely letting the tyrannical depraved liberal majority in urban areas have their votes count equally to those of the God-fearing voters in rural areas:
“It’s not about one-person, one-vote. It’s about true representation.”
As we keep saying, this is what you get when you subscribe to the most extreme versions of the John Birch Society's insistence that America isn't a democracy, it's a republic: Not only is democracy bad, anything that even allows too much majority influence is bad, too, so to truly avoid what the Founders feared was "the tyranny of the majority," it's probably best to let numerical minorities engineer the system to keep themselves in power. Representation is all fine and well, but the less it's tainted by democracy, the better for the Republic.
Happily, U of Denver political science prof Sara Chatfield told Clark in an interview that in the extremely unlikely event Lopez could become governor and persuade voters to pass it as a constitutional amendment, it's so glaringly unconstitutional that it wouldn't stand a chance in court. And wouldn't you know it, the case that established one person, one vote as the standard came out of an earlier attempt to disenfranchise minorities!
Chafield pointed to the 1964 Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v. Sims striking down Alabama’s plan to give one state Senate seat to each county.
“The Supreme Court struck that down on the principle of one-person, one-vote. So I think that case, although it’s a little different, demonstrates that just because something is in the U.S. Constitution doesn’t mean it’s actually democratic or constitutional at the state level,” Chatfield said.
Mind you, while it's an entirely hypothetical notion for Colorado, we can see a smaller, already red state like Idaho doing it just to make sure scary urban liberal coastal elites in Boise don't get too much power in the state Lege.
This Guy's FULL Of Bad Ideas!
Lopez's campaign website says nothing about this state electoral college idea, although its
"issues" page does promise Lopez would issue an executive order that would effectively end automatic voter registration. The site explains it's actually a vital moral issue, because "It is wrong for the state government to force a citizen to register to vote; that is an individual choice that should not be imposed by the government." His ideas on choices are flexible; Lopez is fine with banning abortion with no exceptions, not even for the life or health of the pregnant person.
Also, in that earlier interview with Clark, Lopez explained he wants to end Colorado's statewide vote-by-mail system, because voting is too easy and people should show their commitment to citizenship by standing in line. Here's the video, cued up to that bit of brilliance:
It's about making sure people feel they're providing their civic duty, that they're standing in line because they're proud Americans. A lot of people fought for the right to stand in line! You know, we stand in line for concerts, we stand in line for baseball games and football games. Why can't we stand in line to vote? We don't ask people to do this every week, we ask them to do it every two years.
Lopez said he believed that when voting is more inconvenient, people will actually be better informed about the issues, somehow. He also doesn't buy the idea that standing in line could be a burden for people who don't have a lot of time to stand in line, because "where there's a will, there's a way," and people will obviously just have to make the time if they want to exercise their franchise. Indeed, he explained, if more people had to stand in line to vote, it would "send a message to future generations that this is our civic duty."
After all, Martin Luther King simply wanted the right to vote. He never fought for voting to be easy, and indeed, maybe the best way to honor his dream is to make sure people get clubbed and hit with firehoses before they can vote. That can be their way to prove their willingness to have some skin — and hair, blood, bone fragments, and bits of brain matter — in the game.
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Count all the ballots? Why would you do that? It's un-American!
With 95 percent of the votes counted, the Pennsylvania GOP primary for US Senate remains too close to call, with fewer than 1,500 separating the top two candidates, as the New York Times reports this morning.
The race is so close it's likely to trigger an automatic recount, which is required when there's a difference of less than half of one percent between the top two finishers. As you'd expect, the campaigns of Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick each confidently predict that when all the votes are counted, their guy will come out on top. That could take a while, though; the Pennsylvania Department of State has until May 26 to order a recount, though it might do so sooner.
Totally legitimate former president Donald Trump has an idea about how to speed up the process though. On his hilariously named social media site for idiots, Truth Social, he posted yesterday that Oz should simply "declare victory. It makes it much harder for them to cheat with the ballots that they just happened to find."
Trump didn't specify who "they" were, and it should go without saying he didn't offer evidence, because how naive you are to want proof the primary is rigged! There's a possibility Trump's chosen guy might not win, and if that doesn't prove massive cheating is at work, nothing will.
Besides, Trump knows how easy it is to be robbed of a landslide electoral victory. He went on TV late on election night in 2020 to say he'd won, which made him the winner. But then treasonous state elections officials insisted on counting all the ballots anyway, a failure of democracy that gave the election to Joe Biden simply because he won the most electoral votes. How is that even fair?
One noteworthy difference between the 2020 presidential election and the 2022 Republican primary is that in this case, the candidate who might win the nomination is hedge fund douche/walking dollop of Hellmann's mayonnaise David McCormick, who is himself a Trump devotee.
