Oh, Like Republicans Would Ever Try To Suppress The Black Vote, Just Kidding!
Republicans right now, probably.
How weird, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is having to take the Republican National Committee (RNC) to court to protect the integrity of the vote. SHOCKING, right? You see, the DNC has noticed all the rigamarole Donald J. Trump has been shouting at his supporters about #rigged elections, and about how they should all go to THOSE PLACES where THOSE PEOPLE vote, and just make sure they're not voting too black-ly. Surprisingly, the DNC thinks this amounts to voter intimidation and suppression, and moreover says the RNC, in supporting this, is in violation of a 1982 consent decree that said Republicans need to knock that shit off:
The RNC is supporting Trump’s recruitment of so-called watchers at polling places, which is in breach of consent decrees going back to 1982 that forbid the group from engaging in ballot-security measures, according to a filing in federal court in Newark, New Jersey. The DNC said the watchers are really intended to deter registered voters from casting ballots. [...]
“Trump has falsely and repeatedly told his supporters that the November 8 election will be ‘rigged’ based upon fabricated claims of voter fraud in ’certain areas,’ according to the filing. “Unsurprisingly, those ’certain areas’ are exclusively communities in which large minority voting populations reside.”
Lindsey Walters, a spokesperson for the RNC, says this lawsuit is a buncha nonsense, but it's always wise to remember that Republicans lie a lot. Interestingly, the consent decree is set to expire next year, so the Democrats are essentially arguing that since the GOP is supporting Trump's tactics, then that consent decree shouldn't be allowed to expire, because the GOP is bad, and it should feel bad.
What brought this consent decree about? During the 1981 New Jersey governor's race, the RNC allegedly targeted minority voters with mailers, and if those mailers came back to the post office, unable to be delivered, those voters' names ended up on a list of folks to "challenge" at the polls. Also, allegedly, they hired off-duty cops to hang out at polling places in minority areas and wear armbands suggesting they're part of the "National Ballot Security Task Force." They had visible guns, allegedly! Since these things are not actually "ballot security," but simply attempts to intimidate voters and encourage them not to vote, the RNC had to enter into this consent decree that says they won't do that crap anymore.
So! That is what is going on with that. We should note that this is different from the other story going around today about a "senior official" from the Trump campaign saying they have "three major voter suppression operations under way." That senior official says the campaign is targeting "idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans" with ads that feature Bill Clinton's accusers, or that say Hillary is a dirty flip-flopper on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or that quote Hillary back in the '90s using the term "super predator" to refer to some kids in gangs.
Shitty as these tactics are, they're totally legal. They're not "voter suppression." They're just political ads!
The Trump campaign's calculation here is that this will make all those people stay home, instead of voting for Devil Hillary. Obviously they're doing this because it's literally impossible for Trump to attract any new supporters, because all sane Americans agree that he's terrible and disgusting and gropey and acts a little bit like a common Hitler. So they have to try to "suppress" (they mean "depress," because, again, negative campaign ads are not "voter suppression") Hillary's vote. Again, negative ads are very much allowed, and there is nothing suppressive about them! "Voter suppression" is shit like the intimidation at the polls Trump is constantly calling for, or the disenfranchisement of black voters in pretty much every state that's got a Republican lege or secretary of state.
The good news, as Greg Sargent points out at the Washington Post is that the strategy probably isn't going to work, based on reports that show Hillary already beating Trump's ass in the early voting department.
So, class, what have we learned today? We've learned there are two big stories going around about Trump and the RNC engaging in "voter suppression," and that they are not the same story! Sending armed freaks to the polls to monitor for Voting While Black is bad, and the RNC is getting sued for directly and indirectly promoting Trump's incredibly subtle calls for that. The other thing about the political ads is ... not a thing.
This has been the latest episode of Wonkette 'Splains WTF The News Is Yammering About Today.