McCormick said when he announced his campaign in January that he too loves Donald Trump and America Firsting, and dutifully insisted that "the majority of Republicans in this state don't believe  was a free and fair election" either. It would be pretty weird if "they" were rigging the election in favor of a slightly different flavor of their own selves, but there we go dragging logic into a discussion of Donald Trump.
Also, because there are still outstanding absentee ballots waiting to be counted — already suspicious, since real Republicans would never use those cursed things except when voting twice to offset cheating by Democrats, allegedly! — Trump complained in a separate antisocial media post:
Here we go again! In Pennsylvania they are unable to count the Mail-in Ballots. It is a BIG MESS. Our Country should go to paper ballots, with same day voting.
Good point, from a guy who regularly voted absentee, but it was OK when he did it.
Hey, you know what's kind of funny, if you have a really low bar for "funny"? Trump had no such qualms about the outcome of the GOP gubernatorial primary, in which Republicans nominated Big Lie lover and would-be election thief Doug Mastriano, whom Trump endorsed. (That's the one he endorsed at the last minute, which worked well for Trump because Mastriano was already so far ahead.) Those would be the very same damn ballots that Trump is now complaining are probably rigged. (Again with the logic, sorry bad habit.)
Then again, in his conspiratorial little brainlet, Trump no doubt assumes that if the voters picked one guy he endorsed, the fact that they didn't choose Oz by the exact same margin must indicate the votes aren't being counted correctly in the Senate race. Real Republican voters would never betray Trump that way, so the fix has to be in. Heck, if Mastriano manages to be elected governor, he'll be the one to appoint the secretary of state, who wouldn't allow any uncertainty about the outcome of any elections ever again.
So far, Dr. Oz has wisely said nothing at all about Trump's messages urging him to say out loud that he won. He hasn't actually tweeted anything since Tuesday, for that matter. We can't discount the possibility, however, that Oz may have written a declaration of victory in his dream journal, which will help it manifest into reality.
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There's plenty of crazy left in her.
In a setback for the far-Right wingnuts who are trying to take over Idaho, Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin lost her bid to replace incumbent Gov. Brad Little, a more conventional right-wing Republican. The final tally isn't in yet, but as of 3 a.m. "Mountain Time," Little had 53 percent of the vote in the seven-candidate Republican primary, with McGeachin well behind with 32 percent. An "Ed Humphreys" managed to get 11 percent, and the other four candidates all got less than two percent of the vote. High Plains Grifter Ammon Bundy had originally filed to run in the GOP primary, but dropped out in February to run as an independent, so look for him to try this fall to capture votes from McGeachin supporters who consider Little — a bog standard very conservative Republican — some kind of radical socialist.
McGeachin had made her absolute devotion to Donald Trump and his Big Lie about winning the 2020 election central to her campaign, which won her Trump's endorsement. She also blasted Little as a "RINO" for having left it up to local officials to decide whether to require masks during the pandemic, although Little never ordered a statewide mask mandate.
The day before the primary, McGeachin also accused Little of "cowardly parroting leftist talking points" [sic] for having expressed sympathy for George Floyd (while also praising law enforcement), and for having condemned violence during the January 6 insurrection. Only a crazy communist would consider violence "inexcusable," after all.
A record number of people moved from California and Washington to Idaho in the last 2 years because they watched their cities burn to the ground as their politicians stood by and did nothing. Brad Little is no better, cowardly parroting leftist talking points. #idpolpic.twitter.com/McgQfXqDQV— Janice McGeachin (@Janice McGeachin) 1652726051
A record number of people moved from California and Washington to Idaho in the last 2 years because they watched their cities burn to the ground as their politicians stood by and did nothing. Brad Little is no better, cowardly parroting leftist talking points.
Fact check: No cities in the United states have burned to the ground, apart from some smaller towns destroyed by wildfires. (But maybe Antifa set those fires!)
Adieu, Crazy Bible Gun Lady, For Now
Idaho runs separate elections for governor and lieutenant governor, so McGeachin and Little were not running mates when first elected in 2018. In October 2020, as Idaho faced record rates of Covid infections and hospitalizations, McGeachin went into full right-wing crazy mode, joining Republican legislators in declaring absolute resistance to all government measures aimed at controlling the coronavirus, because Liberty. She's a darling of the far-right Idaho Freedom Foundation, and we won't be the least bit surprised if she ends up getting a job there when she leaves office in January. The IFF and the crazies in the Lege even made a fun video!
McGeachin made national news last year when she twice used her temporary powers as governor, while Little was out of the state, to issue batshit executive orders that Little rescinded the minute he returned to Idaho. The first time, in June, she banned all local governments and school districts from requiring face masks, although nobody took it seriously. Then in October, Little was out of the state again, so that time McGeachin issued an order banning vaccine mandates and mandatory testing, and also explored calling up the National Guard to deploy it to the US-Mexico border.
Again, Little rescinded the order and condemned McGeachin's "political grandstanding," a charge that might have carried a bit more weight were it not for the reason Little had left the state: He'd flown to Texas, which for you geography fans is nowhere near Idaho, to meet with other Republican governors to complain about the immigration "crisis" at the border. How dare she interrupt his political grandstanding by attempting an even more ludicrous political stunt?
More recently, McGeachin called on Little earlier this month to convene a special session of the legislature so it could fix Idaho's trigger law banning abortion. She wanted to strip out the existing law's exceptions for rape, incest, and to save the life of a pregnant person who might die if they continued a pregnancy. McGeachin said those were simply too many loopholes, although the rape and incest exceptions already require that a police report be verified before any procedure.
In a press release, McGeachin explained that even the life-saving exception was likely to be abused:
I believe that life begins at conception, and no child should be killed because of the circumstances surrounding his or her conception. Of course I understand that there are rare medical emergencies in which it may be impossible to save the life of both the mother and the child. In such rare occurrences, a difficult decision may have to be made, but Idaho law must never allow for elective abortion masquerading as medical necessity.
You know how doctors and pregnant ladies are -- they'd probably just use medical emergencies as an excuse to sneak in some baby-killing.
One Wingnut Loses, Another Wins
In other Idaho primaries, the lieutenant governor's race was won by another "establishment" (and still hyper-conservative) Republican, state House speaker Scott Bedke, who defeated an absolutely awful far-right candidate, state Rep. Priscilla Giddings, who was also an absolute trainwreck. She was censured by the state House last year after sharing a blog post that identified by name a 19-year-old intern who had accused then-state Rep. Aaron von Ehlinger of rape. Von Ehlinger resigned from the House and was convicted of rape last month; he's awaiting sentencing. Giddings was also an antivaxxer long before the pandemic, pushing legislation that would have prevented employer "discrimination" against unvaccinated workers. We're sure shell keep doing the crazy after she leaves the Lege, too.
Oh, yes, perennial candidate "Pro-Life, a person formerly known as Marvin Richardson" -- that's how he's listed on the ballot -- will be back in the fall, as the Constitution Party candidate for LG.
But in a big win for righties, former congressman Raul Labrador has won the R nomination for attorney general, turfing out incumbent AG Lawrence Wasden, who's very conservative but relatively sane. Wasden has occasionally been a voice of sanity in the state, pointing out when various bills pushed by the Lege are blatantly unconstitutional, and that's made him some enemies. As Boise State Public Radio reports,
Labrador used those instances as an argument for electing him instead, saying the Legislature doesn’t trust Wasden anymore, even when he gives good legal advice.
Now Labrador can start issuing terrible legal advice that will make right-wing legislators happy, we assume. Wasden, for instance, declined to join Texas's insane (and unsuccessful) lawsuit to throw out the 2020 election, but Labrador said that was exactly the kind of lawsuit he'd love to get involved with, to fight "federal overreach." Labrador is a big fan of free speech, like that time in 2017 when his congressional office in Lewiston called the cops to complain of "threats" from elderly voters who were petitioning to preserve the Affordable Care Act. He also drew widespread condemnation when he declared at a town hall that there's no need for Obamacare, since after all, “nobody dies because they don’t have access to health care.” He later explained that his phrasing "wasn't very elegant."
But now that the Supremes are about to overturn Roe, Idaho no longer needs Wasden cautioning that insane abortion bans are unconstitutional, so the state can pursue other extremist legislation, and Labrador will no doubt cost the state millions and millions of dollars defending them against lawsuits.
Idaho's Two-Party System: Right-wing Republicans And Barking Insane Wingnuts
Since Idaho is such a heavily Republican state, the GOP primary effectively decides most statewide races well ahead of the general election in November, so Little is likely to cruise to a second term against Democratic nominee Stephen Heidt, who was the only Dem on the ballot. There were also two write-in contenders for the Democratic gubernatorial race, Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad, and sweaty antisemite David J. Reilly, the far-right dick who lost his 2021 bid for a school board seat and thought it would be hilarious to try getting the Democratic nomination for governor, because what if he won? Then he could promote the "great replacement theory" and claim that Jews "pretend to be white" as a Democrat!
Oh, yes, Reilly was also among the Kootenai County Republicans who tried during the spring to take over the county Democratic party by running as precinct captains. Had the scheme worked, the goal was reportedly to install him as the chair of the local Dems, both for the lulz, because wouldn't that make Dems mad, and also so he could direct party funds and donations to right-wing causes.
But we digress. Democratic write-ins received only a fraction of the vote anyway, so Mr. Heidt will be the sacrificial opponent to Little this fall. And Janice McGeachin can crawl off to cry with the Freedom Foundation until the next election cycle. She'll be back.
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